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Case Number 10599

Buy The New Adventures Of He-Man: Volume 1 at Amazon

The New Adventures Of He-Man: Volume 1

BCI Eclipse // 1990 // 720 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 10th, 2007

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All Rise...

There's an episode in this set titled "Glastnost Schmaznost." Judge David Johnson thinks that's just stupid.

Editor's Note

Our review of The New Adventures Of He-Man: Volume 2, published April 25th, 2007, is also available.

The Charge

Uh, whose idea was this?

Opening Statement

In 1990, He-Man was brought back into the public consciousness with this revamped cartoon series, ripping the beloved, moralizing Alpha Male from Eternia and sending him to the future, essentially launching the character into space. So how does Space He-Man work? Err…

Facts of the Case

So, here's the story. After apparently cleansing Eternia of all evil, He-Man/Prince Adam is summoned to the planet Primus, which is threatened by space mutants led by an a-hole named Flogg. Sadly, Primus only has some goofy-looking dwarf people and a short wizard with a dope flattop to fend off the invaders, so Master Sebrian, the male version of the Sorceress, travels back in time and convinces He-Man to join the fight.

Being the Boy Scout he is, He-Man agrees, quickly reveals his secret identity to his clueless parents, then leaves forever to tackle the mutant threat. Little does he know, there's a tag-along: Skeletor!

Disc One
• "A New Beginning"
• "Quest for the Crystals"
• "The Heat"
• "Attack on Onnor"
• "The Ultimate Challenge"
• "Sword and Staff"
• "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword…or is It?"

Disc Two
• "Glastnost Schmaznost"
• "The Youngest Hero"
• "The Festival of Lights"
• "The Gift"
• "Skeletor's Victory"
• "He-Man in Exile"
• "The Seeds of Resistance"

Disc Three
• "The Battle for Levitan"
• "Crack in the World"
• "Escape from Gaolotia"
• "He-Man Mutant"
• "Juggernaut"
• "Fading Star"
• "Skeletor's Revenge"

Disc Four
• "The Minds Lens"
• "Adam's Adventure"
• "Collision Course"
• "Planet of Junk"
• "Sanctuary"
• "Council of Clones"

Disc Five
• "Cold Freeze"
• "He-Caz"
• "Slaves to the Machine"
• "The Galactic Guardians"
• "The Siege of Serus"
• "The Children's Planet"

The Evidence

Here's the deal with He-Man. The original Masters of the Universe was unabashedly cheesy, but the combination of nostalgia and ridiculous creativity made the experience enjoyable, even 20-odd years later. And the BCI Eclipse treatments of the DVDs were nothing short of astounding.

But this cartoon sucks. Even setting aside that it barely resembles the original, save for the retainer of a few characters who in turn barely resemble the originals, The New Adventures of He-Man is just a lame series anyway. None of the charm has been left intact and the plots and characters are nonsensical cutouts, merely conveyances for Mattel to sell toys. Let's take a peek at some of the elements of this series…

• He-Man
The new He-Man is not as muscle-bound as the previous iteration and his crime-fighting spandex uniform leaves more to the imagination than his predecessor's ongoing commercial for Jockey shorts. But where's Battlecat?

• Prince Adam
Not nearly the wuss he was in the original series, but this Prince Adam looks less like royalty and more like an extra from The Ten Commandments.

• Skeletor
Yeah, Skeletor was a whiny little prick, but the producers of this series seriously screwed him up this go-round. For the first few episodes, Skeletor boasts some weird-looking eyeballs and distinctly un-skeletal face. He is easily the most un-sinister bad guy in the history of kids shows. "Chairy" from Pee Wee's Playhouse poses more of a threat than this clown.

• The Supporting Cast
Ram-Man and Fisto weren't exactly awe-inspiring, but He-Man's back-up in this series is just as weak. There's a guy named Hydron who constantly wears a scuba mask and another dude with two torsos and a bunch of cast-offs from David the Gnome.

The stories themselves are headache-inducing fare, built mostly around the creation of new characters and the subsequent generation of Kaybee profits, though a few stand out: "He-Man Mutant" was OK, as the bug guy got his groove on as wigged-out Incredible Hulk rip-off, and "He-Man in Exile" has a nifty Red Dawn thing going. Pretty much everything else—no thanks.

This is still a great-looking set, though not as lovingly crafted as the original He-Man boxes. The video quality ranges from "ass" to "not-so-much-ass," as episodes are wildly inconsistent in their appearance; one show may look sharp and detailed and another will make it seem like someone coated your TV with the glaze they put on donuts. Two extras of note are the documentaries, "Creating The New Adventures of He-Man" and "The Comic Book Adventures of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe." Both are well done and feature an impressive number of nerds. Brining up the rear are character, creature and artifact profiles, trivia, an art gallery, DVD-ROM scripts and pointless commercial bumpers.

Closing Statement

This set is the very definition of "lipstick on a pig"; a quality DVD presentation of a forgettable cartoon series.

The Verdict

Skeletor is to have his goofy new eyeballs gouged out.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 70
Audio: 75
Extras: 85
Acting: 70
Story: 60
Judgment: 67

Perp Profile

Studio: BCI Eclipse
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
• None
Running Time: 720 Minutes
Release Year: 1990
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• All Ages
• Animation
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• "Creating the New Adventures of He-Man"
• "The Comic Book Adventures of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe"
• Two Collectible Art Cards
• Art Gallery
• 50 Profiles of Characters, Creatures and Artifacts
• Trivia
• DVD-ROM Scripts
• Commercial Bumpers
• Previews


• IMDb
• He-Man.org

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