Episode 038 – Valley of Power

In which He-Man learns how to fly.

We begin this week with an unnecessarily long pan through space, finally centring on Eternia, and then another unnecessarily long pan across a valley, which is the titular Valley of Power. The Valley is defended by a pterodactyl-like bird called the Mother Roe, and there is an unpleasant man who wants to steal the Mother Roe’s eggs. Luckily, He-Man stops him. The End.

Oh, you want more detail? Okay, fine. Well, Adam, Teela and Cringer are out on a trip to the Valley, in order to drink from the magical fountain at its centre, which only springs once every thousand years. Teela  encourages Adam and Cringer to drink this water, which will make them as strong and powerful as He-Man and Battle-Cat. The irony here is not lost on Adam and Cringer, who engage in an elaborate exercise in taking the piss, Cringer in particular summoning up depths of sarcasm of which I didn’t think he was capable.

Valley 1

As our heroes arrive at the spring’s location, the unpleasant man manages to steal the Mother Roe’s egg, leading the Mother Roe to attack him. Teela saves the unpleasant man from the Roe’s attack by the questionable method of tripping him up, and he introduces himself as Danavus, which is a relief, since I can now use his name and not continue to refer to him as “the unpleasant man”.

While Teela and Danavus chat about the magical spring, the Roe attacks again, leading Adam and Cringer to run off and mutate into He-Man and Battle-Cat. They are too late to prevent Teela from being carried off by the Roe, so they charge off up the mountainside to the Roe’s nest, while Danavus sits in the now-flowing spring drinking the magical water.

Valley 2

Unfortunately, the stolen egg hatches at this point, and the Baby Roe grows to full size in a matter of seconds. This is probably due to the magical powers of the spring, but it could just be because the episode is mental. Whatever the reason, Danavus proclaims that the Baby Roe is under his complete control, and proves it by using the Baby Roe to snatch He-Man and take him for a joyride through the sky.

Then I’m afraid to say the episode pauses for breath, choosing between going for the sane but dull route or whether to completely lose its mind. Needless to say, it opts for the latter. The Baby Roe drops He-Man from the sky, so He-Man grabs a couple of its feathers and, in his own words, “quickly learn[s] how to fly”. Right. Well. We’ve seen some really special moments on this show up to now, but I think this surpasses them all. Luckily, He-Man himself acknowledges that this was a stupid moment, and addresses the audience via Battle-Cat: “I wouldn’t advise anyone to try it.”

Valley 3

Not to be outdone by He-Man in the implausible acts arena, Battle-Cat reveals a hitherto unsuspected talent for talking to birds in their own language, and forms a truce with the Mother Roe, who agrees to carry to Teela to the Palace, where Danavus is now headed. Once there, Orko makes an unwelcome appearance, and he and Teela sit about on the Palace roof until He-Man and Battle-Cat arrive to take charge.

He-Man despatches Orko and Teela off to Castle Grayskull to get help. The Sorceress mixes a potion made from such infuriating ingredients as “a pinch of baby love” and “some motherly understanding”, which will revert the Baby Roe to its baby form. After a despair-inducing interlude in which Orko drinks some of the potion and briefly reverts to babyhood, Teela carries the potion back to the Palace.

Valley 4

Meanwhile, He-Man and Battle-Cat have successfully grounded Danavus and the Baby Roe. He-Man applies the antidote, which oddly doesn’t make the Baby Roe smaller but does make it more friendly. The Roes fly off happily, and Danavus claims to have learned his lesson. This doesn’t stop He-Man clapping him in handcuffs and laughing like a lunatic.

 

In today’s adventure…

He-Man offers an environmental message, reminding us how Danavus upset the natural order in the Valley of Power, and advising us to enjoy the countryside, but to leave things as we find them, so the next person can enjoy them too. It would be nice if someone had told him that last week, when he spent literally 5 minutes chopping down loads of vegetation in the Vine Jungle. But in principle, very good.

 

Characters appearing

As is evident from my review above, it’s Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Orko, the Sorceress, and Danavus who put on today’s show for us. It’s also the Mother and the Baby Roe, if you think they count.

