Some unexplained material has shown up online. Some choices the creators of Jem made, have arised curiousity from Jem fans. And we can't help but wonder, what else is out there? What did we miss out on?

Some questionmarks are partly figured out, some remain unanswered. This page points out some of the most interesting mysteries, along with facts and some speculation. You are bound to learn something you didn't know on this page.

Was "Graphix", going to be released as a 1988 doll?

Prototype doll pictures, and what looks like doll box art [off-site link], have shown up of a female character, called "Graphix" (as in "graphics") with chrome yellow hair with polka dots, dressed in mostly white and red clothes with all kinds of prints. Is this really a Jem character, or was it planned to be if the Jem doll line had continued?

The answer to those particular questions is definitely: no. And as for the artwork, any art of Graphix is completely unofficial, and done by Jem fans long after the line was cancelled. No official artwork for a doll box was done for Graphix. But on the other hand, Graphix was not always completely none-Jem. That doll prototype is real, and was made by Hasbro!

In the early 2000's, two prototype pictures of Graphix were uploaded to a website by a confirmed person involved in the creation of Jem, and shared to the public thanks to the Truly Outrageous Mailing List. And directly, several people took the liberty to grab them and post them in other places and added their own speculations. Perhaps well intended, perhaps to try to fill the holes of the information we don't have about the Graphix doll plans, or to start a buzz and open people's imagination about Graphix of being more than she ever was. That has unfortunately rather added to the unclarity about Graphix, of what is speculation versus confirmed facts from any named source, and of what Hasbro's plans for Graphix really were.

There are some mysteries surrounding this character. Graphix was infact once considered for being released as a doll in the Jem line, aswell as appearing in the cartoon. She only got as far as an early Hasbro prototype though, and Christy wrote a description of her for the cartoon, which can be found in the Jem Bible. Gwen (Gwendolyn) "Graphix" Snyder, was supposed to be a talented graffiti artist from the San Fernando Valley, who had been creating art ever since she was little, who would work for Eric and design all kinds of stuff for the Stingers (a big Riot fan infact) and for the Misfits (although she was to dislike the Misfits). As for her personality, Graphix was infact meant to be a spoiled, brainless, pretentious, shallow, untechnical, obnoxious attention seeker who speaks her mind without thinking.

Unlike other characters like: Regine, Astral, Riot, Minx and Rapture, Graphix never appeared in the cartoon at all, and there were never any episode ideas pitched for her. Graphix never even got to the stage of being photographed for the pre-toy fair catalogs. Hasbro made the conscious decision to completely scrap Graphix, according to Christy Marx herself, which meant Christy entirely scrapped the idea of ever including her in the cartoon. Christy was given no reason why though, but she has pointed out countless times that Graphix was infact a scrapped idea:

"Hasbro came up with several new dolls: the Stingers, Regine, Astral and Graphix. Graphix was cancelled, the rest were introduced."

"I think Graphix was the only character/doll that was dropped."

"Graphix was scrapped before we wrote her into any episodes. I was only in the early thinking stages of a story for her. Nothing that I know about was ever written, let alone produced."

"She got dropped somewhere along the way before we ever put her into a script."

"If they told me why they were dropping Graphix, I've completely forgotten. I suspect I was never given a reason."

"All I remember is that I was told Hasbro wasn't going to do the doll, so I should drop the character."

"Hasbro decided to drop the doll so she was never used."

"Hasbro simply decided not to do the Graphix doll."

So if not even Christy knows why Hasbro scrapped Graphix, what could Hasbro's reason have been? Was the hair print too difficult to manufacture? Was it a problem that she was a graffiti artist (since the Jem cartoon had public service announcements against graffiti)? Was the design too bad from hair to fashion, and needed too much extensive work to redo? Too many new characters already introduced at that time, too many new bad guys? Those speculations are all perhaps likely, but no one knows for sure. So let's keep it at declared speculations. None the less Graphix was just a road that the people who worked with creating Jem products at Hasbro were not willing to take with Jem, among hundreds of ideas that reach various stages before scrapped. Even their doll line Maxie that replaced Jem includes things once planned for Jem.

