Masters of the Universe: Revelation Review - The beloved 80's toyline grows up

Despite its slick production and updated designs, Masters of the Universe: Revelation feels warmly familiar. Executive Producer Kevin Smith himself said it was not a reboot but a direct sequel to the classic series. So instead of a soulless remake, Revelation is a surprisingly fun and cheesy nostalgia trip.

Whether it works or not depends on who's watching. For what it's worth, Masters of the Universe: Revelation is basically the 80s cartoon with a fresh coat of paint. The character designs are virtually unchanged, and the show doesn't shy away from the schmaltz or cheesy one-liners (Skeletor himself is one of the funniest characters in the show, made funnier by Mark Hamill on voice duty). It even throws in a ton of Easter eggs and fun cameos from the toy's history that will have diehard MOTU fans taking notice. But despite having the trappings of a toy commercial, the show is far from kiddie fare.

To call the story controversial would be putting it lightly. Despite the show's title, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe are sidelined to tell the story of Teela, erstwhile ally of He-Man and now the new Man-At-Arms. After a battle between He-Man and Skeletor ends in tragedy and threatens the very fabric of reality itself, Teela decides to drop all sense of duty and live as a mercenary with a disdain for magic. Unfortunately for her, she's also the only one who can save Eternia by retrieving the two halves of the Power Sword and restoring magic in the universe.

Which sounds like a lot of fun if Teela wasn't such a wet blanket of a character that sucks the wonder out of this fantastic setting. It doesn't help that Sarah Michelle Gellar's voice work doesn't quite land here, making Teela sound bored when she should be excited, as if she's just reading off a script and calling it a day. The rest of the voice cast rocks though. Revelation reads like a who's who of the industry's most popular and beloved actors. From Liam Cunningham and Lena Headey (a mini Game of Thrones reunion!) to Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy (a Batman: The Animated series reunion!), there's no shortage of talent here that adds that little bit of oomph to the rest of the proceedings, Teela notwithstanding.

But in the end, it's an animated show based on an 80's IP, and Revelation is like a wicked fun play date with your friends and your He-Man toys. Ignore the mindless haters and the controversy and watch it with the same wonder your kid self had, huddled in front of the TV on a Saturday morning watching good triumph over evil. It's what He-Man would want.

Masters of the Universe: Revelations is now streaming on Netflix.

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