Episode - 26 He-Man VS Lion-O
Hey everybody! I’m back from RTX, finally finding some time to write another one of these. Thank you so much for your patience, and to everyone who came to Austin to hang out with us! We made some really cool announcements and met some awesome people.
This time I’m chatting about one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done, which also happens to be the premiere episode of Season 2; He-Man VS Lion-O!
A little backstory on that last part… until ScrewAttack joined Rooster Teeth, Death Battle did not have a true seasonal structure. As I mentioned waaaaay back, while the show was originally intended to be comprised of two 13 episode long seasons, that was quickly abandoned in favor of a sort of ‘release-it-when-it’s-done’ approach. The original Goku VS Superman was deemed the Season 1 finale after its initial airing to give the Death Battle team some time after such a huge endeavour. Remember, all of us were also working on other shows. Other than Death Battle, of which I still did the majority of the work apart from animation, I was also working on Clip of the Week, the Best Ever, and I believe a video game review every now and then.
But then June 2013 came around, along with the second season of Death Battle!
Now Chad wasn’t usually too involved in the research work for Death Battle, but he jumped into this one head-over-heels. In fact, this episode would inadvertently become a sort of trial run for some of the research processes we’d rely on in this future. Namely, assigning a team of 2 to research and each person is expected to look into each character. Today, with our two teams of two, we typically adhere to this sort of formula, but it was a new thing for this episode! Chad took He-Man, while I looked into Thundercats.
This was pretty awesome, as I hadn’t spent a lot of time with Thundercats media before this, and I was really digging it. Every day, Chad and I would come into the office after spending the previous night digging through our characters’ material and try to one up each other. I specifically remember an instance where I watched a Thundercats episode where Lion-O was transported to the center of the Earth, and survived without issue, and Chad didn’t have an answer to it. Until literally the very next day when he walked in and excitedly told me he’d seen a He-Man episode where the man himself drilled to the center of the Earth with a stone stalagmite and swam in the molten core of the planet!
Yeah, this one’s victor wasn’t too hard of a decision to make, but hot damn it was fun to make. The battle itself was written as if we were creating our own 80’s cartoon fight scene! I wound up editing a lot of music to capture that feel.
This episode also marks the first time we hired voice actor Chris Guerrero as the battle announcer, specifically calling out the ‘Fight!’ and ‘K.O.’ sound bits at the beginning and end of each battle animation. Chris is still our announcer to this day!
Like I said, this was a blast to make, and really set the stage for an extremely entertaining season… though it would end up having its fair share of ups and downs.
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Now that we’re onto the second season, what was your favorite episode from Season 1?