Many of us Jem fans find all things that were once planned for the Jem line, very interesting! And we love to dream of what could had been. But regardless of what we might think, Graphix is officially not a Jem character, since Hasbro made the conscious decision that she wasn't. As mentioned, it was not because the line was coming to an end, because the doll line and cartoon were to go on without Graphix ever being introduced in any form. The unfinished messy look of Graphix's fashion design in this early prototype was likely not going to be the final look, neither the unstyled haircolor which wasn't very colorful for a line like Jem in my opinion.

In importance, Graphix would have to be placed below anything that had any actual connection to Jem, classified as an X-character in this list.

So, with an unfinished messy prototype, and so little to go by, plus being officially scrapped, why do people care for Graphix at all? Most Jem fans probably only considered Graphix a piece of interesting trivia, until the doll company Integrity Toys came into our lives and started releasing commemorative dolls of our favorite Jem characters, making our dreams come true, and opening our imaginations with their wonderful designs and some unexpected but truly outrageous releases. Since then, all kinds of wishes and speculations have been going on in Jem communities, some of which have included Graphix. The big excitement for Graphix for many people is her mistaken friendship with the Misfits, who had few doll friends released. And probably the friction created by the strong anti-fans of Graphix is the biggest reason for the buzz that makes Graphix even more discussed aswell as mysterious and exciting for those who like her. Many Jem fans are first and foremost doll collectors, and although many also love the Jem cartoon, they tend to prefer stuff they can hold in their hands and collect. Which translates to the fact that sadly some care alot more even for scrapped doll prototypes, than for characters created by Christy Marx herself that actually made it into the cartoon, like: Lena Lerner, the Starlight girls, Mason Hawthorne, Howard Sands, Zipper, Jacqui Benton, Emmet Benton, 5th Avenue Boys, Limp Lizards, Jerrica's third identity Jamie, Synergy's computer form, Johnny Deacon, Jeff Wright, or perhaps Randy James. Still many Graphix fans contradictory use the existance of Christy's cartoon description of Graphix as a reason for validating her.

Well we're all allowed to have our favorites, but only about 7 of 42 Jem dolls by Integrity Toys have been totally cartoon-based. I and many others would love to see some of those cartoon characters released before the line eventually comes to an end. But the originally unplanned Graphix prototype just "stole" one of those spots and perhaps "killed" some of our dreams!

Graphix' has a limited but vocal following, and to their joy, Integrity Toys released the news of an upcoming commemorative Graphix doll in autumn 2016, to arrive in 2017. I'm happy for those peoples sake. Integrity Toys, if any company, can turn even something out of Hasbro's old garbage-can into gold. Integrity Toys who was originally not planning to manufacture Graphix, won't be affected if this doll doesn't sell well, since they are taking pre-orders and only manufacturing as many as ordered in advance. Which is probably the safest approach imaginable. If it doesn't sell very well, Graphix as a concept will most likely fall back deeply into being forgotten and scrapped again. But then again, maybe some day this Integrity Toys release will be one of the rarest and most expensive Jem collectibles.

Cut scenes

There are a lot of signs of cut scenes and it sometimes even went as far model cels, and scenes even being animated. What did we miss out on and where?

The following episodes had material that was never used, or if fashion designs, atleast not until a later episode:

Starbright 1: Model cels.
The World Hunger Shindig: Model cels.
Last Resorts: Model cels.
Rock Fashion Book: Model cels, animated scenes (probably).
The Music Awards: Model cels (probably).
Broadway Magic: Model cels, animated scenes. Jem gets into a taxi with Rio and the Holograms, and suddenly when they arrive on broadway, Jem is Jerrica without explanation. Jem is crying in the song "Can't Get My Love Togheter" without having had a fight with Rio. Later we hear Rio say he lost both Jem and Jerrica. But why Jem? The answer is a missing scene which was animated where apparently Rio questions Jem, probably taking place in the airport since Jerrica mentions "we had trouble at the airport". Also, why do the Misfits know that Rio and Jem had an argument, because it's obvious they do by the letter they write.
The Princess and The Singer: Script scenes, model cels.
Island of Deception: Script scenes, model cels, song (appeared later).
The Jem Jam part 1: Model cels.
Culture Clash: Animated scenes, model cels. Model cels were created for crewmembers, and the first scene where Jem and the Holograms is supposed to meet their video director Fitz, they're already quite irritated with him as if he's already annoyed them.
Glitter 'n Gold: Script scenes, model cels, animated scenes.
Talent Search: Animated scenes.
Stingers Hit Town: Script scenes.

