Netflix has just started airing their new animated He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series and Prime and I caught a few episodes. As always, I have a few thoughts on the series, so I’ll post them.
A word of caution: this post will contain spoilers. If you’d rather not know, then don’t read past this point. Everyone else? Let’s do this thing!
-This is absolutely not the Masters of the Universe you watched when you were younger. This version of Eternia–now called Eternos–seems a lot more dystopian and King Randor seems less like a king and more like a petty tyrant. It’s going to take some work to get things back to how they should be, if it happens at all.
-Speaking of younger, this series is meant for kids. That’s angered a lot of the older fans and I can understand why, but seriously people, chill. If we don’t have something accessible for younger audiences, how exactly are we going to keep the property going?
-Holy. SHIT! Cringer. Cringer is voiced by David Kaye. And he is pitch freaking PERFECT. His voice has a great weight to it–when he’s serious, you know it–but he’s able to reign it in and be downright fatherly at times. That voice has gravitas and it works incredibly well. But then again, I may be biased; I have met David Kaye and he’s pretty freaking awesome.
-Prince Adam doesn’t know he’s a prince. King Randor doesn’t know that his son is still alive. There’s going to be a reunion but I don’t know if it’s going to be all that happy.
-I love the fact that Teela is a magic user with a checkered past and not the captain of the royal guard. It makes her a bit more interesting. Also, yes, her skin is dark. It works Deal with it.
-Duncan is actually pretty cool. He’s much more laid back than in previous incarnations and the fact that he’s a kid like everyone else is awesome.
-Everyone gets powers. How cool is that? It gives new meaning to “Masters” of the Universe.
-Yes, she’s called Ram Ma’am. Freaking deal with it.
-Ork-0. Oh good heavens, you guys took two of my favorite things and combined them. Yes, I already love him. He’s so damn cute and I want a plushie. Or at least an action figure.
-I love the idea that Cringer got his name because he refused to fight in what amounted to a blood sport. He’s seen as a coward because he wouldn’t participate in pit fighting, not because he’s an actual coward. It’s a new take on the character and it works beautifully.
So, is it fun to watch? Definitely. Is it an updated version of the original cartoon? No. This is different, which is why it works so well. What worked back in the 1980s won’t always work today, which is something I think a lot of fans forget. No, you’re not going to get a huge nostalgia rush watching this. But that’s the point. This is different. It’s not the same Eternia, not the same Prince Adam, not the same Teela. And that’s actually a good thing! Because it’s fresh and a lot of fun.
My verdict: it’s definitely worth the watch. Don’t expect a trip to Nostalgia-ville, however. This is its own continuity and it is damn proud of that fact. But if you have the time, give this a watch. You won’t be disappointed.