While I can’t fully explore how Masters Of The Universe: Revelation works on its own merits without seeing it, research tells me that as an adaptation it has many flaws. So how would I do a proper reboot? I don’t need to do a huge article pseudo-pitch because we already have a fantastic reboot of He-Man & The Masters Of The Universe from 2002, produced by Mike Young Productions as part of Mattel’s relaunch of the toys. Frankly I didn’t like the way those figures were designed. There were figures with necks and limbs in partial poses, the end results just looked ugly, and they didn’t come with mini-comics. The show however was really, really good.
The writers and showrunners showed respect to the original series, though there are a few points I could nitpick in a full review. That’s not what Saturday Night Showcase is though. It’s a showcase of cool stuff worth checking out. The 2000s series fixed a number of complaints that were made of the show by that point. Adam looks just different enough from He-Man that you believe nobody makes the connection. We get more origins–the first episode is in fact He-Man’s origin. The video I’m using as of this writing also included the season two episode “The Power Of Grayskull”, the origin of the powers themselves, though the poster starts with “The Beginning”, a three-part story originally aired as one movie (I wish the editor had used that version…would have saved some time, too) that tells how Adam first becomes He-Man. The characters feel like the characters you grew up with updated for a new audience. They have the same or close-enough personalities, there isn’t a need for a body count of your favorite toys/characters, and it still has the same quality of animation that Revelation has, at least for its time. Enjoy.
See, if Kevin Smith was trying to continue this series (what we get is just another continuity), he would have had more to work with. The 2000s series had a running continuity rather than the done-in-one stories. Early episodes see Adam struggling with his new role as champion of Eternia versus wanting to be himself. Teela still gets to be badass without being a pain in the ass. She’s just as strong as she ever was while still being female, a bit more tomboyish than her predecessor despite the long ponytail but still obviously Teela…and we had a potential story arc involving what could be her birth father. Yes, Teela is still the Sorceress’ daughter, but we get hits at who daddy is, and this show puts more weight into the Sorceress and her necessary reluctance to serve as Teela’s mother for good reasons, while debating those reasons honestly through adopted father Man-At-Arms. We also learn (partially not until season two) how Keldor became Skeletor and this universe’s ties to the Horde. Had the show continued She-Ra would have also made her debut while season two focuses on an invasion by the Snake Men as a third column, which is also handled well. This show knows how to evolve and advance their characters while still keeping them feel like the characters 80s kids grew up with.
Outside of the minor adaptation nitpicks I could point out and the show gets better on (except that Cringer/Battlecat is no longer a character due to his lack of speech, reduced to being He-Man’s mount) all the jumping around and bounding with a boom can be overdone at times while at others they do achieve the desired effect of making them look powerful and awesome. Sadly, while the series has had home video releases, it’s not available on any streaming service legally as of this writing. However, the rights owners don’t seem to care about the various video postings (again, as of this writing, which is how I’m able to bring you this showcase) while the other two shows are available on the official YouTube channel and various streaming platforms. If the Netflix version left a bad taste in your mouth, or even if you really liked it, check out this version and see how you can have a quality product that succeeds as a quality adaptation.
Thanks for this – I loved the 2002 reboot for He-Man! Have you seen Design Dungeon’s review of the 2002 series? It’s pretty good: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sHpYUmkNjqg
First I’ve heard of it. I do agree with most of his thoughts, but I didn’t watch the full retrospective because I still have plans to do an episode-by-episode review show of my own in the future. If I can pull myself together soon.
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