The reason for some of the cuts may be time. Atleast two of the mentioned episodes, The Jem Jam Part 1 and Culture Clash, contained a repeat of one or two music videos at the end of the episode, where several scenes could have been shown instead. And some instead contained a superstar clip, or even a number to call for runaways. It's not unlikely that the rest of the episodes that included something like that at the end, also had some cut scenes. But I don't believe these people working with the episodes were such amateurs that they couldn't fill out the exact amount of time needed for keeping the same lenght of the episodes. They rather decided to cut out parts to give room for another repeat of one of the songs, since the songs were important for the episodes and probably cost alot to do.

Another reason introduced by Will Meugniot, is that some model designs may have been Hasbro fashions that were dropped and not used in the show.

How did Jetta fit in?

The first thing that strikes you when looking at Jetta is her lack of colors. She's all black and white. But on top of that she has the highest production number of all dolls in the line, much higher than Raya who appeared at the same time as Jetta in the cartoon, and even higher than the Starlight girls whose boxes are marked "1987", while Jetta's doll box is marked "1986". Jetta is not featured on the back of the second edition Misfits boxes, even though Raya was on the back of the Holograms boxes. Jetta didn't appear in any doll commercials. Jetta was excluded in the second year annual book released in the UK, which featured the other second year dolls. Apparently Jetta was made later than all other dolls. Why is this?

Was she not thought of at the same time as the other dolls? Was she added only because Hasbro realized the Misfits also needed a new member?

Christy has commented that she was given Raya and Jetta and other secondary characters to develop at the same time.

We know there was an issue regarding what she would look like, which might have dragged out the time. Christy Marx was involved in discussing Jetta, and suggested her to be black. But Hasbro didn't want to make a black bad girl, and instead she became British. Maybe they couldn't set on a design.

Seeing the Jem bible you can see that she was originally meant to play bass guitar which also suggests they hadn't made up their mind about her.


Lost episode 27

When it came to season 2, and episode #27, we never got to see it. There was no episode with that number. Did we lose an episode?

These were very busy times for the Jem doll line. Hasbro was releasing big news for both of their groups, the Holograms and the Misfits, in form of one new member each, Raya and Jetta. And with the previously, on this page, mentioned discussions about Jetta, alot of things may have changed during the creation of the episodes to introduce the new characters. Possibly what was planned as episode 27, had to be extended into a two-parter, Talent Search.

So why didn't the Talent Search episodes get the numbers 27 and 28? Or even 28 and 29? Those were probably already reserved for the following episodes, since episodes were probably planned far ahead. So the Talent Search episodes became 30-31 instead.

On the other hand, too many differences could not have been made instead of what was planned for episode 27, because Raya and Jetta were featured in episode 28 and 29. But then again those could have been slightly re-written if not too far into production.

This change into a two-parter was probably before they came to things like designing the model cels though, because Raya's first fashions, which did appear in the Talent Search episodes, were marked episode 28, as in Scandal.

Misfits and Holograms clones?

In the episode The Battle Of The Bands, outside the Music Bowl stadium, after the reporter has announced that "in a few moments the gates with open, and thousands of fans will pack the stadium for this sold out battle of the band between the Misfits and Jem and the Holograms". We see some characters that look like Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits, in a place they couldn't be at the moment, and even doubles of some of them. And strangely we see Roxy wearing glasses.

Jem and the Holograms are on their way to save Ashley from the Starlight Drive-in, and The Misfits are going straight from Starlight Music to the stadium to prepare for the concert.

So what is this? ...It's actually clones, or in other words fans dressed out as their favorite bands and bandmembers, screaming the name of the bands for the reporter, waiting to get into the stadium. I think they did a very good job dressing out as their idols, infact I don't think Christy intended them to look quite this alike and cause confusion.

What lost art is there? And where is it?

Since the early years of the internet, Jem art started appearing online for sale, like the auction site Ebay. Those of us who were there from the beginning have seen alot gone by, and are aware of several of the stages it took to design Jem. We know there should be tons of art out there. A piece for each character, each stage of the development. What was made and what was saved. But who knows where it all is today? Are the current owners ever going to sell it, or atleast share it online to add to the Jem history?

