He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
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He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
He-Man and the
Masters of the Universe
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (logo).jpg
Title card
Genre
Created byMichael Halperin
Based onMasters of the Universe
by Mattel
Voices ofJohn Erwin
Alan Oppenheimer
Linda Gary
Erik Gunden
Erika Scheimer
Theme music composerShuki Levy
Haim Saban
Opening theme"Masters of The Universe"
ComposersShuki Levy
Haim Saban
Erika Lane
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes130
Production
Executive producerLou Scheimer
ProducerGwen Wetzler
Running time23 minutes
Production companiesFilmation Associates
Mattel
DistributorGroup W Productions
Release
Original networkFirst-run syndication
Audio formatMono (early season 1)
Stereo (mid-late season 1-2)
Original releaseSeptember 5, 1983 (1983-09-05) (U.K.) September 26, 1983 (1983-09-26) (U.S.A.) -
November 21, 1985 (1985-11-21)
Chronology
Related showsShe-Ra: Princess of Power
The New Adventures of He-Man
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002 TV series)

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an American animated television series produced by Filmation based on Mattel's toy line Masters of the Universe.[1][2][3] The show, often referred to as simply He-Man, was one of the most popular animated shows of the 1980s.

It made its television debut in September 1983 and ran until 1985, consisting of two seasons of 65 episodes each. Reruns continued to air in syndication until 1988, at which point USA Network bought the rights to the series. USA aired He-Man until September 1990. The success of the toy-based show in syndication greatly influenced other animation houses to produce half-hour "cartoon commercials", and considerably changed the syndicated cartoon market.[4]

The franchise has been adapted many times in comic book and comic strip form, and a live-action film was produced in 1987. A rebooted series, Masters of the Universe vs. The Snake Men released on Toonami on August 16, 2002. A direct sequel series, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, will debut on Netflix in 2021.

Synopsis

The series takes place on Eternia, a planet of magic, myth and fantasy. Its lead character is Prince Adam, the young son of Eternia's rulers, King Randor and Queen Marlena. Whenever Prince Adam holds the Sword of Power aloft and proclaims "By the Power of Grayskull!" he is endowed with "fabulous secret powers" and transformed into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Together with his close allies, Battle Cat (who undergoes a similar transformation from being Adam's cowardly pet tiger Cringer), The Sorceress, Teela, Man-At-Arms and Orko, He-Man uses his powers to defend Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor. Skeletor's main goal is to conquer the mysterious fortress of Castle Grayskull, from which He-Man draws his powers. If successful, Skeletor would have enough power to rule all of Eternia and possibly the entire universe.[5]

Characters

Episodes

Production history

The Mattel company released the original He-Man action figure in 1982; the franchise backstory was developed by the Filmation animation studio. On 1 December 1982, Michael Halperin wrote a "series bible".[6] Some time after, both firms pitched the idea to the ABC network, who turned it down. The resulting series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, debuted through barter syndication in September 1983,[nb 1] and became the first syndicated show to be based on a toy. By 1984, it was seen on 120 U.S. stations and in more than 30 countries.[7]

Despite the limited animation techniques that were used to produce the series, He-Man was notable for breaking the boundaries of censorship that had severely restricted the narrative scope of children's TV programming in the 1970s. For the first time in years, a cartoon series could feature a muscular superhero who was actually allowed to hit people (although he more typically used wrestling-style moves rather than actually punching enemies), though he still could not use his sword often; more often than not He-Man opted to pick up his opponents and toss them away rather than hit them. The cartoon was controversial in that it was produced in connection with marketing a line of toys; advertising to children was itself controversial during this period.[8] In the United Kingdom, advertising regulations forbade commercials for He-Man toys to accompany the program itself. In similar fashion to other shows at the time, notably G.I. Joe, an attempt to mitigate the negative publicity generated by this controversy was made by including a "life lesson" or "moral of the story" at the end of each episode. This moral was usually directly tied to the action or central theme of that episode.[9][10][11]

