'She-Ra And The Princess Of Power' Is The Reboot We Are Here For
Most shows for kids, especially ones with animation geared towards younger kids, are utterly unwatchable for adults. And it’s understandable — adults aren’t the target audience. And unfortunately some of our favorite old school cartoons from our childhoods have suffered at the hands of horrific reboots recently, like The Garfield Show and that weird Looney Tunes show.
But if you’re looking for an awesome animated reboot, look no further than She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. The Netflix reboot of the popular ’80s cartoon combines the nostalgia of the original with the sensibilities of today.
Anyone who remembers the original cartoon will have no problem following the new world of Adora/She-Ra. The show’s overall plot is exactly the same. And many of the characters are the same, including most of the Princesses of Power. Glimmer, Bow, and Adora’s talking horse reappear, as do all of the bad guys, including Catra and Hordak. One of the biggest differences (and the most controversial) is the change in She-Ra’s appearance.
The animation in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a lot more like anime and less like an ’80s cartoon. But that isn’t what people (mainly men, unsurprisingly) took issue with. She-Ra for this new generation isn’t a voluptuous sex symbol. She’s built more like a young woman who is also a warrior. It’s clear that Adora and her peers are teens, and their bodies reflect that. She-Ra’s outfit is pretty much the exact same, it’s just that no one can actually fight in a bustier, so she’s wearing more of an age-appropriate ensemble.
Another amazing thing She-Ra and the Princesses of Power does so well is foster inclusivity. Not only are there racially diverse characters, but the characters have different body types, which does wonders for body positivity at the age where girls need it, and are also gender and sexually fluid. In fact, there are two princesses in a relationship in season one, and Bow, one of the main characters, has two dads. Season four introduces a new character, Double Trouble, who is non-binary and uses they/them singular pronouns. Double Trouble is voiced by non-binary performer, Jacob Tobia.
Representation is what She-Ra and the Princesses of Power does best. Aside from the diversity, they really nail female representation. There is only one male main character on the show, Bow. Female relationships are skillfully portrayed, especially the friendship between Adora and Glimmer. But also the frenemy relationship between Adora and Catra, who grew up together as rivals and best friends. Once Adora leaves to join the Resistance, Catra can finally move into a position where she shines. But the undercurrents of abandonment in their interactions will hit you right in the heart. Perhaps because the show has an all female writer’s room.
Sure, this is a show for children, but adults will find themselves enjoying it too. As an ’80s baby, I began watching the show out of curiosity. A few episodes in, I was hooked. Soon my six-year-old son was sitting next to me, just as invested as I was. She-Ra is a show we can both enjoy watching, and spending that time together has been great.
It doesn’t hurt that the show has one of the coolest freaking theme songs either. Theme songs are definitely one of those ways to incorporate the nostalgia of the ’80s into the new She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. This theme song sounds modern, but will remind you of ’80s songs like Pat Benatar’s “Invincible,” or “The Warrior” by Scandal.
Unlike many other reboots made strictly for the sake of cashing in on nostalgia, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power builds on the strength of the original. The character of Adora/She-Ra is still the main focus, but the show makes clear that no resistance can rest on the shoulders of one person.
So if you’re looking for something that explores the complexities of female relationships, the importance of figuring out who you are and the power of resistance, this is your show. And the best thing? You can watch it with your kids too.
All four seasons of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power are available to stream on Netflix.
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