Let's start by pointing out some of the things that are out there.
Pre-production art set #1.
Pre-production art set #2.
Pre-production art set #3.
Pencil drawings of model cels.
Hasbro doll box art.
Title cels from Super sunday.
Cartoon model cels or sheets: From the episodes: 8, 11, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 35, 42, 43, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64
Storyboards for entire episodes.
Storyboards for music videos.
Animation cels from the episodes: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 35, 40, 46, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60.

Did I forget some kinds of art? Is this list missing out any episodes? Or do you have pictures of any of it? Let me know.

Except for the featured Jem songs, what else is there?

Each cartoon episode featured 2-3 songs presented with a music video. Most Jem fans probably heard other Jem music, that isn't among the featured songs. What else is out there, and where does it come from?

First of all, unfortunately there are no lost entire Jem songs found so far. But there are a few songs and parts of songs, other than the featured songs, that can be heard here and there in the cartoon. Here are some of them.

In some episodes we hear music that didn't belong to an actual song (unless the song was cut out): In the episode "The Princess And The Singer" we get to hear Jem and the Holograms start playing a song with an interesting intro, that we never get to hear the rest of. In the episode "Scandal", at the Roller Rock Out club, we hear Sean's band play atleast 14 seconds of music that we never get to hear the rest of. Then there's of course "Broken Glass" by the Limp Lizards which we get to hear parts of twice, in The Beginning and The Bands Break Up.

For all songs in the cartoon, there was a second version written, and recorded atleast by the songwriters, then they choose which version to use. The lyrics were pretty much the same but with some differences to fit the music. Some of these have found their ways to Jem fans, but are unlikely to appear online in any form.

In the episode "In Search Of The Stolen Album", we see some sheets of music at the Starlight Recording Studio. One of them you can actually read out the notes on. If you want to hear what it sounds like when played out, see the page Sounds.

We get to hear some singing by the speaking voices in the cartoon: Samantha Newark does some singing in two episodes "The Fan" and "One Jem Too Many". In "The Fan" she sings part of the song "I Believe In Happy Endings", but with the slightly wrong lyrics "Tell me I'm crazy, tell me I'm lazy", which was probably an injoke by the writer. And in the episode "One Jem Too Many", the real Jem dares the fake Jem (disguised Clash) to sing something, and we get to hear part of the song "I Believe In Happy Endings" again, the lines "Tell me I'm crazy, maybe I know, but I believe in happy endings", which this time was correct but intentionally sung badly because of the story. In these short clips Samantha Newark doesn't get to show what she can do singingwise, since she is a great singer. Read more about Samantha on the page Samantha Newark.

With the Glitter 'n Gold dolls, Jem and Rio, came a cassette with the Glitter 'n Gold theme song. This song was different from the song featured in the episode "Glitter and Gold", with the title "Glitter and Gold". It sounds somewhat similar, and obviously has the same theme, but the cassette version has different lyrics and sounds slightly more like a commercial, and was featured in the doll commercials.

The theme song was recorded into Spanish, French, and Italy even composed their own new Jem theme song. And several of the songs in the cartoon also got translated and sung by other singers. There are Spanish and French versions of several songs:
Spanish
Fuera De Aqui = Outta My Way
Sólo El Principio = Only The Beginning
Travesuras = Winning Is Everything
Como Un Sueno = Like A Dream
Click/Clash! = Click/Clash
Travesuras = Makin' Mischief
Atardecer En Paris = Twilight In Paris
Decepción = Deception
Tan Cerca = Too Close
Un Nuevo Negocio = Gettin' Down To Business
Llevatelo = Takin' It All
Ella Tiene El Poder = She's Got The Power
Música Mágica = Music Is Magic
A Quien Esta Besando = Who Is He Kissing
Celos = Jealousy
Encanto Universal = Universal Appeal
Poniendolo todo Junto = Puttin' It All Togheter
El Amor Esta Aqui = Love Is Here
Depende Del Humor En Que Me Encuentre = It All Depends On The Mood I'm In

French
Est-Ce Moi Qu'il Aime = Who Is He Kissing?
Jalousie = Jealousy
L'Univers A Mes Pleds = Universal Appeal

Offsite link: Listen to some of the songs in French and Spanish at theMitigating's Youtube channel.

