Why 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe' Has a New Theme Song on Netflix
People who grew up with the Masters of the Universe animated series as kids in the ’80s can probably still sing it by heart. Netflix’s new animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe changes a lot of things about the show. It has an updated story and new animation style. It also has a brand new theme song. Executive producers Jeff Matsuda and Rob David explained why to Showbiz Cheat Sheet.
“I guess we want to just capture what the show was,” Matsuda said in a Zoom interview on Sept. 9. “If you look at the main title, it really is a fast fall special. We wanted to make it as explosive as we could of just a bunch of people together saving the universe together and having a ton of fun doing it.”
The opening titles of the Filmation Masters of the Universe in the ‘80s set up the story each week. Prince Adam raised his sword into the air and cried, “By the power of Grayskull, I have the power.” That turned him into He-Man.
In Matsuda and David’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, there is a key difference. Now, Adam uses the power of Grayskull to transform his entire team into the Masters of the Universe. This is also different than the Kevin Smith created Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Revelation also has its own new theme song.
“The old show was like, ‘I have the power,’” Matsuda said. “We really wanted to get across the team feel, the friendship aspect of we have the power. Adam has the ability to change and he gave away some of his power to those guys, to his friends too. That was really important for us to get across.”
The Filmation series aired every weekday afternoon. It’s unlikely there were any kids tuning in for the first time who didn’t already know the mythology of He-Man. Just in case, the Masters of the Universe theme song would lay it all out for them. That’s less important for a Netflix series where viewers can watch every episode in a row.
“The great thing about Netflix is that you can do really great serialized storytelling, “David said. “Each of the episodes in this first season, these 10 episodes, is really one chapter in a larger story. Even though they’re satisfying on their own, they really link together. So there’s not as much of a need to give this opening narrative summary like Gilligan’s Island style, or Buck Rogers. Or even Filmation He-Man which I love, just putting that whole thing up because really the whole series is the story as it all adds up.”
David does hope that viewers will feel empowered by the new theme song. When Prince Adam gives all his friends power, David hopes that kid watching feel that their power would make them a Master of the Universe, too.
“I think thematically it does in terms of the power being ours and that feeling of self-empowerment and self-discovery which hopefully is not just true with the characters in the show but a kid at home,” David said. “If a kid at home does really well on a math test or wins a race at school, we want him or her to come home and be like do I happen to be the master of speed? Am I a master mathematician? We want that aspect of it.”
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe premieres Sept. 16 on Netflix. We’ll have more with David and Matsuda here on Showbiz Cheat Sheet.
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