Features

He-Man And She-Ra: A Christmas Special
by: -RoG-

It's that time of year. The time of year when one thing can light up our holiday spirits even more than the warm electric glow of a Christmas tree. What is this magical thing I speak of? Why, it's the Power of Grayskull, of course! Yes indeed, as is the case with countless other television series, the Masters of the Universe creators saw fit to fill our Eternian void by presenting us with the holiday cartoon classic, "He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special". Today, I'd like to take you all the way back to 1985 as we take a look at what Christmas was like on Eternia. And so we begin...

It's a holly jolly time in eternia and King Randor and Queen Marlena oversee the decoration of their palace for the birthdays of Prince Adam (He-Man) and Princess Adora (She-Ra). Even friends all the way from Etheria have come to chip in for the festivities, probably because She-Ra would give 'em all a beatdown if they didn't. Now I admit that I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to the world of She-Ra, but man do some of her fairy friends have awful names. Names like Perfuma, Flutterina and *gag* Peek-a-Blue. On top of that, Bow (the studly moustached man you see there) proclaims, "I think purple would look good up there, Peek-a-Blue! Try it!" in regards to her sparkly decorations. Yeah, if you had a son who played with any of these toys as a kid and he didn't turn out to be gay, I'd be stunned.

Anyway, Queen Marlena tells King Randor about how this celebration reminds her of a very special Earth holiday called "Christmas". That Randor is one hell of a regal motherfucker. He truly has the voice of a king which demands your attention and sounds a lot like General Zod... if Zod wasn't an asshole.

While the party preparations are taking place, Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms are getting the Sky Spy ready, which will help them keep an eye on Skeletor if successfully launched. Of course, things go awry when Orko, the ever-curious and annoying magician, gets into the shuttle and accidentally launches it too early. Skeletor notices this and then decides to intercept it because... well, he's just an evil guy and he doesn't really need any other reason than that. Two-Bad is at the helm of Skeletor's Collector ship, and provides some typical comic relief as both of his heads argue with one another. "You better have your eyes checked, lame brain!" "Hey watch it, motor mouth!" Oh sure, you scoff now, but exchanges like that would've had you in stitches as a child.

 

Skeletor, however, is not amused with Two-Bad's self-bickering, and shakes his fists in the air while commanding them to chase after the shuttle. For those of you who haven't seen many episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Skeletor was all about using exagerrated physical movements to let people know just how he was feeling. If you were angry, you might shout "Damnit!" or something along those lines. Not Skeletor though. He'd throw his fists up in the air and shake them around repeatedly until he was done ranting. It's just one of his many charms.

Also, there are apparently cameras installed throughout the entire galaxy. Even though Man-At-Arms isn't in the shuttle, he has a clear view of the chase taking place from some unseen exterior location. Then again, suspension of disbelief was key to enjoying just about any cartoon back in the eighties.

Prince Adam sees that Skeletor is going after the Sky Spy and decides enough is enough. He pulls out his power sword and shouts those magical words that many of us grew up on... "By the power of Grayskull!" Shortly after, we cut back to the Collector ship which is just about to catch the Sky Spy in its metal talons, but He-Man intervenes and makes short work of them while making one of his trademark quips, "You know what? These claws need a manicure!" I have to say, I never liked He-Man's little jokes before he ruined Skeletor's plans. He's already the most powerful man in the universe... does he have to act like a cocky bastard on top of it all? Apparently so.

Unrelated side note: I just realized He-Man and Anton Chigurh basically share the same hairstyle.

Skeletor refuses to let He-Man get away with it, so he has Two-Bad use the force belts on him, which are basically a couple o' metal tentacles which wrap around him. She-Ra then shows up, riding on her trusty flying unicorn "Swift Wind" and chucks her power sword at the force belts to set He-Man free. That's nice of her 'n all, but let's be realistic here; He-Man simply didn't need her help in this situation. It's He-Man we're talking about, here... He-Man! This is the same muscular guy who I've lift up entire mountains in previous episodes, so I think he'd be able to muster the strength to break free of a few "force belts" which aren't even as thick as the giant claws which he manhandled a few moments ago. But whatever. He-Man and She-Ra then punch a big hole in the side of the Collector ship which causes the autopilot to engage and return them to Snake Mountain. Skeletor's pissed off as hell, but hey, if I was in their situation I'd be looking at the bright side of things. I mean, normally if you have a huge gaping hold in the side of your ship, you're in for a deadly crash landing. But not them. They're just being returned to Snake Mountain. Personally, I'd chalk that one up to good fortune.

