The 80’s were an interesting time for animation. Cartoons were made usually to sell toys, and because of this, a wide variety of programming was made that just wouldn’t have existed elsewhere. While many of these franchises weren’t able to last (does anyone else remember Dino Riders?), some proved that they had the staying power to last multiple generations. These include the likes of Hasbro’s Transformers and My Little Pony toys and cartoons. One particular franchise that was extremely popular in the 80’s and 90’s but has since died out is He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which featured an overly-buff hero named Adam who would call on the mystical power of Castle Grayskull and be transformed into the hero He-Man. While definitely a silly concept it still struck a chord with many children at the time, and the series stayed around for many years before eventually dying off. However, with today’s current climate of studios digging up old nostalgic properties and breathing new life into them it wasn’t long before the He-Man franchise would get the same treatment. In spite of this, it isn’t actually He-Man that’s getting rebooted with a modern look. That honor is going to the female-centric spin-off series starring He-Man’s cousin, the warrior princess She-Ra.
Netflix announced in late July that they were planning on rebooting She-Ra with executive producer Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjanes) at the helm. However, despite some images of the redesigned cast, not much else was released at the time. Just a few days ago though, on September 10th, Netflix dropped a new trailer showcasing some of their animation and voice acting for their new show. Officially being titled She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, the trailer is simple in its execution to avoid spoilers. It shows the main character, Adora, finding a magical sword and using it to transform into the legendary heroine She-Ra. The trailer ends by telling audiences that the show will launch for Netflix subscribers on November 16th, 2018. The simplicity of the trailer is honestly quite appreciated, as it helps to introduce the show to new viewers without giving any major plot elements away.
DreamWorks, the studio in charge of animation for this new show, has also released a description about what the show will be about:
From this, we can tell that the show will have a heavy emphasis on teamwork and a group dynamic, as Adora finds and recruits these different princesses in order to make a team that will face off against an evil force.
Even with all this information, there is still some room for speculation. One main thing to think about is that such reboots will usually result in some sort of controversy. For instance, older fans may be unhappy with the new style and direction of the remake, much like how the new ThunderCats Roar has gotten negative press for its redesigned characters and comedy-oriented focus. Whether or not older fans can get behind this reboot, they need to realize that this new iteration is made for the new fans that the show will find and that the original show will always be there for them to enjoy. General audiences may also find problems with the reboot’s largely-female cast. Some may feel that with such a large focus on women the show will be nothing more than a way to serve a politically-charged agenda to a large audience, similar to criticism Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe has gotten. Whether or not this is the case remains to be seen, but simply because a cast is largely female doesn’t immediately denote an agenda. It may go this route, but we should wait and see what happens next before making any rash judgments.
There’s also the question about how the show will handle its plot. The original 80’s series had more of a focus on episodic fun, with recurring villains and side characters. However, current cartoons, especially Netflix exclusive cartoons, tend to aim high with their stories and try to build complex narratives with engaging characters. This means that the show will likely flesh out story elements and villains in order to craft a large-scale story that will probably take multiple seasons to finish. In addition to this, there’s also the question of how the show will handle the action in the series. The Original She-Ra, despite the times, was still an action show aimed at girls, and with animation having improved dramatically since the 80’s, one can only imagine just how good the action in the reboot will be. With DreamWorks, the same studio who animates Voltron: Legendary Defender, hard at work on crafting this show, the stars seem to be aligning just right for us to witness some incredible fight choreography and action scenes.
While still shrouded in a mist of mystery, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is shaping up to be a unique entry into Netflix’s animated lineup. With its smooth art design, (literally) colorful characters, and nostalgic hold on fans She-Ra could definitely deliver on an adventure that’s all its own. While it may cause some controversy somewhere down the line with how it’s handled, it’s currently setting itself up to step out of the shadows and into the limelight.
But what do you think? Have you seen the trailer for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power? What are your thoughts on the upcoming reboot? Let us know in the comments below. To stay tuned for updates on further developments Subscribe by Email.
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