Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why Struggle To Recall What You Can Watch Again? He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe Holds Up Well On DVD!

The Good: Great morals, An intriguing universe, Great character and creature design, Decent voice acting
The Bad: Repetitive storytelling, Occasionally simplistic to keep it kid-friendly.
The Basics: In the first season of the animated series He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe, Eternia is established as an intriguing realm of science and magic.

There are a number of things I loved as a child that simply do not hold up well over time. Now, when I encounter them, I find myself wincing at just how bad they actually were. So, when I find something that is the opposite – something I loved as a child that is still impressive to me as an adult – I am thrilled. One of the things I adored as a kid was He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe. Having picked up He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe Season 1 on DVD, I’ve been pleased that the show is actually as remarkable as I recall it being.

The animated children’s series He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe takes place on Eternia, a faraway planet where magic is alive and science is thriving. Years ago, an astronaut, Marlena, crashed on Eternia. She fell in love with King Randor and the two had a son, Prince Adam. Adam now has the magical ability to turn into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. He also transforms his cat, Cringer, into the fearsome Battle Cat. Together with the King’s chief inventor, Man-At-Arms, the court magician Orko, and the Captain Of The Guard, Teela, He-Man confronts the forces of the evil Skeletor, including Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, Mer-Man, and Trap Jaw (later in the season, Clawful).

The episodes are 22 minutes each and explain the basic premise during the opening sequence each time. While the show might have initially been an advertisement for the highly successful toy line (which I was a huge fan of as a child!), He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe Season 1 is surprisingly substantive and includes some clever notions that hold up well, even after thirty years.

The essential characters in the first season of He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe are:

Prince Adam – The playboy prince who appears to be a slacker as cover for his world-saving role of He-Man. He is very educated, intuitive, and kind. However, to retain his secret identity, he often has to appear as a layabout,

He-Man – The most powerful man in the universe, he is strong, highly ethical and never around when Prince Adam is,

Orko – The floating alien court magician, he is seldom able to actually perform the magic he attempts successfully,

Man-At-Arms – A man of science, he loathes Orko and his clumsiness. He retains He-Man’s secret and is the adoptive father of Teela,

The Sorceress/Zoar – The guardian of Castle Greyskull, she is virtually powerless outside its walls. So, she transforms into the hawk, Zoar to travel elsewhere on Eternia,

Teela – The militant Captain Of The Guard and Duncan’s adopted daughter. She is assigned with protecting Prince Adam and is irked constantly by how he never seems to live up to his potential,

Mer-Man – The villain who comes from the sea,

Trap Jaw – A partly mechanical monster who works for Skeletor,

Evil-Lyn – An evil sorceress who works with Skeletor, though she is often looking for a way to usurp his plans and authority to take control of Eternia for herself,

and Skeletor – The skull-faced warlock who creates schemes from deep within Snake Mountain to try to take control of Eternia.

The characters in He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe are interesting, but they are largely archetypes. He-Man is an absolute good and Skeletor is a self-serving, ultimate evil, who is not motivated by anything other than the desire to dominate (it is never explained why). Occasionally, Prince Adam is made deep enough to express the idea that his character feels sadness over not being respected by his father, King Randor. Basically, this is a science fiction/fantasy series with easily recognizable heroes fighting off monstrous villains episode after episode.

Here is what happens in the first season of the largely episodic He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe:

Opening with “The Cosmic Comet,” Evil-Lyn and Beast Man test the defenses of Castle Greyskull, using the power of the Cosmic Comet, which has come into view above Eternia. After Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, and Skeletor use their magic to bring the Cosmic Comet under their control, Prince Adam, Man-At-Arms, Teela, Orko, and Cringer visit the Wizard of Zagras Mountain, who is responsible for the Cosmic Comet. Zagras reveals that he is responsible for the creation of the Cosmic Comet, which is a sentient and evil comet. Skeletor sets creatures spawned from the comet on the heroes in his attempt to take Greyskull!

After thwarting training droids in “The Shaping Staff,” Orco accidentally conjures Magestra, the sorceress from the ether. When she uses a trick box to teleport King Randor away (and replaces him with an impostor), Magestra reveals herself to the captured Randor to be Evil-Lyn (and his replacement Beast Man). Using the mystical Shaping Staff, Evil-Lyn sets up to control Palace Eternia through Beast Man. With Orco, who has discovered the truth, transformed into a cricket, the forces of good must retake Palace Eternia and protect Castle Greyskull. With Skeletor creating an alternate He-Man (Fakeor), it falls to the magic of the Sorceress to save the day!

