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The Secret of the Sword
Directed by Ed Friedman
Lou Kachivas
Marsh Lamore
Bill Reed
Gwen Wetzler
Produced by Arthur H. Nadel
Lou Scheimer
Written by Larry DiTillio
Bob Forward
Starring John Erwin
Melendy Britt
Alan Oppenheimer
Linda Gary
George DiCenzo
Music by Erika Lane
Shuki Levy
Haim Saban
Editing by Joe Gall
Studio Filmation
Distributed by Atlantic Releasing
Release date(s) March 22, 1985
Running time 100 min
Country  United States
Language English

The Secret of the Sword, also known as He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword or She-Ra Princess of Power: The Secret of the Sword, is a 1985 American animated feature film produced by Filmation. Although released before the series She-Ra: Princess of Power began, the film was a compilation of the first five episodes with minor edits made.[1] The film was part of a trend of theatrically released animations created by producers of TV shows and toys during the 1980s.[2] The film is also the second one ever to be based on a toy franchise, with the first being Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure, released in 1977. The Care Bears Movie was the third, being released a week after this film's premiere.



The Secret of the Sword was first released theatrically. When the She-Ra series started, it was shown as a five-part saga.

Part One (Into Etheria): The Sorceress of Grayskull wakes up from a nightmare about a vicious character called Hordak, who has captured a baby girl and walks through a portal to another world. The Sorceress sees a sword that looks just like He-Man's (except for a jewel in the middle) floating in the air. She follows it to a door which opens after the sword blasts it, revealing a portal. The next day, the Sorceress summons Prince Adam and Cringer to Castle Grayskull. The Sorceress gives Adam the mystery sword, and tells him that he must go through the portal, and that his quest is to find the sword's owner however she cannot tell him who the person is. Adam and Cringer enter the portal, and are transported to a world called Etheria.

They drop into the Laughing Swan Inn for a bite to eat, and the two strangers are noticed by a man wearing a cloak and his companion. Suddenly three robotic soldiers known as Hordesmen arrive and start to intimidate the people in the bar. Adam throws one into a barrel, when the cloaked man, an archer named Bow helps him deal with the other two while Cringer and Kowl - a koala-owl hybrid accompanying Bow - watch from under a table. Bow then declares Adam to be a member of the Great Rebellion and takes him and Cringer to Whispering Woods where the Rebellion is located.

Meanwhile news of the incident at the Inn reaches Hordak, leader of the evil Horde that has enslaved Etheria. He isn't very happy to hear that his troopers were embarrassed at the hands of rebels and orders that the village be forced to pay the price. Shadow Weaver, one of Hordak's expert on dark magic, senses that something has arrived on Etheria... a small seed that will grow into a lot of trouble for the Horde.

Arriving at the rebels' camp within Whispering Woods, Adam is introduced to Glimmer, leader of the Great Rebellion, Madame Razz, an absent-minded elderly witch, and her flying Broom, who helps her to explain that the village of Thaymor has been placed under arrest by the evil Horde, who have threatened to send the villagers to the mines as slaves unless the two Rebels who humilliated three of their troopers give themselves up. Madame Razz also explains that the Horde has a Force Captain and four of their worst villains in the village, but Adam says he has a friend who may be able to help - namely, He-Man.

The Rebels attack the Horde led by Force Captain Adora, a young woman. Adam and Cringer change into He-Man and Battle-Cat. Once the four villains, Mantenna, Scorpia, Catra and Leech are dealt with, He-Man confronts the Force Captain Adora. However He-Man loses the Sword of Power, and draws the sword he was given by the Sorceress. However before he can do anything the sword starts to glow, and an image of Adora appears in the jewel... she is the person He-Man was sent to find, the sword's true owner. He-Man is confused, as he can't believe the sword would belong to someone working for evil, when he gets stunned from behind, and Adora gains the sword and a prisoner.

Part Two (Beast Island): He-Man has been captured by the Horde. Madame Razz uses her magic to pinpoint He-Man's location; Beast Islan, one of the Horde's many prisons. Bow, Glimmer, Madame Razz, Kowl and Battle-Cat set off on a rescue mission. He-Man is imprisoned in a tower room where he is bound with electro shackles that he can't break. Adora enters, wanting to know more about the Sword she gained from him as it feels like it was meant for her. He-Man learns that she has spent most of her life in the Fright Zone and has been raised to believe the Rebels are evil. He-Man convinces her to go exploring, and see for herself how the Horde treats people.

