Episode 053 – Dree Elle’s Return

In which Orko and Dree Elle bring the series to its most soul-crushing low point.

The opening scene of this episode is among the least promising in recent memory. It’s set on Trolla, where a Trollan guard is talking to Dree Elle (Orko’s love interest, last seen in Dawn of Dragoon), explaining that Trapjaw and a new baddy called Clawful have stolen the Horn of Evil, with intent to use it to conquer Eternia. Dree Elle resolves to travel to Eternia to warn Orko, and because she’s completely out of her skull, she decides to take her little brother with her. Her brother is called Yuckers, he wears a baseball cap, and he has a reputation for playing “dumb jokes”. Somebody needs to just shoot me now.

Dree Elle and Yuckers arrive in the Palace on Eternia to find Orko home alone. True to form, Yuckers immediately plays what is undeniably a dumb joke on Orko and then laughs his dreadful head off. Dree Elle makes him promise not to play any more jokes, which is precisely the sort of promise I can see being broken a mile off.

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Yuckers: “As well as promising not to play any dumb jokes, I promise not to be the absolute worst character in the history of He-Man up to this point. Shall we see if I can keep my promises? Spoiler: I can’t.”

Once Orko learns of the Horn of Evil’s disappearance, he and his crowd head for Castle Grayskull, where they find that Trapjaw has blown the Horn and produced a cloud of black smoke, which has defeated the ever-useless Sorceress. Before they can open the jawbridge, though, Orko snatches the Horn and does a runner. But, of course, Yuckers plays two more dumb jokes which result in himself, Orko and the Horn being captured.

Dree Elle flees back to the Palace, where she raises the alarm, resulting in He-Man, Battle-Cat and Teela all heading to the rescue. Teela releases Orko and Yuckers, while He-Man wrestles with Clawful for an unnecessarily long time, eventually disposing of him in a mud puddle. Meanwhile, Yuckers plays a dumb joke on Trapjaw, at which I expect we’re supposed to cheer. I didn’t.

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Clawful: “This is the face that literally everyone pulls when they see Orko and his idiot clan.”

With the baddies defeated, that should be the end of that, but since there was five minutes left on the episode’s run time, I didn’t for a moment think I’d be that lucky. Sure enough, thanks to yet another dumb joke, Yuckers accidentally blows the Horn of Evil, which results in everything in the surrounding forest turning evil and indulging in a spot of misbehaviour.

He-Man and Teela occupy themselves in battling off the various evil trees, rocks, giants, vampire bats and randomly mutated wallabies, while Orko and Dree Elle attend to the actual problem. They do this by singing the worst song I’ve ever heard. I couldn’t make out any of the words because of their dreadful voices, but it was the most hideous racket outside of a Steps reunion concert. The terrible effect of this song is even apparent on He-Man; the next scene shows him looking haggard with massive bags under his eyes.

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He-Man: “That song is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”

The episode ends back at the Palace, where Orko plays a dumb joke on Yuckers, who instantly throws a tantrum and whinges that jokes aren’t fun when they’re on him. Boo hoo, Yuckers. My heart bleeds for you. To my huge relief, Dree Elle and Yuckers return to Trolla, where I hope they instantly get eaten by some giant dragon or something.

 

In today’s adventure…

Orko pops along to tell us that Yuckers messing about with the Horn of Evil resulted in all sorts of dreadful trouble, so advises us not to play with any knives or Horns of Evil we might find in our house. All well and good, but nowhere does Orko mention practical jokes, which was definitely the real focus of this episode. Obviously the writers trusted us to have grasped this bit of the message all by ourselves.

 

Character checklist

We have the pleasure of seeing Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Orko, Man-at-Arms, the Sorceress, Trapjaw and Dree Elle, as well as the random Trollan guard. There are also debut appearances from Clawful and Yuckers, the latter of which I do not wish to ever see polluting my screen again.

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Teela: “Remind me again why we have to associate with these imbeciles?”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Despite two dramatic transformations into He-Man, Adam is unable to summon up the energy to give an excuse for either.

 

Insults

Clawful definitely leads the field this week, with some properly cutting remarks to Trapjaw, including “cowardly hunk of tin” and “Dim-brain”. He also calls Orko a “little runt”. Still, he gets what he deserves shortly thereafter, when Teela refers to him as “Crust-face”, which I assume is short for “Crustacean-face” rather than being an oblique reference to him having eaten all the pies.

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Teela: “I understand, He-Man. I want to put these morons into a liquidiser too. But we can’t, because it’s before the watershed.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Yes and no. Mostly no. On the plus side, on the strength of his first appearance, you can chalk me down as a big fan of Clawful, Skeletor’s red lobster-inspired henchman. He’s incredibly rude to everyone, his animation and voice acting is great, and his behaviour and general attitude come across as genuinely evil (as opposed to most of Skeletor’s men, who only really achieve being moderately naughty). I’ll be interested to see if he retains this strong character, or if he quickly becomes a bumbling idiot like the others. I’m not holding my breath.

On the minus side, towards which the episode is very strongly weighted, there’s Yuckers. What were the writers thinking? Orko is infuriating enough; why did anyone think it would be a great idea to introduce a much more annoying version of him? Yes – I know he’s meant to be an annoying younger brother who learns his lesson, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch. His idiotic jokes and his dreadful voice were hugely grating.