Rio's lost episode

A script that was never animated for the cartoon, showed up on ebay, probably early january 2011, called "Blame it on Rio". Apparently sold by one of the Jem writers, Roger Slifer. What is it about and was it meant to be part of the cartoon?

Like many rare Jem items, this script is hidden inside a private collection by an unknown person, who has shared none of the content with Jem fans online. Until this person is willing to share this part of Jem's history, or sell it to someone who will in the future, the following is all we know:

It's about Jerrica and Rio arguing, because Rio wants to know more about the stage effects Jerrica is keeping secret for him, because of Synergy. We learn about Pudge, who works as a roadie for Rio. And there is even a song called "Striving". This might not have been a planned episode, but rather a script that was never picked up.

Why did some episodes have different animation?

When the series had reached almost halfway through, some episodes appeared which didn't quite keep the same quality for the animation that we were used to. Everything else was as good as always, like the stories, the songs and the voice actors. But why did the characters look different, move different?

The following are the episodes in question:
Journey To Shangri-La
Music Is Magic
The Middle Of Nowhere
Video Wars
Homeland, Heartland

Infact these episodes were more likely to contain bloopers aswell, such as things colored differently throughout the entire episode, like skincolor, fashions and more.

These episodes are believed to have been animated in another country than Japan, probably Korea. This was done also for other cartoons than Jem at the time, like Defenders of the Earth. A guess is that Sunbow was trying to save money.

Why these particular episodes were chosen, we don't know. Nor why they didn't appear in a row according to episode number. Maybe Sunbow wanted to mix them in to not make the change of quality too noticable. Or maybe the production speed for this second animation studio was slower, and forced Sunbow to let the regular animators work at the same time.

Why did some characters/buildings change look?

It's not unusual for the designs of characters and other things to change before the production kicks off. But after we were already introduced to the cartoon by the early episodes, changes started appearing here and there for characters (haircolors, eye colors, hairstyles), fashions aswell as buildings. Some are understandable small improvements, while some things were completely re-designed out of recognition.

So what exactly was changed?

Characters, either hair/haircolor/eye color/fashion:
- Jem
- Jerrica
- Zipper
- Jeff
- Ashley
- Lindsey Pierce
- Howard Sands
- Clash
- Video
- Pizzazz
- Roxy
- Stormer

Buildings:
- Starlight House
In the first episode Jerrica, Kimber, Aja, Shana and the Starlight girls live in Starlight House. We don't see Starlight House again until the episode "Out of the Past" which shows us the past of the characters. But now Starlight House looks completely different, with no resemblance.
- Starlight Music
In the first episode we see Starlight Music for the first time. Starlight Music keeps appearing looking practically the same. In the episode "Out of the Past" which shows us the past of the characters, Starlight Music looks completely different, with no resemblance. But after this episode, and even within the same episode we see the regular Starlight Music again.
- Starlight Drive-in
Even this building gets a slightly different look in the episode Out Of The Past, including an extra building.

So what happened? Well some characters that first appeared as cartoon characters, later also became dolls. So the cartoon look changed to resemble their dolls more, to simply work better as a commercial for the dolls. This would be the case for Jerrica, Clash and Video.

In some cases, it was probably the animators who forgot what haircolor they had. Like Jeff and Zipper.

In some cases, I have no idea: Lindsey and Ashley.

As for the episode "Out Of The Past" it was written by another writer than the main writer who wrote the original episodes where Starlight House was seen. Michael Charles Hill. He might not have made any reference to the fact that there was already a design of the original house. Or the animators may not have picked up on it. In the storyline, there is no mention of them moving. And as for Starlight Music, perhaps the company was re-built, perhaps this is a smaller building connected to Starlight Music (after all there is the Starlight Recording studio seen in another episode which resembles Starlight Music), or they moved the company when they could afford it.

For more about changes throughout the series and before the series, see the page Jem Evolution.

Was Rio originally part of the doll line?

