Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Toaster's Guilty Pleasures: He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

 So I decided to go back to my childhood days and re-watch the He-Man Christmas Special, having not seen it since it's original air date in 1987. Will I like it now as much as I did as a kid? Not a fucking chance. 

What follows is my running commentary:

Christmas on Eternia… right off the bat I’m picturing a beefy, muscular Jesus Christ… probably renamed Christor, armed with a magic cross-sword and wearing furry boots and the mandatory loincloth. I’m pretty sure that all males on Eternia are required to wear loincloths under penalty of having to clean the dingle-berries from Beast Man’s ass.

But I forgot that Queen Marlena was from Earth. Somehow I doubt she brings the true religious origins of Christmas to Eternia… just the weird decorations, annoying songs and of course rampant Capitalism.

Holy crap, I forgot how bad the animation was. As a kid I never noticed, but everything was so lazy and choppy. They do a panning shot of everyone getting ready for the party and almost everyone is frozen in place with that dumb She-Ra owl thing floating up and down. In speaking of She-Ra, when she talks it’s like a woman who had way too much Botox… he mouth moves but her face is dead! I picture the animation department getting high and then realizing “Oh man, we only got an hour to finish the episode!”

Prince Adam… who is apparently the most muscular wuss-bag in the universe, is helping Man-At-Arms make a rocket. Man-At-Arms always had that rockin’ mustache. He was like the Ron Swanson of Eternia. I wonder if Man-At-Arms ever did porno? I remember the old school figure of Man-At-Arms never had the mustache and I remember feeling cheated.

Orko… Eternia’s Jar Jar Binks. He’s like a floating magic retard with cat ears. I loved Orko as a kid, but now I see he was part of that terrible pantheon of annoying ass kid friendly characters that ruined whatever they were a part of… like Bat-Mite from that Batman and Robin cartoon and Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters and Snarf on the Thundercats and that fucking baby on Dinosaurs. Can you imagine if they made a TV show starring only those irritating “Hey kids, love me!” characters? After the first five minutes the entire audience would be dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

So of course Orko breaks into the rocket… like literally he has to break the door to enter. Can’t he teleport? Whatever. He pretends to drive the rocket like a race car and breaks a handle; this somehow launches the rocket. It makes perfect sense. I mean, whenever I get a flat tire, my car explodes. Oh wait… THAT MAKES NO SENSE!

Skeletor sees the rocket and then has a conniption fit when Two-Bad starts arguing. Dude, calm down. This is what happens when your army is comprised of idiots. So he chases Orko because… he’s a dick. I don’t know; villainous motivations on this show were pretty limited to stealing riches, stealing ultimate weapons and world conquest.

Holy shit! How did She-Ra get a waist that thin? Did she get her kidneys removed? “Then He-Man and his girl haircut is going after that rocket!” Transform from gay outfit to ridiculously gay outfit! Hey, why did He-Man always have a German Iron Cross on him? Was a blonde-haired blue eyed white super human with a swastika too obvious?

So He-Man and She-Ra break Skeletor’s air-ship. Meanwhile, Orko decides to use a magic spell to land the rocketship. This won’t end well. Hey, I thought Rattlor was one of the Snake-men. What is he doing working for Skeletor? And what the hell is up with Spikor’s voice? He sounds like a Speak N’ Spell with dying batteries. Skeletor ejects all of the idiots from his ship… easily the smartest thing he will do throughout this special.

So the rocket goes into outer space and He-man and She-ra go after it. In space… where there’s no air. She-Ra is riding her winged horse and He-man’s on a sky speeder. The rocket warps away, but He-man is relieved that nobody’s in it. That’s right, He-man… it’s all good. Go home and celebrate being rid of the re… I mean, Christmas.

So Orko crash lands on planet… winter and he actually manages to save some kids from an avalanche by competently using magic! Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Turns out the kids are getting a Christmas tree, so either Orko landed on Earth or it’s one of those amazing coincidences that another planet celebrates a holiday based on a specific branch of mono-theism… sort of like when aliens just happen to speak perfect English!

So Marlena, She-Ra and Teela realize Orko’s missing and for some reason are concerned. They tell He-Man and Porn-stache. They realize he must have been on the rocket and decide they have to find him. No they don’t. Just move on.

“Everybody knows what Christmas is!” (Disclaimer: Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindis and Taoists may not actually know what Christmas is.) The kids tell Orko all about Christmas and he falls in love with the idea so much that he brings Christmas to Bikini Bottom.  Oh, wait, wrong special. What is up with the little girl’s eyes? It’s like they’re super dilated. Orko learns about the birth of Jesus immediately followed by the story of Santa Claus. Strangely, telling an alien these two stories back to back will make it very hard to distinguish which is a religious messiah and which one has his image on everything and guys impersonating him at malls. I think it would be fun to make the alien guess which one is considered real and which is make believe.

So the heroes determine that Orko landed on Earth and ‘Stache-At Arms says his transporter beam could get him back except it requires a water crystal that doesn’t exist on Eternia. I’m just going to let that logic sink in a moment.  Did you ever notice that She-Ra’s transformation features a lot of glowing magic sperm? Kind of disturbing. I am actually torn whether I would want to ride a flying horse or a tiger with battle armor. Both are pretty awesome… even if the horse makes me look like a girl. Holy shit, her horse can talk? I never knew that. Seriously, I just collected Hordak and the Horde; I didn’t give a shit about the Barbarian Barbies.

So She-Ra gets the crystal with the help of a French mermaid. Then she has to battle some big robots. Where the fuck is Hordak? Wait a minute, the robots turn into other forms? Is she on Cybertron? No, their transformations are too lame… their probably inbred Go-Bots. Seriously, where is Hordak? I should not be seeing this much She-Ra without Hordak popping up.

