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She-Ra - Princess of Power: Season One, Vol. 2 [Import]
Princess Adora raises her magic sword and becomes She-Ra the most powerful woman in the universe to aid her friends in defeating the Evil Horde so their planet Etheria can be free.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: TELEVISION/SERIES & SEQUELS UPC: 787364723898
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I highly recommend purchasing it,great morals and values great for young children and for collector's of classic tv series.
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When I sat down and started watching She-Ra recently, I was immediately struck by how wrong I was, and it's made for a lot of fun recent cartoon watching. If you haven't seen it, the show is a spin-off of He-Man that deals with the land of Etheria (which I think is actually a planet, though like Erternia in He-Man that's confounded me for years) and its inhabitants battling to get free of Hordak and his evil Horde (a mixture of He-Man-esque villains and stormtrooper-like robot things) who rule over the world. As you find out in the five-episode movie, the Secret of the Sword, which kicked off the first Vol. of DVDs (also available on the Best Of She-Ra set), one of Hordak's minions Adora (who was Captain of the Horde Troopers) is actually the long lost twin sister of Prince Adam, aka He-Man, who helps to free her of the magical hold that Hordak (via another minion Shadow Weaver) has on her. Adam brought a special sword (the Sword of Protection) for Adora, which like his Sword of Power has the ability with the power of Greyskull to transform her into the mighty She-Ra. Adora then bands together with a rag tag group of rebels to help build a rebellion against Hordak like so many Star Wars movie cliches.
This for me, is actually what sets She-Ra apart from He-Man and most of the cartoons of the 80's in that the heroes are coming from the losing side against an evil that has for all intents and purposes already succeeded in it's goal of world domination. Typically it's always the other way around in cartoons, so to have the balance of power shifted is pretty interesting. I also really dig the oppressing technology-minded world of the Horde, which is destroying all that's good and natural in Etheria. It ends up feeling very Matrix like in this respect. The landscapes and backgrounds are a hell of a lot more interesting with disturbing hidden words like 'obey' and 'evil' in the various bits of machinery and stuff. It makes for an over all darker show and the motivations of the characters end up being a little more relatable.
Of course being an 80's cartoon, the show does suffer from a ton of stereotypes. It's truly a mirror image of the He-Man cartoon with a cast of mostly female characters, Princess Glimmer, Queen Angella, Frosta and Madame Razz (who is the equivalent of Orko) and only one guy, Bow (the bizzaro version of Teela) as well as Spirit, Adora's horse who turns into Swift Wind the winged unicorn ala Cringer to Battle Cat when Adors becomes She-Ra. To sort of cement it as a "girl's show" there are some very Disney-esque talking animals/animated-inanimate objects with the addition of Kowl, a weird creature that's some sort of cross between an owl, a flying squirrel and a box of crayons as well as Broom, Madame Razz's sidekick that is what it's name suggests. The names of the places are all very "girly" as well, what with the Whispering Woods and the Crystal Castle (which has a gate keeper named Lighthope that's one of four people to know Adora's secret of being She-Ra (filled out by Kowl, Madame Razz & Broom.) Well I guess there are actually six people who know seeing as He-Man and the Sorceress also know. Damn it, there's also Sprit/Swift Wind, and I'm sure Cringer/Battle Cat, Man-At-Arms, and Orko all know seeing as Prince Adam confides in them as well. Fine, everybody probably knows. Secrets schmeecrets. Anyway, I think these 80's stereotypes actually help to accentuate the show from a nostalgia prospective.
The show has also been fun to watch for its variations on common 80's cartoon conventions, for instance the moral at the end of the show. In every episode of She-Ra there is a character named Loo-Kee (which I think is sort of named for Loki the Norse god of mischief) who is hiding somewhere in one of the backgrounds and at the end of the show he pops up to let you know where he was and to help you with the moral for the show. I thought was pretty ingenious as kids will be more likely to listen to what he's saying because they spent the last half hour subconsciously trying to find him. The Show is also a great example of how you don't need to stick to stereotypes to market a cartoon. Though it's obviously for girls, it's more or less a carbon copy of He-Man, which is stereotypically for boys and proves that both boys and girls can like the same things and don't have to be separated. It's surely a show that set up the groundwork for action shows like Justice League and Teen Titans that are marketed to both boys and girls.