Rio had the highest production number of the dolls in the first year. The back of his body says "1986" while the rest of the first year dolls say "1985". He was not featured in the first doll commercials. His outfit is the only one that doesn't match it's corresponding cartoon outfit, and he wasn't a rockstar nor came with an instrument like all other dolls of the first year.

Rio was part of the early scripts of the original mini-series of the cartoon, which premiered before the doll was released. He was Hasbro's invention, his name and role atleast. He was not a main character though. He was a male character that was a boyfriend and a roadmanager.

Perhaps he was originally just a requested ingredient of Hasbro for the cartoon, just to include a boyfriend, with a possible doll release for next year. He probably wasn't top priority and finished yet in terms of looks, and the animation people had to go ahead and create their own outfit for him, since there was nothing finished for the line yet. Or maybe he had last minute changes to the outfit. Or Hasbro may have wanted to concentrate on their musical groups in the commercials.

Did the Jem logo originally have a different design?

Original art has shown three different versions of the Jem logo, and the 80's Kimber dolls guitars had a fourth version on top of it. Did any of these resemble an earlier design of the Jem logo?

We know that Jem was originally going to be called "M". Early artwork of something called the "M" Jet pictures a Jet plane with a logo in the shape of the letter "M". This art was made by one of Jem's creators, Bill Sanders, who was, of course, working on Jem very early on. As all Jem fans know, there was never any "M Jet" in the doll line or cartoon, or "Jem Jet" for that matter. And maybe that "M" that appears as a logo, was also an early idea that never got further than the planning stage. But who knows, this might have been more than just an "M" in an early sketch, maybe it appeared for a while into the project before the name was changed to "Jem".

Early character artwork by Rudy Nebres, Paula La Fond and William DuBay, which was made during the process of finding the Jem cartoon look, shows Jem's belt with the letter "M". This "M" is difficult to figure out the shape of, but looks more like the "M" in the Misfits cartoon logo. Just because it appeared on Jem's belt, it didn't necessarily mean it had to resemble what the logo looked like at the time.

Then there are the Kimber dolls in Hasbro's 80's line, which both came with an instrument in the shape of a keytar (a handheld keyboard) with an "M" at the top. This "M" is only slightly similar to the one on the M Jet, but has a new design. Since this one got into production, it is probably more likely it resembles what the finished "M" logo looked like.

And as for the fourth version, now "M" had become "Jem". On early model art cels, created for the original mini-series, at the top there's a different version of what we came to know as the finished design. The star doesn't have five corners, but lots of them. Also the words "Truly Outrageous" below have a different placement.

And why did the finished logo feature an upper case "J", a lower case "e" and then an upper case "M". Was perhaps this "M" the original design of the logo while the line was still being called "M"?

Some of these logos may have been working logos or just unique designs used for a certain purpose, never meant to be the finished logo.

Why were there so many differences in the books?

Lots of Jem books and comics were released, to market the dolls. But in the illustrations the characters looked quite different than what we're used to from the cartoon.

There were factual mistakes, they didn't even act like we're used to. It's almost like a separate universe. How did this happen?

What was usually screwed up in the books were things like:
- The fact that Jem and the Holograms lived in Starlight Mansion and not still in Starlight House.
- How Synergy first appeared. What Synergy is used for, that Jem doesn't use Synergy to sing better, or to make stage effects (usually). And what Synergy can do, that the holograms aren't solid material, and that a hologram can't blow air.
- That certain fashions belonged to certain characters.
- What the Starlight girls look like, how their names are spelt, even the fact that they have specific names and are the same girls episode after episode.
- What the Starlight Foundation was, and who took care of the Starlight girls.
- What shape the Jem star earrings were, not regular stars.
- The hairstyles, haircolors, skincolors and eyecolors of main and secondary characters.
- What the instruments look like, who plays what, and what else they can play.
- Their characteristics, like Stormer being the nice Misfit, whether Kimber can sing, and Aja knowing about cars. Whose line "Truly Outrageous" is. The usually kind nature of Jem/Jerrica and the Holograms. What kind of relation Pizzazz has to Eric.
- Who drives what vehicles.

Some of these are understandable if you realize most of the material in the books was based on the dolls and their looks. But then again there are also things that were not released or even mentioned in the doll line, things like who Eric Raymond was, and where the main characters lived. So if they got this from the cartoon, why didn't they get it right?

