Two Children become lost when they go to find their family’s Christmas tree, befriended by Orko they set about to bring the goodwill of Christmas to Eternia.
In 1985, in the hight of this popularity came this hour shy Christmas special. Filmmation’s offering works just like the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and its spin-off She-Ra episodes. Even though a commercial for the twist waist & power punch action toys it also had some great stories and morals to share, this is more of the same. Naturally there’s the recycling of the same cells but there’s plenty of new footage including cute children, a puppy and Adam dressed as Santa Claus.
When Alisha and Manuel visit Eternia their goodwill attracts the unwelcome attention of Horde Prime and Skeletor. The tale switches between planets and this special has a mix of fantasy elements synonymous with both shows – fairies, soldiers, monsters and (also thrown in are Transformer-like) robots.
Amongst the action set-ups there’s some nice writing from Don Heckman and Bob Forward with plenty of sugary cuteness and animated visual treats. Look for Orko’s nod to Ghostbusters. For fan’s it bridges Earth to Queen Marlina, there’s the on screen mix of Eterniain and Etheria characters and Skeletor’s transition from super villain to reluctant nice guy. After Hordak orders Skeletor to kidnap the kids there’s a great scene where they explain Christmas to Skeletor:
Skeletor: Tell me more about this “Christmas.”
Miguel: Well, it’s a wonderful time of the year. Everyone has lots of fun.
Skeletor: You mean they get in fights?
Miguel: No, no – they have fun!
Skeletor: Fights are fun. I like fights!
Miguel: And you give each other presents.
Skeletor: And when you open them, they explode, right?
Miguel: No! They’re nice gifts.
Skeletor: Nice? Doesn’t sound like much fun to me!
Priceless. Today, 30 years later directors Bill Reed and Ernie Schmidt offering may have trouble keeping up with the pace and style of contemporary cartoons but it’s a heart warming story, fitting for the seasonal period, complete with some catchy songs and all the regular character favourites (voices from legend Alan Oppenheimer, John Erwin and Linda Gary to name a few).
While possibly not the best Christmas cartoon, that prize is up for debate, it’s still has great nostalgic value and is great viewing for children.