Western Animation: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983)
This first Animated Series
for the Masters of the Universe
franchise changed the face of children's television when it debuted in 1983. Filmation
produced the show for daily syndication in conjunction with a pre-existing line of Mattel
toys and action figures. Its huge success led to dozens of others Merchandise-Driven
cartoons in the 1980s
. It is now being rerun on RTV on Saturday mornings and MeTV
on Sunday mornings.
Existing in a world that has futuristic elements alongside sword, legend and lore, the series focuses on Adam, the crown prince of Eternia, who as described in the opening monologue, has the ability to transform into his super-strong barbarian alter ego
, He-Man. This Transformation Sequence
also turned Adam's cowardly talking pet
Cringer into the brave and fearsome Battle Cat.
His primary foe was the evil Skeletor, a warlord who was equal parts wizard and warrior
. With the help of a motley crew of heroes, including wise veteran Man-At-Arms, Lady of War
Teela, and the bumbling comic relief sorcerer Orko, He-Man battles the forces of Skeletor and other evil enemies.
Of note is that Paul Dini
was a member of the writing staff (as was J. Michael Straczynski
), and Bruce Timm
did layouts; both would later go on to be main figures in Tiny Toon Adventures
and Batman: The Animated Series
. (Also of note: Haim Saban and Shuki Levy were involved in the original production of the show as well, also going on to make a surprisingly long-lived children's franchise
The show left syndication and was shown on the USA Network
, which back then was known for being the "used car" network for its reliance on reruns.
There are two further
animated adaptations of the franchise, both of which were short-lived.She Ra Princess Of Power
was a Spin-Off
, although it wasn't quite as successful.
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