THE BEST OF HE-MAN AND THE
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (10 EPISODE COLLECTOR'S EDITION) (1983)
The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (10 Episode
Collector's Edition) (1983)
Director: Marsh Lamore, Ed Friedman
Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Format: Animated, Color, Closed-captioned
Number of discs: 2
lore has it that toy giant Mattel had a crapload of unsold
Conan the Barbarian action figures on their
hand when the eventual movie turned out to be too violent and dark for
So instead of junking the lot, they came with the brilliant solution of
making a few small modifications to the plastic dolls by retrofitting
them with new accessories and bits. Thus was born the more kid-friendly
He-Man, and to flog the new toy range they did what all toy
manufacturers do to this very day: they created their own kiddies
Parents today should be glad that their kids have shows such as
The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab, Johnny Bravo and so
forth. Not only can these shows be watched by parents as well, it
sometimes feels as if they were specifically created for adults!
else for instance to explain a clever and tongue-in-cheek Powerpuff
Girls episode titled "The Beat-alls", filled with obscure Beatles
trivia and references that only ageing Baby Boomers would catch and goes
straight over the heads of its intended audiences?)
Parents in the 1980s didn't have it this good: He-Man and the Masters
of the Universe is intended for small children (well, boys in
particular) and absolutely no-one else. Usually I would say
twentysomethinger nostalgiaists would want to check out this DVD box
set, but not in this case. I don't think that any adult in their right
mind, no matter how wistful they are about their childhoods, would
stomach more than one episode of He-Man today.
The show is simply too awful for this: stock animated sequences are
re-used endlessly (like those shots of Cylon ships being blown up in the
original 1970s Battlestar Galactica), the
voice talent is annoying (Skeletor in particular is annoyingly shrill
and camp) and the ?Eighties synth score even more so. The stories are
simplistic and repetitive (He-Man never seems to face anyone else except
his arch-nemesis Skeletor). Therefore it is rather funny to see this DVD
caters the sort of interviews and trivia facts that would appeal more to
adult nostalgiaists than kids.
Very small kids will love He-Man and parents need not worry too
much about their sprogs watching it: the show is quite innocuous and
even has a little (albeit forced) moral lecture tagged on at the end of
THE DISCS: You get the best ten He-Man episodes as voted
by fans on a website on two discs.
The episodes are:
Disc 1 (Best of Season 1):
#4: "Quest for He-Man"
#3: "Prince Adam No More"
#2: "Diamond Ray of Disappearance"
#1: "Teela's Quest"
Disc 2 (Best of Season 2):
#5: "Into the Abyss"
#4: "Teela's Triumph"
#3: "To Save Skeletor"
#2: "The Problem with Power"
#1: "Origin of the Sorceress"
The packaging, a carton box, is rather fancy. Image and sound quality is
quite good for a cheesy TV show that is more than 20 years old.
WORTH IT? If you have small boys, yeah. And the TV show is still
loads better than the live action movie Masters of the Universe movie
starring Dolph Lundgren.
RECOMMENDATION: Buy it for your kids, but you'll only undergo
permanent brain damage if you watch it with them. That's what Invader
Zim is there for . . .