So 70’s ‘Stache sends his teleport beam and Orko convinces the kids to go into the beam with him. I would like to remind everyone that this was in the 1980’s when all kids were told to not talk to strangers. I’m not saying Orko was a child rapist… just that he always covered his face, designed himself to be appealing to children and who the hell knows what’s under that skirt thing he wears. Okay, given what I just said, Prince Adam’s reaction upon seeing them return to Eternia doesn’t help. “There he is! Ooooh… they’re they are!” You can watch it yourself, I swear to God that is what he said! Marlena suggests combining the twin birthdays of He-Man and She-Ra with Christmas. She must hate them. She reassures the little girl that Santa will find her and her brother on Eternia. I think she meant the warrior space known as Santor, the Heroic Crusader of Christmas! He gives children sharp weapons and loincloths. 

Hell yeah! I remember the introduction of Horde Prime, at least it was to me since I had never watched She-Ra (like I already stated). Sensing a “disturbance in the Force” which I suppose was either the Christmas spirit or gas, Prime summons Skeletor and Hordak and tells them to destroy Christmas; whomever succeeds will be rewarded… I suspect with more action figure versions of their character. By the way, why was Hordak a weird cross between “pig” Ganondorf and a professional wrestler? The Hordak from the more recent Masters of the Universe series was a lot cooler.

So we get some scene where the kids are hanging with a couple She-Ra characters… the ditsy blonde sorceress Perfuma and Bow… whom I could never figure out if he was gay or the most brilliant man in the Masters of the Universe-verse by being the only dude in an all hot-chick army. The kids start singing some Christmas on Eternia song that they “just made up” while Orko and that owl-thing start dancing… and I start cleaning my gun. Then the kids are beamed aboard Hordak’s dildo shaped helicopter. See, this proves how much more competent is Hordak was than Skeletor… Skeletor couldn’t capture Orko by himself and Hordak captures Orko and the kids in one try!

So then Hordak gets attacked by the dumbass Go-Bots. Strangely Hordak and his minions become Scooby Doo characters and run away, abandoning the kids to them. But don’t worry, because they get rescued by these stupid fucking Smurf robot things called Manchines, who oppose the Idiot-bots. Ugh.. I hate them already. They end up surrounded by the Lame-bots but He-man and She-Ra show up to kick some ass. But then more Smurf-bots show up… ugh… and the fact that the giant evil robots are defeated by the tiny Manchines shows how fucking stupid they are! Oh God, there’s a Smurf-bot puppy! I hate them all so much!

Then Skeletor shows up and somehow takes the kids (and the fucking dog robot) without He-Man, She-Ra or the Manchines noticing. Yeah, sure, fine… whatever gets this over faster. Then, Hordak attacks Skeletor. I love how the bad guys do exposition. “Skeletor has damaged my ship; I’ll have to go back!” and “I’ll have to land in that snow.” Huh, I also just noticed that Skeletor has 8-pack abs. Yet he has no eyes but can see where he’s going. God bless cartoon logic.

So now we get to the best part of the special… Skeletor versus Christmas! For fear that Hordak will return with reinforcements, Skeletor demands the children to walk with him to avoid capture, but the kids are too cold. Reluctantly, Skeletor uses his magic staff to give them winter coats. The kids are like “Thank you Mr. Skeletor… you’re so kind!” He replies “No I’m not!” He tries to make them abandon the dog, but after hearing it’s cries… well they say that Skeletor’s bony heart grew three sizes that day! He ends up carrying the dog, complaining “I don’t know what’s happening to me!” The whole segment is hilarious. Skeletor even ends up smiling.

Then both He-man with She-Ra and Hordak with his troops arrive… all wanting the children. Stranger danger, kids! He-man even says “When you two are finished, we’ll take the kids.” Were the Thundercats ever this disturbing? So a battle ensues. Horde Prime shows up to capture the kids… but Skeletor is overcome by the feeling that he must save them! After forcing Prime’s ship to crash, Skeletor is saved from retaliation by He-man and She-Ra, who throw the ship into space. Seriously, how strong is He-Man? Even Superman would struggle with throwing a big starship into the air, through the atmosphere, defying gravity mind you and sending it flying into outer space at a pretty fast speed.

In the end, we get another panning shot of Snout Spout putting the star on the Christmas tree and everyone else frozen in place. You get lots of cameos from awesome lesser featured Masters of the Universe characters, like Sy-Klone, Fisto and Mossman… you know, characters that you would have much rather seen in action instead of stupid fucking robot Smurfs. Prince Adam dresses like Santa, because Eternia would totally have a Santa costume sitting around even though a few days ago they never heard of him. (Maybe Sew-Man, the heroic master of sewing, whipped one up.) Hey, I just noticed that Prince Adam sounds a lot like Matthew Broderick. So would that mean He-Man is like his Ferris Bueller alter-ego? Weird.

So Ron Swansor sends the kids back home to their mom and… Captain Lou Albano Mario.  They, the great parents that they are, aren’t concerned where their kids were for several days and don’t believe their kids were on another planet (well, technically two other planets). And for some reason, Prince Adam thought it would be a good idea to give two children belts that allow them to fly. And of course we have to end with Orko… in two cutsie “Hey kids, love me!” segments. I seriously don’t remember the Orko from the more recent Masters of the Universe series being that annoying.
Holy shit I am glad I didn’t buy this and decided to watch it on Youtube. But that Skeletor part was awesome. I would have preferred a whole special where Skeletor is slowly consumed by the Christmas spirit despite his attempts to thwart it and the concern of his evil, dim-witted minions… now that I would buy.

By the Power of Grayskull, Merry Christmas!

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