Welcome to the Hump Day edition of our 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe rewatch. While I’ve been focusing on this specific show, we did have some breaking MOTU news over the weekend.
A report came out on Saturday that Sony Pictures was temporarily shutting down production of the planned MOTU movie (which has been rumored since pretty much this animated series we’ve been watching was brand new in 2002) – and slated to star Netflix RomCom veteran Noah Centineo – due to concerns with the script and budget. A follow-up came out a few hours later that this was not the case and everything is still all systems go with the planned production and shooting schedule.
So first off, I wasn’t surprised to originally hear it was being shut down. To be honest, I’d be absolutely shocked if anything for this movie ever really takes place. It has felt like there’s been a hundred restarts and sudden stops with this property over the last 15 years that it’s become one of those, “I’ll believe it when I see it” things.
Sure, things are a bit different this time as a lead actor is not only attached, but going around talking about being involved in this production, but I will continue to be cautiously optimistic.
The main issue driving the budget problem seems to the cost involved with building the world of Eternia which we’ve heard before. This was the driving force that caused the 1987 Dolph Lundgren/Frank Langella vehicle to be set on Earth as a fish-out-of-water story rather than the epic battle in the stars that fans were expecting.
Would I be shocked if this movie never sees the light of day? No. I’ve kind of been preparing myself for that every time they announce something new about the upcoming film. What we do have in our favor, though, is how Marvel changed the game with the MCU. Since Iron Man launched this massive franchise, every studio under the sun has tried doing the same with franchises film universes because all business is a copycat business. Remember it wasn’t long ago when Universal was launching their “Dark Universe” with the next century planned out with Russell Crowe intertwining all their original monsters.
I would love for MOTU to become this massive machine that just prints money at the box office, but let’s get down to brass tax: it’s pretty far-fetched. But who knows? Make a good movie and people will go see it. That much I do believe and that’s all I want. All the talk for years has been “in the vein of 300” or something similar along those lines. No! Just make a good MOTU movie. That’s it. You have a wealth of characters and canon to pick and choose from and expand upon. Just do it well.
So now that I can step down from that soapbox, let’s continue watching the show we actually came here for.
S01E10: Dragon’s Brood
Original Air Date: November 1, 2002
Adam and Teela are out on gliders for some unknown mission when we hear a roar coming from a nearby cave. They discover a massive animal trapped under a rockpile and Adam forced Teela to help him free it because he’s a friend to the animals. That’s actually a really nice thing to do.
Back at Snake Mountain, Beastman is talking about being able to procure dragon eggs and raise them as his own like he’s teaching the Care for Magical Creatures class at Hogwarts so he could control them from their hatching. Skeletor thinks it’s a great idea and that he’s certainly have use for some controllable dragons in his outfit.
Orko, who you would assume is about to fuck something up is out practicing his juggling when he loses his balls (tee-hee), but is happy to find these eggs floating in the nearby river that he assumes are balls, but are most certainly dragon eggs that he’ll walk right into the fucking palace because he’s Orko and we’ve skipped to the end of this story before.
Sure as shit, this motherfucker finds Ram Man having a snack, offers to show off his juggling and then immediately drops the four eggs which lead to an early hatching for dragon babies. This motherfucker. The hatchlings immediately cause ruckus and destruction, but Man-At-Arms is quick to attend to the situation and gets them to leave. He hopes they’re gone forever because – in his words – “dragons grow fast.”
Not even twenty-eight seconds later, four fully grown fucking dragons are attacking the kingdom.
I would say that “FAST” is a bit of an understatement for how these fucking things grow.
Tri-Klops has one of his Doomseeker drones doing his regular reconnaissance on the kingdom when the dragons take note of it and start chasing it because they love shiny things and a Doomseeker is made of a sleep, metallic alloy. Skeletor loves this shit and demands the Doomseeker head toward Castle Grayskull so the dragons will breach the walls for him and he can just stroll right in like he owns the joint.
Teela and Adam arrive on the scene before the rest of the Masters and try to force the dragons back. But these four not-so-baby dragons are soon joined by the mama who we see is the beast that Adam and Teela rescued from the rockpile earlier. The dragon notices too, recognizing Adam’s scent on He-Man and calling off her brood to leave our heroes be.
We think we’re in the clear, but it’s a false finish as Skeletor appears with his crew of henchmen and beasts and begins another attack. The rest of the Masters finally reach Grayskull to even the odds a bit, but the villains look to be in control as the fight rages on atop the roof of Grayskull. Skeletor recognizes this weakness and sets forth his electric eel beast at the babyfaces, but our Mama Dragon returns with a big run-in to cutoff the eel and aid the heroes. The villains are run off and He-Man gives a knowing look to his dragon friend before she flies off.
Teela questions why the dragon spared He-Man when it did and Man-At-Arms – quick to move the conversation in another direction – hypothesizes that the dragon must have remembered someone being kind to it so it decided to pay it forward. Teela knows full well that that’s bullshit, but whatever, she’ll go with it for now. But…only for now.
PSA: Be kind. Rewind. Brought to you by Blockbuster Video.
This felt like a classic MOTU episode. Something ridiculous leads to a Skeletor attempt on Grayskull and, in the middle, Orko does something infinitely stupid.
This is one of the lower-rated episodes of Season 1 according to IMDB and it’s easy to see why. Not a lot of good, deep substance, just a formulaic following of script that could have plugged this episode into the classic series without looking out of place.
Which is fine. Odds are, if you’re reading this, you most likely grew up loving the original and the following iterations, but with the advancements in episodic storytelling, this one came off as a let down. Hey, they can’t all be home runs and, let’s be fair, this wasn’t exactly terrible either. It’s perfectly acceptable and if that’s the worst review I’ll have for any episode in this series then this will have been a helluva series. More tomorrow.