Even though I was born in the 90’s, as a child the 80’s was the main source of much of my entertainment. While most kids were watching Dexter’s Laboratory, I was watching Dungeons & Dragons, and while they read Power Rangers annuals, I had Thundercats. Of course, I was hardly unaware of “current” television. It’s just that most of the shows that interested me (besides Pokemon and Digimon, which were impossible to avoid) were also unavailable to me – and thus I could only watch shows like Sailor Moon and X-Men: The Animated Series when my grandmother was able to record them for me (due to her having Sky, which neither of my parents had at the time). Whilst having somewhat “outdated” interests made it hard to relate to the other children a lot of the time (It took me over a year to finally watch Pokemon, by which time most kids were bored of talking about the show, and only wanted to play the game), there was always something that appealed to me in knowing that I had something they didn’t, so for the most part it never really bothered me. Heck, I’m still pretty much that way now! XD
He-Man wasn’t shown on television when I was a child – which was rather lucky, as had it been I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see it. Instead, I got my “fix” through various video tapes, books, and what toys could be found during our regular trips to car-boot sales while on holiday. He-Man was actually the franchise I was able to watch the least – I only had one or two cassettes, and the Secret of the Sword movie – but I made up for this fact with my rather extensive collection of Ladybird Books, which – to my knowledge – I had a complete set of. I read the hell out of those bloody things.
Being a child, I didn’t take particularly good care of many of my toys – which is a rather sickening fact, considering just how much money He-Man toys can make on Ebay these days. Nonetheless, I enjoyed them at the time, and I suppose that’s all that matters. A part of me did briefly consider re-collecting the figures, out of nostalgia, but sadly the majority seem rather out of my price range – and being the completionist that I am, I’d rather have none of them, than some of them. Still, maybe one day… if I’m ever rich.
I recently found myself re-watching the He-Man cartoons. Every now and then I take some time away from whatever TV show or anime I’m currently watching to re-watch something from my childhood. It’s always nice to refresh my memory, and interesting to see how these old shows hold up now that I’m older. Some of them do feel a little silly, once I remember that I’m 22 years old, but there have been a few that I can still watch with equal – if not greater – enthusiasm. I’m not actually sure where He-Man stands in that regard. Obviously I do love it (otherwise why would I even be talking about it?), but it does have a lot of issues in regards to quality – both in it’s scripts, and it’s animations. Some episodes definitely hold up to scrutiny better than others. It is, however, always interesting to watch it’s use of limited animation, and stock footage. While it does come off as a tad lazy and/or cheap, when you consider it was animated by a pretty prolific company (at the time) – Filmation – it does make me wonder if similar techniques could be used in the present day to allow single individuals, or small groups, to produce their own animation on a similar scale – with story taking priority over “perfect” animation.
Anyway, as my last point, I would simply like to recommend that you watch an episode or two of He-Man. I don’t expect it will be to everyone’s taste, but if only from a purely animated stand-point, I think you should watch it, so as to gain a deeper appreciation of how far animation has come over the years. And, of course, if you happen to be a fan of barbarians, or sword & sorcery, there’s a chance you might just enjoy it. Episodes can currently be watched for free on the Official He-Man YouTube Channel… so there’s no excuse not to give it a look! Below is the first episode, “Diamond Ray of Disappearance”.