With June freshly behind us, I thought I’d cap off the US Pride Month by featuring Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power in this instalment of The Weekly Watch.
For those uninitiated, She-Ra started as a cartoon in the 80s after the success of He-Man. Despite the lack of originality in the names, the shows were generally popular among the masses at the time, and gave girls in the 80s their first spandex-clad role models – other than Madonna, of course.
With showrunner Noelle Stevenson at the helm, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power transformed the dated cartoon into a fresh, beautifully-animated journey made for modern audiences. Though the characters may have the same names, the plot is greatly changed from the original cartoon, so even old fans can be surprised by its twists and turns. We follow Adora, a captain of the evil Horde who are fighting to take over the planet Etheria, when she discovers that she is the next She-Ra, leading her to question everything she was led to believe by the Horde, as well as putting her at odds with her best friend Catra.
Reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender, all five seasons of She-Ra are filled with interesting, character-driven plots that aren’t afraid to tackle some darker themes, while maintaining a genuinely cheerful and goofy vibe. Unlike many recent superhero movies and TV shows, She-Ra strays far away from the constant doom and gloom that often bogs down the superhero genre, and features an interesting set of protagonists who are as diverse as they are colourful. Many characters, both minor and major, are involved in a variety of queer relationships, and best of all (spoiler warning), none of them are killed in the end!
So if you’ve just finished binge watching Avatar and The Legend of Korra, and need a new animation that captures your heart as much as it breaks it, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is for you!