Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rein-Toon-Ation: He-Man & the Masters of the Universe (2002)

Mattel marked the 20th anniversary of its He-Man product line by bringing the champion of Eternia back to television, this time on cable, and on Cartoon Network, which programmed the series to lead off its Saturday night block.

Independent producer Mike Young was tapped to helm the new series, which reimagined some episodes of the original 1983-86 Filmation series, while also producing new material. The new series aired from 2002-05 and currently rests in CN's vaults, as Mattel discontinued the line again when sales plummeted. Here's the first three episodes of the 21st century version of He-Man.

As I noted when reviewing She-Ra not too long ago, He-Man's sis was to return as well, but the show was cancelled before that could happen. The quality of animation, understandably, was much better than the original, but the lone quibble I have was de-aging Prince Adam, He-Man's alter-ego. In the original series, it was assumed that Adam was at least over 21, but this time, he was presented as 16, and, predictably, a wee bit immature. There were no hints of a relationship between He-Man & Teela, either, which was a mistake.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I didn't get to see much of this series but I liked what I saw.

I'd seen the original show so I thought an update would really get into more details about the show's mythos.

It did that and more!

I didn't mind Prince Adam being de-aged since I think it was to further separate him from his He-man persona. The original Adam and He-man didn't look much different physically and at least the 2002 version of He-man looked liked a kid who also needed to learn a few things.

I was disappointed there was no mention of Adora/She-Ra but then again I wonder if the TPTB knew she wasn't originally meant to exist so they decided to omit her from the newer version.

The Adam/Teela relationship didn't bother me, I remembered they had been raised like brother and sister at the Kings court so perhaps romance wasn't necessarily in the cards for them anyway. The series didn't get the chance to explore it further unfortunately.

Once thing I thought was a nice touch was the opening credits of the new series; it began similarly to the old one in which Adam is explaning who he is and his mission, when suddenly all hell breaks loose around him and the battle foro Eternia is on!!

hobbyfan said...

I had read that there were plans for She-Ra to be part of the new series, but, as I mentioned, the show was cancelled before they could get to that point.

At least they gave an origin for Skeletor, something Filmation couldn't do.