People of a certain age, mostly men, will at this moment have an echoed voice-over looping in their head that ends with the thunderous line, “I HAVE THE POWER!!!”. Definitive Films, who have previously produced nerd-loving documentary films Turtle Power and Nintendo Quest, have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring us the full story of the famous cartoon of the 1980’s, it’s sequels and spinoffs and, of course, the merchandise.
Debuting in 1983 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was perfect after-school viewing and very much of its time. He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe, battles Skeletor and his evil forces, defending the planet Eternia week in, week out. When not fighting his skulled adversary, who seemingly lived just round the corner, He-Man was Prince Adam, Eternia royalty and possessor of a very bad haircut. But once he held aloft his magic sword and bellowed those famous lines, he transformed into He-Man. Who looked just like Prince Adam, only wearing fury underwear. With trusty sidekicks Man-At-Arms, Teela, Orko and his faithful ride Battlecat, He-Man saved the day in 20 minutes flat, much to the delight of his enraptured audience.
As is the way with the shows one remembers most fondly, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe had a very short run. There were only two seasons but at 65 – 65! – episodes each, that’s an awful lot of fighting between a half-naked man and a skeleton. A spin-off starring Prince Adam’s cousin, She-Ra: Princess of Power, ran for three seasons but fewer episodes and was the exact same story, only with a girl. Who said the 80’s were sexist? No boys ever admitted to watching She-Ra but all did; She-Ra wore a very short dress and was hot.
This could be a lot of fun. From the makers:
“POWER OF GRAYSKULL” will be the greatest, most DEFINITIVE documentary on everything He-Man, Masters of the Universe and She-Ra, featuring interviews with writers, designers, artists, sculptors, show-runners, decision-makers and more. This feature documentary will delve into the toys, comics, cartoons, and movies from all eras by talking to the people who helped make it a reality, co-directed by lifelong Masters of the Universe fan Rob McCallum (“Nintendo Quest”), and pop culture junkie Randall Lobb (“Turtle Power”)
By the time of its arrival in 1983, TV and film merchandising was way past it’s infancy, but Mattel, who teamed with the Filmation series, really went all out and produced huge amounts of the stuff, most of which was hoovered up by the young fans. With this much interest, a big screen version was inevitable and Masters of the Universe hit our screens in 1987. With Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella doing his best Skeletor, the makers thought it a good idea to leave Eternia and everything that fans of the cartoon loved and were expecting and instead plopped our heroes and villains on present-day Earth. In a word, it was crap. And it did what Skeletor could never do and pretty much finished He-Man off.
If the Kickstarter campaign hits its targets, expect Power of Grayskull in early 2017. Click on the link below to see the pitch and donate if you want. You have the power.