He-Man & The Masters of the Universe (1981-1987)
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe i an American animated television series produced by Filmation based on Mattel's successful toy line Masters of the Universe. The show, often referred to as simply He-Man, was one of the most popular animated children's shows of the 1980s and has retained a heavy following to this day. It made its television debut in 1983 and ran until 1985, consisting of two seasons of 65 episodes each. Reruns continued to air in syndication until 1988, at which point USA Network bought the rights to the series. USA aired He-Man until September 1990. Repeats of the show are currently being broadcast in the USA on the Night Owl block on Qubo channel.
On the planet of Eternia, a planet of magic, myth and fantasy, the lead character is Prince Adam, the young son of Eternia's rulers, King Randor and Queen Marlena. Whenever Prince Adam uses the Power Sword, and when he holds it aloft and says the magic words "By the Power of Grayskull"!" he is transformed into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Together with his close allies, Battle Cat (who undergoes a similar transformation from being Adam's cowardly pet tiger Cringer), Teela, Man-At-Arms and Orko, He-Man uses his powers to defend Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor.
He-Man & The MastersPrince Adam/He-Man
He-Man, "the most powerful man in the universe", alter-ego of Prince Adam. He is armed with a power harness that enhances his strength, the Sword of Power, a shield, and a battle axe.
Battle Cat's alter ego is Cringer, the cowardly, lazy, over-eating feline companion of Prince Adam. He tends to spend most of his time as Cringer sleeping, eating, and avoiding responsibility, as well as hiding at the slightest sign of trouble or danger. He can talk, although no reason is ever really given for this ability, and he is treated as if speaking is completely normal.
When Prince Adam transforms into He-Man, he holds his sword out and fires an energy beam at Cringer, transforming him into Battle Cat. When he becomes Battle Cat, he grows to about twice his size, and is outfitted in red armor that covers his head, and back, with a saddle mounted on it for riding. As Battle Cat, he is fearless, and powerful. His voice changes significantly, and he talks with a growl, as opposed to his whimpering voice that is heard when he is Cringer. Cringer generally dislikes becoming Battle Cat, but he goes along with it anyway.
Man-At-Arms is Teela's foster father. Since Man-At-Arms is actually a title, not a name, the character is also known as Duncan. Man-At-Arms designs and builds weapons and other technology for the royal family. Duncan knows Adam's secret identity, and acts as mentor and teacher to the young prince. In the series, despite being a soldier and a master of weapons, Duncan is primarily peaceful and prefers alternatives to fighting. Though his stature suggests a warrior his character is primarily patterned after skilled mechanics and he likes to pass the time working on all the kingdom's vehicles. He is also Teela's foster father, as well as mentor to Prince Adam. The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull asked Man-At-Arms to adopt Teela because she felt that she could not raise her daughter and protect Castle Grayskull at the same time, and believing that if other's knew of Teela's true destiny, it would make her daughter a target.
Man-At-Arms wears armor which is slightly different from that of the standard uniform of the royal guards. He is often pestered by court jester Orko, as Orko's magic tricks often backfire directly at him. Duncan is also one of the three people who know He-Man's secret identity, as explained in the introductory sequence of the original cartoon.
Orko is a "Trollan", a race of beings from Trolla, a world in another dimension. Trollans wear red robes, red hats, and hide their faces behind scarves. Apparently, in Trollan society, showing your face to each other is considered an intimate act, similar to humans sharing a kiss. There is a production drawing of Orko without his hat, in which he looks like a little blue elf, but it was never used in the series. Orko does reveal his face in an episode, but his back is turned and his face is not visible. Trollans appear to be blue-skinned humanoids with pointy ears. However, their feet remain hidden under their robes. Trollans have natural magical abilities, including levitation, which they exclusively use instead of walking. In one episode, Orko temporarily loses the power of levitation, and can be seen crawling around on his knees. Still, some Trollans have greater magical power than others; Orko's uncle, for example, is a famous magician. Orko is one of three people that know He-man's true identity
Orko has always had trouble with his magical powers. A recurring joke in the series is that almost every time he tries to use magic, it backfires in some amusing way. The reason for this is not clear; in one episode, it is suggested that Trolla operates with natural laws that are the opposite of Eternia's, and that in Trolla, Orko was a good magician. However, in later episodes this is contradicted, and Orko is shown to be equally incompetent even on Trolla. Another episode indicates that Orko possessed a magical pendant that allowed him to use magic correctly, but that he later lost it. The amulet later turned up stuck on the back of a dinosaur resurrected by Skeletor. When Orko got back the amulet to erase the happening events, it goes back on the dinosaur before it all happens.
Teela is Captain of the Royal Guard and often assists He-Man in his battles. She is the daughter of the Sorceress, though she does not know this; Man-At-Arms has raised her from infancy at the Sorceress' behest. Teela is characterized by a strong personality, and one of her duties is to teach combat skills to Prince Adam. She frequently berates him for his careless and worry-free attitude, but is fond of him nonetheless.
