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

 
(i)

 

By the power of great messages, this one still entertains.
Emmy

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show is meant to entertain, but there are some good messages about heroism and fighting for a good cause. 

Positive messages

Kids see a power struggle in which good and evil are well defined, and the heroes' actions are always upstanding and just. Teamwork is a recurring theme, and the characters take pride in fighting the good fight for their community. Violence is usually a means to an end. Prince Adam is forced to keep his alter ego a secret from his friends and family, but it's for good reason. 

Positive role models

Bad guys will always be bad guys, and they lie, cheat, and trick their way to power. But on the Masters side, there's a lot to like in team members who put others' needs before their own and show courage and perseverance in the face of danger. He-Man, in particular, lives by a strong moral code that leads him to embrace his destiny and fight for justice. 

Violence & scariness

Lots of lengthy clashes between the two sides, with some weapons and a lot of impact. Most of the characters have unique powers they bring to the battlefield, from super strength to sorcery to appendages that can transform into weapons. There's some brief peril during which the fate of certain characters is uncertain, but everyone usually escapes the mayhem unscathed. 

Sexy stuff

Nothing sexual, but the female warriors wear some skimpy, clingy outfits that show off their curves, and He-Man's physique is exaggerated.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

He-Man and his costars were familiar faces on products during the show's original run. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) is an Emmy Award-winning reboot of the classic early-'80s series with modern (for the times) animation, but much the same story as the original. Battle scenes are flashy and drawn out, and weapons are used during many of them, but visible injuries are rare and peril is short-lived. Strong messages about friendship, teamwork, and valuing justice are prominent throughout the stories, and the heroes fight for the safety of Eternia's residents rather than for their own glory. With an assortment of interesting characters and plenty of action, this series boasts well-rounded entertainment. 

What's the story?

HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2002) tells the story of Adam (voiced by Cam Clarke), the carefree prince of Eternia whose destiny changes when evil threatens the safety of his peaceful province. Many years ago, an epic battle between Adam's father, King Randor (Michael Donovan), and his nemesis, Keldor, ended with the latter's exile and Randor's coronation. Now Keldor returns as Skeletor (Brian Dobson) to seize control of Eternia, but the Sorceress (Nicole Oliver) endows Adam with the legendary powers of Castle Greyskull, transforming him into the mighty He-Man. Together with his trusty companion, Battle Cat, and his magician friend, Orko (Gabe Khouth), He-Man must lead the Masters of the Universe against Skeletor's forces for the sake of Eternia.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The popularity of the original '80s series inspired multiple reincarnations of He-Man and his brothers (and sister) in arms. For those who have seen the first, this story will sound very familiar, with only minor alterations in some new characters and events. Of course, a more modern animation style lends itself to more exciting battle scenes and less vintage-looking characters, which is a big help in selling it on today's kids.

Happily what hasn't changed in the 20-year lapse between the original series and this one is its focus on strong character and fighting the good fight. Skeletor's motives are always evil and power-hungry, but exactly the opposite is true of the Masters, who fight as a team and never seek out individual glory. Nowhere is this more evident than it is in Adam, who keeps his true identity secret from nearly everyone around him and thus receives no accolades for his bravado as He-Man. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about courage. Are the characters in this show ever afraid? From where do they draw their courage? What makes you feel strong when you're facing a difficult challenge?

  • Kids: What are some qualities of a strong team? How should a good leader act? When you're part of a team, which role do you play? 

  • It is easy to decipher between good and evil in this show's characters. How is it more difficult to do so in real life? Have your kids ever encountered a bully? What are some tactics for dealing with bullying behavior?

TV details

Cast:Cam Clarke, Michael Donovan, Brian Dobson
Network:Online
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Great boy role models
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD, Streaming
Award:Emmy

This review of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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