“Disappearing Act” features Orco accidentally teleporting Prince Adam’s sword away, making it impossible for him to transform into He-Man. Unfortunately, this incident follows Skeletor using an invisibility helmet, which he applies to himself to invade Palace Eternia and abduct Prince Adam! Orko and Man-At-Arms must find the sword and rescue Prince Adam to keep Eternia safe. While Orko and Cringer go into the past to recover the sword and Man-At-Arms builds a He-Man robot, Prince Adam uses a device to try to summon Stratos, his flying friend, but he attracts Wolf Bats instead!

Skeletor summons all the evil minions – Mer-Man, Evil-Lyn, Tri-Clops, and Trap Jaw – to Snake Mountain in “The Diamond Ray Of Disappearance.” Using a gem that causes people to disappear, Skeletor attacks the King, Queen, and Sorceress, banishing them to a phantom dimension. With the aid of his many friends, He-Man must protect Castle Greyskull and Eternia from the armies of Skeletor.

“She Demon Of Phantos” has Man-At-Arms and He-Man buying weapons from a nearby Queen’s realm. The photanium they bought, though, is actually worthless ore and the Queen is being manipulated by Skeletor, who is holding her people hostage. Summoned to Greyskull, Man-At-Arms and Prince Adam learn the truth about Queen Elmora. He-Man and his men visit Phantos again, but get captured trying to free Elmora. As a result, it falls to Teela to rescue the men from the traps Elmora’s magic created!

After recounting how the Queen arrived on Eternia from Earth, “Teela’s Quest” focuses on Teela’s desire to discover her own origins. When Orko slips up, Teela believes the answers to who her parents are may be found at the Crystal Sea, a dangerous place that Mer-Man used to rule. As Teela searches for answers, Mer-Man uses her being on her own to satisfy an old vendetta against Man-At-Arms!

In “The Curse Of The Spellstone,” Skeletor and Evil-Lyn capture the Spellstone and use it to thwart Man-At-Arms and King Randor when Man-At-Arms tries to invent a weather-control device. Even though Teela is able to expose Evil-Lyn (who tries to use mob mentality to usurp Randor), it is not before she releases the Creeping Horak on the palace. As He-Man and his allies work to recover the Spellstone from Skeletor, Teela and Man-At-Arms try to save the palace.

Skeletor’s latest attempt to rule Eternia comes from time manipulation in “The Time Corridor.” In that, Skeletor seeks to stop the construction of Castle Greyskull in the past. There, He-Man and his friends work to stop Skeletor and his henchmen and preserve the timeline.

“The Dragon Invasion” finds Skeletor trading a dragon Eternian silver for its valuable dragon eggs. He has Beast Man place the dragon eggs all over Eternia. As the eggs hatch and dragons wreak havoc on the world, Skeletor takes a dragon pearl to Greyskull to trap the Sorceress and take Castle Greyskull! Erecting a magical barrier, Skeletor effectively keeps He-Man out!

In “A Friend In Need,” Teela and her visiting friend Ileena are out riding on the geyser fields when the evil magician Jarvan is set loose from his extradimensional prison. He gives Ileena a potion to make her stronger and faster, which makes her reckless. When she wants another hit, Jarvan extorts her for her father’s powerful transmutator, which he then uses to attack He-Man!

While searching for the lost magical city of the ancients, He-Man, Orko, and Beast Man fall afoul of two new young villains working to impress Skeletor in “Masks Of Power.” Possessed by ancient masks, the two villains become two ancient, legendary, adversaries and go searching for a powerful sword beneath Snake Mountain!

“Evil-Lyn’s Plot” opens with a Widget’s (like gnomes or dwarves) palace and mine being overrun by Skeletor’s forces. Repelled by He-Man and his allies, Skeletor retreats, but Evil-Lyn uses a disguise and the trust of the Widgets to try to get the cordite the little people mine!

In “Like Father, Like Daughter,” Teela helps repair a device Duncan was working on and follows him and He-Man after she is forbidden from going on a mission.