In the Filmation animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Teela is the biological daughter of the Sorceress. Man-At-Arms discovers that the Sorceress, in the form of the falcon Zoar, has been caring for the infant Teela in a large bird's nest on the side of a cliff. After a failed kidnap attempt by Mer-Man, the Sorceress willingly gives Teela to Man-At-Arms to be raised as his own daughter. In Teela's Quest, Teela discovers the truth about her mother from Eternia's Oracle of the Crystal Sea, but an emotionally distraught Sorceress erases the revelation from Teela's memory for her own protection, even though the Sorceress desperately wishes she could tell Teela the truth. Teela's biological father is never revealed; Man-At-Arms says he was one of Eternia's greatest men. However, the Oracle, the Sorceress, and Man-At-Arms all agree that he died in battle. Teela's ties to Grayskull are revisited in the episode Teela's Triumph when Skeletor sends the Sorceress to another dimension, leaving Teela to take the Sorceress' place as guardian of Grayskull.
Despite her excellent fighting skills and generally being sensible and level-headed, Teela has a reckless streak like that of a wild tomboy, a far cry from her mother's soft-spoken temperament. In the Filmation series, Teela's recklessness and quick temper in situations that she does not agree with often lead to poor judgment, which results in dangerous situations. Unaware of Adam's dual-identity and duties that go with it, Teela often reprimands him for being lazy, cowardly and inattentive to his training.
With a vast knowledge of magic and history, she is among the wisest beings on Eternia. He-Man often seeks her counsel, especially when situations are at their worst. In the Filmation series, the Sorceress demonstrates saintly qualities such as humility and appears to other characters who are in need of guidance. However, since her powers are tied to Castle Grayskull, they weaken when she leaves its walls. When she does need to travel, though, she generally assumes the form of a falcon known as Zoar.
The Sorceress is also the mother of Teela, childhood friend of Prince Adam and Captain of the Royal Guard, whose aggressive temperament is a far cry from that of her soft-spoken mother. When Teela was an infant, the Sorceress gave her to Duncan, to raise as his own, because the Sorceress felt that Castle Grayskull was too dangerous a place for her daughter to be raised. In the episode "Teela's Quest", Teela sets out to discover the truth of her mother from The Oracle of the Crystal Sea. She succeeds, but the Sorceress erases the revelation from Teela's memory for her own good, even though she desperately wishes she could tell her the truth. Other than Man-At-Arms, the only others who share the secret are He-Man, Battle Cat, and the Oracle of the Crystal Sea. It is also established in this episode that the Sorceress' daughter is destined to someday take her place as the magical guardian of Castle Grayskull.
The real name of the current Sorceress is Teela Na. Her history is revealed in the episode "The Origin of the Sorceress", in which Morgoth, an old nemesis of the Sorceress returns and attacks Eternia. While waiting for Morgoth to reappear, the Sorceress explains to He-Man how she became the guardian of Castle Grayskull. Her home, the village of Nowella, was attacked, and subsequently conquered, by Morgoth and his allies Ferros, Repta, and Rachney, servants of the Evil Horde. With the aid of an old storyteller's rhyme:
"In barren places find ye hope/And where no water grows, no plant grows, no wind blows/Find all you need...)"
Teela Na sought out Castle Grayskull, which she hoped would help her find a way to defeat her captors. Just as she was about to succumb to the Eternian wastelands, the mystical fortress appeared before Teela Na's eyes, and she was invited inside by a mysterious voice. Once inside she came across an old woman, her predecessor as the Sorceress. Her predecessor invited her to take up the mantle of Castle Grayskull's protector, and explained her duties as such:
"It will not be an easy task, Teela Na. You will fight many battles, see great sadness, and great joy. As Keeper of Castle Grayskull you must fight a constant war against evil, and comfort those in need. And, you will never be mortal again. Finally, you must preserve and protect the Swords of Power, until the day comes when they may be claimed."
Teela Na accepted the offer and immersed herself in the Pool of Power, which imbued her with the powers of Castle Grayskull. Once she had taken her place as the guardian of Castle Grayskull, the Sorceress returned to Nowella and overthrew the invaders before returning to her new home inside Castle Grayskull.
Skeletor and the Evil WarriorsSkeletor
Skeletor is a former pupil of Hordak, leader of the Evil Horde. When Hordak and his Horde invaded Eternia and stormed the palace, Hordak broke in and kidnapped one of the King and Queen's twin babies. Man-At-Arms and the Royal Guard captured Hordak's apprentice, Skeletor, and forced him to divulge the whereabouts of his master, who had retreated to his base of operations, Snake Mountain. When cornered, Hordak opened up a random dimensional portal (later revealed to have led to Etheria) and leaped through with the baby Princess Adora still in his possession. Skeletor remained on Eternia, raised an army of powerful minions of his own and took over as ruler of Snake Mountain. Skeletor's main goal is to conquer the mysterious fortress of Castle Grayskull, from which He-Man draws his powers. If he succeeds, Skeletor would be able to conquer not only Eternia, but the whole universe.
