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

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He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Genre Action/Adventure
Sword and sorcery
Science fantasy
Created by Donald F. Glut
Developed by Roger Sweet
Voices of Cam Clarke
Kathleen Barr
Lisa Ann Beley
Gary Chalk
Brian Dobson
Paul Dobson
Michael Donovan
Scott McNeil
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 39 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Bill Schultz
Producer(s) Ian Ritcher
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network[1][2]
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original run August 16, 2002 (2002-08-16) – January 10, 2004 (2004-01-10)
Chronology
Related shows He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
She-Ra: Princess of Power
The New Adventures of He-Man

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an American animated television series. Developed for television by Michael Halperin, who created the original series, it was animated by Mike Young Productions.[3] It served as an update of the 1980s series of the same name, produced to coincide with Mattel's revival of the Masters of the Universe franchise eleven years after its previous attempt.[4] The series made its premiere on Cartoon Network's Toonami on August 16, 2002.

Unlike the previous He-Man series, set on the futuristic planet of Primus, this version sought to return to the roots of the storyline and provide broader explorations never reached in the first series, including origins for each character, and some first time animated debuts of familiar toyline faces. The series also brought back several writers from the original series, such as Larry DiTillio.[5]

The remake is noted for the many similarities it shares with the original. For example, it has an homage intro to the 1980s version's intro speech but in this version, Prince Adam is interrupted by an explosion and invasion by Skeletor and his henchmen. Prince Adam transforms into He-Man when he says "By the power of Grayskull... I have the power!" (later episodes feature a chorus singing He-Man's name during the scene change). It also features "scene change" sequences, but only the one involving the Sword of Power was taken from the Filmation series; all the others were created for this series, and the sequences occur less frequently than on the previous series.[6]

Series overview[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Eternia has seen the end of tyranny and evil. Its community lives in peace, safe in the knowledge that its greatest threats are trapped behind the great barrier in the badlands near Snake Mountain. Skeletor after many decades finally breaks through the barrier at last, and hopes to spread his bane once more, beginning with the capture of King Randor. Their liberation is detected within Castle Grayskull The Sorceress, who informs Man-At-Arms, captain of the guards within Randor's kingdom and a trustworthy ally, that the time has come for destiny to be fulfilled. Prince Adam, a spoiled, almost carefree future heir to the throne of his father, Randor, is trained daily by the unrelenting Teela, his best friend. Adam is approached by Teela's father, Man-At-Arms, who takes Adam to Castle Grayskull. There, Adam learns from the Sorceress of an approaching evil and his role in defending the kingdom as the warrior He-Man. Adam, of course, instantly rebuffs the responsibility and returns to the palace, where he finds that Skeletor's forces have captured his father. Adam, Man-At-Arms, and Teela pursue Randor's kidnappers into the forests, where they are ambushed. Adam is covered by Man-At-Arms as he returns to Grayskull, followed by his pet tiger Cringer, and the court magician Orko. His flight through the forest infuriates Teela, who only sees a coward leaving the scene of battle. Adam accepts his destiny, and is granted the Sword of Power, which he uses to become He-Man. With Cringer transforming into Battle Cat, a strong and brave method of transport and assistance, He-Man returns to the scene of battle and rescues his father from Skeletor. Over the course of the first season, Randor's armies of defense expand, some convinced to fight through encounters with He-Man. The Sorceress stands revealed as the mother of Teela. Teela's ultimate destiny as the successor to the mantle of The Sorceress manifests in small doses physically and mentally, often causing her pain or general befuddlement at what these abilities are and what they mean for the future. Skeletor becomes aware of Grayskull's power when he attacks it, prompting him to spend much of the season attempting to enter it. Hints are made as to the fate of Skeletor's mentor, Hordak, and the future main adversaries of the second season, The Snake Men. Much like the original series, selling toys was a key goal of this series, and He-Man and Skeletor would don variations of their costumes or different ones entirely whenever they were briefly "empowered" with an ancient relic or new technology. The first season ends on a cliffhanger in which Skeletor unites several of the other adversaries fought by the Masters into a grand council of evil. He captures most of the Masters, forcing He-Man and Teela to enter Snake Mountain. Adam becomes separated from his sword, and is soon forced to protect Castle Grayskull from Skeletor without it.

Season 2[edit]

After the events of the season one cliffhanger such as Orko returning the sword to Adam and the Masters rescued, the Snake Men took center stage as the main adversaries, having been hinted at in the first season as being trapped beneath Snake Mountain (the place being their former stronghold, hence the name and reason for its existence) inside a void. They are finally being liberated by allies existing outside of the void, as well as a treacherous Evil-Lyn. Adam is informed of their rising by The Sorceress, and finds his He-Man armor completely different upon transformation, designed to fight the Snake Men, led by King Hiss. Skeletor would still appear from time to time, but would be gradually phased out, although had the series continued, he would have returned to his status as a major player. This season was shorter than the first, and as a result, more serialized, with certain episodes following one from another. Characters were strongly developed, and old characters reintroduced, including Fisto, who was Man-At-Arms' brother and a disgraced soldier of the court who went AWOL during the last great war. The third episode of this season "Out of the Past", also told the tale of how the Sorceress, on a granted leave from her duties, nursed an amnesia-stricken soldier back to health and fell in love with him. The soldier left mysteriously before she gave birth, and therefore his identity remains a mystery, and it is debated whether or not Man-At-Arms or Fisto were the ones involved, or somebody else entirely. The secret origins of Evil Lyn, Skeletor, Snake Mountain, and the power of Castle Grayskull itself, were also revealed.

Comic book[edit]

To coincide with the release of the series, a He-Man comic was created by MV Creations. Three separate series were released between 2002–2004: two mini-series, a short-lived ongoing series and a handful of one-shots were published. Some of these were collected into trade paperback graphic novels. The tone and maturity of the comic was slightly different from the cartoon, as the writers hoped to appeal to the older demographic purchasing the comic. The comic ultimately came to a close when Mattel began to end the licensing program for the Masters of the Universe relaunch. The comics were published by Image Comics, then MV Creations themselves (through Crossgen Comics), before eventually going back to Image Comics. But in recent years, DC Comics (now having ownership) have produced a comic series in their 'New 52' line. [7]

Episodes[edit]

Voice Cast[edit]

Additional voices[edit]

Crew[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

BCI Eclipse LLC (under license from Entertainment Rights) released the entire series on DVD in Region 1, for the very first time, in three volume sets in 2008. Each volume contained an extensive array of special features including Documentaries, commentaries, DVD-ROM features, end of episode morals, photo galleries and more. In December 2008, BCI Eclipse ceased operations, as a result all releases are now out of print.[8]

In June 2009, Mill Creek Entertainment acquired the rights to the series and subsequently released He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - The Complete Series, a 4-disc box set featuring all 39 episodes of the series on DVD in Region 1 on September 29, 2009.[9] They also released a 10-episode single disc best of DVD on the same day.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary He-Man and the Masters of the Universe brand, Mill Creek Entertainment will release the 30th Anniversary Commemorative Collection of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVD in December 2012. The 22-disc will feature the all 130 episodes of the 1983 series, 20 fan-favorite episodes of the 1990 series, as well as all 39 episodes of the 2002 series.[10]

DVD Name Ep # Region 1 Additional Information
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Complete Series 39 September 29, 2009
  • End of Episodes Morals
  • Interviews with Toyline Artists from Mattel and The Four Horsemen
  • 12 audio commentaries
  • Scripts for episodes 1-40
  • A PDF Comic Book for unproduced episode #40

References[edit]

External links[edit]