Valley 5

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance:

To make up for previous occasions when she clearly couldn’t care less, this week Teela is incredibly concerned about Adam and Cringer’s disappearance. He-Man says, “Don’t worry, they’re all right,” which is normally more than enough to satisfy her, but she needs further reassurance about five minutes later, when He-Man reiterates the point with, “Don’t worry about Adam and Cringer, we won’t leave until we know they’re all right.”

 

Insults

He-Man refers to Danavus and the Baby Roe as the “Menace of the skies”, which is fair enough. More surprisingly, he starts sticking the knife into Battle-Cat on the return journey to the Palace, telling him that “An Eternian snail can move faster than this.” Battle-Cat is understandably not amused.

I also have a comment which may be considered insulting: what the Jesus Christ is wrong with Danavus’ teeth? He’s got way too many upper ones and no lower ones. While we’re at it, his eyes have no soul. He’s dead inside. He’s terrifying.

Valley 6

 

Does it have the Power?

As an environmentally friendly message it’s all very well, and it’s not boring for the most part. In fact, I quite appreciate it for being one of the first episodes yet to give some real character to both Cringer and Battle-Cat. Sometimes though, this cartoon strains credulity too far, even for the outlandish premise on which it’s based, and this week’s completely insane – and utterly unnecessary – sequence in which He-Man learns to fly is a case in point. The episode then briefly strays into a scene that literally no one would want to see when it makes Orko into a baby – though it steers itself out of this dreadful dead end pretty quickly. Other than these issues, it’s a reasonable outing, but I wouldn’t be hurrying to recommend it to anyone.

Episode 037 – It’s Not My Fault

In which it definitely is her fault.

This week finds Orko playing some version of tennis with a child of ambiguous gender called Pody. I’m pretty sure it’s a girl being voiced by a boy, but I’m willing to be corrected. Anyway, the game gets serious and Pody knocks the ball through the window of Man-at-Arms’ workshop. Orko wants to go and own up, but Pody has other ideas, specifically doing a runner to the Vine Jungle, the place where all infuriating children run off to, as we’ll all recall from a certain recent episode that shall remain nameless.

Orko’s natural sense of honour and justice means that he goes to take the blame himself, but since Adam had previously seen Pody playing with Orko, he quickly works out that Pody is at fault too.  Orko is sent off to fetch Pody, while Adam and Man-at-Arms have a quick reminiscing session about how Adam always used to own up to stuff, but found it scary. Cool story, guys, tell it again.

Fault 1

Well, I know this may tax credibility, but things don’t all go to plan in the Vine Jungle. Orko and Pody venture into a cave that looks super evil, and immediately find themselves captured by a selection of idiots in Viking helmets. The lead Viking introduces himself as Pody’s father’s evil friend, Raygo, and he has been skulking about in this cave for God knows how long waiting to capture Pody, who is the daughter (aha!) of Chief Merlot, the ruler of some nondescript part of Eternia, presumably the wine-producing region.

While he’s been waiting, Raygo has occupied himself building a robotic rhinoceros called Zeegon. Apparently, Zeegon will be undefeatable if the totems of Chief Merlot’s tribe, the Morphire Stones, are fitted in his eyes. Conveniently, it is impossible to remove the Morphire Stones from their Temple unless you are the daughter of Chief Merlot, so Raygo brings Orko and Pody inside the robotic rhino and drives off. Sometimes I swear this cartoon is so ridiculous it must actually be true. You couldn’t make it up.

Fault 2

At the Palace, a messenger arrives from Chief Merlot, alerting Prince Adam and Man-at-Arms to Raygo’s alarming presence in the Vine Jungle. Adam does the necessaries and becomes He-Man, after which he, Man-at-Arms and Teela pop off to find Orko and Pody. The episode was clearly running a bit short at this juncture, since we’re treated to a minute-long montage of the intrepid three cutting down plants, which is so good they show it twice on a loop.

Finding Orko’s ball outside the evil-looking cave, our heroes conclude something terrible has happened, so they go to tell Chief Merlot. Merlot explains that Raygo hates him because Raygo was supposed to be in charge of the water supply, but couldn’t be bothered to do it, and blames Merlot for this. In the course of these earth-shattering revelations, the messenger appears again to report the appearance of a giant metal beast heading for the Temple of the Morphire Stones. Sensing the opportunity to hit someone, He-Man decides to go and investigate.

