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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that She-Ra and the Princesses of Power revamps the titular character first introduced to viewers in the '80s series She-Ra: Princess of Power. The story has lots of images of girl power, from She-Ra herself to her many strong female compatriots. Women really do dominate on both sides of the good/evil divide, and She-Ra and her Etherian friends model courage, determination, and adherence to a strong sense of justice. While the Horde soldiers are inspired by power and driven by manipulation, She-Ra and her friends fight for peace. Expect battle scenes that show unarmed characters being hurt by explosions or laser blasts, suggesting that some are killed.
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What's the story?
SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER opens as Adora (voiced by Aimee Carrero) and her best friend, Catra (AJ Michalka), prepare for their first opportunity at real battle experience after spending most of their life training for the Horde's retaliation against a local insurgence. But a chance encounter with rebels Glimmer (Karen Fukuhara) and Bow (Marcus Scribner) leads Adora to a magical sword that reveals her true identity as She-Ra, a lost princess and the only hope for the planet Etheria's freedom from the Evil Horde. Faced with a difficult choice between the life she's always known and the destiny that awaits her, Adora joins the rebellion to fight against Catra and the rest of the Horde's army to free Etheria from its grasp.
Is it any good?
The female heroine of '80s cartoons makes a comeback in this reboot, bringing her story of personal destiny and the good fight to a new generation of viewers. Here she is untethered to a male origin story, as there's no mention of her legendary twin brother, Adam/He-Man, leaving Adora alone in the spotlight. Much as she doesn't want to be the heroine Etherians believe her to be, she steps up to the role for the sake of justice and embraces the duties of her new purpose.
Adora is an excellent female role model, thanks to her courage and physical strength and her impressive problem-solving and leadership skills. Her willingness to reconsider her own beliefs when faced with new truths and to stand up to her friends' pressure bodes well for what kids will take away from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. As the Etherians fight for honesty and freedom in the face of danger, they remind viewers that some things are worth big sacrifices.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes a character a hero. Are all TV heroes good all the time? If not, how does seeing their frailty influence your admiration of them? Does She-Ra have any shortcomings? In what ways does she work on them?
How does it feel to be forced to choose between your friends and what you know to be right? Have you ever made a decision like this that you have regretted? How do people use peer pressure to manipulate others?
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