Aug 15, 2007

[TV] He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)

He-Man and the Masters of the UniverseI recently picked up an "Asian version" of a He-Man DVD thinking it was the original series from 1983. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was actually a compilation of the 2002 Cartoon Network series. While playing the "Asian version" roulette in terms of DVDs is not always so fortunate (I have disappointing copies of the latter non-Macross Robotech series and the post-movie Transformers cartoons), this compilation was a real gem.

In case you're into watching a huge blond muscle man run around in little more than a furry loincloth, then this is definitely a series for you, haha.

The series is great mainly because it returned to the fantasy spin of the original series and drew strong inspiration in terms of characters from the original toyline. The cartoon was meant to accompany to release of redesigned versions of the original toys featuring more unique sculpts as compared to the generic torso template used for the original.

The series featured more mature writing and heavy Egyptian-style influences, perhaps best seen in the redesign of the Sorceress and her throne room and in the stylizing of Teela's costume and battle staff. I thought it was a pretty cool twist for things and it definitely made the series all the more stronger for it. A lot of the characters were redesigned / re-imagined in line with the new toyline which resulted in more mature characters overall.

Perhaps the most notable change would have to be the difference between Prince Adam and He-Man. In the original series Prince Adam just seemed like a weak-willed (almost gay) version of He-Man in tights, which makes his secret identity all the more ridiculous. In the new series he's a young man who's a lot leaner than the full-power barbarian, which made for more dramatic transformation sequences that were probably a steroid addict's dream come true.

The compilation covers the only two seasons of the cartoon before it was canceled, covering the introduction of many heroes and villains and building up all the way to cover the Snake Men with the second season actually being retitled as Masters of the Universe versus the Snake Men. I especially liked the second season since it gave much greater depth to the character of Evil Lyn while presenting the Snake Men as pretty fearsome opponents. It also hinted at the future appearance of Hordak and the Horde as future villains, whom most of you might remember as the adversary of She-Ra in the original Princess of Power series. Web rumors state that there were plans to introduce She-Ra later in the series, but the show got canceled before that could happen.

If you want to relive some of that 80's nostalgia but not have to be subjected to the silly antics of the original series, then this DVD collection is a must-have for your collection! I assure you that you'll definitely be more than entertained.


  1. I have quite a collection of He-Man action figures back in the day. Even have a cool He-Man glow in the dark ring, which, unfortunately, my classmate stole from me. I heard they're turning this into a movie.

  2. I've heard the same. Despite canceling the cartoon after two seasons, they seem to have realized there's still enough interest to a warrant an actual film.