She-Ra: Princess of Power - 25th Anniversary
by Jef Burnham
Available on September 28, 2010 from Classic Media.
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Classic Media and Mattel are joining forces to take you back to 1985, when Saturday morning cartoons were still animated in America, and rotoscoping and recycled animation were what cartoons were all about. In honor of the 25th Anniversary of She-Ra: Princess of Power, for the first time ever, the complete, 93-episode Filmation series will be available on DVD in a 10-disc box set! Concurrently, Classic Media will also be releasing She-Ra in installments, beginning with the 20-episode set of Season 1, Volume 1, also available on September 28.
In She-Ra, Princess Adora (the twin sister of He-Man himself!) possesses a magical sword called the “Sword of Protection,” which allows her to transform in She-Ra in order to lead the Great Rebellion against Hordak and his Evil Horde in a never-ending battle for the fate of the planet Etheria. If it sounds kind of chintzy, well, that’s because it kind of is. But what can you say? It’s a spin-off of a series based on a line of action figures, used to promote its own line of action figures. It’s all about the merchandise! As such, the individual episodes’ storylines lean toward the thin, and the characters’ actions, rather than being motivated by any sort of logical characterization, are determined by prescribed sets of gimmicks (such as the witch who inevitably says the wrong word at the end of her spells, thereby placing her comrades in great danger). Perhaps then, only those who grew up watching He-Man and She-Ra need apply. However, if you’re a child of the 1980s like myself, expect to find dangerously high levels of nostalgia within.
Classic Media’s transfer of She-Ra is superb. I cannot recommend enough watching it upconverted, because it really highlights how beautiful the work put out by Filmation was, even with their necessarily cut corners.
As for special features, there aren’t any, sadly. The Complete Series does come with stickers, an iron-on and an episode guide, but those opting for the immediately cheaper purchase of Season 1 Volume 1 will have to do without. (They’ll also have to occasionally do without the second “s” in Princess of Power, as the copy of S1V1 I have in front of me reads, She-Ra: Princes of Power on the back cover and the insert.)
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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