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THAR B Spoilers Movie Review: He-Man & She-Ra Secret of the Sword V1


A theatrical movie made to keep the He-Man cash cow going that also retcons the series somewhat?  


THE STORY:  Per IMDB: “Prince Adam is sent to the world of Etheria to find his long abducted sister Adora, and awaken her to her own destiny.”


The movie begins with a jazzy musical opening(play a bit) it kinda reminds me of the “Never-ending Story” theme.  Anyway we then we skip to the sorceress dreaming about being a model(maybe she’s born with, maybe it’s mabelline!).  Actually she’s having a a dream of some guy stealing a baby.  She’s awaken by a sword hovering over her.  Hmm…Sigmund Freud would have a field day with this scene!  This leads to her telepathically contacting Prince Adam to tell him to come to Castle Greyskull and not a moment too soon!  With that terrible bowl stirring discipline he’ll suffer from sever carpal tunnel syndrome in the next 5 mins!!! 


Okay I find this next scene questionable.  The sorceress tells Adam to take this sword go thru a magical door that just appeared out of nowhere and find who this sword belongs too.  When he tries to get more info from her she basically says shut up and do it and the fate to the world is at stake.  BALDERDASH!  This is a silly way to start a mission!  That’s like saying hey here’s an atom bomb and I want you to go into United Nations to see who it belongs too!  What you want more info?  Well kick bricks son!  It’s pretty obvious that she knows more than what’s going on and I don’t see how just giving Adam more info will hinder the mission.  Another B.S. statement (was this “I have no power outside of Castle Greyskull.”)she made was that she would do it herself but she doesn’t have any power outside of the castle.  Except I remember an episode where she did just that.  Hmm…then again that may have just been from the 2000’s remake.  Okay, fine film until I can prove otherwise “I’ll allow it!”(Mills Lane)


Anyway once Cringer and Adam arrive to this new land instead of starting their search they decide to grab some chow from a very questionable restaurant. (05:45)(play SW cantina theme and or Obi-Wan’s scum and villainy quote)  (05:56) Okay I know this guy couldn’t possibly be a villain based off of that absurd mustache!  Question: Just how is Adam going to pay for his and Cringer’s dinner?  Will they dine and dash?  Will they use some weird universal currency that I don’t know about?  I NEED ANSWERS MOVIE!!!


Okay, the hordesmen enter the restaurant and act like they own the place and want some food and drink.  Uh, how we never see a hordes-mans face in this movie.  Which makes fluffy(or whatever his name is is)statement earlier a bit weird(“The only time I’ve seen a hordes-man smile is when he’s doing something awful to someone.)06:00.  Once the owner of the finds out that Cringer can talk he gives a very creepy look….ewww…  Well, after mustache lad and Adam literally pull the rug from under these dum dums Mr. Stache takes Adam to the “Whispering Woods”(10:38)Meanwhile Hordak is getting an update on what’s going on.  (Before I go on I gotta admit the backgrounds and of Hordak's headquarters looks good.  The design reminds me of something Jack Kirby would come up with the “New Gods”(Apocalypse).)   He’s alerted of Adam’s presence.  Hmmm…with the design of Katra were the creators going for the Batman’s 66 Ertha Kitt Catwoman?  Heck she even sounds like her!  (Play 11:22) So he sets up a trap and ends his speech by showcasing his toys laser blast feature(11:55).


At the same time Adam, Cringer and what’s his name make it to the rebellion headquarters and are treated by a blueberry!  After getting oggeled by Glimmer their leader(who show’s more emotion here than she(and most of the characters for that matter)show’s for the rest of the film!) we meet the Orko of this world Madam Razz.(13:33) play Jetson’s Jane stop this crazy thing clip).  (13:55)You can tell this is supposed to be a comedy relief character when you see a couple of characters taking a bit on her crashing into a tree!  Well per Madam Razz because of the incident stache and Adam started the horde took a town as slaves.  Okay before going on I don’t want this to become a thing but…where the animators overworked?  Or did they just not care(?) because at (14:25 - 14:30) I think Glimmer is supposed to be upset but she has the same blank expression nearly every character has exhibited so far in the film.  Heck, the only time she showed any emotion was when she got a boner looking at Adam the first time!