It seems like there was some kind of material sent off to the book writers in the early stages of the developing of the cartoon. Because not only do the episodes only feature the rough main parts of either the first episode, or even the fifth episode, but some actually feature things that were once planned for the cartoon but then changed in the finished episode. Perhaps Christy/Sunbow just sent out some outline from Christy's early scripts to the book writers.

What are those Jem pencil sketches on ebay?

A bunch of pencil sketches featuring Jem characters, have been appearing on ebay for the last several years, mostly sold by one seller. And Jem fans and collectors have spent thousands of dollars buying them. The sketches represent scenes from the first five episodes and the Starbright episodes. But unlike most other Jem art, there's something odd about these, and no Jem fan, and no one who worked on Jem can place them into the production of Jem. Who even drew them?

So what seems to be the problem? They are poorly drawn compared to other Jem art. They don't match a finished animation cel, and have no japanese notes which an animation cel would usually have. They have unusually detailed production numbers. There's alot of them, while other production art from these episodes is very rare. They feature re-designed versions of fashion designs that had not yet been created in those episodes, mixed with correct earlier versions of the fashions. Only main characters are pictured, one by one and in very nice poses. There are also sketches of Transformers, G.I. Joe, Superfriends, and Laff-a-Lympics that look so alike they would probably have been drawn during the same process, and by the same person.

On the other hand the very detailed production numbers seem accurate and they're sold by a wellknown and trusted animation art dealer. But where do they come from originally and how do they fit into Jem?

The only answer I can think of is that the sketches were created for the retakes (when some scenes were re-animated and new scenes were added) and were created in the US, and just made as roughs as to how to then make the real animation cels. At that point, the new versions of the outfits (Starbright episodes) had already been created and they might have accidentally referred to the re-designed outfits in some sketches. The detailed production numbers would be added to make sure all the changes to the episodes came out correctly. And it's not uncommon to mostly save the good ones, instead of lots of secondary characters.

The above theory nearly answers all of the problems, but whether it's a good answer I'm not sure. Some things that speak against them being done during the retakes, is that some of these sketches feature scenes that weren't even made retakes of, and they're marked with the old production numbers (4041 to 4045) and not the new numbers (5205-08 to 5205-12) the episodes got during the retakes.

So what is the opinion of Will Meugniot, who worked as the storyboard director and producer of the Jem cartoon? He couldn't give any definite answer about this 20 years old cartoon, but he doesn't recognize these kind of drawings and had some concerns: 1) The drawings are very weak. 2) Field guides feel wrong. 3) The papers do not look as if they were punched for an animation bar. 4) The drawings all look like they were drawn by one person. 5) The line weight feels wrong.

The ebay seller is a wellknown and trusted animation art dealer. According to him, these sketches are "layout revisions", which sounds like retakes. He also says the sketches were not made in Japan but in the US, which is why there are no japanese notes. He has offered the money back to concerned buyers in exchange for the sketches (even though it has taken several years for some of them to get their money back), excluding shipping, probably simply because of his policy. Which does not mean he agrees there is anything wrong with the sketches. Infact, he even relisted some of the sketches that were sent back to him.

Although it was not said on the auctions who drew them, Jem fans also figured out it's someone named Darrell McNeil, who did work on Jem, who did these and also the sketches for the rest of the cartoons. Infact it turns out the ebay seller is Darrell's agent, and they have been friends for 30 years.

What Darrell has to say about them himself:
- He worked under the table as a non-credited freelance artist, like others did aswell on Jem. He and Barb Rausch were assigned by Boyd to do layout redos on the first three toei-animated 1/2 hours after complaints from Hasbro that the lead characters on the episodes looked too 'anime'.
- He kept his roughs and some production materials.
- His signature may have changed over time, but he confirms these sketches were made by him.

Many of the most wellknown art dealers have only good things to say about the ebay seller. And none of them can say for certain how the Jem cartoon was animated, and that the sketches are fake.

