HomeToonsDVD Review: He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe 2002 The Complete Series

DVD Review: He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe 2002 The Complete Series

DVD Review:

He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe


The Complete Series

He-Man 80’s Theme

He-Man 2002 Theme

As a kid who grew up in the 80’s cartoons were everything to my friends and I. I believe that around age 4 or 5 is when I really got into understanding cartoons. When I say this I mean stuff like Transformers, Thundercats, G.I. Joe… the big boys’ cartoons… not the learning stuff like Sesame Street. Another one of the great cartoons among the ones I just mentioned was He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe! There was action adventure magic and swords! Everyone loves swords right! Everyone remembers the theme song to this classic cartoon:

I am Adam Prince of Eternia and defender of the secrets of Castle Grayskull. This is Cringer my fearless friend. Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said By The Power Of Grayskull…. I have the power! Cringer became the mighty Battle Cat and I became He-Man the most powerful man in the universe. Only three others share this secret our friends the Sorceress Man At Arms and Orko. Together we defend Castle Grayskull from the evil masters of the universe.

After the original cartoon ended I like most other kids went on to other cartoons. In 1990 there was the New Adventures of He-Man but I never got into it. Once the original cartoon was over I thought ok time to move on. The original He-Man cartoon ran from September 5th 1983 to December 8th 1985.

So we will now flashforward 17 years after the original He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe cartoon. In 2002 there was a new He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe cartoon. I never really watched it when it was on TV, but I now have the Mill Creek version of The Complete Series DVD. I must say that this is a very impressive updating to the original 80’s cartoon. There is almost a strict continuity here whereas in the old series there were sprits of continuity here and there. I’ll be breaking this review up in sections. The main point of my review is my overall impressions on the 2002 cartoon.  So let’s begin the breakdown:

Voice Cast:


As I’ve stated already I’m brand new to watching this series even though it is eight years old. I was thoroughly surprised with whom they chose to voice the characters. As you can see from the list above the cast list kinda reads as a who’s who of Beast Wars Beast Machines voice actors. I have no complaints with this at all. I can hear inflections of Waspinator in Mer-Man, Silverbolt in Stratos, King Hippo from Captain N The Game Master in Whiplash, and others as well. Again I take no issue with this, however I do think that it’s hilarious that two of my favorite franchises Transformers and He-Man cross over like this. Cam Clarke voices both Prince Adam and He-Man, much like John Erwin did back in the original cartoon. The voice inflections between the two characters coming from one voice actor are awesome.

Music, Sound Effects, and Themes:

When I first popped in the DVD and hit the play all icon I was greeted with supposedly the new animation style version of the old theme. The intro starts off with Prince Adam reciting the old words……. THEN an attack from Skeletor and his forces!! According to the DVD commentaries (which I’ll get to later) the creators said that it was a joke on the original opening, because that speech is way too long. They also stated that this Skeletor wouldn’t wait and attack now. So while I would have loved to hear the old speech with the new character voices I think this takes you into each episode very well. The music is very epic during the battle scenes and at times when needed can be very sad or touching in emotional scenes. The way they have transitions between them is very well done I think. As far as sound effects well those get better over time as they have since Looney Tunes. In this series they can either be comical or very serious just like the music. Overall I have no issues with what they have used throughout this cartoon.

Animation Style:

When I first heard about this cartoon I wanted it to be the classic cartoon brought back to life. When I caught a few episodes here and there through the original run on Cartoon Network I realized that it wasn’t just bringing the old show back. As soon as I saw the power sword my reaction was umm… this ain’t He-Man. Keep in mind this was my reaction when the cartoon was on TV back in 2002. Now that I’ve watched the entire series through I must say that I really enjoy the animation style. They have done a very excellent job in updating the character models from the original cartoons. The only thing that I don’t like about it is from season 1 to season 2 they change the transformation animation. In Season 2 it shows Adam growing muscles to become He-Man. The same thing for Cringer into Battle Cat. Below you will find character comparisons between the 80’s and the 02 series.

Please note not every major MOTU character is listed and pictured below. As there will be a lot of images already I couldn’t do them all.

The Heroes:

Prince Adam:

Say what you want about the original design of Adam as far as the paint colors being girly… I thought they fit him. As far as the 2002 update I think it’s very cool. They’ve kept part of the original color scheme and vest. The main issue that I have with Adam in the 2002 series is more of with his animation sometimes. I have an issue with the power sword. Sometimes it’s over the right shoulder then other times it’s over the left shoulder. When he draws it all of the time in the 2002 series it’s always over the left shoulder though.