The resistance go and stake out Beast Island and spring their attack.  It doesn’t go well.  (17:17)Okay who is this guy and how is this scene not a meme?!  17:49 wait his name is sucker face and he’s stealing energy from her?  How would the audience know?  It just looks like Glimmer is participating in some new age-y massage therapy.  Well all looks lost until Adam does this. (18:05) okay I know it’s a joke by now but really no one see’s him turn into He-Man?  (Grumble wah wah speaking: “Maybe once he pulls out the sword he’s transported to an alternate dimension and then transforms but once he’s he-man he comes back out of it?)Uh….sure let’s go with that.  (18:30)Oh now we see physical evidence of sucker face sucking energy.  He-Man does his thing during which he  delivers a particular bad burn(19:05 - 19:18).  During this Battle Cat chases some pussy(Play booing).  Okay He-Man takes on Force Captain Adora and all goes well until that other sword starts glowing showing her in it’s reflection.  He get’s distracted and taken out.  (20:55- 20:57)Okay this moment doesn’t make any sense!  The hordes-man shadow cool but the shadow doesn’t show the fire stick(or whatever it is)that he uses to take out He-Man.  This movies continuity is ridiculous and I get a feeling it’s going to get worse isn’t it.


Despite all that I think the resistance was successful.  We don’t see anyone that they saved so I can’t be sure.  So after a commercial break(I am not kidding)the gang are back in Whispering Woods trying to find he-man.  Wait weren’t they just near him during the fight.  Couldn’t they have had someone follow him?  Or maybe he’s still in the location you just left?  Sigh…


Well after an unfunny joke Madam Razz conjures up a ship for them to save He-Man who’s in prison on Beast Island.  Meanwhile on Beast Island He-Mans chained up in what I assume kryptonite(based on the weird green glow) and chats with Adora(23:00 - 24:31).  Long story short she believes the horde is good and he challenges her beliefs(play some dialogue).  It’s actually a good scene.  I just can imagine with that smirk on his face he’s thinking “GOT’EM!”


(24:34)Well the resistance makes their way to Beast Island but run into Hordak’s ship and he shoots them down but for reasons only know to him he doesn’t bother checking to see if their actually DEAD!(25:25)(play what a maroon(or moron)clip) (26:03) See I told you!  (26:50)It’s not really gone into but I find the relationship between Horde-ak and Adora interesting.  I get a bit of a parental vibe from him.  I’m surprised that this wasn’t played up more in the tv series.  We then find the gang just strolling in the forest when they get attacked by a rock monster(?).  Of course Madam Razz being the orko of this film makes things worst and battle cat has to clean up her mess(29:00).  After Adora leaves Beast Island to call He-Man’s bluff.  While that’s happening the gang find Horde-ak’s base(but wait isn’t the entire island his base)and they can’t believe what they see((30:07 - 30:20)play where there’s a whip there’s a way while they are leading the slaves away.)and a sheltered Adora finally see’s the horde for what it is.  Not that it’ll matter as we’ll see in a few minutes.  While that’s happening the gang walks into a trap but thanks to Battle Cat being a boss he get’s them out(hell he takes a couple a lasers for them AND busts a hole for them to escape(31:38).  Adora continues her world tour seeing the atrocities that the horde commit looks angry about it but then does nothing(32:20).  What?  


So the gang finally find He-Man only to get captured.  Fortunately he’s saved by Cowl.  He saves the gang and they escape but not before he destroys the prison(37:39).  Later on Adora confronts Shadow Weaver and Hordak about the evil that the Horde do they respond by knocking her out and putting another spell on her for her to forget everything(39:00).  Hmm…my plot hole sense is tingling!  When the series begins couldn’t this be the same answer that Hordak could do in every episode to be her?  Later on Hordak show’s off his new toy, “The Magnum Beam Transporter”(a teleporter)(40:30)It transports things to “The Valley of Lost”.  He plans on using it on the Whispering Woods and the Rebellion.  Uh, why did the film-makers have to zoom in on Hordak's crotch(42:04)?   Per Hordak the beam needs to be fully charged first and it’s power source is will power.  WAITAMINUTE!  He’s weaponized willpower(42:24)?  Some lawyers at DC Comics would like to have a word with film-makers(Green Lantern)!


