Thursday, September 13, 2018

Power of Grayskull: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2017)

I don’t remember a lot of specific details from my childhood.  I remember having an Atari 2600.  I even remember liking a few of the games, such as Super Breakout.  Similarly, there were things about the Commodore 64 that I recall.  I think I may still have a few of the floppies lying around somewhere.

One thing I remember is playing with the He-Man toys and watching the cartoon as a child.  I don’t really remember that much about the show other than a few details, like Prince Adam being the alter ego and his mother being from Earth.  Since Netflix has the series available streaming, I might go back and have a look at a few of the episodes.

Power of Grayskull is a documentary that covers the basic history of the franchise.  The characters were first envisioned as toys, which came with small booklets containing comics.  There wasn’t much continuity between them, but the toys were popular.  Then, came the Saturday-morning cartoon.  And a movie.  And several other cartoon series.  The franchise has been around for a while..

I felt that the documentary dragged a little in the beginning, which covered the original toys and cartoon.  Part of this is probably because I already watched The Toys That Made Us, another Netflix production.  The episode covering He-Man seemed to have a lot of the same information at a third the running time.  Power of Greyskull went into more detail, but I didn’t really feel like I learned that much more.

For instance, there were interviews with Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella, both of whom were in the live-action movie.   Other people involved with the movie also talked about why Battlecat and Orko didn’t make appearances.  It’s sort of like a sampling of DVD commentaries about different aspects of the franchise.

Someone who hasn’t seen anything about He-Man before might enjoy this.  The main advantage for me was getting to see artwork, but I don’t know if that’s going to be enough for everyone.  If you only have a passing interest in He-Man, I’d recommend watching The Toys That Made Us, instead.  You get about the same detail at a third the time.

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