So Orko is still in the Sky Spy and decides to use one of his magic spells to make it land safely. Of course, he's always been a relatively shitty magician, so his spell causes the ship to go into some kind of warp speed mode.

After blasting through space far too quickly for He-Man and She-Ra to catch it, the Sky Spy eventually crashes on planet Earth of all places. What a coincidence! Queen Marlena was just talking about the very special holiday they celebrate on this planet called Christmas! And wouldn't you know it - the ship has landed in a snow-covered area complete with pine trees 'n all! Providing his usual comic relief, Orko stumbles out of the ship (which somehow didn't explode when crash landing on the planet's surface) and some snow from a nearby tree lands on him, making him look just like a snowman. Or, a Snorkoman if you will.

The time for Orko's humor comes to a quick halt when he notices two nearby children who are about to be buried alive by an avalance, which I can only assume was caused by his ship crashing into the ground. He whips up a quick spell, and for once, his magic actually works as the two children hover out of harms way. So what are the names of these two lucky kids? Why it's Alisha and Miguel! Ok, I can understand Alisha... but Miguel? Maybe it's just me, but that kid doesn't look like he's from Portugal. They both look like your typical whitebread cornfed american kids to me.

Back on Eternia, Queen Marlena tells Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms about how they found Orko's magic book outside near the launchpad of the Sky Spy. You'd think by now they'd be able to deduce that if something goes wrong in the kingdom, there's a 90% chance that Orko is at least partially responsible for it, but no. The answer has to be so blatantly obvious that it practically smacks them in the face before they realize what happened. How Eternia hasn't been conquered by the bad guys will forever remain a mystery to me. I guess no matter how idiotic the good guys are, the bad guys somehow manage to be dumber. Most impressive.

Meanwhile, Orko takes the kids back to the Sky Spy, and Alisha thinks it's a flying saucer. Yes Alisha, that rocket-shaped ship is a saucer, you're right on the money. Somebody send this girl to a school for the gifted! Once inside the Sky Spy, the two kids tell Orko about what they were doing out in the snow and try to explain to him what Christmas is all about. "Presents are part of it, but it's also a time when people think about peace and goodwill towards men." Are you sure about that Miguel? I'm pretty sure it's about presents and commercialism.

Anywho, Man-At-Arms manages to track down where Orko crashed and Queen Marlena recognizes the coordinates as planet Earth. He then informs everybody that he can bring Orko back with his transport beam, but he'll need a Carium water crystal to make it work. Since there aren't any on Eternia, Adora believes her old friend Mermista on planet Etheria might know where to find one.

And now it's time for Adora to become She-Ra. "For the honor of Grayskull!" I never understood why they made her say something different than He-Man. I mean, she has a power sword too, so what's wrong with saying "By the power of Grayskull", huh? It's definitely the catchier of the two lines. Ah well, at least she has a much fancier transformation sequence than her brother does. Besides, who wouldn't love to see Prince Adam become He-Man and then turn his pet into a unicorn?

Later on Etheria, She-Ra meets up with Mermista and finds out that there is a Carium water crystal on the planet, but it's guarded by a creature known as the Beast Monster. Kind of a lame, redundant name if you ask me, but whatever. She-Ra hops onto Swift Wind (or "Swifty" as she sometimse calls him) and keeps the Beast Monster distracted while Mermista searches its pool for the water crystal. She doesn't even really need to do anything to keep it busy, because after a few seconds, the Beast Monster trips over some stalagmites and ends up flat on its back. I've been waiting over ten years to get to use the word "stalagmites" in a sentence. Thank you Christmas Special, thank you. Anywho, Mermista does manage to find the water crystal in the pool so all is well... or so you thought!

