‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’ Producer Says It’s Basically a D&D Campaign

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is hitting Netflix on Friday, November 13. As with any reboot, it was met with some criticism from the fans of the classic ’80s Filmation series, but Noelle Stevenson, the series’s executive producer, was positive that this show would win them over and bring in some new fans as well. In an in interview with Newsweek, Stevenson discussed her inspiration for the series and how she felt this was exactly the right time to bring this classic heroine back into action.

Noelle Stevenson and She-Ra Noelle Stevenson is executive producer on the series remake of “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” debuting on Netflix on November 9. Stevenson feels the world of “She-Ra” will be a way to show girls everywhere “how to be brave, how to do the hard thing, and how to fail and get back up again.” Dreamworks

“With some things that are so pressing in so many ways, we need to build and address it, and also find ways to escape from it,” said Stevenson. She felt that providing this fantasy world was a great way to temporarily escape from our current political and social problems and that the world of She-Ra would be a way to show girls everywhere “how to be brave, how to do the hard thing, and how to fail and get back up again.”

“These are the lessons I think I really want people to take away from the show, and I want it to make them more active in their lives, their communities, and with the people that they love,” said Stevenson. “I think this is very important to the core of the show.”

The look and feel of “She-Ra” pulls from various influences. Noelle wanted to give the series a feeling of wonder, similar to when you were a little kid looking at paintings of vast moons, spires and spaceships in the background. It contains a lot of visual references to the work of artists like Moebius (Jean Giraud), as well as the landscapes of Roger Dean, among many others from the era of ’70s- and ’80s-inspired sci-fi and magical lands.

Bright Moon background from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power The magical landscapes in “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” were influenced by sci-fi artists Moebius (Jean Giraud) and Roger Dean. Dreamworks

“I want to go there,” Stevenson said. “What is this place like? I want to capture that in this world.” With the talented crew working on this series, the influence of anime can also be seen along with Stevenson’s background in comics.

“There’s a lot of love of anime that is shaping indie comics right now, so that is something that just seems very natural in the show,” she said.

There was so much from the original series that the current show’s creators wanted to pay homage to, including the shoulder pads, big hair, bright color rainbows. And of course it had to have some glitter. “We really just wanted to capture the fun and the campiness and the excitement of like this kind of idealized futuristic version of the ’80s,” Stevenson said. These things made the original show so exciting that she couldn't help but be positive. “Hey, kids of today, you're going to love this!”

Nowadays CGI seems to have taken over so much of what is currently produced, so Stevenson was proud to have a show committed to 2D animation. “It makes it feel alive,” she said. This is a show with so much interaction between characters, along with a lot of physical comedy. Sometimes capturing the proper emotion is harder in CGI. “There’s something so tactile about hand-drawn animation, you get the feeling of the touch of the emotion,” said the executive producer.

Stevenson started playing some classic Dungeons & Dragons at almost the same time she started developing this show and thought in some ways the show has secretly become a D&D campaign. It’s easy to compare your main heroes; Adora, Glimmer, and Bo to that of specific classes in D&D. “Adora is the fighter/paladin, Glimmer is a sorcerer and Bo is a multiclass, as a bard and a ranger,” Stevenson said. She reminded us that these characters were like teenagers on the cusp of adulthood. “They're right on the edge. It's like we're figuring out these roles for ourselves,” explained Stevenson. “I like this feeling that they are stumbling through as they would in a D&D campaign. They feel like they're interacting in the world with their quest in that way, where they're trying to be something, they might not be them fully yet, but they're on journey toward being that.”

 

 

As with any new iteration of a beloved show, you will always find those who don’t yet want to join the party. “I don't know that I would necessarily try to win them over. I think that's just something where the show will speak for itself,” she said. Stevenson hoped that the content of the show would win them over and they would find something that they love about it.

“It's not something that I feel I need to win the approval of a certain set of people in order for it to be a success,” she said. “I think it needs to be accepted and loved on its own terms.”

Get ready to shout “For the honor of Grayskull!” as you binge watch this whole series, starting November 13. Which Princess of Power are you most excited to see take on the Evil Horde? Let us know in the comments below.

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