Saturday Supercast Episode 21: Deconstructing He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!


By Shawn Robare




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.


Join us as we deconstruct the overall series, and dive into three of our favorite episodes:


The Diamond Ray of Disappearance





Teela’s Quest




and The Wizard of Stone Mountain




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.


As for us, well you can find more of Jerzy’s work at:

Make Like a Tree Comics

jdrozd.blogspot.com

Art & Story Podcast


Kevin is freelance illustrator, comic creator, and podcaster whose work can be found at:

Kevin Cross.net

Big Illustration Party Time Podcast


…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!

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  • Paxton Holley

    Sweet! Can wait to dive into that one. Should be awesome! Luckily, 2 of the 3 episodes can be found on the Best of He-Man 2 disc set I have. The third one you list isn’t there. Surprised you didn’t include EvilSeed or Prince Adam No More. I still have to finish GI Joe. I’m loving these podcasts, btw.

  • Tom Parker

    He-Man is one of those funny pop culture artifacts that cuts right through the tail end of GenX. You either thought He-Man was the bomb or you thought it was absolutely retarded crap for kindergartners. And the dividing line, if I recall correctly, might have been as little as ONE YEAR. Seriously, I’m even going to make a call on the actual year. If you were born in 1973 or before you thought He-Man was a Smurf with muscles (you tolerated the show once in a while, but only for playground heckle material). If you were born in 1974 or later, you thought he was Conan with better weapons. I also seem to recall it was pretty passionate on both sides.

  • Tom Parker

    Tell me about it. Although that can have its own drawbacks, too. My recent attempt to re-purchase every Star Wars toy from the 70′s that I ever owned, or wanted to own, turned into a humiliating sitcom culminating in having to ask my father, of all people, to store a dozen massive tubs of MY toys so that we could once again fit the kids’ bikes in the garage. I wonder how many semesters at Stanford that double-telescoping Luke Skywalker will get me? Shit, I hope they go to state schools.

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