Christmas? What's that? An Earth holiday?
December 22, 2011 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Because Christmas wasn't painful enough: He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special, in five parts — 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
posted by Nomyte (19 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Now. Now Christmas is painful enough. Thanks, Nomyte!
posted by not_on_display at 9:16 PM on December 22, 2011

Watching this is a family tradition in my household. We follow it up with Peewee's Playhouse Christmas Special as a chaser.
posted by Lieber Frau at 9:30 PM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

I might even still have this on a Beta cassette somewhere. It's even better with all the Sectaurs!FromColeco! commercial breaks.
posted by Lieber Frau at 9:36 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Christmas? What's that? An Earth holiday?

What, they didn't teach you that Jesus spread the Gospel of Eternia Salvation for all Man-E-kind back in Sunday School?
posted by KingEdRa at 10:07 PM on December 22, 2011

Ukrainian Christmas
posted by Mblue at 10:24 PM on December 22, 2011

Attempt at a non-snarky response:

I haven't looked at a He-Man cartoon in a long time and I was almost hesitant to click on the links because, basically, it was something that I really enjoyed when I was a kid and I didn't want to spoil the hazy memories.

But actually watching it, it's really pretty interesting. The animation generally cuts lots of cost-saving corners, but the overall effect is compellingly strange and reminds me more than a little of the "old-school renaissance" in roleplaying currently being explored by GROGNARDIA and PLAYING D&D WITH PORNSTARS.

For me, the biggest contrast is between the 80s "used future" style of the backgrounds, which makes them feel oddly realistic - and the candy-coloured characters.

In fact, the characters look a lot like Mardi Gras dancers or perverts - all those leather straps, those furry underpants, that exposed skin. All the women have the same slightly disdainful face, like they are all clones of the same nudist art-deco dominatrix.

Put another way, it's a fetishists paradise, not to mention a post-modern mash-up of styles that I still find oddly compelling. The attempts at wholesomeness (page-boy haircut etc.) seem even stranger, even more perverse, in that context - fig-leaves calling attention to nudity. In contrast with something like AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER or even the new version of THUNDERCATS, there is no world-building here - more just a massive farrago of influences. In that respect, it's very like early D&D - throwing a huge amount of stuff together and seeing what coheres.

I'm not saying that that approach is better than a thoroughly internally consistent world - but it is an equally valid way of doing things (even if it emerges from nothing more than a desire to sell an endlessly expanding toy line).

NB: I am watching it with the sound off. With the sound on, it may be quite a bit harder to sustain a critical perspective in the face of "oh God, make it stop, the sentimentality it burns"...
posted by lucien_reeve at 4:33 AM on December 23, 2011 [7 favorites]

This is also available on Netflix Instant. My 2 & 4 year olds love He-Man & She-Ra. We've watched this a couple times this season already.
posted by speeb at 5:09 AM on December 23, 2011

I can't wait to watch this. Like Lucien, I have noticed the same thing as I re-watch these shows as an adult. There's some weird about the jerky animation and even the way the writers wrote in a radio play kind of way . I recently felt compelled to watch The Secret of the Sword, and there was something so hilarious about the idea of Prince Adam making spice cake at the beginning - it just seems so out of place for the cartoon. At least I found it re-watchable!
posted by Calzephyr at 5:12 AM on December 23, 2011

We watched Secret of the Sword last night. I was in and out of the room, but there was one bit where Skeletor is talking on a communicator, I think, and calls someone a "Royal boob". Immediately after, She-Ra enters and Skeletor says "Who are you, WOMAN?!" Cracked me up.
posted by speeb at 6:05 AM on December 23, 2011

Thanks for that comment, lucien_reeve.
posted by ServSci at 8:25 AM on December 23, 2011

First, I'm surprised X-Entertainment is still around, and still being updated! Sometimes they try a little too hard with their jokes, but sometimes that works anyway. As in:

If you fed a horse a lot of fruit salad and put it over a barrel of water, the sound its shit would make as it plopped viciously down into the liquid below would have thirty times the beat and rhythm as Bow's new song.

posted by JHarris at 8:27 AM on December 23, 2011

Oh, and: the beast monster.
posted by JHarris at 8:28 AM on December 23, 2011

Pleasantly devoid of Zooey Deschanel. She's adorable, but can't sing, can't act.

carry on...
posted by humboldt32 at 10:03 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I looooooved He-Man as a kid, but watching it as an adult -- the whole series, that is -- it becomes painfully obvious that the show's sole purpose was to showcase a line of toys. It's nothing but a parade of characters and vehicles that carefully highlights the novel functions of the corresponding toys. The vast majority of these elements are seen in just one episode and then immediately forgotten, presumably in order to maximize the number of toys advertised throughout the series.

She-Ra at least had female empowerment going for it, but it was still Hasbro'd out the wazoo.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:13 PM on December 23, 2011

Pleasantly devoid of Zooey Deschanel. She's adorable, but can't sing, can't act.

She'd be too embarrassed to be on with He-Man, because he can sing.
posted by homunculus at 4:00 PM on December 23, 2011

Oh my goodness, that was all kinds of awesome. The fourth clip had me howling. I honestly would love to see some sort of He-Man/She-Ra parody a la Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law, because it would be so full of win! Now to catch up on the Venture Bros Christmas specials in that other post...
posted by Calzephyr at 4:17 PM on December 23, 2011

I could not STAND He-Ra or She-Ra. My two small children began learning about more ancient and true super-heroes. No question that children need super-heroes, and monsters for that matter, but these ones were icky. So I found other stuff for us to do when that stupid show was on.
Thanks for the strange Ukrainian Christmas stuff. Loved the epic boys vs girls snow-fight and the sledding!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:13 PM on December 23, 2011

She-Ra at least had female empowerment going for it, but it was still Hasbro'd out the wazoo.

I remember seeing a Saturday morning TV show as a kid where the girls all wanted to play with the He-Man toys, rather than the She-Ra toys, because they did more interesting things (squirted water, you could take them to pieces and put them back together again in weird ways, stuck to things, had automated bits etc. etc.). So even though She-Ra was nominally about female empowerment, the idea of what girls were like (and what kind of toys they would want) was quite limited.
posted by lucien_reeve at 1:40 AM on December 24, 2011

"Tell me more about this 'Christmas.'"
"Well, it's a wonderful time of the year. Everyone has lots of fun."
"You mean they get in fights?"
"No... unless you're in Congress!" WOMP WOMP!
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:46 AM on December 25, 2011

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