1983 on the top 2002 on the bottom:


I chose the sword pose bescause I really like that imagery of the 80’s He-Man. I chose the transformation pose for the 2002 series because well it’s awesome!

1983 on the top 2002 on the bottom:


While I truly loved the fact that Cringer talking in the 80’s series at the same time I respected the decision for him not to talk in the 2002 series. I think that it makes for a much better bersion of Cringer in 2002. Don’t get me wrong I love Alan Oppenhimer’s voicing of Cringer.

1983 on the top 2002 on the bottom:


The same thing goes for Battle Cat… in 80’s cartoon it was great that he could talk, but in 02 I think it was much better that he just roared.

1983 on the top 2002 on the bottom:


The 80’s cartoon Duncan/Man-At-Arms was awesome, but unlike the 2002 updated version he didn’t really have an auto morphing arm. I really like the 2002 version of this character. I actually like them both, but the 2002 updated design I like more.

1983 on the top 2002 on the bottom:


Teela in the 80’s cartoon to me is basically Snow White with red hair. As far as the character design. Linda Gary’s voice though really sells the character. The 2002 version of Teela I like a lot better actually as far as the character design. I also like how they updated her Origin Story. They kept it the same, but gave it more “real” world type of feel. In other words in the 2002 cartoon Duncan didn’t find her in a birds nest!

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While Michael Donovan is ok as the voice of Orko I prefer Lou Scheimer’s version of the voice better. The only thing that kinda disappointed me about Orko in the 02 series was that they never went to Trolla.

1983 on the top 2002 on the bottom:

King Randor & Queen Marlena:

Ahh the royalty of Eternia. There are a few issues I have with these characters. Both in the original cartoon and the 2002 series. In the original cartoon for the most part Randor is a passive King. While Marlena did have a nice origin story. She was shown to be an astronaut and a very brave woman. However after that it was like she was just a damsel in distress and a passive Queen. The only real emotion either of the 80’s King and Queen showed was in The Secret Of The Sword film when Adora returned.

As far as the 2002 versions of the King and Queen the major issue I have is that they never tell Marlena’s origin. Although they give Randor a much better characterization. He was a Captain then King when the Elders disappeared. I like how MOTU 2002 started before the age of Adam/He-Man. I think it gives it a better story.

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The Sorceress:

I like both versions of The Sorceress. However I think that the 2002 backstory is better than the 80’s version.

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Ram Man:

I always liked Ram Man he was just a cool character as far as his bouncing action. The toy was awesome as well.

1983 on the top 2002 on the bottom:


Everyone that I knew loved Stratos in the 80’s cartoon.. I think mainly because as kids we all wanted to fly. The 2002 update is just as awesome I think.

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Castle Grayskull:

Love the updated look and the story behind how the power of grayskull is done.

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Palace of Eternia:

I always liked the original design on the Palace, but the updated version is just as good.

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The Villains:


I will not be posting a image of Keldor… however I really like the origin story given to the character in the 2002 series. I mean sure in the 80’s we got that he was once a part of the horde in Secret Of The Sword. however in the 2002 series we get a full backstory as to who he was before being Skeletor and how he became Skeletor, I throughly enjoyed this.

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Panthor was Battle Cat’s equal. He didn’t have an alternate form like Cringer. In both series he just roared. I like the updated version of Panthor, even though he’s just a beefier version of the old one.

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Evil Lyn:

I like the purpler version of the 2002 series. Even though the 80’s one was good as well.

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Beast Man:

Beast Man is essentially the same…. The design is just updated. He’s not as stupid as in the 80’s series though.

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Mer Man:

Pretty much the same characteristics, however the 2002 version sounds a lot like Waspinator from Beast Wars. Yes I know Scott McNeill voiced both characters.

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Tri Klops:

Again a character that didn’t really change between the 2 series. Well other than updating the design which I do like.

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Trap Jaw:

Trap Jaw actually got a good backstory in the 2002 series. He was Kronos one of Keldor’s soldiers

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Count Marzo:

I never really watched the Count Marzo episodes of the 80’s show. At least I don’t remember watching them. However his 2002 version is awesome. Very nice updating and he no longer looks like a court jester!

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What can I say it’s Hordak!!

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I also like the updated versions of the main Evil horde members:

Snake Mountain:

Again I remember both designs of the fortress, but not the backstory in the 80’s series. However I liked where they took it in the 2002 series.

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So overall the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series is a very nice updating of the classic cartoon. It should be a must own for any true MOTU fan. I love how there is a very strict continuity in this series.

You Have The Power and go watch this series!

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