Again giving the impression that there wasn’t enough story here, the next five minutes or so are given over to endless scenes of the robotic rhino knocking down vegetation, while He-Man and co. leap over chasms and so on. Once the episode actually returns to the plot, Raygo reaches the Temple and forces Pody to remove the Morphire Stones. I say “force”. What I mean is that he mildly suggests it, and she just does it, while pouting.

Fault 3

Raygo fits the Morphire Stones into the rhino’s eye sockets, seals Orko and Pody in the Temple, then drives off to commit rhino-related misdemeanours. He-Man and co. arrive minutes later and free Orko and Pody, then barrel off after Zeegon. Man-at-Arms and a nameless flunkey kill some more time by having a gratuitous light-sabre duel, while He-Man defeats the undefeatable rhino without even breaking a sweat. Raygo is speedily despatched to the prison mines, and Pody acknowledges the importance of owning up when she’s done something wrong.

 

In today’s adventure…

Orko explains once again the point that has been made a few times over the episode: running away is not the solution to any mistake you may make. I’m glad he spelt this out, because honestly, the message wasn’t clear enough in the episode.

 

Characters appearing

It’s the usual cast of Prince Adam, He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Orko and Teela, given some extra spice with Pody, Chief Merlot, Raygo, a bunch of nameless guys, and if you really want to include it, Zeegon the Robotic Rhino.

Fault 4

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Yet again, no one sees fit to explain, though I suppose to all intents and purposes, Adam is safely back at the Palace throughout the entire proceedings.

 

Insults

For an evil mastermind, Raygo is very polite. No one says anything unkind this week.

Fault 5

 

Does it have the Power?

Well … I think the best that can be said is that it’s better than I expected when I saw the title. “It’s Not My Fault” conjures up horrifying images of an overly mawkish Orko story, but luckily it swerves that trap. On the other hand, Raygo never seems even remotely threatening, perhaps because of his choice of vehicles, and his water supply-centric reason for hating Chief Merlot is completely insane. Add to this the endless repetitive scenes of the rhino and He-Man devastating the trees and plants in the jungle, and I think we can conclude this episode isn’t really a winner.

Episode 036 – The Search

In which He-Man nearly turns evil.

At Castle Grayskull, Zodac – the “rider of the cosmic spacewaves” last seen in the demented Quest for He-Man – has popped in for a quick coffee with the Sorceress. In the course of their relaxed catch-up, Zodac reveals that although he isn’t allowed to interfere, he is going to interfere by telling the Sorceress about some dreadful danger threatening Eternia.

Search 1

Meanwhile, Prince Adam, Teela, Orko and Cringer are out investigating some mysterious rumblings. I think we can safely assume it’s not Cringer’s greedy belly this time, but they don’t get too far through the investigation before the Sorceress summons Adam to Grayskull. Giving Teela the slip, Adam and Cringer undergo their magical metamorphosis.

At Castle Grayskull, the Sorceress sounds completely panicked, claiming that He-Man faces the greatest challenge of his life. She also claims that Eternia is an unusual planet, which I think we’d all figured out for ourselves, thanks very much. Her reason for this statement is that Eternia is right in the centre of the universe, where the Big Bang occurred billions of years ago, and consequently in the centre of Eternia rests the Star Seed, a small piece of Big Bang energy, which is all-powerful and can do absolutely anything.

Search 2

Well, no prizes for guessing who’d like to get his bony mitts on the Star Seed. The Sorceress reveals that Skeletor is tunnelling to the heart of Eternia, and that if he gets it, things will get a bit rubbish like. She despatches He-Man to stop Skeletor, warning him that the Star Seed will tempt He-Man into evil doings.

We now have the pleasure of seeing Skeletor driving a giant drill, looking like the world’s scariest forklift truck driver, and complaining to Beast-Man and Mer-Man at how slow the drill is. He quickly learns that He-Man, Battle-Cat and Orko have entered his tunnel, and causes the tunnel to collapse in their path. He crows that “Not even He-Man can pound his way through a half-mile of solid rock!” Let’s wait and see, shall we?

Search 3

Oh look, he can. Such a surprise. Still, Skeletor still has quite a lead, so maybe He-Man won’t catch up in time? Oh look, he did. Another surprise. Anyway, Skeletor encases Orko in a bubble and threatens dire consequences for him if He-Man doesn’t help Skeletor dig the tunnel. No one ever said He-Man was that bright; if he were, he’d use this as a cast-iron excuse to be rid of Orko once and for all: “Sorry, mate, but it was either you or the universe.”

