I'll be up front this wasn't the greatest incarnation of He-Man but It wasn't all bad. He-Man is summoned to a different world in the future to help defeat the evil mutants and his enemy the evil skeletor follows him for some more epic battles in the world. Now the there still is the prince Adam/He-Man secret Identity happening but it's just not the same show, The Sorceress makes some appearances but for the most part with the exception of He-Man and Skeletor it's a completely new line-up of heroes and villains. These new characters aren't as strong as some the classic characters from the original and they're designs are kind cheesy, but for the most part it's still He-Man and Skeletor doing battle. It's worth a watch for all the He-man fans and as a bonus the back of the box set along with originals help create and really cool mural.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Better Than You Might ExpectMay 5 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
In the grand scheme of things, The New Adventures of He-Man is perhaps the most underrated, most misunderstood, least popular, and heavily criticized of all of the incarnations of our favorite blonde haired swordsman. BCI, in attempt to release a DVD compilation of He-Man of simply unprecedented thoroughness has not allowed the lack of hype surrounding The New Adventures to stand in the way of bringing the entire season (65 episodes) to the home market. I must confess that I somehow managed to completely overlook this show in it's original syndication broadcast (1989-1990) and didn't even realize it had existed until the DVD sets were released. Volume One consists of the first 33 episodes of the massive 65 episode season spread out across 6 discs. My mission was to delve into the series, a newcomer with no premeditated expectations to hold me back, and to determine where the New Adventures of He-Man stacks up in the animated Masters of the Universe universe.
The first five episodes of the show were its unofficial pilot and bear some physical differences from the remaining episodes that followed. Most noteworthy of these changes include a completely revamped Skeletor (which was definitely a wise move considering he looked doughy and rather silly initially) and the addition of a pony tail to He-Man's new much shorter hair do. Aside from such nuances, the core of the program and all of its characters transition smoothly from the pilot into the actual series.
That said, is the program worthy of the abuse it often receives from die-hard fans of the Filmation original? Absolutely not. In fact, The New Adventures actually contains some of the richest plot developments and most intelligent scripting of any of the three incarnations of He-Man (not counting the live-actor feature film of course). The trouble, I suspect, arises when fans of the original stumble upon the New Adventures and immediately notice that aside from the name, there is nearly no connection to the fantasy-driven roots of the original to be found. Having come into this set directly after viewing (and reviewing) the entire Filmation He-Man & She-Ra shows, indeed this transition takes some getting used to. The program looks completely different and that goes well beyond simply environments but includes characters mutual to both versions as well (He-Man, Skeletor, Sorceress, etc. are all nearly unrecognizable from their Filmation counterparts). The bright colors of the Filmation series are replaced with a more washed out pallet and the animation itself is much more action oriented (and used far less stock footage than the original relied upon). Yes folks, even He-Mans transformation routine is entirely new and much shorter. For reasons unknown, by the power of Grayskull becomes by the power of Eternia this time around as well. However once the viewer becomes accustomed to these differences, the show begins to shine in its own brilliance. In other words, it is foolhardy to attempt to compare this series to the Filmation version as it never intended to replace the universe created there. Instead this is an entirely separate concept that intended to bring the concept of He-Man to an entirely different demographic. Did Jetlag productions succeed? Without a doubt.
He-Man, in all of its incarnations, has always been great about sneaking popular culture into its plots. New Adventures keeps this tradition alive by having Skeletor lead a band of mutants in the struggle against good. In case you have been living in a cave or are too young to remember the late eighties, mutants were all the rage thanks in no small part to a quartet of ninjitsu trained shelled reptilians. Additionally Skeletor's make over moved away from the mindless heckling and turned into a very welcome impression of Jack Nicholson's rendition of the Joker from the 1988 blockbuster film, Batman. I cannot stress how much of an improvement this change alone brings to the richness of the show. While the show's creators wisely kept his sidekicks in the lower reaches of the IQ scale, the writing for the Skeletor character had been improved upon tenfold.
