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Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders was produced by the New York-based studios New Frontier Entertainment and Enchanted Camelot Productions for Bohbot Productions (later BKN) in 1995, in co-production with toy company Hasbro and animated by Hong Ying Animation. 

The series was produced by much of the team behind the late 1980s science fiction cartoon The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, including the creator, co-writer and main director of both shows, Robert Mandell, after a long development process. Despite a similar theme and title, there are no connections with King Arthur and the Knights of Justice, which was Bohbot Entertainment's other Arthurian-inspired cartoon series that was produced in 1992–1993.

Behind the scenes Edit

Origins Edit

The show was originally supposed to be a cartoon adaptation of the Dragonriders of Pern series of fantasy novels by Anne McCaffrey but nothing came of it. There were a few remnants of the Dragonriders project left over in the version that was animated, like some of the background paintings.

After McCaffrey backed out from it, the show has been renamed repeatedly in the course of its development, including to Enchanted Jewel Riders sometime in late 1994 or early 1995, and Princess Guinevere & Her Jewel Adventures in March 1995, before eventually becoming Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders (which was again retitled as Starla & the Jewel Riders for the export version). One of the several work-in-progress titles for the show was Enchanted Camelot, which was acquired as such in March 1994 by LIVE Entertainment. 

Enchanted Camelot Edit

Enchanted Camelot

Enchanted Camelot promotional poster

Enchanted Camelot had some major differences in its character design. The August 1994 draft script for the pilot episode of Enchanted Camelot ("Enchanted Quest", which would become "Jewel Quest") was different in many aspects. Cut characters included the boy hero Brand and the little Princess Tara, as well as Fallon's second magic animal Sky Dancer, and Kale's trio of additional pets: Nitemary, Slither and Geezer. And many of the characters that did remain used to have different names.

Second season Edit

Art director Greg Autore said about the making of the second season: "Originally, they were just going to do the first 13. Then Bohbot wanted European distribution which required 26 [episodes]. So they made the next 13. They would have made more but were waiting to see how it succeeded. When the second set of episodes was turned on, the only two directions to start with were – 1) Search for wild magic jewels since the first set was all found 2) Use Morgana as the ultimate villainess instead of Lady Kale. One thing I wanted to do was to create a visible use of jewel power other than just shining. (...) Fortunately, Director Robert Mandell was open to many of my suggestions. That second season had many episodes that grew from my concepts and a very rough storyline suggestion."[1] He added: "Since the second season (episodes 13-26) were not yet written and were rushed into production, this was where I had the most fun. Instead of just translating the characters and creating new fashions, I was free to create many new powers and adventures for the show. While I had input on many of the first episodes, I was now creating the basic storylines for entire episodes. Two of those were the mermaid episode and the Zebracorn episode. (...) The first season was being wrapped up but not complete when they found out they had to do 26 episodes if they wanted to sell it in the European market. Robert always had Morgana in the back of his head as a villainess he wanted to do. Her time finally came. (...) Now we could break out and expand the world of Avalon in different ways. We used the mystery of the Wild Magic Jewels as the starting point. Since they were wild… we could create wild adventures and wild new looks."[2]

See also Edit

"Jewel Quest" Storyboard & Final Film - Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders - Behind the Scenes

"Jewel Quest" Storyboard & Final Film - Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders - Behind the Scenes

A comparison between a March 1995 final storyboard of "Jewel Quest, Part I" and the final episode shows how there have been many differences in character design even at this point in the show's production

References Edit

  1. Greg Autore and the Toy Design of Jewel Riders - Part Two - The Jewel Riders Archive
  2. Greg Autore and the Toy Design of Jewel Riders - Part Three - The Jewel Riders Archive

External links Edit

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