In the main chamber, Hordak and Shadow Weaver discuss He-Man when Adora enters and asks permission to leave the Fright Zone which Hordak grants. Riding on her horse Spirit, Adora sees the brutal and unforgiving treatment that the Hordesman inflict on innocent villagers. A slave is pushed into a river when he asks for water, while another man has his home destroyed simply for questioning the taxes imposed upon him. Adora is very upset, finally starting to realise that it is the Horde who are evil.

Meanwhile, the Rebels have arrived at Beast Island following a narrow escape when their flying ship was shot down by Hordak. After overcoming many dangers, they find He-Man, only to end up captured themselves when Shadow Weaver, an expert on dark magic, puts a spell on them which freezes them. The only one to evade capture is Kowl, who flew out the window to safety, and flew back in when everyone was gone. He frees He-Man, who in turn frees the others, then destroys the prison.

Adora now knows Hordak and Shadow Weaver have lied to her, and that the Horde is (in her own words) "Evil, cruel, unjust" and that they are rightly hated by the people on the planet. Hordak isn't about to allow one of his most powerful Force Captains to turn on him and has Shadow Weaver casts a spell which puts Adora to sleep, then steals the sword she got from He-Man. When Adora wakes up, she is more loyal to Hordak than ever.

Part Three (She-Ra Unchained): Having safely returned to Whispering Woods, Adam plans to head to the Fright Zone along in order to find Adora. Hordak has a new weapon, the Magna-Beam, which he plans to use to send the Whispering Woods to the Valley of the Lost from which no one has ever returned. However, the weapon will need to be charged, and for energy, it must drain energy from its slaves.

Adam changes into He-Man, and captures a passing Hordesman before putting on his armour. Meanwhile, Hordak has run out of slaves to drain of their energy, so Shadow Weaver uses her magic to check if the patrol have captured anymore Rebels. She sees that they haven't, but notices one has hair sticking out of his helmet, and realizes that it's He-Man in disguise, but knows that because of He-Man's power, they could use him to charge the Magna-Beam to full capacity, so a trap is set, and He-Man is successfully captured by Adora, who is under Shadow Weaver's power again, and locked in the Magna-Beam charger.

While sleeping, Adora is woken by a voice telling her it is time for her to meet her destiny, and goes to the Plunder Room where He-Man is. The jewelled sword starts to glow, and the Sorceress tells Adora the truth about her past, and that she once had a father, a mother and a brother... He-Man! Before disappearing, the Sorceress utters the words "For the Honour of Grayskull". The Magna-Beam reaches full capacity and He-Man, now very weak, collapses. Adora realises that the Sorceress is telling the truth, and unwilling to watch her brother be destroyed, changes into She-Ra for the first time. Now filled with amazing strength She-Ra frees He-Man, then gives him his sword so he can recharge himself. She-Ra jumps out of the window, and enters the stable by crashing through the roof. She lands on her horse, Spirit, and is surprised when Spirit is transformed into a winged unicorn. Now able to speak, the unicorn tells She-Ra that he is Swift Wind. He-Man goes after Hordak, who has activated the Magna-Beam. She-Ra throws a big rock into the blast, and before Hordak can fire again, He-Man destroys the Magna-Beam, and gives the drained slaves back their energy. He-Man is then plucked to safety by She-Ra. She prepares to tell her brother the truth about her identity.

Part Four (Reunions): He-Man is confused at She-Ra telling him she's his sister. Using She-Ra's sword, He-Man contacts the Sorceress. The Sorceress congratulates He-Man for completing his mission, but He-Man wants an explanation. The Sorceress explains that many years ago King Randor and Queen Marlena were blessed with twins, Adam and Adora. The kingdom was proud of the two fine children, however the happy times did not last long. The Horde came to invade Eternia from another dimension. The invasion forces were led by Hordak, accompanied by his favourite pupil, Skeletor. While the invasion was successfully repelled, Hordak and Skeletor tried to kidnap both Adam and Adora when they were babies; thanks to an intervention by Man-at-Arms, Adam was saved, but Hordak escaped with Adora. With a captured Skeletor's assistance, Man-at-Arms and the Sorceress confronted Hordak at Snake Mountain, but it was too late and Hordak escaped through a portal with Adora. Nobody was able to find the dimension that Hordak had escaped to. To spare the pain of losing Adora, the Sorceress cast a spell that wiped all memory of Adora's existence from the minds of the people; only King Randor, Queen Marlena, Man-at-Arms and the Sorceress knew the secret.