“Colossor Awakes” has Skeletor using an energizer that turns living things into stone and may use that energy to make stone objects animate. Skeletor uses the energizer ray, which has turned Man-At-Arms into stone, to make Colossor, a massive statue, alive. While trying to rescue Man-At-Arms, He-Man must protect Castle Greyskull from Colossor!

Skeletor disguises Beast Man to make a parade of animals that he hopes to use to ensnare Cringer in “A Beastly Sideshow.” Using Cringer, and later Teela, Skeletor tries to lure He-Man to Octobeast, a massive creature that may have the ability to kill him!

Skeletor’s magic is failing in “Reign Of The Monster,” so Skeletor uses Stratos to steal a powerful staff, powered by the magic of the ancients. With the staff, Skeletor is able to free an imprisoned monster that He-Man must then thwart.

In "Daimar The Demon," an alternate dimension is discovered and Orko releases a small demon from it. Daimar, an exceptionally powerful demon, begins to gestate, which sets off waves of power which draw the attention of Skeletor and Evil-Lyn!

"Creatures From The Tar Pits" introduces Adam's snobby cousin, Edwina. When Orko gets a crush on her, Adam recounts the story of how Orko rescued him and Cringer from the tar swamps. His crush leads him back to the Tar Swamps to try to find his magic necklace. There Orko falls afoul of Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, and Beast Man, who resurrect ancient creatures that died in the swamp to lay siege to Palace Eternia!

Trap Jaw and Tri-Clops attack Palace Eternia at the outset of "The Quest For He-Man," an attack which leaves Skeletor able to erase He-Man's memory and banish him to the Crossroads Of All Universes! Ram Man, Orko, and Cringer are sent to recover the hero while the others remain behind to stave off Skeletor.

"Dawn Of The Dragon" has Orko going off to his home planet to rescue his people from a half-human, half-dragon creature. Unable to transform into He-Man on Orko's home world, Prince Adam's attempt to rescue Orko leads Adam to discover how powerful a magician Orko can be!

“The Royal Cousin” has a bratty cousin of Prince Adam’s visiting. The little snot hates adults and adult supervision. When left in Ram Man’s care, Jeremy plays on the vehicles that Adam asked him not to. After being punished, Evil-Lyn manipulates Jeremy to deprive Man-At-Arms of his new rock softener, which she then uses on Castle Greyskull.

In “Song Of Celice,” the powerful beast Yog is awakened by Skeletor. Only able to be put back in hibernation by a song, the Yog runs amok after Evil-Lyn and Trap Jaw capture the visiting singer and He-Man must rescue her.

“The Return Of Orko’s Unkle” introduces Asrog, Spydra, and Orko’s Uncle Montork. Montork is a powerful and competent magician and it is only when Asrog breaks out of his magical prison and teams up with Spydra, with the plan to come to Eternia to thwart He-Man and Montork that they reunite. In the course of their interactions, Orko causes more problems for the heroes. Enslaved by Asrog, Orko must be rescued by his uncle, Teela, and He-Man.

“Wizard Of Stone Mountain” finds Malek, the wizard trapped in Stone Mountain, pining for Teela, though she rejected him quite some time before. When he is visited by Lokos, a minion of the Spirit of Evil, Malek is seduced into letting the imp destroy a local dam to draw Teela to him. Though Teela is indifferent to him, she does not want him to lose his soul to evil in exchange for her.

Man-At-Arms is exposed as suffering allergies in “Evilseed,” which finds the plant life on Eternia growing dangerously large. After rescuing the little people from their broken dam and overgrown vines, He-Man and Orko are summoned to Castle Greyskull. With both Skeletor and He-Man besieged by the overgrown plants of Evilseed, they team up for the purpose of defeating him.

In “Ordeal In The Darklands,” Evil-Lyn tries to take advantage of Skeletor being away to take over Eternia. With Teela forbidden by Man-At-Arms to test her skills in the darklands, Tri-Clops abducts the daughter of a prominent, peaceful wizard to try to implicate He-Man in the kidnapping. Teela goes off on her own anyway and is abducted by the forces of Kor, who wants to use Teela as bait to get He-Man!

Orko’s Uncle Montorkk returns for “Orko’s Favorite Uncle.” This time, Montork and his familiar are under a spell from the evil wizard Tauran, who uses the wizard to lay siege to Castle Greyskull!