How do you drain willpower?  Can’t willpower be replenished?  Also he say’s he needs more rebels to power the beam up but after which they will use them as slaves(43:29), so if that’s the case what’s the point of then powering up the beam if you have a machine that can make you enemies your slaves?  I don’t think he’s thought this plan through.  Adora finds this disturbing even though you wouldn’t know that with her expression here(43:37).  Back at the rebellion headquarters(which look completely different now) plans to look for Adora again(in the “Fright Zone”).  Did Cringer just break the 4th wall(44:03)?  What’s with these dutch angle shots(44:24)?  After Adam turns into He-Man he pulls a Star Wars and disguises as a horde storm trooper uh, I mean trooper?  This doesn’t work because Hordak & Shadow Weaver aren’t idiots(47:18). (47:57)I don’t think that it was the film makers intention but this scene with He-Man and Adora has a very “Stranger Danger” vibe to it.  Hordak and ambushes them and Adora takes He-man out easily.  Now are the hordes-man armor like the stormtroopers in that their weak against laser blasts but strong against things like punches and clubs?  Hordak plans to suck up He-Mans willpower to power the beam.  Adora objects but has another spell put on her(isn’t this like the 3rd time in this film?)(49:35).  


The Sorceress finally does something and summons Adora to He-Man and the swords location(52:00).  She also reveals that He-Man is her “TWIN BROTHER!” Duh, DUH DUHHHH!  Is this really a spoiler to anyone now after 33 years?  Well she transforms into She-Ra and saves him but not before the beam is fully powered up.  She tosses him his sword and he receives a quick 1-up(power up).  Hordak arrives and really isn’t that interested in them now since the beam is powered up.  But you know you should still try to kill them yourself right now and not leave it to your guards that were defeated by having the literal rug pulled from under them earlier!


(55:53)By landing on Spirit as She-Ra he becomes Swift Wind and can talk.  Man!  Imagine what would happen if She-Ra sat on a toilet.  Would it become a porcelain throne?  Meanwhile He-Man decides to take the direct approach  against Hoard-ak unfortunately Hord-ak pulls the level and it looks like Whispering Woods is done for but luckily She-Ra counters the blast with a huge rock!  Before Hoard-ak can fire off another shot He-Man does his thing and this leads to possibly the best line in the film(57:40 - 57:48).  For some reason that just kills me. Anyhoo by doing that all of the slaves and hostages have their willpower returned to them.  Before a surrounded He-Man can be blasted to hell She-Ra saves him and tells him something shocking(58:30)(not that you could tell by the limited animation on his face!)  I wonder what when thru Adam’s mind here(“What, we’re related?  Crap!  Well I guess Teela is my only option now!”).


Once they get situated the Sorcercess delivers a face-time message telling them their back stories.  So basically the queen had twins and Hoard-ak leading the Horde tried to take over the kingdom during which he tried to steal both babies but only getting one.  Hey look it seems Skelator was a minion of Hord-ak too and when the kidnap plan was botched with only getting Adora Skelator gave up the goods on the horde.  So basically he’s always been like this.  After tracking Hord-ak down they still couldn’t get Adora back.  He escaped.  The Sorceress then proceeded to erase the memory of everything the Horde did and of Adora.  WHAT?!  Okay now I’m going to assume that the story for this film and She-Ra happened WAYYYY after the He-Man series was on the air and I’ll give it some credit for trying to fix some plot holes but C’MON!  (01:01:00)


1.  I assume some death and destruction was caused by the horde.  So what did the sorceress undo all of that?  Unlikely.  Etheria is a big world I’m sure other lands would still know about the Horde and how the king and queen had twins.  I doubt the sorceress power is so powerful that the entire world would forget.  


2.  Why have everyone but the king and queen(and man at arms and the sorceress) forget about Adora?  I don’t see the benefit to that.  Did they think people would risk their lives trying to find her(especially Adam)?  How per the sorceress hord-ak escaped to another dimension.  While magic exists in this world most can’t use it and wouldn’t be able to use it.  This seems as silly as in “FROZEN” wiping Anna’s memory of Elsa’s power(instead of doing something else like oh gee I don’t know teaching her how to control it!!!).