The show was so successful that it spawned a spin-off series, She-Ra: Princess of Power, following the adventures of He-Man's sister, Princess Adora.[12] Mattel's subsequent attempts to relaunch the He-Man toy line also led to the short-lived sequel series The New Adventures of He-Man in the early 1990s, and an update of the franchise for a contemporary audience in 2002.[13]

It is also noted for featuring early script-writing work from J. Michael Straczynski, later the creator of Babylon 5; Paul Dini and Brynne Stephens, both of whom who would go on to write acclaimed episodes of Batman: The Animated Series; Beast Wars story editor Larry DiTillio; and David Wise, later the head-writer of the TV version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Real Ghostbusters.[14] In 2016 a new episode of He-Man was released.[15]

Cast

Music

The series' music was composed by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban.[16] The opening theme, snippets of which are used whenever Prince Adam transforms into He-Man and during interludes, is in C Mixolydian[clarification needed].

In 1984, a soundtrack album was released in France and Argentina by CBS Records and reissued on compact disc by XIII Bis in 2012,[17] featuring music from the series and an adaptation of "A Friend in Need" (French release)/"Diamond Ray of Disappearance" (Argentine release); La-La Land Records released a two-disc, limited-edition soundtrack album in 2015, containing the musical content of the 1983 LP and much previously unreleased material.[18]

The Spanish-language version of the show features an actual theme song complete with lyrics unique to this version, with vocals by Chilean singer Memo Aguirre (a.k.a. "Captain Memo") based on Levy and Saban's original musical score.

In 1986, Brazilian children's music group Trem da Alegria recorded a song about He-Man.

Reception

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is considered the most successful animated series ever made by Filmation.[] The show was often criticized by parent groups as a cartoon designed to advertise action figures.[9][10][19][20][21] In 2009, IGN ranked the series as the 58th greatest animated show of all time in their Top 100 list.[22]

Name in other languages

  • In Basque "He-Man eta Unibertsoko Jaunak"
  • In Bosnian "He-Man i Gospodari svemira" ("- ? ?")
  • In Catalan "He-Man i els Senyors de l'Univers"
  • In Croatian "He-Man i Gospodari svemira"
  • In Dutch "He-Man, en de meesters van het Universum"
  • In Finnish "He-Man ja Maailmankaikkeuden Valtiaat"
  • In French "Musclor et Les Maîtres de l'univers"
  • In Galician "He-Man e os Amos do Universo"
  • In German
    • "He-Man und Masters of the Universe" (TV Version 1992)
    • "He-Man und die Meister des Universums" (VHS Version)
    • "He-Man - Im Tal der Macht" (TV Version 2002)
  • In Greek "- "
  • In Hungarian Lovag és az univerzum védelmez?i.
  • In Hebrew "- "
  • In Italian "He-Man e i dominatori dell'universo"
  • In Macedonian "Hi-Men i Gospodarite na vselenata" ("- ? ")
  • In Montenegrin "Hi-Men i Gospodari svemira" ("- ? ?")
  • In Polish "He-Man i W?adcy Wszech?wiata"
  • In Portuguese
    • "He-Man e os Defensores do Universo"
    • "He-Man e os Mestres do Universo" (Brazil)
    • "He-Man e os Donos do Universo" (Portugal)
  • In Romanian "He-Man ?i mae?trii universului"
  • In Russian "Hi-Men i Vlasteliny Vselennoy" ("- ? ? ")
  • In Serbian "Hi-Men i Gospodari svemira" ("- ? ?")
  • In Slovene "He-Man in Gospodarji vesolja"
  • In Spanish
    • "He-Man y los Amos del Universo" (Latin America)
    • "He-Man y los Masters del Universo" (Spain)
  • In Turkish "He-Man ve Evrenin Efendileri"
  • In Ukrainian "- "