“The Defection” has Orko positing that people do not change; they are evil or good, consistently. On the Isle of Tears, Sybeline turns from her evil path to teleport away from the despot she has served to the court of King Randor. Turning against Gorgon, Sybeline draws the ire of Evil-Lyn and she makes Orko more paranoid and prejudiced against the defector!

Beast Man is banished from Snake Mountain in “Prince Adam No More.” To get back into Skeletor's good graces, Beast Man captures King Randor and tries to get Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms to turn over all the gold in the kingdom to him at Snake Mountain!

In “The Taking Of Greyskull,” Orko believes everyone has forgotten his birthday when the heroes plan a surprise party for him. Skeletor steals He-Man’s sword and forms a white hole around Castle Greyskull to remove the castle from our dimension! He-Man, Teela, and Battle Cat pass through the white hole to try to restore Castle Greyskull!

After rescuing a princess, He-Man is knocked out and gets amnesia in “A Tale Of Two Cities.” Forced to fight as a gladiator while he unwittingly awaits rescue from Battle Cat and the Princess, He-Man struggles to remember himself and his values.

In “Search For The VHO,” two people end up stranded on a mountaintop, surrounded by wild animals. Teela takes an experimental new ship and the VHO, a device that scares animals away using ultra-high frequencies, to rescue them.

“The Starchild” is the subject of a great debate between two cultures that live in the jungles of Eternia. Powerful in her own right, she is rescued by He-Man and two groups of jungle-dwellers both want the Starchild for their own.

Man-At-Arms is taken out by a spell of Skeletor’s, which turns Duncan into a glass statue in “The Dragon’s Gift.” The Sorceress refuses to tell He-Man and Teela where the dragons, who might be able to reverse the spell, live, but she sets the heroes on the right path. Teela and He-Man go searching for the dragon, Granomere, who sends the pair to chop down SkyTree, the only thing on Eternia older than he is!

In “The Sleepers Awaken” two forest-killing people who put themselves in suspended animation awaken from a two hundred year sleep, enslaving Prince Adam! As Teela works to rescue him with the help of a winged horse, Prince Adam proves to Vultera that freedom is preferable to enslaving people and the forest and they work to stop her mate, Taran, and his giant spiders.

Zodac returns in “The Search” to warn the Sorceress of an impending doom, though he is prevented from directly interfering. After racing Teela, Prince Adam is called to Castle Greyskull, where he it told about the Star Seed, which could give Skeletor unlimited power over the universe. Sent to stop Skeletor’s drilling machine, He-Man must fight the villains and the temptation to do evil if the Star Seed comes into his possession.

“It’s Not My Fault” has Potie, the daughter of a friend of Man-At-Arms, avoiding responsibility and falling afoul of her father’s enemy. Going to rescue her in the Vine Jungle, Teela, He-Man, and Man-At-Arms discover that Potie is being used to acquire religious stones that will give her father’s enemy power.

An explorer finds the “Valley Of Power,” where he hopes to steal the egg of the powerful Mother Rowe, which happens to be where Prince Adam, Cringer, and Teela are visiting to find a spring that will give them great courage when the magic waters rise. After Donovas steals the egg, Mother Rowe abducts Teela and Donovas drinks from the spring, giving him power over the baby that emerges. He-Man must reunite mother and child and stop the now-evil Donovas.

“Trouble In Arcadia” finds Man-At-Arms using He-Man to test a new shield for Teela and her guards. Teela and Prince Adam visit the lowlands, but run into an invisible barrier. The barrier surrounds Arcadia, a female-dominated society where men are kept as slaves. Prince Adam is enslaved and Teela quickly learns the truth of how men are treated and stands against the established order there!

In “The House Of Shokoti, Part 1,” the Sorceress lets He-Man know that a building, a pyramid, has sprouted up in the desert. With Ram Man and Orko, Battle Cat and He-Man find the fortress under siege by Trap Jaw’s spider machines. Visiting the Eternian archaeologist, Prince Adam and his new friends walk into a trap while searching for the pyramid. But defeating the villainous Mask awakens Shakoti in “Part 2,” and the boy Stanley goes running into the pyramid to encounter the dark sorceress. He must overcome his fear when He-Man and the others are captured by Shakoti.