Adam surprises the Rebels by telling them the truth about Adora, and why she was serving the Horde. Kowl tells them that Queen Angella, Glimmer's mother, the ruler of Bright Moon, is being held by Hunga, Queen of the Harpies, at Talon Mountain, so Adam and Adora offer to go rescue her. Becoming He-Man and She-Ra, they travel to Talon Mountain, but Hunga attacks them. However, they easily defeat her, and rescue Angella. Once they reunite her with her daughter, She-Ra decides it's time to go visit her own parents.

Adam and Adora enter the portal to Eternia, accompanied by Spirit and Cringer. However, Hordak follows them unnoticed. Adam takes Adora to the throne room where she has an emotional reunion with her parents and King Randor thanks his son for bringing Adora back. Meanwhile Hordak goes to Snake Mountain, and after a brief scuffle strikes up a deal with Skeletor to help him get Adora back.

Part Five (Battle for Bright Moon): Adora's reunion with her parents is short-lived as Skeletor, Beast-Man, Webstor, and Kobra Khan enter the Palace of Eternia disguised as chefs while Hordak is disguised as a cake. Adora is captured, and taken to Snake Mountain. He-Man promises the devastated king and queen that he will get Adora back.

Meanwhile, Skeletor betrays Hordak by having two of his cronies push him into a portal leading back to Etheria; he plans to hold Adora to ransom and orders Adora's sword to be examined knowing Hordak was very interested in it. Adora pretends to faint, so when Beast-Man takes her into a cell, she locks him in. She manages to regain her sword, and after changing into She-Ra, she confronts Skeletor. She easily defeats Kobra and Webstor, and then takes out Skeletor before she is ambushed by Tri-Klops and Trap-Jaw. She kicks Skeletor and his crew out just as He-Man arrives with Man-at-Arms, Teela and Battle-Cat, and Skeletor cries "A female He-Man! This is the worst day of my life!". Adora then decides to go back to Etheria to defend it against the Horde. Adam and Cringer go with her to get the battle off to a flying start. Changing into He-Man and She-Ra, they find the Rebellion planning their attack on the Horde-occupied Castle Bright Moon. When an army of animals led by a big brown bear arrives, everyone panics, but She-Ra reveals a telepathic power which she uses on the bear before she tells everyone they want to help drive out the Horde.

The battle for Bright Moon is underway. While She-Ra and Swift Wind deal with the Batmeks, He-Man and the other rebels on the ground deal with the Destructo Tanks. Once they are all dealt with, the Horde use their Stunners (laser cannons). Swift Wind gets zapped by one, but She-Ra manages to heal him. He-Man and She-Ra enter the castle and confront Hordak and Shadow Weaver. Hordak turns into a rocket and makes his escape with Shadow Weaver not far behind. He-Man and She-Ra watch the Rebels celebrating, and She-Ra tells He-Man she can't return to Eternia with him as the Rebels will need her. She-Ra flies away on Swift Wind, and a single tear rolls down He-Man's cheek as he bids his sister farewell. And on that note, the movie comes to an end, marking the start of the She-Ra series.[3]

DVD release

  • The film was released on DVD as part of the Best of She-Ra: Princess of Power collection on July 18, 2006.
  • It was also released on DVD as a stand alone feature, without the extra episodes of She-Ra that the previous release had. On May 6, 2008.


  1. ^ "The Best of She-Ra - Princess of Power". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2009-11-07.  
  2. ^ Maltin, Leonard (1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New American Library. pp. 351. ISBN 0-452-25993-2.  
  3. ^ "Phil Villarreal's Review: Still a surefire hit with 6-year-olds". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  

External links



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