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He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Series logo
Series logo.
Genre Animated series, Action, Fantasy
Directed by Hal Sutherland (production director)
Starring John Erwin
Linda Gary
Alan Oppenheimer
Lou Scheimer
Erika Scheimer
Composer(s) Shuki Levy
Haim Saban
Erika Lane
Country of origin  United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 130 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Lou Scheimer
Running time 22 min.
Production company(s) Filmation Associates
Distributor Group W Productions
Original channel Syndicated
Original run September 26, 1983 – December 8, 1985
Followed by
Related shows He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002)

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an American animated television series produced by Filmation based on Mattel's successful toy line Masters of the Universe (the toy line actually lasted longer than the television series itself). 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.[1][2]

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.


Show profile

The show takes place on the fictional planet of Eternia, a planet of magic, myth and fantasy. The show's 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...I have the Power!" he is transformed into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Together with his close allies, Battle Cat, Teela, Man-At-Arms and Orko, He-Man uses his powers to defend Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor. 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.[3]

Despite the limited animation techniques that were used to produce the series, He-Man was notable for breaking the boundaries of censorship that had severely restricted the narrative scope of children's TV programming in the 1970s. For the first time in years, a cartoon series could feature a muscular superhero who was actually allowed to hit people (although he more typically used wrestling-style moves rather than actually punching enemies), though he still could not use his sword often; more often than not He-Man opted to pick up his opponents and toss them away rather than hit them. The cartoon was controversial in that it was produced in connection with marketing a line of toys; advertising to children was itself controversial during this period. In the United Kingdom, advertising regulations forbade commercials for He-Man toys to accompany the program itself. In similar fashion to other shows at the time: notably G.I. Joe, an attempt to mitigate the negative publicity generated by this controversy was made by including a "life lesson" or "moral of the story" at the end of each episode. This moral was usually directly tied to the action or central theme of that episode.[4][5][6]

The show was so successful that it spawned a spin-off series, She-Ra: Princess of Power following the adventures of He-Man's sister.[7]Mattel's subsequent attempts to relaunch the He-Man toy line have also led to the short-lived sequel series The New Adventures of He-Man in the early 1990s, and an update of the series for a contemporary audience in 2002..[8]

It is also noted for featuring early script-writing work from later Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, Paul Dini of the 1990s Batman-fame, and David Wise, head-writer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.[9]

In 2009, IGN ranked the series as the 58th greatest animated show of all time in their Top 100 list.[10]

Cast list



DVD releases

BCI Eclipse LLC (under license from Entertainment Rights) has released all 130 episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe on DVD in Region 1, in 4 volumes. All 4 volumes have also been released in Region 4 by Madman Entertainment. Each volume contains an extensive array of special features including Documentaries, Character profiles, commentaries, DVD-ROM features, trivia, photo galleries and more.

A 10-episode Best-of collection was also released in Region 1 & 4.

DVD Name Ep# Region 1 Region 4
Season 1, Volume 1 33 October 18, 2005 November 28, 2005
Season 1, Volume 2 32 February 14, 2006 May 12, 2006
Season 2, Volume 1 33 June 6, 2006 August 16, 2006
Season 2, Volume 2 32 September 19, 2006 November 10, 2006


  1. ^ "Panda director 'for He-Man movie'". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  2. ^ "He-Man returns to big screen". Variety. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  3. ^ "The Complete Box Set He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Season 1, Volume 2 Review". Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  4. ^ "CONTROVERSY ABOUT TOYS, TV VIOLENCE a". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  5. ^ "Marketing to Children Raises Big Questions". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Video: A He-Man for All Seasons". Time.,9171,956236,00.html. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  7. ^ "Remembering She-Ra and He-Man: Interview with Lou Scheimer". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  8. ^ "On the Tube: Cartoon Network brings He-Man, the Masters back for 20th anniversary". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  9. ^ "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe — Season One, Volume One". IGN. 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  10. ^ "86, He-man". IGN. 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 

External links


Simple English

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was a cartoon series, that first came out in 1983. It was based on a popular toy line and told the story of Adam, who was prince of the planet, Eternia. When Prince Adam, had a magical sword, that could turn him into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. He-Man along with, Battle Cat, Teela, Man-At-Arms, and Orko, fought Skeletor, who wanted to take over the universe. It was very popular and inspired 2 more shows, one made in the early 1990s and another in 2002, there was also a spin-off, called She-Ra: Princess of Power, which was about He-Man's sister.


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