I recently got ahold of an old He-Man video cassette
just for nostalgia
's sake. I was amazed at some of the stuff I remembered
I found myself singing along with the music. I knew every note by heart!
Strangely, I found myself remembering other things. In particular, I remembered specific sequences of animation. It's difficult to describe, but in their efforts to cut corners, the animators reused TONS of material. If there was a book on a shelf that needed to be read, He-Man would walk up to the "camera", look skyward, and reach up off-screen with his right hand. If there was some toy of Skeletor's that needed a good throwing, He-Man would... walk up to the camera, look skyward, and reach up off-screen with his right hand. The same damn sequence, vomited back at me sometimes 3 different times in one half -hour!
There's more! Maybe you die-hard fans will remember the way that He-Man, when he needed to get somewhere fast, would look off to the side, squat down ever-so slightly, and then take off running. He'd do it exactly the same way every time!
I'm not going to persecute the animators for taking shortcuts like this. I'm sure they had their own reasons. He-Man was one of my favorite cartoons, right up there with Scooby Doo, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I'm just amazed that, as a kid, I never noticed these things.
Another thing you'll notice if you watch those old episodes is that there's almost completely no violence. I'm just kind of used to the dark, gritty, modern cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series and most anime. Going back and watching this makes me realize just how tame the media was back in the 80's. He-Man usually won through strategic dodging or by tying stuff up, or, if you're really lucky, He-Man will reason things out in a friendly, logical manner with the Giant Lava Beast from Another Dimension by telling it that it wasn't nice to betray your friends. There were a plethora of freeze-beams and magic ropes and transformation spells. Very rarely (if ever) did any of the characters actually strike each other. Of course, blood is completely out of the question.
And, of course, Skeletor always got away in the end, and the characters never seemed to feel bad about being right back where they started. At least they had learned enough to make a goofy public service announcement at the end of the episode.
Teila: "In today's episode, I disobeyed my father, Man at Arms, and I got into some big trouble! In real life, if YOU disobey your parents, YOU can get it big trouble, too! Remember to always do what your parents say, because they're older and know what's best for you, because they love you. Isn't that right, father?"
Man at Arms: "You bet it is, Teila!"
Fade out, cue theme music and credits.