Sometime later Adam and Adora return to Whispering Woods and tells everyone the good news “We’re getting Marrie-up no uh actually we’re siblings(yeah, yeah that’s the ticket!).  After that Adora announces she will join the rebellion.  Immediately after that we find out that Glimmer wants to save her mom(the queen)Angela from a bunch of harpies.  It’s been years since I’ve watched the original He-Man & She-Ra series so I don’t know but I’m going to assume that the Harpies are the secondary villains of the show.  They take care of the minions by using some looney toons physics which leads He-Man to utter this terrible line(01:05:59)ugh…  Well after some shenanigans with the sharpie queen they cross the streams and beat her.  So they save Queen An-gela and reunite her with Glimmer.  Now the rebellion has it’s leader back and should be stronger than ever(01:09:24).


It’s right here that I run into a problem with the movie.  


It should over.  Yes we should get the scene with Adora’s reunion with her parents but how long should that take, 4 -6 mins?  Or just show it over the credits.  Nope we still have almost half an hour left in the film(27 mins).  So that means this last 3rd of the film is going to be of trying to find a reason to keep Adora in Ether.  My padding sense is tingling again!


Right as Adam, Cringer, Adora and Swift Wind go thru the dimensional gate Hordak throws a tantrum and sneaks into it as well(01:11:11).  Why after they arrive is the Sorceress looking like that?  Well once they leave Hordak comes in.  Shouldnt’ve she shut off the door before she left?  Then again if she did the movies would be over within the next 3 minutes!  Adam show everyone his surprise and somehow Man-At-Arms, the king and queen recognize her.  How? she was days old when they last saw her!


(01:13:18) The King says “and nothing will separate again!”(play ha-ha clip).  Meanwhile Hordak makes way to his old neighborhood and see’s that Skelator has taken residence in it.  After exchanging some…pleasantries Hord-ak offers a proposition.  He’ll leave the planet if Skelator helps him capture the princess.  And just what is his response to that?  “WHAT?!”(01:15:22)  Ah, so that’s where that meme came from!  


Meanwhile at the castle Adora tells everyone a story about Madam Razz that she couldnt’ve possibly have known considering she just met her about 12 hours ago(I could be mistaken though).  The Gruesome twosome crash the party and kidnap Adora(01:18:24).   Just as Hord-ak is about to take Adora back Skelator betray’s him.  Gee, no one saw that coming right(01:20:23)?(play the drug PSA I learned it from watching you!)  Skelator plans to hold her hostage.  Wait in the flashback from earlier Hordak went thru a portal to get to Etheria right?  So what did he plan on where to go or did he just pick some random world on a whim.  If so he could’ve fell into a sun for all he knew!   Anyway Skelator throws Adora into the clink but not before he says this line “Just like a woman” (01:20:46)uh…no wonder Evil Lynn always gives him a sour look!  After Adora feigns fainting she tricks Beast-Man escape retrieves her sword and becomes She-Ra.  She faces off against Skelator and his men and well if you’ve seen the show you know what happens.  It’s at this time He-Man and crew arrive and are rendered pointless.  I do find Teela’s resting bitch face funny though.  It’s better than Linda Hamilton’s from “King Kong Lives” but not as great as Mama Kincaid from “Abar The First Black Superman”!


So back at the palace Adora tells the king and queen of her plans to go back to Etheria and battle the horde.  Because that’s been her home for years and the horde needs to be defeated before she can come back to Eternia(01:25:13).  Okay, that makes sense in a chosen one kind of way but shouldn’t the film end right about now?  We still have over 11 mins left in the film.  What more needs to happen here?  At Castler Greyskull Adora says her goodbyes to the Sorceress, Cringer and Adam but Adam showing some Sis-Con tendencies arrives at the last minute to help her get the rebellion off on a good foot(01:26:26).  Sure, Adam.  


They make it back to Whispering Woods only to get attacked(?)by some animals.  She-Ra displays one of her powers and pulls a Wonder Woman and the animals are willing to help out.  Over the next 5 minutes we have the rebellion battle the horde.  All goes well until Swift Wind bites it.  It’s okay though because She-Ra has the power of healing except she doesn’t seem to know she’s doing at first(01:32:00).  The fight climaxes or anti-climaxes with He-Man & She-Ra confronting Shadow Weaver and Hordak and instead of a action pack finale between these heavy hitters the villains just fly away.  There’s 3 mins left to the film if you didn’t want to have the 4 fight then don’t have this scene.


