Saturday, January 21, 2012

Daytime Heroes: She-Ra, Princess of Power (1985)

I think the marketing suits at Filmation & Mattel realized that while He-Man & the Masters of the Universe was geared for boys, it was also attracting young female viewers as well, thanks to Teela, the Captain of the Palace Guard, who had been posited as a possible girlfriend for He-Man. Not only that, but Queen Marlena, Prnce Adam's mother, had been presented in a positive light, too, as a role model.

So it was that when production began on season 3 of He-Man, Mattel & Filmation expanded the series' self-contained universe, and introduced She-Ra, Princess of Power as a companion series. Naturally, He-Man guest-starred in the opening story arc, which explains how Princess Adora, Adam's twin sister, had been working for Etheria's evil ruler, Hordak. The siblings eventually meet, and Adora sees the light--literally.

Unfortunately, the bloom was falling off the rose for He-Man by this point, and She-Ra lasted just 2 seasons, replaced by Bravestarr in 1987. While He-Man has subsequently been revived on 2 different occasions, She-Ra was not brought back, although there was talk when Cartoon Network cancelled the last He-Man series that She-Ra would finally return, nearly 20 years after her debut. While He-Man has also appeared in comic books, among other things, She-Ra hasn't seen the inside of the printed page at all.

Scope out the episode, "The Price of Power".

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I wanted to like She-Ra but it came off as a feminine imitation of the original. I was a girl who always liked sci-fi/fantasy/adventure stories so He-Man was entertaining on its own. That's not to say I dislike the character. She did get the short shrift once the original series was over and I wouldn't have minded if had appeared in the new version of He-Man back in the 00's.

I think one problem She-Ra had was there had never been any indication that Adora had ever been meant to exist until TPTB at Filmation decided to create her out of thin air. It would have been nice if there had been hints that there were two children born to the King & Queen of Eternia.

I couldn't help but notice how different Etheria was compared to Eternia: Etheria was much brighter and colorful, while Eternia seemed darker. Probably duie to wanting to make She-Ra 's world more "girl friendly".

Then there was Bo. Looking at his costume now as an adult can only elicit outright laughter.

IIRC, there wasn't a definitive ending to either series was there? One in which the Horde and Skeletor were forever cast off from those they had hoped to conqueor.

hobbyfan said...

The development of She-Ra wasn't Filmation's call. That was Mattel's. I think what happened was that their marketing people discovered that female fans like you, Magicdog, were just as into He-Man as the boys were.