I was about five minutes into this before I realized I was not the target audience. In fact, I haven’t felt so out of place watching a movie since DEAFULA. But the made-for-TV Christmas special rabbit hole brought me to HE-MAN AND SHE-RA: A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (1985). I just watched this and I’m still not entirely sure what I watched.
He-Man and She-Ra are half-human twins (from what I can gather, the other half is alien barbarians). They’re decorating for a Christmas-like holiday on their planet when their friend–a floating hat and robe from what I can tell–stole a spy rocket. The villain Skeletor, and a bunch of weird creatures, chase the floating hat guy. He-Man and She-Ra save Floating Hat Guy, only to have the rocket crash land on some strange planet. Of course this “strange planet” is Earth. They encounter two human children who got lost while cutting down a Christmas tree. (because doesn’t every family send six year old children out with axes to chop and carry back trees on their own?) Sure, they could help the kids find their way back home but then there wouldn’t be a Christmas episode.
So they take the kids to their planet. Skeletor and his henchmen want to kidnap the kids because…well, because the show needs to happen. Then the kids and a space puppy get lost in the snow. Is it He-Man or She-Ra who saves them? Nope. Skeletor. The villain. I even paused the show to Google whether or not Skeletor was really the bad guy of the series. He is, but when he saw how cold the kids and space puppy were he decides to save them. Why? Because Christmas. At the end, He-Man explains that, though many people in the world don’t celebrate Christmas, they’re all filled with the Christmas spirit during the season.
I don’t know who most of the characters are in this. It’s never explained. It’s also never explained why the pink-clad unicorn has a more masculine voice than the loincloth clothed musclemen. There’s a lot that isn’t explained. I then realized that was because the target audience didn’t need to have it explained. The target audience for the 1985 airing of the special already had seventy five of each character’s action figures, they play sets, the comic books. They knew what the weird Floating Hat Guy was, or why some of the aliens had wheels instead of limbs. They knew, and they were probably thrilled to see them.
I guess. There was a lot of He-Man and She-Ra merchandise so I assume there was love. I never understood the appeal, and this special didn’t help to clarify.
In case you have a fan of the space barbarian twins in your life, you can show them this:
Question of the night: what was your favorite breakfast cereal to eat on Saturday mornings?