Instead, He-Man helps out, and soon the whole company arrive in the Star Seed’s chamber. He-Man suddenly gets an idea that’s rather late to the party: destroying Skeletor’s drill. If he’d done this before they reached the chamber, it might have been helpful, but as it is, it simply allows Skeletor to run off and find the Star Seed.

Luckily, Orko had got there first and replaced the Star Seed with a similar-looking ball, with the result that He-Man gets his overly tanned hands on the real Star Seed. And shock – He-Man starts spouting the sort of stuff that Boromir would be proud of, how the Star Seed would allow him to rid the universe of all evil, and how he’d be unstoppable. Skeletor loves this unexpected development and lounges happily against a crystal, offering He-Man the chance to join up in a super-evil coalition.

Search 5

Yet another surprise – He-Man refuses. Skeletor does a runner, and He-Man returns to Castle Grayskull. He hands the Star Seed over to Zodac, who reveals that this whole palaver has been a test to see if He-Man is virtuous enough to continue wielding his power. He-Man gets a gold star in his Virtue Exercise Book, and is allowed a trip to the sweet shop as a reward.

 

In today’s adventure…

Zodac explains that with power comes responsibility, and that it is just as important to know when not to use force as when to use it. Perhaps he should also consider a moral about how it’s okay to arrange pointless tests on powerful people, to see if they turn evil.

Search 4

 

Characters appearing

Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Orko, the Sorceress, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Mer-Man and Zodac compose the entirety of today’s little jaunt.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance:

No actual excuse, but Adam evades Teela’s prying eyes for the transformation by cleverly programming his Sky Sled to return to the Palace without him, in the secure knowledge that Teela will follow it. I have no idea why this should be, but it works, giving Teela the opportunity to disappear from the episode until the last scene, when she shows up again screeching about Adam’s irresponsibility.

 

Insults

There’s a real wealth of cutting remarks this week. We’ll start with the most common – Skeletor calls Mer-Man a “fool” twice and issues the same insult to Beast-Man three times. He also calls them both “simpletons”, which is nice for a bit of variation. He rounds off this department by calling He-Man a “flippant fool” in response to one of He-Man’s idiotic wisecracks.

Search 6

In more imaginative areas, we have Beast-Man referring to He-Man as a “muscle-bound meddler”, Orko calling Skeletor a “bag of bones” and Skeletor’s response to Orko of “pipsqueak”. Finally, Beast-Man and Mer-Man get into a slanging match, the latter calling the former a “fuzzy-faced creature”, and Beast-Man responding by calling Mer-Man what sounds very much like a “fish-faced meathead”. I’m not quite sure I heard the meathead bit correctly, in all honesty.

 

Does it have the Power?

Yes, it does. It’s no classic, but it is an interesting idea to see He-Man being tempted to do evil. I wouldn’t mind betting this is the only time in the whole series he even considers it. The twist when Zodac reveals he engineered the entire scenario to test He-Man actually caught me by surprise, so points there too. And finally, I know I mentioned it above, but watching Skeletor driving a giant drill around was – for no logical reason – hilarious.

Episode 035 – The Sleepers Awaken

In which He-Man persuades some loonies not to be evil.

We’re dropped straight into the action this week, with Adam and Teela discovering a dragon-shaped castle in the middle of a wasteland. Teela explains that 200 years ago, this was the castle of Lord Tiran and Lady Valtera, who we see in flashback using evil magic to drain power from the trees and plants in the vicinity, after which they go into suspended animation to wait until the vegetation grows back. Teela claims that the trees have now grown back, so Tiran and Valtera could wake up at any time.

Sleepers

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that Tiran and Valtera wake up in the very next scene. Tiran wakes up first, with white hair and a weird face, and heads out into the forest, while Valtera wakes up a little later, looking a bit older but not noticeably different.

Adam, contriving to be thrown off the back of a winged horse, lands right next to Valtera, who immediately magically freezes him. Tiran, watching from the edge of the clearing, for some reason gets super jealous of Adam, and stands about muttering ominous but vague threats.

