Friday, 24, September, 2021

Did Netflix spoil our childhoods?

In the 80's, the Mattel commissioned the creation of a new character to dislodge some action figures from the movie's collectibles line Conan, through this demand was created the classic He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

To boost the character, they decided to expand the universe by giving the comic book franchise, even with a crossover with the Super man, a character who was already established at the time.

With the success of these stories and the sales of collectibles, Mattel decided to create character content for another medium that was on the rise: Television. And in 1983 the iconic animated series was created He-Man and the Defenders of the Universe.

The animation was intended to be light while using action elements such as medieval weapons, magic and monstrous villains (including the Skeleton which is almost a personification of death). But combining these elements into a more children's story was a huge challenge for the creators.

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He-Man 1983

Even with the obstacles, the mixture worked, and thus the classic design of the He-Man. To clarify the tone, the creators inserted situations in the episodes that allowed a parallel to be drawn between Eternia and the real world, in order to warn children about various errors and daily dangers, thus giving rise to the famous advice of the He-Man.

The animation was a huge success, and even today it has a guaranteed special corner in the hearts of fans, and this huge success made them continue to invest in the franchise, and in 1985 came a successful sequel: She-Ra: The Princess of Power.

I'm Adora, He-Man 89 and Netflix

The plot had the story of the princess loves, twin sister of the prince Adam who was kidnapped as a child and taken by the villain Hordak to another dimension, and after a few years he receives a sword from the hands of He-Man himself. The spin off was also focused on reaching the female audience, thus creating a heroine that girls could also recognize in a character.

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She-Ra the Princess of Power, 1985

From then onwards, several animations of the character were released, in 1989 He-Man was released with the intention of working as a sequel to the original series, but it did not come close to success, in 2002 the cartoon He-Man and the masters of the universe, which, unlike its predecessor, was intended to serve as a reboot of the character.

More recently in 2018, it was She-Ra's turn to win her reboot by Netflix, which transformed animation into something closer to the animations of its time, including the lines of the drawing.

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She-Ra The Queen of Power – Netflix

Netflix didn't stop there, bringing it to the streaming catalog Masters of the Universe: Saving Eternia, which is the canonical continuation of the 1980s series, and just like She-Ra in 2018 the series was not well regarded by fans.

Opinion is different from Hate

Currently, social networks give voice and space for people to express their opinions, but at times the comments transcend the space of opinion and end up turning into hate.

In She-Ra, one of the main aspects criticized by some fans was the features used, and the fact that they “infantilized” the animation. Perhaps the most heated person who criticizes these points does not have such an accurate memory in relation to the classic series, because since the 80's the intention was to reach children in a light way, with battles that were more like a skit of bumblers, after all during throughout the series the characters have never used swords to cut someone.

In addition there were no kicks and punches, the characters threw the enemies to the side, dodged them causing them to hit the wall or threw something at them.

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Masters of the Universe Saving Eternia, 2021 – Netflix

And that doesn't make the original animation bad, it just shows that like the latest She-Ra, both were concerned about pleasing their target audience. And if you think an animation reboot with these elements has ruined your childhood, you might not be out of it yet.

The traits were also criticized in the 2021 Masters of the Universe series, but for different reasons. In She-Ra the problem was the childish traits that mischaracterized the humanized traits of the character, as early as 2021 the complaint was related to Teela's body and hair, and both cases are worrisome.

As we see in several reboots and redesign, a toxic part of fandom sees a less sexualized character as a problem, and if this change becomes an obstacle for someone solely and exclusively by using a costume that covers the body more or that the features are more distant from what is considered to be the ideal beauty standard, this says more about the critic than the work itself.

Another term often used in these reviews is "sealing", a term used by pseudo fans who see the inclusion and protagonism of characters other than the standard as an affront to any work. This type of comment turns out to be a reflection of society, and how the hatred ingrained in society spreads in different spheres.

Masters of the Universe: Saving Eternia was harshly criticized regarding the participation of the protagonist of the original work in the series, and this point is what makes the most sense within a serious and reasoned critique of the show. That's because during the release of materials, Netflix used several images and visuals of He-Man, perhaps even more than the protagonist Teela herself.

Watching the first five episodes of the series, it is clear that the intention is to continue the entire mythology of He-Man, expanding the universe of the series and giving more prominence and space for other characters to continue saving Eternia.

And more than a simple continuation, this new series shows how the eternals are much more evolved and open to accepting heroes and heroines of the most diverse types, different from us humans taken by prejudice, hatred and affectionate nostalgia.

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