She-Ra: Princess of Power

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
She-Ra: Princess of Power TV Poster Image
Strong female action hero in positive-message-packed show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The series reinforces positive social messages about responsibility, standing up for what you believe in, and fairness.

Positive Messages

Positive messages like "it is better to give than receive" are the center of storylines, and are underlined by recaps at the end of each episode.

Positive Role Models & Representations

She-Ra is presented as a freedom fighter and a person of character; she fights fairly and bravely and often tries to use reason instead of violence to defeat her opponents.

Violence & Scariness

There is conflict and battle in each episode, but She-Ra often attempts to use reason instead of physical violence, and uses methods like trapping instead of hand-to-hand combat.

Sexy Stuff

Very mild mentions of romance and marriage may occasionally occur; She-Ra's costume is rather skimpy.

Language

The bad guys on the show occasionally call each other names: "You bumbling boob!" The show's heroes are unfailingly courteous and kind to each other.

Consumerism

During its heyday two decades ago, the show was tied to an extensive merchandising line of clothing, games, toys, and accessories by Mattel, though there’s little fear (or hope) of finding them on store shelves today.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that She-Ra is one of the rare animated kids' action series with a female at the center of the story. As such, it will thrill parents hoping to show kids that girls can do anything. Those parents will also notice that many of the female characters on She-Ra are the wisest and most powerful, while males are often minor characters or villains. Each episode centers on a positive social lesson such as the benefits of generosity. Like the cartoon from which She-Ra spun off, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, the entire show was created to drive sales of Mattel action figures, a consumer link that may concern some. Unlike He-Man, the violence is toned down here and the overall level of tension is ratcheted down.

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What's the story?

Like her twin brother Adam (who turns into He-Man, Master of the Universe), Adora has a secret identity: When she lifts her sword high, she becomes SHE-RA: PRINCESS OF POWER, and the ony one who can help liberate her home planet Etheria from The Evil Horde and its leader, Hordak. With the help of her Sword of Protection, her noble unicorn Spirit (who transforms when She-Ra does into pegasus Swiftwind), bumbling magician Madame Razz, and Kowl, a part owl/part koala creature, She-Ra defeats the members of the Evil Horde one by one, always upholding the honor of her family.

Is it any good?

Less violent than its sister show, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra, Princess of Power is like Lord of the Rings-lite for little girls. It has a bunch of magic stuff that little girls often like (unicorns! rainbow-colored creatures! sparkling wands and crowns!), plus a women-are-powerful message wrapped in classic fantasy elements. She-Ra's storylines are surprisingly compelling; they build from show to show, so even though She-Ra has an "enemy of the week" who gets defeated by the end of each episode, characters do grow and change over the life of the series.

The animation is also pretty decent; not nearly as cheap as some other '80s shows, and the voice work, music, and sound effects is dramatic and realistic. You could really do worse with a superhero-style cartoon aimed at girls, particularly considering that this is a show made entirely to sell Mattel action figures.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the fact that He-Man fights for the power of Greyskull, while She-Ra fights for its honor. What does that say about men and women? Can women be powerful? Can men be honorable?

  • Why does Hordak want to rule She-Ra's home planet, Etheria? Does being in charge make people happy? Why or why not?

  • She-Ra is Adora's secret identity. Do you have a secret identity? Do you wish you could show your secret identity to the world? What would happen if you did?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fantasy and sci-fi

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