Sleepers 2

Tiran’s master plan is shortly revealed: he snatches Valtera’s small pet dragon from her shoulder. Adam convinces Valtera to release him so he can help, and then runs off to transform into He-Man. He-Man quickly and easily rescues the dragon, though I really can’t see why he’s getting involved in this petty lovers’ tiff.

Valtera doesn’t recognise Tiran, who starts destroying trees to draw energy from them, prompting He-Man to say he doesn’t like people who destroy trees. It’s nice to see he’s really taken last week’s lesson to heart. Anyway, Valtera lets He-Man into the castle by a secret passage, and en route begins the process of a personality transplant to become good rather than evil.

Sleepers 3

Teela also re-enters the episode at this point, letting herself into the castle and instantly getting captured by Tiran. When He-Man and Valtera confront him, he reveals his identity to Valtera, explaining that the use of the tree-draining magic has warped him. In the course of the ensuing barney, Tiran manages to knock down the entire castle, because he’s clever like that.

Realising that the pet dragon is stuck under a rock, Tiran and He-Man work together to free it, prompting Tiran to understand the error of his ways. Tiran and Valtera destroy their medallions which are the source of their evil powers, and instantly regain their original appearances. They fly off on winged horses, shrieking, “Goodbye, friends!!” while Prince Adam does his stupid winking at the camera malarkey again.

 

In today’s adventure…

Just as I thought we were going to make it through the whole episode without him, here’s Orko to deliver this week’s moral. He solemnly informs us that although we don’t need to sleep for 200 years, it is important to get enough sleep, and it’s definitely important to try to go to bed at the same time each night, not eat anything much before bedtime, and not get any exercise or excitement before bedtime. Sounds rubbish.

Sleepers 4

 

Characters appearing

A very small cast today, led by Prince Adam, He-Man, Teela, Tiran and Valtera, and Orko and Cringer for the moral, if that counts.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance:

There’s no excuse when Adam turns into He-Man, but once He-Man transforms back into Adam, Adam explains He-Man’s absence by saying, “I was helping He-Man rescue a giant snake.” This is not a euphemism, as there was a giant snake in this episode. I just couldn’t be bothered to mention it in the review.

Sleepers 5

 

Insults

He-Man is more into stupid non sequitur comments than insults this week, claiming that the giant snake is tickling him, for example. So nothing for this category, I’m afraid.

 

Does it have the Power?

This episode is a very average affair really. I genuinely can’t think of anything much to say about it one way or the other. In its favour, it’s not annoying in any way, but neither does it have a whole lot to recommend it. Perhaps a greater exploration of the theme of using evil powers making Tiran into an ugly person might have helped it, as might a greater justification for Valtera’s rapid change in personality. So watch it, or don’t. I don’t care.

Episode 034 – The Dragon’s Gift

In which He-Man doesn’t cut down a tree.

We find our heroes this week in the Palace, where Ambassador Therrin from the Kingdom of East Fen (presumably somewhere near Cambridge) has arrived with a gift. I should mention here that Therrin has a super evil moustache, a huge all-in-one brown body suit, eyes with no pupils, and a weasely voice. You will, therefore, be as surprised as I was when I reveal that he is actually Skeletor in disguise.

But all that’s to come. For now, Therrin presents Randor with a bust of himself, to which Randor immodestly comments, “Why, it’s magnificent.” However, just as Randor is about to start stroking the bust, Man-at-Arms spots Skeletor’s crossbones logo peeping through the body suit, and grabs the bust himself. He is immediately transformed into a crystal sculpture of himself.

Dragon Gift

Skeletor simply starts complaining that now he’ll have to find another way to claim the Eternian throne, and is swiftly attacked by Teela and a contingent of well-meaning but useless guards. The odds are evened a little more by the appearance of He-Man and Battle-Cat, at which point Skeletor teleports out. Discussion immediately begins on how to bring Man-at-Arms back to life, though no one stops to question whether they should actually bother.

He-Man and Teela take Man-at-Arms to Castle Grayskull, where the Sorceress proves as useless as ever, revealing that the transformation is beyond her power to reverse. She does, however, suggest that Granamyr, oldest and wisest of the dragons of Darksmoke, may have the answer. Teela wants to know where to find Darksmoke, but the Sorceress will not say, as to reveal the whereabouts would break an ancient pact made between the dragons and Grayskull.