So with Bright Moon’s status quo restored Adam and Adora say there goodbyes (01:35:15)and that’s that.



RANDOM:  Why does cringer sometimes talk normally and other times only talks out of the side of his mouth? Did he have a stroke off screen? (06:10) why is the barkeep looking at cringer like that?  The way Glimmer looks at Adam when she firsts see’s him.  When He-Man had his willpower sucked out he seemed to get it all back when he got the sword of power back.  So is it like a charger?






The Story: is okay-ish…The whole finding a sibling/relative storyline is rote by now(and this film actually does it twice!)but it’s not bad here.  The acting is on par for the show.  It’s not horrendous or great it’s just acceptable.


Story wise: unlike with gobots battle of the rock lords this actual comes off as a movie and not 3 to 3 1/2 episodes slapped together.  I wasn’t bored watching the film. 


The Art:  The design of some of the creatures were okay.  Etheria didn’t really differentiate from the world of Eternia but I guess that’s what the toy company(MATTEL) wanted. The real standout however are the vechile and aground designs.  The main reason I could stomach the limited animation was how fanatically and atmospheric the surroundings where.  They looked like something from a 1970s - 80s concept album or fantasy comic.


The Characters:  They were okay.  Most of them are archetypes which is to be expected.  The stand out however is Adora/She-Ra.  As Force Captain she was serious a bit twisted(I mean look at some of the faces she gave in the film) and capable.  When the spell was broken she came off as more fun loving and caring.  As She-Ra she was a mixture of both.


The Soundtrack, Score and BGM:  None of it is that interesting.  That being said the the opening theme(the closing theme is just the opening played again)is a stand out.  I joked earlier that it sounded like a rehash of the Never-ending Story theme but I mean that in a good way.



Animation:  Just as with Go Bots Battle of the Rock Lords the animation is mostly terrible.  I have the same issues as well.  The quality is equal to the tv series.  Some story points don’t make sense.  Some examples would be: The sorceress not giving the full low down with his mission.  Adam suddenly having a sister out of nowhere(I don’t recall him having a missing sister in the 80’s tv show).


Character Design:  This film(and most likely the series too) has an extreme case of same face, same body different hairstyle syndrome.  All of the females looks would run together if not for their hair and color scheme of their clothes.


There are fades to black which are conveniently timed for commercial breaks for when it appears on tv.  Wow it’s as if this wasn’t made for the theaters initially but for television.  So what did Filmation slap some episodes together and push this out?  Probably.


Voice Acting:  While most of the voice acting is fine some of it is horrible. Ex. Queen An-gela.  Erika Scheimer gave such a stilted and wooden performance that I don’t feel that bad about my voice work now!  I’m not even sure why she’s that bad considering she was doing voice work as early as 1973(with the Brady Kids).  Then again her last listed voice role was in 1987-1988 with She-Ra: “Princess of Power” and “BraveStarr”.   


Villains:  The Hordesman are sorry.  Yes, yes I know just like all stooges(see the storm troopers) they have to be a bit incompetent but this bad?  They literally saw someone count down to pull the rug from under them.  Also anyone could defeat them.  All you have to do is just step out to the way.  Their look while is toyetic isn’t practical.  Their big and imposing but pretty mobile.


Some of the names are too spot on like Sucker Face or Bo.  At least the naming scheme isn’t as bad as with the series “GOBLIN SLAYER”.  Where everyone’s name is their job(ex. High Elf Archer, Elder dwarf, Sword Maiden, Priestess and of course the titular Goblin Slayer yoinks!).


RECOMMENDNot really.  Unless your a fan of the original series.


I can see people enjoying this film for nostalgic reasons but because of the padding and limited animation I don't see this film garnering any new fans.


This came off as a several tv episodes stitched together.


*play Where There’s a Whip there’s a Way” from animated lord of the rings*

*Play Naruto sexiness theme*

*(01:21:30) after Beast-man wants to get beastly with here play the police breaking down the door.* 

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