Before we move on, I have to mention Mermista's accent. Apparently in the world of Etheria, all mermaids have extremely heavy French acceents. It's so ridiculously thick that I'm surprised she didn't tell She-Ra, "...and zee only way to defeat zee Beast Monsieur eez to stab 'eem in zee chest with zee baguette!" You know, now that I think about it more, I wish that really was in the movie!

She-Ra is ready to return the crystal to Man-At-Arms, but it turns out there's more than just the Beast Monster for her to deal with. For some inexplicable reason, this group of robots known as the Monstroids were buried underground. Rather than try to kill She-Ra, they seal her and Swifty in a bubble and then return to their headquarters.

 

Swifty, in his finest distinguished unicorn voice, proclaims, "They're changing into other forms! What evil robots!" What a great observation, Swifty! Because they change into other forms, they are automatically evil. The only evil I see here is what a blatant rip-off of the Transformers these Monstroids were. They don't really transform into anything particularly interesting, but it's still clear that they were trying to cash in on the success of the Transformers here. She-Ra then transformers her sword to flame and cuts through that bubble like a knife through warm butter.

Of course, she can't just push her way through the hole in the bubble she just cut... she has to exit in style. She-Ra does a spinning back kick to bust open the hole, and answers the question about whether she wears underwear or not in the process. Haynes her way! She returns the crystal to Man-At-Arms and he activates the transport beam, which does manage to return Orko and the Sky Spy back to Eternia. Problem is, Miguel and Alisha were transported as well and are now in danger of missing Christmas with their family. Oh no!

Don't worry kids, Marlena is a kind queen and sympathizes with your plight. She has decided to combine Adam and Adora's birthdays with their Christmas celebration. See? Everybody wins! Actually, that's not true. I was born on December 26th and I can tell you for a fact that having a birthday at that time of the year sucks ass. Sure, there's the whole "Oh this present is for Christmas AND your birthday! Enjoy!" thing, but the real awful part about it is that everybody you know is either out of town or too busy celebrating the holidays with their families to join you in your birthday festivities. I really need to start celebrating my birthday in January instead. Well, enough about my disdain for December birthdays and on with the story!

So Skeletor and Hordak are standing on what appears to be a giant diving board as Horde Prime commands them to put a halt to the "new spirit of goodness" on Eternia because Christmas may threaten his rule. Naturally, the two argue about who can accomplish this evil feat and insult each other's track records against He-Man and She-Ra. Horde Prime slams his giant robo-fist onto the platform and informs the two that whoever puts an end to all of the Christmas crap on Eternia will be well rewarded. Now, he doesn't go into detail about what "well rewarded" actually means, but I like to think that it involved allowing the victor to jump off that big red diving board and do a cannonball into a pool of evil.

The He-Madness isn't over yet!
Click here to continue to Page 2 of the
He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special!

Reader Comments

Valkyr Addict
Dec 24th, 2008, 08:58 AM
Skeletor damn neared died at the thought of feeling compasion.
Member
Dec 24th, 2008, 10:02 AM
I still never understand why they didn't invite skeletor to celebrate christmas with them. I can see him walking in with a smile on his face, only to have the 30,000 human action figures in eternia beat the living crap out of him before Adam explains that he's on thier side today. That would have been awesome!

Also, can someone explain why the women in the he-man universe don't seem to wear pants? I mean don't you think if you were princess of etheria your mom would tell you to put a skirt over your under-roos? I wouldn't complain, except the MEN seem to have this problem too. There's something really gay about a "magical sword" that gives you great power, but makes your pants disappear.

And with that mental image, I wish you all a very merry Christmas! ;-)
Riot Control
Dec 24th, 2008, 12:34 PM
HowardC: They probably thought that bringing Skeletor to the Christmas celebration would make him go wild and try to impersonate Santa. I mean... What if instead of the magical flying belts they got magical staves with a skull on top? They would have gotten true witchcraft there and I'm not sure their parents would be all that pleased... Seeing Skeletor laugh with glee was enough already.
Last of the Time Lords
Dec 24th, 2008, 02:58 PM
I actually still have this one on tape. Truly awful in that "must watch it every year" way that most of these specials have.