Consequently, He-Man and Teela hit the books to find clues in ancient myths as to where Darksmoke is. I’d be impressed if the books they read actually had words or even pictures in them, but no, they’re just blank pages. Finally, He-Man finds a clue: dragons and ice trolls are friends, so maybe they should pop up to the Ice Mountains, find a troll, and start asking questions.

Dragon Gift 2

He-Man, Teela and Battle-Cat head to the Ice Mountains, where they navigate a number of icy hazards, including an avalanche and a bunch of mutant polar bears. In addition, both Teela and He-Man comment that it’s cold, to which I’d have far more sympathy if either of these scantily clad characters had bothered to put a coat or at least a jumper on before coming to the Ice Mountains. Finally, they locate some ice trolls, but don’t really bother asking any questions, since by this point they’re standing right next to Darksmoke anyway.

He-Man doesn’t knock and instead simply waltzes into Darksmoke, then yells out for Granamyr, who appears out of a fire pit, looking mightily annoyed. After commenting that he doesn’t respect He-Man, Granamyr reveals that he is indeed able to undo the crystallisation of Man-at-Arms, but he will only do so if He-Man and Teela chop down Skytree, the only living thing on Eternia older than Granamyr himself.

Dragon Gift 3

Once our heroes agree to this bargain, Granamyr transports them to the Forgotten Forest, where Skytree can be found. He-Man produces his sword and is about to chop the tree down, when suddenly it develops eyes and a mouth and starts talking. Skytree tells of the history of the Forgotten Forest, how a Man-at-Arms has always existed through Eternia’s long ages, and how it owes one such Man-at-Arms a debt. It solemnly agrees to be chopped down to save the life of the current Man-at-Arms.

He-Man feels guilty, and rightly so. He declines to chop down Skytree, and after moping about for a bit to ease her murderous rage, Teela agrees. They return to Granamyr and explain that trees have as much right to life as Granamyr does. There’s a dicey moment where Granamyr threatens to send them to the Realm of Demons for ever, but in the end he notes that He-Man has displayed honour and wisdom, and thus agrees to save Man-at-Arms.

Dragon Gift 4

 

In today’s adventure…

Teela’s pearl of wisdom this week is that trees near you probably don’t talk, and if they do, you’re on some pretty major hallucinogens. Her point, however, is that all living things deserve respect, as life is a precious gift. This moral fits the story perfectly, as I’m sure you can see.

 

Characters appearing

Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Man-at-Arms, King Randor, Queen Marlena, the Sorceress, Skeletor, yadda yadda. Also – Granamyr! Hooray! And Skytree. And some ice trolls. And a nutty little leprechaun.

Dragon Gift 5

 

Excuse for Prince Adam’s disappearance:

When Adam is about to transform into He-Man, he mutters to Cringer, “Come on, cat, let’s find ourselves a quiet spot.” It’s hardly an excuse, but it is the best we’ve had for some time.

It’s also worth noting that the episode begins with Adam being late. Randor wants to know where Adam is, and Man-at-Arms says he’s doing some important government business. Teela chips in to say that she doesn’t consider Lady Amanda to be government business, which certainly sounds like she considers Adam and Lady Amanda are up to some Eternian hanky-panky.

 

Insults

He-Man returns to an old favourite, referring to Skeletor as “Bonehead”.

Dragon Gift 6

 

Does it have the Power?

A resounding yes! I thought at first that my reaction was simply because of the contrast to last week’s appalling effort, but in truth The Dragon’s Gift is a successful He-Man story in every way. It’s always good to see Skeletor and one of his typical demented schemes; he’s been sorely missed the last few weeks. The Ice Mountains are an exciting new location, and Granamyr is a very interesting character, being neither friend nor foe. He needs to lose that goofy helmet though.

I liked the various touches of Eternian history thrown in, with the Sorceress’ references to the ancient pact between the dragons and Grayskull, and also Skytree’s monologue concerning a long ago battle with witches. Both of these really help to flesh out Eternia and make it seem more real. The twist in the tale when He-Man refuses to chop down the tree is easy to see coming for you or me, but I can imagine being genuinely surprised if I’d seen this as a child. Though maybe I was just a stupid child. It’s also great to have the respect for life message so often seen in He-Man extended to plants and presumably animals.

And best of all, Orko isn’t in it. Actually, that’s not the best: the best is that the Starchild isn’t in it.