Skeletor possesses an array of mystic powers and is an extremely powerful sorcerer with control over a vast range of dark magical powers. He also possesses considerable scientific skill, and is shown to have skill in creating various machines and devices.He is usually armed with a magical weapon called the Havoc Staff; a long pole crowned with a ram's skull (and in some depictions, a crystal ball embedded within). He can discharge bolts of mystic force from the head of the staff, or use it as a focus for more powerful forms of magic. Skeletor has also displayed the ability to discharge energy from his own body, as is seen in the 1987 film where he casts lightning from his hands, and in the original animated series where he projects energy from his fingertips.
The only female member of the Evil Warriors, she is an evil witch who aids Skeletor as his second-in-command with her powers of darkness. She is vastly more intelligent than Skeletor's other minions and often comes much closer to defeating He-Man than anyone else. (It has been suggested that she is more cunning than even Skeletor himself and is merely a member of his ranks while it suits her own purposes.) She regularly uses the crystal ball atop her wand to aid with her magic.
She is also shown to frequently branch out on her own and conduct her own schemes away from Skeletor in episodes such as "Ordeal in the Darklands"; also using her services to aid other villains in "The Defection" and "Eternal Darkness". There seems to be a kind of rivalry between her and Teela, based purely on the fact they are the only women in their respective armies. Although she is seen to have a similar feud with the sorceress Sybiline, as seen in "The Defection".With her intelligence, fearlessness and her formidable magic skills, Evil-Lyn is generally Skeletor's most powerful minion. She is often left in charge when he is away from Snake Mountain.
This is brought to the forefront in the episode "The Witch and the Warrior", in which she is forced into making an uneasy alliance with Teela when the two of them are stranded in the desert together. As well as showing a degree of respect for Teela's skills and intelligence above the levels of pure evil, she also reveals in this episode that she is only working for Skeletor so she can overthrow him once he conquers Eternia.
Trap Jaw is a weapons expert and cyborg with a metal jaw, which can bite through anything. Originally a minion of Keldor named Kronis, he was badly injured in an attempt to overthrow Skeletor. He was then rebuilt into a cyborg by replacing his damaged humanoid arm and jaw with mechanical parts, renaming himself Trap Jaw. Later, the cartoon demonstrates that the more metal he eats the stronger he becomes, and one episode focuses on a quest to eat the strongest chemical element in Eternia called Eternium (which was forged and guarded by a group of subterranean dwellers called the Kulatuks). He is defeated by getting tricked into eating a special alloy that weakens him.
savage right-hand man of Skeletor, he has control over many wild creatures and has brute strength. He clearly resents being bossed around by Skeletor and secretly desires to someday overthrow his master. This side of his character is brought to the forefront in the episode "Prince Adam No More", in which he is finally thrown out of Skeletor's crew. Feeling useless without the power of Snake Mountain behind him, he sets out to prove his worth by capturing King Randor by himself and bringing him to Snake Mountain. Although he succeeds in capturing the King, when He-Man comes to the rescue he is subjected once again to Skeletor's wrath and admitted back into his ranks purely so Skeletor has someone to vent his anger on. But his final line in the episode "It's kind of nice to be home" indicates he now feels he belongs as Skeletor's underling, and subsequent episodes portray him mostly for comedy value, willingly succumbing to Skeletor's abuse and constantly bungling his schemes. Notable episodes for Beast Man in the show's later stages include "The Shadow of Skeletor" and "Orko's Return" which restore him to his original, darker portrayal, working independently and craftily to achieve his aims. The powers of Beast-Man are shown effective in some earlier episodes, such as "Creatures From The Tar Swamp", "A Beastly Sideshow" and "The Dragon Invasion". His ability to control animals is not impeccable, however. For instance, he cannot control Cringer, Battle Cat, a dragon defending her young, or Panthor (although does trick Cringer into a trap in "A Beastly Sideshow").
Originally an inter-dimensional bounty hunter and tracker, Scope was recruited by Skeletor during one of the final battles of the Great Unrest to bolster his weakened forces. As good with a blade as he is crafty, Scope took the name Tri-Klops after an accident left him blind and he was forced to wear a tri-optic visor which granted him expanded tracking abilities including Gammavision, the ability to see around objects, Distavision, a form of Far Vision, Night Vision, and the ability to generate optic blasts. Tri-Klops uses his three different eyes to spy for Skeletor!
He is a hunter and swordsman who can see in any direction. His eyes, which are on a rotating visor around his head, have different abilities in different versions; one common ability is the power to see through solid objects with his "Gammavision". His eyes can also shoot laser beams, although this is not commonly used in other material. Later on, he is also displayed as an inventor, with some cybernetic features to his appearance. A well-known classic villain of the MOTU line, Tri-Klops was one of Skeletor's chief henchmen, and was frequently featured as such in the Filmation cartoon