A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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