Also unique to the series was the anime style its Asian artists incorporated. The look, texture, and feel of the show bears more of a resemblance to earlier 1980s programs such as Voltron and Robotech than it does Filmation's take on the Mattel franchise. Then there were the plots. Long gone were the rudimentary good versus evil backbones that a majority of the Filmation episodes revolved around and in their place are much richer plot developments and more fleshed out character relationships. This is immediately apparent through the program's use of continuous (multi part) episodes that setup the framework for the entire show. Continuity is spot-on and little, out of the way details in earlier episodes are most always revisited and further explained in later ones.
The supporting cast of characters takes a little getting used to as well. Gone are the cliche staples such as Orko and Man at Arms and in their place are a host of very Japanese feeling supporters. Among these is the wise sage Master Sebrian (a cross between Yoda and Dungeon Master), the quartet of comic relief scientists whose names are all but impossible to remember (except for Gepple), two young shepard siblings, and a few robots. Fortunately the hero (Galactic Guardians) roster quickly expands and within the first few discs we find He-Man fighting along side an impressive team of superheroes that are equal parts classic fantasy meets GI Joe.
By the time I had completed my tour of this 6-disc set, I had concluded that the show's lackluster position in the He-Man hierarchy has less to do with quality animation and solid writing and much more to do with fans of the original incarnation becoming upset with just how different New Adventures was. However, BCI in their untiring attention to detail has arranged so that He-Fans no longer have to consider The New Adventures a threat to anyone's pristine memories of the Filmation version. After all, they have released both shows in their entirety for fans to enjoy. Which reminds me, the actual box set itself is typical BCI magic which, in case this is the first of my many reviews you've stumbled upon, means beautiful cover and interior art, a full color booklet, a sixth disc filled with bonus material, and a pair of collectors art cards (this time by Ed McGuinness and Bryan Hitch).
34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
A Great dvd for an excellent seriesDec 28 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
The New Adventures of He-Man is a series that has unfortunately been badmouthed a fair bit over the years, usually by people who watched one episode, decided it was too different, and branded it 'awful'. This has put the series at somewhat of a disadvantage over time, with people judging it without even watching it(and I note this has spread to amazon with two people reviewing this set before it was even released). Admittedly the character desgins are very different to the filmation versions, but if you can get past the characters differences and focus on the storytelling you should be able to appreciate this as an exciting continuation of the lives of He-Man and Skeletor.
He-Man himself is the same character, voiced by the ever excellent Gary Chalk. Skeletor is quite different to the old version, more of a comedian here, he is no longer the bumbling oaf seen towards the end of the old series. He actually manages to defeat He-Man and drive him into exile in a multi part storyline, as well as gaining some other victories(and a new costume). He's comparable to Mark Hamill's Joker from Batman: The Animated Series, and is a very well developed villain who usually steals the show when on screen.
While the old series is a classic, it was weak in many areas. Characters were often toned down and a childish tone taken, while moral messages took over the episodes, not to mention the overuse of stock footage animation and almost total lack of continuity. The New Adventures maintained a strong continuity, with multi part storylines with more depth than seen before. The animated is of a superior quality, while more anime influenced.
There are an abundance of extras as with all the BCI sets, this one featuring a documentary where the writers talk about the creation of the series, and a documentary talking about the various comics of the He-Man franchise. Overall a great set, if you come to this series with an open mind, you'll find it a good continuation of the He-Man series with a different spin and some nice throwbacks to the classic series every so often.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Something new in New AdventuresAug. 29 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I purchased the New Adventures of He-Man, Vol. 1 because I am a rabid He-Man Fan, (or He-Fan, :P) However I had tried to avoid this series because I never saw it as a child, nor did I upon attempts to watch it via Netflix or the internet, enjoy it at all.
Recently I decided that I had to fill this portion of my collection, whether I liked it or not.
After watching the series, I can still say that for someone with zero nostalgia for this show, it is still terrible in the utmost. Many of the voices are compete rubbish, the link to He-Man is basically non-existant, and the character designs are bad to inconsistant.
That being said, however, I see in this series, and specific moments of many episodes, the inkling of something great. Much of the series has strange, yet compelling music, augmenting certain scenes wonderfully. The writing, while basically terrible, is less bad in reality than execution. I can see some great stories in here. While the animators & voice actors miss the mark almost every time, if you watch it with a critical eye, the stories can be very moving, funny, or especially exciting.