I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record with this, but once again this DVD set was released by BCI Eclipse, under their Ink & Paint division, which has done an amazing job with package and menu design, presentation of the content, not to mention a bunch of fun special features. There's a new installment of the behind the scenes documentary series by Andy Mangels, which ran through the entire He-Man series of DVDs and just as interesting and informative, as well as games, character profiles and some commentaries. All in all, with 33 episodes, the worthwhile extras, and the beautiful packaging, for around $30 you definitely get your money's worth with this set.
To begin, this 6-disc collection contains the final 33 episodes of the debut (1985) season. The show is structured very similarly to its He-Man counterpart with a bit more emphasis on fantasy over science. While the cast of characters closely mimics a reverse-sexed He-Man lineup (female leads & male supporting cast this time), rather than hover cars and battle tanks, the She-Ra heroes ride horseback. Interestingly, the show's writers have admitted that there was a subtle environmentalist theme occurring within the show's message: In that the heroes (the Great Rebellion) were naturalists who lived off the land while the Horde used their technology to trash the beauty of Etheria. In fact the Fright Zone itself often appeared as an industrially inspired factory surrounded by thick smog.
Politics aside, the writing of the second half of the first season was quite consistent with the level of quality achieved in the first half; which is to say quite on par with some of the better moments of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe run. In fact a majority of the writers for She-Ra came over directly from their He-Man assignments. Also like before, the color pallet and animation quality itself actually surpasses that of the He-Man series on account of the fact that She-Ra was granted a higher budget to work with (and as the creative staff admitted on the included documentary, by this point in time Filmation was operating as a well-oiled machine).
Once again we are given several He-Man/ She-Ra crossover episodes throughout the 6-disc set which while well done, in my opinion often slowed down She-Ra's solo momentum. However, some of the highlights of this volume include the introduction to the interesting alien "Rock People" and a really solid episode called Huntara in which She-Ra finally meets her potential physical match. My only compliant is that despite such a massive supporting cast to work with, the show's writers were still pretty stingy with who we meet in our travels. Characters like Frosta, Mermista, Perfuma, even Queen Angella, are used in extreme moderation. However, Adora's love interest (Sea Hawk) makes a return with a few surprises to boot and Glimmer's family tree expands in one of the episodes.
From the surprise file- The odd little character who "hides" in every episode, Loo-Kee, is actually the hero of a single episode in this set (Loo-Kee Lends a Hand) and in the episode Magicats, it is revealed that these characters were developed as a back-door pilot for a potential spin-off series that never actually developed. A shame too as they had potential.
Like always the case, BCI's packaging and presentation are the benchmark of the animation industry. The exterior packaging and inner-sleeve artwork is spectacular as are the disc labels themselves. Once again BCI takes the backseat to no one when it comes to special features. Included here are the following:
English & Spanish Audio Tracks for all 32 episodes. "The Stories of She-Ra, Princess of Power, Part II" - Interviews with Producers, Writers, Directors and Experts, specifically commenting on episodes 33-65 of Season 1. Audio Commentary for Episode 39 "Intro the Dark Dimension" with writer J. Michael Straczynski, and Episode 45 "Huntara", with executive producer Lou Scheimer and creator/writer Larry DiTillio, both moderated by Andy Mangels. Full Length Animated Storyboard-with interactive Episode Comparison for Episode 45 "Huntara" with optional Audio commentary. 50 Character Profiles, Fun Facts and Trivia, Image Galleries, DVD-ROM scripts for episodes:
And of course a pair of 2 collectible 4" x 6" exclusive She-Ra Season 1 Vol. 2 art cards by acclaimed comic book artists.
This excellent compilation contains the following 33 episodes which complete the first season of She Ra: Princess of Power.
A Talent for Trouble
Gateway to Trouble
The Unicorn King
The Anxious Apprentice
Into the Dark Dimension
Treasure of the First Ones
Enemy With My Face
Welcome Back, Kowl
The Rock People
Micah of Bright Moon
The Price of Power
Birds of a Feather
For Want of a Horse
Just Like Me
My Friend, My Enemy
The Light of the Crystal
Loo-Kee Lends a Hand
Of Shadows and Skulls
Anchors Aloft Part 1
Anchors Aloft Part 2
Darksmoke and Fire
Flowers for Hordak
The Greatest Magic
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