Man-At-Arms delivers King Randor bad news about the power supply on Eternia in “Double Edged Sword.” With Eternium running out, good fortune falls upon a pacifist when his grandson discovers a piece of Eternium in the Sands Of Time. Unfortunately, Trap Jaw and Mer-Man witness the discovery and hunt the Eternium down. When Trap Jaw consumes it, he ends up very powerful and He-Man is put in a challenging position.

Man-E-Faces is introduced in “The Mystery Of Man-E-Faces,” when the multiple-faced, armored actor arrives at Palace Eternia. Prince Adam tells Man-At-Arms the story of how a monster was tormenting the Widgets and Skeletor worked to seduce him to his cause. Only through He-Man and Teela’s heroic actions did Man-E-Faces resist Skeletor’s evil, stop tormenting the Widgets, and become an actor.

The King and Queen decide to go for a vacation into “The Region Of Ice,” where they are captured. Orko impersonates He-Man to save the frozen royal family from the Ice Lord. Reasoning with the Ice Lord, Orko gets Prince Adam freed and the pair goes to Snake Mountain to rescue the Ice Lord’s daughter from Skeletor to exchange for the Eternian Royal Family!

“Orko’s Missing Magic” puts He-Man, Cringer and Orko on an interdimensional journey to recover a small animal that accidentally absorbed Orko’s magic and then was captured by a malevolent wizard!

In “Eternal Darkness,” Darkdream returns to torment the dreams of Prince Adam, King Randor, Man-At-Arms, and Teela. With the aid of Evil-Lyn and a sorcerer, Eternia undergoes an eclipse that will allow Darkdream to break out of his prison, if He-Man and his friends cannot stop him in time!

Thousand year-old robots are awoken by Man-At-Arms and a professor in “Keeper Of The Ancient Ruins.” Having to fight a storm and Trap-Jaw, He-Man must save the pair from the robots.

In “Return Of Evil,” Orko senses the coming of an Electroid (a robot made of pure energy) from his dimension for him. Soon, Aramesh appears and abducts Orko. He-Man and his allies must rescue Orko from Aramesh and Skeletor! Orko hid a secret thing in Castle Greyskull, which Aramesh is after and He-Man must prevent him from getting.

“Return Of The Gryphon” finds Beast Man and Trap Jaw invading kingdom for a gem, which they stash on the grounds of Castle Eternia after stealing. The young page, Thad, discovers it and He-Man quickly learns that the jewel was a gift of the mythical creature, the Gryphon. The gem has kept the Gryphon in check, but with it removed from the altar, the Gryphon comes on a rampage. Teela must appeal to Thad to return the gem, as the heroes come to understand the true importance of the gem!

Opening in the desert, a severely weakened man discovers the “Temple Of The Sun” and the magical scarab within. Taking control of its power, the newly empowered man captures Zoar and He-Man must rescue the Sorceress from the Temple and prevent the new villain from taking control of Eternia.

In “City Beneath The Sea,” the kingdom has issues with trouble on the seas where ships keep disappearing. After embarrassing himself to his father, Prince Adam volunteers for the mission Man-At-Arms contrives to stop the disappearances. Together, they discover a city beneath the sea that abducts their ship. Together, He-Man, Battle Cat, and Man-At-Arms discover the mythical city of Aquatica and they find Mer-Man has taken the city using the Pearl Of Power! Before they can stop Mer-Man, He-Man must fight a beast in Mer-Man’s arena.

After testing a teleportation device in the most remote area of Eternia, Man-At-Arms is almost captured by Trap Jaw in “Teela’s Trial.” Teela teleports Man-At-Arms away from the villain, but he unfortunately rematerializes near the fleeing Trap Jaw and is taken away to Snake Mountain! Feeling tremendous guilt, Teela goes into self-exile, which forces He-Man to rescue both her and Man-At-Arms.

“Dree Elle’s Return” has Orko’s girlfriend returning to Eternia to warn Orko that the Horn Of Evil has been found by Trap Jaw and Clawful. Dree Elle and her jokester brother come to Eternia, as the evil minions lay siege to Castle Greyskull. Saving the world is complicated by Yuckers playing practical jokes on Orko and Dree Elle after they recover the Horn Of Evil, leaving them vulnerable to Clawful and Trap Jaw!

Negator is introduced in “Game Plan” as an ultra-powerful scientific wizard who kidnaps Man-At-Arms and Teela and traps Ram Man and He-Man in an electronic game.

