Sunday, September 13, 2009

He-Man beats out the Thundercats

So, with our recent financial crises, I have taken to watching DVDs of cartoons from the library. Thanks to my six-year old daughter, I think I've seen every episode of The Justice League. But I wanted to see something with a little more of a fantasy flair. As a kid, I liked the idea of He-Man a lot, but was unable to watch it during its heyday due to living overseas and having only one American channel (the upside is I got to see a lot of Anime, but in Japanese). However, as an adult, I'm kind of snobbish when it comes to animation styles. The old American cartoons from the 70's and 80's just look so lame to me, I can't watch them.

Then I discovered that there was a He-Man series produced as recently as 2008! So, I grabbed one of those and proceeded to devour the entire DVD. What a great show. Sure, it was still a bit corny, and the cheesy "moral lessons" at the end of each episode made me giggle. But if you let yourself watch this show through the eyes of a kid, it is actually really well-done. The animation is exciting (being a blend of Asian and American styles), the character voices are pretty well-cast (well, I would have been happier if Skeletor's voice was deeper), and the stories aren't "dumb." All in all, I can't see why this show didn't last longer.

So, after He-Man I decided to see if Thundercats had gotten a similar update. Alas, they have not, to my knowledge. But I decided to give the old series another go. Again, this was a show that I missed watching in my youth for the same reasons. Well, I was disappointed. The animation was horrid, as was normal for the time. But the dialogue and direction were lacking too. I couldn't get through a single episode. It was like watching the Barney Action Hour. The villains were silly, the heroes didn't look all that heroic, and the whole thing just left a sour taste in my mouth.

So there you go. Unless they do an updated Thundercats cartoon, He-Man is still the Master of the (Saturday morning cartoon) Universe to me.

As a side note, I also got a copy of the live-action He-Man movie, with my main man Dolph. What corny, cheesy fun. Horribly campy, it is still a hoot to watch.

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