The DVD set is one of two, and upon purchase of the entire He-Man series, from Filmation He-Man & She-Ra, to the 2002 Mike Young Productions version, including the first and second volume of New Adventurs there is a beautiful mural created from the spines.
As in all the BCI releases of the many Masters of the Universe dvd's, the cd's themselves are beautiful, featuring a character on each one who is a part of a mural on the inside of the collection when folded out. There are 2 original art cards, part of a complete collection spread across all of the MOTU properties, and a nice well written and useful book insert.
Ultimately I am not completely saddened about the purchase of this terrible show with a nugget of something greater. If you have a nostalgia for this show, or it's accompanying toyline, this is a beautiful first entry (followed by the second volume, must have as a set) is definately worth the buy.
If you are a Masters fan, this is not neccesarily a great buy, but for the completeist you could do worst.
Even if like me, you just kinda want to finally see that missing piece of MOTU lore, it's worth it. Sure it's substandard in many ways, but it's also supprising. It's like pulling teeth watching it at times, but it does show you enough of what people who swear by this series does exist and perhaps if these stories are utilized in the new Masters of the Universe Classics toyline, it's not such a bad thing.
It was the source matierial that was so bad: it was the execution. But it still has value.
Skip it or buy it, but be ready for something challenging and sometimes it pays off.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
OMG- Why?Dec 11 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
This is the worst cartoon I have ever seen. He-Man is summoned to the future to protect humanity from Mutants. Skeletor follows him. Nothing else of the original Masters of the Universe was kept.
The plots range from rather good (eps, 1, 6, 11-15) to just awful (pretty much everything else). Plots are generally like this. The mutants say they want peace. The humans believe them. It's all a massive deception. Skeletor has a plan that will lead He-Man away from the others. Surprise, the mutants attack. The people of Primus wonder how they were fooled. The forget this the next time. The characters are bland. The mutants are never really given personalities besides evil. We never find out why they are attacking. Do they want to kill the humans? Want the planet? Just like destruction? We never find out. The new human characters are boring. They continually whine about wanting peace and fall for the same scheme over and over again. Not to mention four scientist characters who make you wish for Orko. At least he actually did something once in a while. I found myself rooting for the villains, hoping they would murder the other characters and this horrible show would be over.
He-Man has been turned into a 1990's Chippendale model. Any personality he has in the original series has been taken away. He loses his snappy come back lines and gains even more boring. He goes on about the "power of the good and the way of the magic." WTF. This is the stupidest phrase I have ever heard. He mentions it about 30 times an episode. He does communicate with the Sorceress, but she too has come under an attack of the bland. Prince Adam on the other hand, talks with a lisp which makes him seem gayer than in the original. (If that is even possible.) He also dresses like an extra from the 10 Commandments.
Skeletor is no longer the cunning, cruel, warlord of the past. He has become a complete buffoon. With googly eyes. He seems more like the Joker than an actual overlord of destruction. I have no idea why he was used. I miss old Skeletor.
The animation has that vague anime feel that I personally dislike. The backgrounds seem washed out and dull, lacking the color and wonder of Eternia. The voice acting is bland and uninspired. The music isn't nearly as catchy as the original.
I have no idea how this was given 65 episodes. Someone was asleep, Skip it.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Not the He-Man I Thought it WasAug. 23 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
To be clear, there are actually THREE animated series involving He-Man that have graced the airwaves:
1. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-85) 2. The New Adventures of He-Man (1990) 3. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)
The first of these above has character and longevity as its a classic. Sure, the animation is shoddy, but that's part of what makes it so endearing.
This DVD sports the second show, which was completely different then its predeccessor. He-Man is on another planet, Primus, and looks very different then he did in the original show. The story lines and characters are so different from their predecessors, that you almost wouldn't recognize them at all. It just doesn't have the same appeal. I don't recommend this show at all.
The final show was a remake produced by Cartoon Network most recently. It actually had a fully developed story and quite excellent animation. This show truly paid tribute to its predeccesor and is well worth the watch. Alas, its not yet out on DVD. You'll have to wait until Jan 8, 2008 and get it then. And get it you should. Its fantastic!