He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special (1984) – DVD Review

He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by Bob Forward & Don Heckman
Directed by Bill Reid & Ernie Schmidt
Starring the voices of John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary, Lana Beeson, Melendy Britt

Features:

  • Two documentaries
  • Two collectible 4″x6″ art cards by artists Phil Jimenez and David Mack
  • “I Have the Power” music video
  • A Montage of Morals
  • The Complete “A Christmas Special” script (on DVD-ROM)

Released by: BCI
Rating: NR (suitable for all audiences)
Region: 1
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Just try to forget it ever happened…

This holiday special is the retelling of the magical time that Christmas was brought to Eternia from Earth.  You remember, right?  You don’t?  Well pull up a cushion over here by the Yule Log and I’ll tell you a bit about it. Years ago, Prince Adam (Erwin) was testing a new spy satellite when Orko (Lou Scheimer) accidentally found his way inside and was blasted to Earth.  Eventually, he made it back to Eternia, but he accidentally brought two Earth children, Alicia (Beeson) and Miguel (R.D. Robb), back with him.  They just happened to be out deep in the snowy forest by themselves cutting down a Christmas tree.  They meet Orko and tell him all about Christmas.  Anyway, the children come back with him to Eternia, but Horde Prime and Skeletor find out about them and try to eliminate the Christmas Spirit!

Well, this was alll about capitalizing on the popularity of the He-Man and She-Ra series in the mid-80s.  And in hindsight, this is horrible. I can’t speak for audiences in 1984, but in regular sight, it probably wasn’t that great either.  It feels like it was thrown together in about an hour and a half by a couple of middle schoolers.  The animation is pretty much just like all the other episodes of these cartoons and the voice acting is mediocre (and I cut the actors a lot of slack due to the quality of the writing, though). 

The most obvious thing about this special is that it would never be made today.  First of all, it actually uses the word “Christmas!”  (Gasp!)  Perhaps what is more is that there are some small sections of the story where the children tell the Christmas story to Orko and they discuss angels and the town of Bethlehem.  This would just never happen today.  And hey, if you can’t enjoy the program itself, it’s just fun to look at this from a purely sociological point of view.

Skeletor from He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special

The DVD fares better.  The documentaries are actually pretty good.  They feature interviews with pretty much everyone from voice actors to storyboard artists.  The only thing that could have made them better is if they had a bit more cohesion.  They seem to be thrown together as an afterthought.  The music video featurette is interesting in that it’s introduced by the songwriter (who just also happens to be the voice of She-Ra) and how she came up with the idea to write the song and the impetus behind the song. 

The best part of this DVD, though, is the Montage of Morals.  This is literally a collection of the “moral” scenes that were tagged to the end of each episode of the He-Man and She-Ra series.  Sadly, it only lasts about four minutes.  The other features are pretty standard fare: character bios, trivia bits and the entire script of the Christmas Special.

Erika Scheimer from He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special

If you are looking for another holiday classic to add to your DVD collection, you might want to keep looking. This one will wind up in the same holiday bin as the Star Wars Christmas Special (should that ever see a release).

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By | 2017-09-24T23:36:59+00:00 December 30th, 2006|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments

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