And speaking of grating, there’s that song at the end. It was literally awful – relentlessly bouncy and cheerful and saccharine. And once it was over, He-Man invited Orko and Dree Elle to sing it again! Never have I wanted to join Skeletor’s side quite so much as when that was going on.

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Dree Elle: “Hey, Orko! I’ve got a great idea! Let’s sing a song so bad that the lyric sheet starts to spontaneously combust!”

So in conclusion – watch the bits with Clawful in them. As soon as He-Man throws Clawful into a mud puddle, you can stop.

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11 thoughts on “Episode 053 – Dree Elle’s Return

  1. Iv just read your review it’s had me in stitches! An yes agree yuckers is one of the most annoying characters in the entire series, but on to this episode sadly this for me is one of the series weakest episodes I have many issues with it but to name an important few as you ritely say yuckers firstly is very annoying and very forgettable, the horn of evil had the potential to be an excellent idea that was just completely wasted in this episode an a series for the song o my god!! The two characters orko an dree Elle in this episode you didn’t feel there connection the same as you did in dawn of dragoon (which was excellent) the only plus I can think of is there was an evenly matched contest between clawfal and he man this was refreshing to see but it’s certainly not enough anyway I couldn’t score this any higher than a four in fact no I’d have to score dree Elle’s return a very low 3/10

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  2. I personally liked dree Elle as a character but I feel the same as yourself I just couldn’t stand this ep everything about it def one of the worst but again I know there’s some that like it! Never worry about opinion being unpopular if you didn’t like dree elles character your entitled to your opinion as much as anybody else that’s how I see it I’m guessing there’s many that don’t like teelas trial but I personally found it a great ep! Anyway I feel the same with this episode I just didn’t feel the chemistry between orko and dree Elle as they displayed in dawn of dragoon! The song at the end just about sums up the whole episode a huge disappointment from dree Elle’s first outing.

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  3. Soooo… in this episode we’re finally introduced to the lyrics of Orko’s theme song, nearly ubiquitous all throughout this whole series (instrumental only)? Let us be glad! LMAO

    “As day comes from night and wrong becomes right
    As joy springs from sad, good will conquer bad
    As strength comes from weakness and brightness stops bleakness
    As clouds change to sun, justice will be done

    Harmony is the key for all the world to heal
    Free and happy just some harmony, harmony and love

    As dark turns to light, truth will win the fight
    As hope beats despair, evil disappears
    Evil disappears from here”

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  4. Also, LOL @ “I hate Trollans with a feverish intensity”, one of the most resourceful post taggings I’ve seen so far!

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  5. the song is the killer for me! im not a big fan of this episode anyway but that really tops it off! this episode is in my bottom ten for the series, the only strength for me is clawfal, its good to see clawful really evil and menacing but that for me is about it! however if you thought this was weak then watch the return of orkos uncle its even worse with some horrible screetchy voices lol highly irritating!

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  6. larry di tillio wrote trouble in trolla (a season 2 episode) which was a big improvement and a lot more entertaining without falling into the trap of becoming annoying but as great a writer larry di tillio was theres no other writer that wrote trolla better than the writer robby London, he wrote the episode dawn of dragoon which was a fantastic ep easily the best of the trollan ones takecare..

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  7. Agreed, adding this particular song gives a touch of silly childishness to the thing as a whole… perhaps the writers thought it would please the younger kids, but who knows?

    And what else could we say about that horrible Jokers’s voice? Every single time he opens his mouth to utter a sentence, it’s almost like there’s someone squeezing his balls under his robe! So annoying…

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  8. It’s such an odd episode, this one. Mostly, it’s pretty bad – and, as I noted in my review’s subtitle – I think it contains the absolute nadir of the series in the form of that awful song.

    And yet, there’s enough redeeming features in it – mostly Clawful, as John says – that manage to keep it off my Worst 10 Episodes list. Orko’s Favourite Uncle and Return of Orko’s Uncle are, for my money, much worse than this one because there’s literally nothing good about them, even if they don’t quite manage to be as annoying as the song in this one.

    Glad you’re liking the tagging… doubt anyone does a Google search for that specific phrase, but if they ever do, they’ll be directed straight here!

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  9. Even the couple of excellent scenes with clawfal (particularly the one with he man) wasn’t enough to save this from my own personal bottom ten but Owen you are absolutely spot on and it is quite a tough episode to score for instance comparing it to the return of orko s uncle which from my own opinion are both pretty much on a par, the high points of drew Elle’s return (what we discussed notably clawfal) are better than the return of orko s uncle but unfortunately that song brings it down heavily for myself when watching it, I know there’s plenty of fans that really like this episode but unfortunately I’m definetly not one of them just shows it’s all down to personal taste!! Similar the return of Orkos uncle the one redeeming quality in this episode is the evil orko which I think is an excellent idea by the way, unfortunately again poor writing this only came to light in the last few minutes an cos the rest of the episodes pretty weak I found myself too board to care again tho this is just my feelings on these two episodes!!anyway I think we both agree that this was certainly one of the weaker season one episodes…

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