Author’s Note: This is a somewhat spoiler review for Masters of the Universe: Revolution based on screeners provided by Netflix.
January 25th, 2024 couldn’t come fast enough as I sat waiting for the newest of the Kevin Smith He-Man series. More because I felt this entire series could and should have been released closer together for added clarity of plot. I’m a passive fan of He-Man starting with the toys and New Adventures in my childhood and getting back into the swing of it with the initial Netflix releases. There was much fun in this sequel series and some not so much that occurred in this rendition, so let’s get started.
Premise from Netflix:
It’s technology versus magic when He-Man and the heroic warriors face the forces of Skeletor and
something more in MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVOLUTION – the new epic chapter in the battle
for Castle Grayskull! The newly mechanized Skeletor, armed with the might of Motherboard, attacks the heart of Eternia while Prince Adam grapples with a new responsibility and what that means for him as He-Man! Adam is forced to choose between the scepter or the sword, and a life as either the King or the Champion! Meanwhile, the new Sorceress Teela searches for the secret of Snake Magic in the mists of Darksmoke to rebuild a magic realm and help He-Man hold off the greatest threat Eternia has ever faced: the return of the despot Hordak, the ruthless leader of the Horde Empire!
General Thoughts on Voice Cast:
Masters of the Universe: Revolution was overall a better product I felt than Revelation Parts 1 and 2 were. We did get some more world changing elements and some aspects that kept me interested. The voice cast alone was great, but the animation was better. We lost the original voices for a few characters in this one. Sarah Michelle Gellar was replaced with Melissa Benoist in Revolution as Teela, and Queen Marlena was replaced as well in this rendition. Meg Foster who was in the original Masters of the Universe film returned to the franchise to play Motherboard. But it was Teela’s voice that seemed to fit with this one but with the change left a weird hole in the expectations of the character.
- Cast: Diedrich Bader, Melissa Benoist, Liam Cunningham, Keith David, Mark Hamill, Lena
Headey, Griffin Newman, William Shatner, Tiffany Smith, Tony Todd, Chris Wood
With this cast it took me a bit to figure out who was playing who. Some notable roles were Hordak voiced by the legendary Keith David who did an impeccable job voicing the role. Tony Todd as Scare-Glow, Mark Hamill as Skeletor/Skeletek was superb as well. But the other welcome additions for this saga were several Trek alumni who I admire their work a lot. John de Lancie voiced Granamyr, which was a very fitting role with a nod to his Q character in the distaste for humans and power. William Shatner as the knowing but condescendingly sarcastic alter-ego of King Randor’s brother, Keldor. We also got Gates McFadden from TNG, and although I am guessing she played Queen Marlena, I am uncertain at this point in time.
Overall the voice cast did very well and those returning did a stellar job in their reprisal.
The plot was overall good. With the Horde, and Hordak coming in albeit their part was relatively smaller with Motherboard and Skeletor/Skeletek taking the prime slots for over half of the run. But we did get some good backstory and elements that added to the various characters, especially in regards to Skeletor’s/Keldor’s background that I found enlightening. Things that were surprising yet gave me sympathy for the character in regards to his past.
We also got to see what the various powers and mixture with tech could create in this rendition. Skeletor’s ultimate use of the combo in the 2nd half of this mini-season, and the reasons for Teela’s growing power to the eventual evolution of Teela and He-Man/Prince Adam around the same time Skeletor learns of the hybrid powers. It creates almost an element of the New Adventures of He-Man from the 80’s/90’s but does it better almost. Even the sword of Power get’s an upgrade in this that is reminiscent of that series and some elements of the 1980’s MOTU film.
What I liked is it pushed the franchise and series ahead in the story and progression and evolution of these characters. It found new jobs and new characters to fill older roles and retired some characters on a whole. So while it may have it’s faults, it is a good way to grow and change.
The plot is all over the place making it hard to follow. Not that I minded the backstory, or the jumps for different places, etc. But it makes it hard to keep it all straight in my opinion. There’s also the aspect I dislike Motherboard and the Horde, but that’s another issue for another day.
There’s also the voice of Teela. I love Melissa as Supergirl and get why she was cast opposite of her husband for this one as it does sound more genuine with interactions with He-Man/Adam, but there are parts Sarah Michelle Gellar would have shined better in some of these situations. Didn’t hate it but just took me out of it at points.
Some of the changes with the characters, mostly the villains I found to be unecessary but I get that’s what the Horde/Motherboard was inserted for. Not too familiar with that portion of the franchise on a whole. Regarding the ending plot twist, which I didn’t reveal about Hordak and the Horde, it could have all been in reality left alone. With Teela as the new sorcerous getting ALL the magical power staffs, it eliminates one of Skeletor’s staples but again, hard to say where this will go in the next part of the series.
While I thought this was better than the Revolution series on a whole, I felt like at the end of this 5 episode arc we could have let well enough alone. Things wrapped themselves up rather well with the various plot points, fixing a lot of the issues I had with the story and series prior to this release. They threw in a final 2 minute plot point that propelled us into an almost forced follow-up that I felt was rather unnecessary. The cast and animation is spectacular and love or hate the plot, it wasn’t as bad as the previous setup for this one. I just felt it could have ended beautifully on this note, and instead it looks like we’re getting a continuation, which again I’ll eagerly await to see what they do with it.