You know who also rides a talking, flying unicorn? Judge David Johnson! Well, once.
"Aren't the stars romantic, He-Man?"
The final installment of Ink and Paint's wondrous release of the He-Man and She-Ra Filmation universe is unsheathed, and like its brethren, this six-disc set is an impressive piece of fan engineering.
Facts of the Case
Back on the magical world of Etheria, things are pretty much what you'd expect. Hordak is still running around with his Horde Troopers, pissing everybody off, Princess Adora continues to lead the resistance through her secret and super-powerful and incredibly leggy alter-ego She-Ra and Bow relentlessly emasculates himself with his dainty little porn-star mustache and that torso-cape with the heart on it.
Twenty-eight episodes from season two, over five discs:
Once more dear friends, let us go into the world of '80s animated nostalgia. And while we're at it, how about a big hand for Ink and Paint, which sets the standard for what lovingly-crafted DVD release set of old school animation should look like. She-Ra Season 2 is the final piece in the mega-puzzle that included sets of the original He-Man and the unremarkable New Adventures of He-Man.
This final season of She-Ra sports all the attributes I've come to expect from Filmation productions: corny plotlines, oodles of imagination, sound moral lessons, vibrant animation and beautiful women wearing no pants. There's also a hefty amount of lunacy to be found, as that copious imagination often wanders into the realm of "I'm sorry, huh?!" For example: She-Ra telepathically communicates with an oyster, Hordak and his bastard minions violently assault a Renaissance Fair, He-Man and She-Ra team up to fling ice donuts and giant robots, She-Ra's flying unicorn, Swift Wind, knocks up another flying unicorn, Man-at-Arms makes an appearance and gets talked down to by none other than Bow (when that happens, you have to drop the word "Man" from your name) and He-Man—gasp!—rebuffs the sexual advances of a supermodel who can shoot ice out of her fingers.
We see plenty of cameos from Eternia drop by, including multiple visits from Prince Adam/He-Man, Orko (who gets his own episode), Man-at-Arms and Skeletor. Yes, Skeletor! I think every Filmation show—no, make that every animated show ever produced—should have had a Very Special Skeletor Episode, complete with idiotic plan for universe domination and constant verbal abuse of his underlings. Here, in the episode "Assault on the Hive," Skeletor decides to commandeer The Hive, a spaceship housing thousands of diminutive bee people, conscripting them into his army and conquering the universe. Has there ever been a bigger animated prick than this guy?!
Episodes feature tons of crazy characters—many introduced for the first time in their respective episodes—along with a plot device or some other wacky contrivance that gets Adora into her She-Ra gear. It's the basic Filmation playbook, and the game plan made famous in He-Man. The main differences: the series leans more toward the young girl demographic with its mermaid and flowers storylines and the animation is better. Unfortunately, don't expect any closure to the She-Ra saga as the final episode deals with the unicorn pregnancy. Then again, with how many series descriptions can you use that line?
As previously stated, Ink and Paint are money with these releases and Season upholds the expert pedigree. Episodes look great in their native full frame aspect ratio, with the colors and animation looking significantly clean. The 2.0 stereo audio is perfectly suitable. For bonus materials, you get two episode commentaries with She-Ra alumni Tom Sito and Dori Littell-Herrick ("She-Ra Makes a Promise") and Lou Scheimer, Erika Scheimer, Tom Tataranowicz and Dori Littell-Herrick ("Sweet Bee's Home"), a 25-minuted documentary ("The Stories of She-Ra, Part 3"), image galleries, trivia, two collectible art cards, tons of DVD-ROM content (scripts for all 28 episodes, model sheets and storyboards) and trailers.
If you're ambivalent to the exploits of She-Ra in the land of Etheria, you'll at least be forced to admit that these DVD sets are pretty sweet. Another winner from Ink and Paint.
Even Skeletor approves! And he's a dick!
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