Home media

In 1983-1986 RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video Release The Series in VHS and Beta. BCI Eclipse LLC (under its Ink & Paint classic animation entertainment label) (under license from Entertainment Rights) released all 130 episodes of the original 1983 series of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe on DVD in Region 1 in 2005/2006, in 4 volume sets. Each episode on BCI Ink & Paint's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVD releases were uncut, unedited, fully restored and digitally remastered for optimum audio and video quality and presented in its original broadcast presentation and story continuity order.[23][24][25][26] Each volume contains an extensive array of special features including documentaries, character profiles, commentaries, DVD-ROM features, trivia, photo galleries and more. As of 2009, these releases have been discontinued and are out of print as BCI Eclipse ceased operations.[27]

On December 10, 2010, Mill Creek Entertainment announced that they had acquired the rights from Classic Media to re-release the series on DVD in America. They have subsequently re-released the complete first season in one eight-disc set as well as two smaller 20-episode volume releases.[28] The complete second season was released on September 13, 2011.[29] The 2002 series, composed of four discs; 960min, was also released in 2010 by Mill Creek Entertainment, and is titled Masters of the Universe: The Complete Series (ASIN B002DQL34G). Commemorating the 30th anniversary Masters of the Universe brand, Mill Creek Entertainment finally released the 30th Anniversary Commemorative Collection of the Masters of the Universe DVD. The 22-disc set features 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.[30]

DVD Name Ep# Release date
The Complete First Season 65 February 15, 2011
The Complete Second Season 65 September 13, 2011

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released all 130 episodes of the original 1983 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series on DVD in Region 1 on October 1, 2019, as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Complete Original Series. This release includes "He-Man & She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword" and "He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special".[31]

In Region 4, Madman Entertainment released the entire series on DVD in Australia in 4 volume sets (similar to BCI Eclipse releases). These releases have been discontinued and are now out of print. A complete series box set was released by Madman on June 24, 2009, this is still available.[32]

The pilot episode, "Diamond Ray of Disappearance", has a minute or so of footage missing due to the master tapes being damaged. In the original version, after teleporting the King and Queen and Man-At-Arms away to another dimension, Skeletor turns the ray onto Orko, who gets stuck inside a vase which deflects the beam. Orko escapes to warn He-Man. This footage has not been lost; it is still existent on other media in circulation. However, complications over the rights to it prevented it from being inserted back into the DVD release.[]

Sequel series

Netflix is making two new He-Man projects. The first will be the adult Netflix Original Anime Masters of the Universe: Revelation, a direct sequel to the original series.[33]

It will be directed by Kevin Smith and will be animated by Powerhouse Animation Studios.[34] On February 14, 2020, the full voice cast was confirmed.[35]

It is also confirmed a family oriented Netflix Original He-Man and The Masters of the Universe is in the works. It is reportedly being made by Mattel Television and DreamWorks Animation Television for a CG-animated He-Man with new storylines and character takes. It is currently unknown if it will be connected to She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, or if there will also be versions of She-Ra and her friends and enemies featured.[36]

Masters of the Universe: Revelation Cast

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In the practice of barter syndication, production companies give television stations a series for free, in exchange for advertising.[7]

