He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special (2005, BCI Eclipse)
Original Release: 1985, Television Special
BCI’s collection of the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power and The New Adventures of He-Man were obviously labors of love. From the special features, to the collectible art cards, to the packaging and menu design everything was done perfectly. These releases are shining examples of and should be the template for any animated release.
As the distributor was just starting to release the original MOTU show in 2005, just two months after the release of Season 1, Volume 1 BCI fulfilled the dreams of every He-Man fan everywhere by giving us He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special on the special’s 20th anniversary. It had been released on VHS back in the ’80s, but this was the first ever DVD release.
To be honest, it took me awhile to warm up to He-Man when it came to DVD. I bought S1V1, but wasn’t yet drawn back into it for whatever reason (my rediscovered obsession would start in 2006), so the release of this Christmas special totally slipped by me. It wasn’t until a year or so later that I remembered this special and started longing for a DVD release… only to find out it was already on DVD!
Though I remembered that it existed, I wasn’t aware of any of the details of it, so when I watched it a few years ago, it was like watching it for the first time all over again.
The cast of characters is really cool. Obviously, you’ve got He-Man and you’ve got She-Ra in all of their transformation montage glory, and of course Skeletor and Hordak tag along, but with this special being released in 1985 just as the original He-Man show had ceased production, we get tons of appearances by later MOTU characters like Webstor, Rattlor, Spikor, Two-Bad, Moss Man, Snout Spout and Sy-Klone. Some of those characters never made it onto the MOTU show before cancellation, having to settle for appearances on She-Ra, but they were released as Masters of the Universe figures.
I won’t get into the plot (basically, it’s an adventure triggered by another Orko screw-up but on a larger than usual scale), you can find that elsewhere or better yet, go watch the DVD yourself but suffice to say this is an awesome He-Man special and it’s an awesome Christmas special. It’s really great to see both shows and their characters interacting and my favorite thing about this special is when the Spirit of Christmas begins wearing off on Skeletor and he find himself in the role of hero for once. Hey, it’s the holidays — even Skeletor has to get mushy hearted sometimes! Skeletor is one of the greatest cartoon characters every created in my opinion thanks to the character’s ability to flow so freely from evil to comedy to the rare kind-hearted act without any of it ever seeming out of character.
If you’re a fan of He-Man and/or She-Ra and you haven’t seen this special yet, you owe it to yourself to do so. It’s a great Christmas special all wrapped up in a perfectly BCI-designed bow.
We get the standard (i.e. “excellent”) assortment BCI extras: TWO new documentaries, two 4×6 art cards, a few video clips, character profiles, fun facts and a PDF file of the show’s script.