Steroids were promoted as a positive thing to the youth of America in the ‘80s. Before the Clean Urine crowd ruined the fun, TV was a great place to experience bulked up entertainment. Pro-wrestlers were no longer doughboys when Hulk Hogan arrived on the scene. He told kids to take their vitamins, but that body got a little extra boost with rump injections. The biggest hit for small kids was all about muscle men with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe showing more guns than G.I. Joe. The success of this toy line that fought as an animated tattoo brought along the big question: How do we make these toys appeal to girls? Why not introduce a powerful woman into the world of Skeletor? Thus we meet He-Man’s twin sister Adora. Luckily she’s not bulked up like an East German female shot put star. She’s a sleek woman. Her messed up childhood gets transformed on She-Ra: Princess of Power – Season 1, Volume 1.
The first five episodes are a He-Man adventure. “Into Etheria” lets slip the family secret that the Sorceress of Grayskull had a girl baby stolen by Hordak. He escaped through a portal. She breaks her silence in order to get Prince Adam (He-Man’s slightly less bulked up normal self) and Cringer (the coward version of Battle Cat) to go through the portal to find his sister. His only hint about the girl is a magical sword that will react when she touches it. According to legend, the girl will become her superhero self when she holds the Sword of Protection. There’s major struggles since it turns out that Adora doesn’t know she’s been kidnapped. There’s a massive battle at the end involving Skeletor, Beast-Man, Webstor, and Kobra Khan. Not to spoil things, but She-Ra assumes her rightful role.
The next 15 episodes aren’t quite as long and complicated in storyline. There’s a cuteness to situations to create a girl oriented action show. The characters aren’t quite as muscle bound. There’s a bit more focus on girl power. They know their demographic market that they can’t get away with just recycling He-Man’s scripts. This series is also the pinnacle of Filmation’s animation department. This was a company notorious for reusing animation. They were constantly recycling the same talking heads from characters like as seen on their Star Trek adaptation. She-Ra: Princess of Power – Season 1, Volume 1 was a step up for girls who had had it with Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony. Not everyone had to be pumped up to appear grown up.
“Into Etheria,” “Beast Island,” “She-Ra Unchained,” “Reunions,”The Battle for Brightmoon ,” “The Sea Hawk,” “The Red Knight,” “The Missing Ax,” “The Prisoners of Beast Island,” “The Peril of Whispering Woods,” “The Laughing Dragon,” “King Miro’s Journey,” “Friendship,” “He Ain’t Heavy,” “Return of the Sea Hawk,” “Duel At Devlan,” “A Loss For Words,” “Horde Prime Takes a Holiday,” “Enchanted Castle” and “Three Courageous Hearts.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers look good with the dazzling colors properly captured. The audio is Dolby Digital Mono. There’s nothing to zingy about the mix. It a cartoon with lots of booms during the action scene.
She-Ra: Princess of Power – Season 1, Volume 1 gives the first 20 of the 93 episodes created for the series. The show launches with the story of how she doesn’t know she’s a superhero. It takes the intervention of He-Man to make her transform into He-Man. The episodes walk that fine line between educational and action pack as she battles wit and swords against the bad guys. This is an ‘80s series that has aged well.
Classic Media presents She-Ra: Princess of Power – Season 1, Volume 1. Starring: She-Ra, He-Man, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Webstor, and Kobra Khan. Boxset Contents: 20 Episodes on 2 DVDs. Rating: Unrated. Released on DVD: September 28, 2010.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.