References

  1. ^ "He-Man, a Princely Hero, Conquers the Toy Market". December 18, 1984 – via NYTimes.com.
  2. ^ Solomon, Charles (1986-11-15). "Syndication Threat". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2010-08-23. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "How an Obscure Collection of Japanese Action Figures Changed the Way We Play". Wired Magazine. 2007-06-26. Archived from the original on 2009-03-08. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 404-405. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  5. ^ "The Complete Box Set He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Season 1, Volume 2 Review". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Michael Halperin (1 December 1982). "The Masters of the Universe Bible". Mysteries of Greyskull. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ a b Engelhardt, Tom (1986). "Children's Television: The Shortcake Strategy". In Gitlin, Todd (ed.). Watching Television: A Pantheon Guide to Popular Culture. Pantheon Books (Random House). pp. 76-77. ISBN 0-394-74651-1.
  8. ^ "Marketing to Children Raises Big Questions". Los Angeles Times. June 30, 1986.
  9. ^ a b Collins, Glenn (1985-12-12). "CONTROVERSY ABOUT TOYS, TV VIOLENCE a". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2012-06-27. Retrieved .
  10. ^ a b Diamond, S. J. (1986-06-30). "Marketing to Children Raises Big Questions". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2011-11-05. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Video: A He-Man for All Seasons". Time. 1985-01-07. Archived from the original on 2010-10-13. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Remembering She-Ra and He-Man: Interview with Lou Scheimer". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on 2009-12-04. Retrieved .
  13. ^ Owen, Rob (2002-08-16). "On the Tube: Cartoon Network brings He-Man, the Masters back for 20th anniversary". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe -- Season One, Volume One". IGN. 2008-05-11. Archived from the original on 2010-06-28. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Getz, Dana (2016-07-18). "He-Man returns with first episode in 20 years". EW.com. Archived from the original on 2016-09-20. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "He-Man Music". Cartoonopolis.com. Archived from the original on 2016-09-17. Retrieved .
  17. ^ Joe Marchese. "By the Power of Grayskull: "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" Soundtrack Comes to CD...Via France!". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ "HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: LIMITED EDITION (2-CD SET) -- LLLCD 1347". Archived from the original on 2015-09-05.
  19. ^ Andrews, Edmund L. (1991-04-10). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; F.C.C. Adopts Limits on TV Ads Aimed at Children". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2011-10-19. Retrieved .
  20. ^ Solomon, Charles (2002-12-22). "Can't keep He-Man down; Once viewed by children's advocates as toy makers' shill, the cartoon hero is back, minus controversy". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved .
  21. ^ Boyer, Peter J. (1985-12-12). "Toy-based tv: effects on children debated". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-05-17. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "86, He-man". IGN. 2009-01-23. Archived from the original on 2009-01-19. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe: Season One - Volume 1 (DVD 1983)". DVD Empire. 2005-07-27. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe: Season One - Volume 2 (DVD 1983)". DVD Empire. 2005-10-31. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe: Season Two - Volume 1 (DVD 1984)". DVD Empire. 2006-04-12. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe: Season Two - Volume 2 (DVD)". DVD Empire. 2006-07-26. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "Site News - PRESS RELEASE: Navarre Shuts Down BCI, Makers of He-Man, Day Break, Price is Right and other DVDs". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2010-05-31. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Mill Creek Release Date for 8-DVD 'Complete 1st Season'". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2011-01-06. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVD news: Announcement for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - The Complete 2nd Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2011-06-30. Archived from the original on 2016-07-01. Retrieved .
  30. ^ Lambert, David (September 19, 2012). "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - 1983, 1990 and 2002 Shows Together for ' 30th Anniversary' DVDs". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  31. ^ https://www.amazon.com/He-Man-Masters-Universe-Complete-Original/dp/B07VVV4VW5/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3DLAPHP6V4Q9X&keywords=he-man+masters+of+the+universe&qid=1576437618&rnid=2941120011&s=movies-tv&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&sprefix=He-man+Masters%2Caps%2C167&sr=1-2
  32. ^ "Buy He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Complete Collection (24 Disc Box Set) on DVD-Video from". EzyDVD.com.au. Archived from the original on 2011-04-11. Retrieved .
  33. ^ Evershed, John (2020). Adult Animation Finally Breaking Free of its Comedy Shackles (PDF) (Report). High Concentrate, LLC in Squarespace. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 3, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  34. ^ ""Masters of the Universe: Revelation" - Kevin Smith, Netflix Cartoon Series". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. August 18, 2019.
  35. ^ "Mark Hamill Will Voice Skeletor on the New 'Masters of the Universe'". Screen Rant. February 14, 2020.
  36. ^ "He-Man returns... again! Masters of the Universe CG animated series revealed for Netflix". Entertainment Weekly. December 18, 2019.

External links


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Music Scenes