The Saturday Supercast is back this week with our 3rd cartoon deconstruction episode. This episode is part one of a two part discussion on the landmark 80s cartoon series He-Man and the Masters of the universe. Join me and my co-hosts, Jerzy Drozd and Kevin Cross as we dig into the He-Man cartoon, trying to figure out why we like it so much, what could be better, and why the show was so important to an entire decade of animation that followed in it’s wake.
For those who may not know, He-Man and his friends, the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms, Teela, Ram Man, Orko, and Stratos wage an endless battle defending Castle Greyskull and the planet Eternia against Skeletor and his evil warriors, Beastman, Evil-Lyn, Trap Jaw, Merman, and Triklops, who want to conquer and rule the world. The series, produced by Filmation Studios in 1983, was a landmark cartoon mixing fantasy and science-fiction, reinvigorating children’s television with a sense of action and adventure, as well as helping to instill a solid sense of morality for an entire generation of kids. Masters of the Universe was also one of the first series to break through the governmental ban on interweaving existing toy lines and cartoons, not to mention paving the way for first-run syndicated animation, defining the distribution format for shows through the 80s and 90s.
In this episode we touch on a lot of the talent that made He-Man possible including series producers Lou Schiemer (who also voiced half of the cast of characters including Orko and Stratos) and Hal Sutherland, voice actors John Erwin (He-Man and Beastman), Alan Openheimer (Skeletor and Man-At-Arms), and Linda Gary (Teela, the Sorceress and Evil-Lyn), and some of the writers, directors and artists such as Paul Dini, Larry DiTillio, Tom Sito, Bruce Timm, Robby London, and Michael Reaves.
We also discuss the Masters of the Universe toy line, it’s inventor Roger Sweet, and its packaging, as well as Star Wars, Clash of the Titans, and Space 1999 toys, getting toys when you’re home sick as a kid, Jack Kirby’s 4th World, the MOTU mini-comics, rotoscoped animation, Barbarian fantasies in the early 80s (including Thundarr and Conan), the 2002 Mike Young Productions He-Man cartoon, how easy and boring it is to make fun of the He-Man cartoon, alter egos and how Prince Adam is an important aspect to the ideal of the He-Man mythos, the myth of Robert Johnson and his fight against the devil, Andy Mangel’s excellent special features on the BCI Eclipse editions of the original He-Man cartoon on DVD, and our friends at the Horror Etc. podcast.
If you’re curious about watching this great series you can purchase a copy of season 1-part 1, or season 1-part 2 at Amazon, or head on over to Hulu where you can watch 13 of the 1st season episodes for free.
…and well I’m Shawn obviously, and if you’re reading this than I guess you know my work can be found at Branded in the 80s.com.
We’re keeping the podcast’s feed over at the Sugary Serials site, so if you want to subscribe to it, you can do it over there or you can use this link. I’m really excited to be podcasting again, and can’t wait to dig into more cartoons. So head on over to the Sugary Serials and check out episode 21 of the Saturday Supercast today or you can download it by right clicking and selecting save here!
If you have any questions, comments, or heck, even complaints, you can drop us a line at Saturday Supercast!