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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Volume One (review)

By the power of Numbskull! I remember the cheesy cartoon of the same name from way back when I was a kid, but this is not it: this is even cheesier. Apparently, someone decided the story of the adventures of the supernaturally strong blond adonis lunk had not been told properly in the 1980s, and demanded to be retold. So here are 13 episodes from 2002 — these versions are expanded from what originally aired on Cartoon Network — about the young and dumb Prince Adam, scion of the royal family of the planet Eternia(TM), where the Mystic Wall(TM) holds back evil (which comes in the form of monsters each of whom is, it seems, a reincarnation of one of the Three Stooges, except with claws and Crayola-colored fur), until it doesn’t anymore. And then the Sorceress(TM) of Castle Grayskull(TM) turns Adam in He-Man. Or something. And he fights the Stooge monsters. A lot. The only thing surprising in the least about this collection is how seriously it takes itself: there are audio commentaries here, for pete’s sake, as if there’s anything deep or hidden to be explored in the simplistic, even boneheaded stories on offer. Oh, and there are also animatics and image galleries, as if the animation was at all worth exploring in depth. Wow. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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  • He-Man is still the greatest name ever for a superhero.

  • If memory serves, the toy line was originally intended to be for Conan, but they had to change it when Conan turned out to be an R-rated film (and thus not for the kiddies). It was part of that delightful trend of creating a cartoon show solely to market toys (Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, etc.).

    So I guess the question, M-A, is whether the “new” He-Man is worse than Michael Bay’s Transformers? Both aiming for retro-nostalgia, both shamelessly commercial. I’m guessing that He-Man may be a little worse, if only for the fact that it denies the naked commercialism it so clearly is, but I haven’t seen the DVDs so I’m basing that solely on your review. Confirm? Deny? Bueller? Bueller?

  • MaryAnn

    *He-Man* is tons worse than *Transformers.*

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