But here are some problems with the sketches mentioned by a famous art dealer:
- They look nothing like any of the layouts we ever had.
- They are poorly drawn and they are really off model.
- Usually a layout will illustrate an entire scene in one drawing...It lays out the scene, shows where the animation should begin or end, etc. These are individual characters which makes no sense...
- If they are revisions of just that specific character, then they would have been "revised" to be more on model.
- From the pictures, the pieces also look almost too clean...the paper looks perfect like it has never been handles...no staple holes (you would think the revised animation would be attached to whatever it "revised", stains, wrinkles, etc.
- If Darrell, did these layouts freelance as said, he would have turned them in to the studio, and the studio would have sent them overseas for the animation to be done......how did he get them back? Or did Darrell just turn in copies of his layouts...and why would he do that?
- Why would a union studio that already has a staff on hand that they are paying to do the work, hire non-union help, ...and the layouts are off model! The way this story reads is that Darrell did these in "secret"...so no one knew about it..which I find to be a convenient way to have a story that cannot be proven true or false.

Another storyboard artist who worked on Jem, who knows Darrell and confirms he did work on Jem, pointed out:
- The paper looks too new and the drawings looks off.
- All the animation, except for the opening sequence and the intermission animation, was done overseas in either Japan or Korea. Any work or corrections that were done, was done overseas and not in America, so he has no idea what Darrell was doing drawing these.
All the work they did in the U.S. like the storyboards were all sent overseas never to return back to the U.S., so Darrell should have nothing unless he did work for the openings or intermissions that were all done by Boyd Kirkland.
- He has no idea what the drawings were.

To many Jem fans this is still a mystery, and some people think they are real but not very attractive as art pieces. This topic has also been discussed in other places, like these Transformer sites:
http://tfsource.com/blog/leap-of-faith/
http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transformers-toy-discussion/731035-leap-faith-tfsource-article.html

And if you want to give Darrell the benefit of doubt, and learn more about his work, here Darrell describes what he did for Superfriends in terms of drawings, layouts, clean-ups, etc.. There is no mention of Jem, and no examples posted, but it does give a rough idea what he was doing.
Off site link to interview with Darrell about Super Friends:
http://noblemania.blogspot.tw/2011/07/super-70s-and-80s-super-friendsdarrell.html

Was there really an animated Jem movie in the works in the 80's?

Was there ever really an animated movie in the works? What was it going to be about? How far into production did it get? And who are the Mongrels?

Christy was hired to write the script for a Jem movie. This was probably sometime around the Music Awards episodes, since the movie depended on the character Techrat who was introduced there. When Sunbow had just released their animated movie Transformers, Christy had worked out the almost six pages long outline for the Jem movie. But with the poor results of the Transformers and G.I. Joe movies, the plans for the Jem movie didn't get beyond that, a basic outline for a script.

Christy was very disappointed that the Jem movie was never made. Jem never got the chance to stand on it's own as a movie, and we missed out on a new music act, that unfortunately never made it into the cartoon either.

The movie was to include a couple of nasty and violent male-female twins which were a guitarplaying musicteam called the Mongrels, Alex and Alyx Couto. They're discovered by Eric and the Misfits, and signed to Misfits Music. Eric introduces them to Techrat, through whom they get his latest invention, the synthesizer Entropy. Entropy is much more than a synthesizer though, it's practically a masculine counterpart of Synergy, which improves the duo's music and even puts people in a form of trance. The technology of it is so advanced it's capabilities are even beyond Techrat's understanding. The duo plays something Christy described as "raw rock", a sound perhaps even tougher than the Misfits, almost heavy metal. Infact the Mongrels were going to have their own songs and music videos in the movie, and Christy even got as far as to describe what kinds of songs she wanted and what the visuals were for the music videos.

However, Christy never decided what the new duo was going to look like, and Hasbro never even learned of the actual characters or contents of the script, since it was entirely Christy's creations. So what would the title of the movie be? Various titles were considered, but nothing was ever decided. Perhaps "Entropy" was to be part of the title.

Other characters that were to appear in the movie were Jem and the Holograms, the Misfits, Synergy, Rio, Eric Raymond, Anthony Julian, Techrat, Joanie, Mrs. Bailey, the Starlight girls and a friend of the Starlight girls named Heidi Johnson.

Some of the ideas Christy had for the movie, she seems to have used in episodes for the cartoon instead. Entropy became Minx's synthesizer, although it didn't have the same powers as intended for the movie. And the hypnotizing effects, seem to have been used on Riot's charm on women.

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