Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
John Erwin as He-Man/Prince Adam, Ram-Man, Faker, Beast Man, Webstor, Whiplash, Granamyr, Oracle of the Crystal Sea, Tullamore (voice)

Alan Oppenheimer as Cringer, Man-At-Arms (Duncan), Skeletor, Mer-Man, Buzz-Off, Roboto, Melaktha (voice)

Linda Gary as Teela, Evil-Lyn, Queen Marlena, The Sorceress (Teela-Na), Chad (voice)

Lou Scheimer as Orko, King Randor, Battle Cat, Stratos, Man-E-Faces, Mekaneck, Zodac, Sy-Klone, Moss Man, Trapjaw, Tri-Klops, Kobra Khan, Clawful, Jitsu, Spikor, Two-Bad, Galen Nycroft/Modulok (voice)

Special Features:
Two brand-new documentary features, bringing viewers a comprehensive look inside this groundbreaking action-adventure series, featuring interviews with the show's producer, artists, writers, fans and more!

Two collectible 4'' X 6'' exclusive He-Man and the Masters of the Universe art cards, by acclaimed comic artists Bruce Timm and Adam Hughes

Trivia and "Fun Facts" about the creation of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Trailers for upcoming He-Man releases

DVD-ROM Feature - Scripts for featured episodes (PC/MAC compatible)

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital Sound
Running Time: 215 Minutes

Synopsis:
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe originally aired in 1983. The following is from the DVD cover:

"Excitement and adventure await in the mystical land of Eternia! Join He-Man and the Masters of the Universe as they battle against Skeletor and his crew of dastardly villains in the greatest adventures ever told!

This 2 DVD set features the 10 best episodes, as chosen by fans from the series' two seasons, which have been fully restored for exceptional quality. The most powerful cartoon in the universe lives on in this incredible collector's edition.

Disc 1:

Evilseed
Quest For He-Man
Prince Adam No More
Diamond Ray Of Disappearance
Teela's Quest

Disc 2:

Into The Abyss
Teela's Triumph
To Save Skeletor
The Problem with Power
Origin Of The Sorceress"

The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is not rated.

The Series:
I used to watch He-Man religiously as a kid back in 1983. While I didn't have many of the toys, I made it a point to race home from school each day and watch the show with my friends. So when this DVD arrived, I was eager to revisit the series with my own kids and see what they thought of Masters of the Universe. Upon viewing it again over 20 years later, I found that it wasn't quite as good as I remembered it to be. In fact, it was almost unbearable to watch. However, my son absolutely loved it and has watched He-Man over and over. The characters really appealed to him and he has punched me in the gut more than once pretending to be He-Man. (He's received a Skeletor style spanking in return for his efforts.)

He-Man hasn't really withstood the test of time. The animation isn't all that great and you see some of the same character movements used over and over. The stories are frequently quite silly and some of the character voices aren't all that great. The voices of Skeletor and Prince Adam particularly grated my nerves. But He-Man still had a few things going for it. The show had fantastic character designs that still look cool. The cover of this DVD alone was enough to hook my toddler. The other thing it had going for it was the fact that it was a training ground for writers Paul Dini and J. Michael Straczynski. Dini went on to do the fantastic Batman animated series and Straczynski ended up creating Babylon 5 and having a great run writing Spider-Man at Marvel Comics. While their stories here aren't the stuff of legend, this cartoon was a place for them to work their magic.

This DVD is definitely for die hard He-Man fans and kids. However, He-Man fans may want to wait for the complete series coming in the fall. Casual fans may be content just to live with these "Best Of" episodes.

The Extras:
Here are the highlights of the bonus features included on the DVD:

Two brand-new documentary features These documentaries are actually more interesting than the shows themselves. Besides interviews with the show's producer, artists, writers, fans and others, they actually go through each episode included on the DVD explaining how the story came about, the noteworthy things in the episode, and more. Paul Dini and Straczynski are included in the interviews, too. The features are quite long and they cover both the first and second seasons.

Trivia and "Fun Facts" about the creation of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe I'm embarrassed to say that I was never able to find the "Fun Facts". I looked around but never ran across it. Maybe I'm blind. I did find an Easter Egg featuring vintage commercial promos for the series.

The Bottom Line:
The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a fun bit of nostalgia and good entertainment for kids, but adult fans may not find it to be as good as they once remembered. He-Man fans may want to wait for the complete series coming out later this year.

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