And I could never figure out why they made a big deal about the dog licking Skeletor's face to show affection. His face is bone. Bones are like crack to cartoon dogs. I'm amazed Relay didn't run off with it when Skeletor was unconscious and bury it in the snow.
Forum Virgin
Dec 24th, 2008, 03:57 PM
I want to see the animation of the fist-shaking Skeletor with "Robble-Robble!" flashing across it.
Forum Virgin
Dec 24th, 2008, 04:10 PM
My boyfriend's neices have this on DVD. Although I was a huge She-Ra fan when I was five (I even had the costume, which I would wear ritualisticaly every day when it came on the fuzzy old floor-model tv), I never knew until last year that this jewel even existed! I'm hoping someone places this work of holiday art into my stocking this evening....
Member
Dec 24th, 2008, 09:29 PM
Believe it or not, the DVD of this brought me a lot of Christmas joy the year the one store I was working in was closing. I was having a terrifically crap-tacular day, practically in tears because our liquidator was being his usual charming self [/sarcasm] and while I was straightening up, I found that we still had a single copy of this in stock. My one manager wanted to get it himself, but I stood there, hugged it to my chest and went "No. Mine! I need this." It truly made my day a lot better.

And Nirvana, I have pictures of me on Christmas morning, decked out in the costume over my pajamas, not to mention me as her the following Halloween, too. Plus, every time the show came on, I had to run and grab the glow-in-the-dark sword with sparkly sticker gem and go through the entire intro with it, not to mention the show itself.
Forum Virgin
Dec 24th, 2008, 10:18 PM
I-Mockery is the gift that keeps on giving, between this and Santa's Slay.

BTW, the "what evil robots" line = not-so-subtle burial of MOTU's competition at the time? You decide...
Fanboy
Dec 25th, 2008, 12:16 AM
I hated Orko.
Member
Dec 25th, 2008, 12:17 AM
I've gotta admit, I STILL sometimes hold my magic sword aloft and shout "By the power of greyskull!" It's far more disturbing now then when I was 6, but hey, I have enough issues so that nobody notices it.
Reptilus Rex
Dec 25th, 2008, 02:19 AM
I think She-Ra says the whole honor bit to keep with her standing as a princess. You know, the V-Card.
grants but one wish
Dec 25th, 2008, 04:14 AM
"King Randor" is the BURGER KING! your secrets out randor...
pickled
Dec 25th, 2008, 08:43 PM
Skeletor smiling with holiday spirit is creepy.
The Geminate
Dec 25th, 2008, 08:48 PM
I found this piece extremely disturbing, and it will take more than booze to sleep tonight.
bad case of the dead
Dec 26th, 2008, 12:59 PM
fights are fun. i like fights!

heman aged really well compared to most cartoons
Member
Dec 26th, 2008, 01:49 PM
One thing about Filmation, they always had hot females to oggle.
What Video Games?
Dec 27th, 2008, 12:25 PM
The review I read of this on another site downplayed the shit out of it. Count on -RoG- to turn feces into filet mignon! Thanks for the funny review!
after enough bourbon ...
Dec 27th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Manchines = Ewoks
Forum Virgin
Dec 28th, 2008, 03:25 AM
Wow I had an action figure of Two-Bad as a kid, and only now did I realise he was from He-Man! (and that his name was Two-Bad) hehe that's one mystery solved
The Power of Grayskull
Dec 29th, 2008, 08:05 AM
Ah the memories. I still have all of my He-man action figures and vehicles in a box at my parent's house. I need to put up a shelf and display them proudly, dammit.

Also, did anyone else notice that Miguel's father looks a lot like Ron Jeremy?
Forum Virgin
Dec 31st, 2008, 03:21 PM
I don't think they were trying to capitalize on the Transformers craze when they presented the transforming robots. In fact, that they said they were evil makes me think they were aiming for the whole "HOLY POO TRANSFORMERS ARE EVIL AND WILL KILL YOU FAMILY BUY HE-MAN TOYS INSTEAD" marketing strategy.
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