Parents' Guide to

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

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

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

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

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 8+

Orko The Gre-Neglected

I'm absolutely against this reboot of He Man. Why? Because of the way they treat Orko in this one. In the episodes he does appear, it's great, but in the episodes he does not just really isn't He Man without Orko. Luckily, Orko's living a better life now thanks to my creative imagination. Next time you watch He Man, instead of turning your kids away from it, encourage them to give Orko a better life in their own words. Until next time...or else!
age 4+

It's pretty good

Considering how terrible reboots generally are, this one works pretty well. It's clear they actually wanted to expand the story, go deep into lore and backstories. The only caveat to this is that it's clear they wanted to go so deep and darker that it ended up looking kinda edgy. Pros: - Deep Lore - The designs are more in depth and cool looking than the 80's show - They managed to make some of the more ridiculous characters more serious. - Better animation. Cons: - Lacks the 80's charm - Skeletor now has a super complicated backstory, which some people like, but if you just liked him being a petty evil skeleton, you're not going to like this. - A lot of the episodes just kind of drag on. If your kid can't get into the heavy dialogue scenes they're going to be really lost and/or bored. - Orko's voice can get really annoying - The problem is it uses the same tropes as the 80's, but since it's more serious and trying to be thought out, it ends up just making otherwise passable offences worse. IE: Only He-Man ever gets to save the day, literally everyone else is ultimately useless despite informed ability. - Everything is shaded in sepia. This was a bad decision. Also, they clearly had no idea what to do with some of the source material. Orko and Cringer are the most jarring and obvious examples of this. Cringer no longer talks, he just makes stock cat noises and somehow Battle Cat also falls into the "has to be less skilled than He-Man" zone. He fights alright on his own but usually he either doesn't do much (if anything) or gets taken out of commission. Orko barely even shows up at all anymore, most episodes have him just appear in one or two scenes for a joke or to act as a prop for other characters to talk to. Actually I think there was an episode where he literally showed up in a single panning shot while being missing from every other moment in the episode. It wasn't even an establishing shot, it was in the middle of the scene. This also makes the parts where he DOES do something incredibly forced. In one episode, it is established he is afraid of dragons. Then he casually shows up to watch some dragon/mechadragon duel for the sake of just happening to be there when the plot needs him later. At least it would have made sense in the 80's show, since he usually tagged along on most adventures anyway. This show mostly confines him to the immediate area of the Palace. They try giving him a character arc on at least three or four different occasions, yet all of them just kind of fizzle out even before the next episode. The most frustrating example is Second Skin, where Orko finally does something of use (even if it ultimately amounted to just "distracting a guy" and "stating the obvious"). So, the end of the episode, Orko goes into a ramble about trying to predict what the snakemen are trying to do next. Okay, good starting point. What will he do to help out from here? Apparently, nothing. Orko literally does not even appear for the rest of the season, and ultimately, the series. Why have you done this, MYP? I believe the show would have been better if it had gotten a third season. It unfortunately was cancelled due to low toy sales. It was a good show. Please excuse the rant. I just really like Orko and wish they treated him better.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

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.

TV Details

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