“Eye Of The Beholder” finds Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms crashing the Wind Raider when they succumb to a massive dampening field that weakens life forms as well as draining mechanical and magical energies. Man-At-Arms determines the oxygen on Eternia is being depleted rapidly, killing everything. He-Man discovers Greyskull open and vulnerable. In thwarting Skeletor’s oxygen-draining plan, He-Man works with a race of ant-men to save Eternia.

In “Quest For The Sword,” He-Man loses his sword to rock people when he is saving civilians. Facing the possibility of remaining as He-Man forever, He-Man tries to thwart the rock people, who in learning to respect one another, throw the power sword into a bottomless pit!

Skeletor studies the heroes with the aid of magical device in “Castle Of Heroes,” when another powerful magician appears. He is visited by Monteeg, who is an old ally of Skeletor! Monteeg has created an army from across time and the universe and he tells Skeletor he will recruit He-Man for his army! Monteeg tests He-Man by unleashing a giant and setting up obstacles for He-Man to defeat before trying to enslave him for his army.

Teela and Adam’s old friend, David, appears unaged and without his memories in “The Once And Future Duke.” He-Man learns that the boy’s uncle has wiped his memory and has taken the country that was supposed to be his! Using water of forgetfulness, Count Marzo menaces David, Teela, Orko, and He-Man.

“The Witch And The Warrior” finds a friend of Teela and He-Man asking for help in guarding a fountain in the desert. The magic fountain comes under continual attack by the wizard Kothos. Rather than risk being outdone by Kothos, Skeletor sends Evil Lynn and Clawful to take the fountain for him! He-Man and his allies find themselves fighting on multiple fronts to protect the fountain of life.

In “The Return Of Granamyr,” the dragon Granamyr calls upon He-Man to act as champion in a contest to win the hand of a human woman . . . for his lovestruck dragon son!

The Game Master is introduced in “Pawns Of The Game Master.” He arrives on Eternia in his space ship to abduct He-Man for his floating gladiator arena. Failing to abduct He-Man, he takes Teela and He-Man’s sword. Prince Adam, then, is forced to fight for Teela’s freedom and recover his sword.

A bit of Skeletor’s backstory is revealed in “Golden Disks Of Knowledge.” There, the wizard Zanthor, reveals himself to the Sorceress and He-Man. He was once a respected wizard, but he betrayed Eternia to Skeletor when he gave the villain the Golden Disks Of Knowledge. Eager to repent, Zanthor appeals to He-Man, Zodac and the Sorceress for the chance to recover the discs. With He-Man advocating for him, Zanthor leads a team into Snake Mountain to recover the disks.

In “The Huntsman,” Teela and He-Man work to stop an animal poacher from capturing the last unicorn on Eternia.

“The Remedy” has one of Man-At-Arms’s old friends falling gravely ill from a bug bite. Eager to save the life of his mentor, Rohad, Man-At-Arms sends He-Man to the furthest reaches of Eternia for the cure.

Season one concludes with “The Heart Of A Giant,” wherein Orko and a giant are both captured by the same evil man, who has a flying menagerie. There, he has collected all sorts of specimens for his “traveling zoo.” He-Man and Stratos work to rescue Orko, while Orko learns to get along with the giant!

On DVD, I noted some interesting censorship or standards issues, like how the creatures in “The Cosmic Comet” are likened to robots and unthinking comet chunks in order to allow He-Man to kill them. Otherwise, the show is very careful not to have the heroes kill anyone or allow any life form to die.

Each episode features a pretty obvious moral, like past failure is not a valid reason not to continue to try to succeed and it is important to report problems when they occur, regardless of the potentially negative consequences. The morals are summed up at the end of each episode and this programming is both entertaining and surprisingly educational.

On DVD, the first season of He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe looks amazing. Most of the animation problems stem from the original animation – this was still physical animation and for some reason, Filmmation had characters framed funny (a common shot has a character standing in the foreground, looking at the camera, with only ¾ of their face in frame!). On the sound effects, I was surprised that, like Wonder Woman (reviewed here!), He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe uses sound effects from the original Star Trek (reviewed here!).

He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe is fun, smart, and well-conceived. The first season DVD set remains an impressive value worth picking up by anyone who recalled loving it as a youth or who might want their children now to have smart, imaginative, inoffensive programming to watch.

For other fanciful programming, please visit my reviews of:
The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus


For other television reviews, please check out my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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