It took She six months to craft the four and a half minute video, a task that sounds more full of learning than arduousness. “I did a couple of animated videos for other people’s bands which were largely collage based and not so much stop motion all the way through, but it gave me enough confidence to think it’s possible,” he explains.
“I gauged whether or not Theo thought it would be a stupid amount of effort and time and he said no, carry on, so I did it,” She says. “I wrote the storyboard with Theo and did an animatic and got started. I thought if I do a little sequence every morning for a couple of hours I can get it down in a few months. It took a tiny bit longer than I thought it would but otherwise it roughly worked out to my plan.”
Created during a period in 2019 when the pair were “just writing everyday and going a bit mad” (as Jamie She tells Den of Geek), “Huge Axeman” lyrically toys with issues of body image and masculinity, making its companion video the perfect opportunity to comment on how 1980s cartoons like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, and their ilk delivered questionable and wildly irresponsible messages about how men should look.
“I can’t ignore the body image,” She tells us when he was asked about his thoughts on Masters of the Universe‘s legacy. “That’s the first thing that comes to mind, the question of body image and whether it’s a problematic message. But then I sort of ignore that and press play and start watching He-Man and realize that it’s striving so hard and so valiantly to tell a valuable story for children and adults, and with such a wholesome message at the end, which they didn’t have to do.”
While Masters of the Universe gave a generation a daily dose of fantasy, the intended hyper-masculinity of the series’ leads doubtlessly planted the seeds of future body dysmorphia in the minds of some viewers who grew up to try to emulate the physicality of the characters. So it’s no surprise that She has some ambivalence towards the He-Man legacy. “I have really mixed feelings,” he states, “it’s such a funny combination of factors, isn’t it?”
Ultimately though, She feels that the He-Man saga is “essentially just pure joyful fantasy in its most distilled form and that’s why it endures.”