Compared are the UK Theatrical Version (German DVD set by New KSM) and the She-Ra Version (German season box by New KSM).
47 differences, consisting of
- 40 removed scenes (among them 1 recut)
- 3 removed scenes in the She-Ra Version (among them 1 recut)
- 2 scenes with altered audio track
- different opening and end credits
- Total length difference: 902.08 sec resp. 15 min and 2.08 sec
Masters of the Universe: Origins and Versions
Originally only product to increase the sales of the action figures available since 1982, Mattel ordered Filmation to produce the cartoon Masters of the Universe in 1983. Until 1984, 2 seasons with a total amount of 130 episodes were produced.
Instead of a third season, the spin-off She-Ra: Princess of Power was produced. Naturally, action figures of that spin-off were offered as well. The show was on from 1985 until 1986 and it consists of 2 seasons with a total amount of 93 episodes. Over the course of the show, He-Man has several cameos in order to assist his twin sister in fighting the Wild Horde. Others characters - both good and evil - from Masters of the Universe have a cameo in She-Ra: Princess of Power, too.
Moreover, a theatrical movie called The Secret of the Sword was made - based on the first 5 She-Ra episodes. There are three versions of that movie: a German Theatrical Version (shortest version with a length of approx. 76 min), a UK Theatrical Version (approx. 88 min) and the US Theatrical Version for which - compared to the first 5 She-Ra episodes - only a few alterations were made. It is unknown whether or not more alterations than just removing the opening and credits from the She-Ra episodes were made because I do not have that version. In both the German and the UK Theatrical Version, alternate music has been used. This is probably the case in the US Theatrical Version as well. If I can get my hands on the US Theatrical Version some day, a comparison with that version will be handed in later.
The UK Theatrical Version is quite alright actually but if one would rather watch a version with all scenes available, I recommend the first 5 episodes of She-Ra: Princess of Power.
Further Contributions to the Franchise
Besides dozens of action figures, there are comics and other merchandise. In order to keep it simple, I will ignore all that and focus on the TV shows and movies. For those who would like to know more the other stuff, check it out on the internet. There are several message boards about those things.
Apart from the original Masters of the Universe show, its spin-off She-Ra: Princess of Power, the motion picture The Secret of the Sword and the He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special, there are two more shows and a live action movie:
The New Adventures of He-Man (1990): In this show, He-Man is summoned to Primus by its inhabitants in their hour of need. Unfortunately, his old nemesis SSkeletor follows him and the good, old "Good vs. Evil" game goes on. The first episodes tell the story of He-Man getting to Primus. Some of the characters from the original Masters of the Universe are present as well. But as soon as He-Man is on Primus, there are only new characters - except for Adam/He-Man and Skeletor, of course. Not only are there contentual differences but also optical ones. The times of He-Man looking like a Stallone/John Rambo rip-off (huge muscles and stuff) are over. He-Mans muscles are not as huge as they used to be in Filmation show plus he has longer hair now. Skeletor looks more futuristic as well. A lot of fans did not like that new version because with the exception of Adam/He-Man and Skeletor, all characters are now plus the episodes take place on a different planet. Personally, I like that futuristic touch but everybody needs to decide that for themselves. All in all, there are 65 episodes. All of them were released in 2 digipaks with 33 + 32 episodes on DVD.
Masters of the Universe (2002): The latest version of the franchise is a typical remake of the 80s show with all the beloved characters in it. Well, at least all the characters from the original Masters of the Universe, none of the characters from She-Ra: Princess of Power make an appearance. The look of the show has changed as well. Even though it does look like the show from the 80s, the style of the drawings are based on animes. This becomes very obvious in the fight scenes. Also, even as a die-hard fan of the original Filmation show, one has to admit that contentwise, Masters of the Universe 2002 is the best version by far. Contrary to the original, one gets to know how Skeletor became Skeletor in the first place. In addition to that, the audience gets to know how Prine Adam became "He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe". Furthermore, Prince Adam is still a teenager while He-Man is an adult which makes it less obvious that Adam is He-Man. Generally, there is more background information regarding its characters than there was in the original.
Actually, there is only thing that kind of sucks in this remake: the transformation sequence. While it is kind of celebrated in the original (let's be honest here: that is what we were waiting for when we were kids), it all happens pretty fast here. It was not the same in New Adventures but here, it is even worse. But other than that, I believe that the 2002 version is a very well-made remake. The show consists of 2 seasons with a total amount of 39 episodes. In the US, a complete box has been released on DVD. No digipacks this time, just a bigger Keep Case with the DVD on top of each other (similar to the US releases of Cobra (Dudikoff) or Renegade (Lamas) but the quality of the DVDs is reasonable.
Masters of the Universe (Live Action Movie / 1987): Due to the popularity of the action figures and the Filmation in the 80s, a live action movie starring Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella as Skeletor was released in 1987. Contrary to the Filmation cartoon, several changes were made (also for budget reasons): the live action movie takes place on Earth and since back then, it was not possible to bring Orko to life (not with that budget it was not). As replacement, the dwarf Gwildor is in the movie. Furthermore, it is hard to deny that both the action scenes and the music are clearly influenced by the original Star Wars trilogy. The bottom line is that the live action movie is far from being as amazing as classic masterpieces such as The Godfather, but it is kind of entertaining if one can accept that it is a B-movie. Also starring are Courteney Cox (Friends) and James Tolkan (Back to the Future) by the way.
A new Live Action Movie with today's instruments would be quite interesting. There have been rumors for several years now but it never got any further than that I'm afraid. But while there's life, there's hope.
Time index refers to
UK Theatrical Version – She-Ra Version.
Alternate Footage / Opening
The UK Theatrical Version has its own opening incl. an opening theme composed for this movie. The She-Ra Version contains the regular opening of the show, followed by the title of the episode.
Please note: the She-Ra is identical in the first three episodes but differs from the opening in the forth episode and the following. The opening in episode 4 is the "regular" opening. The opening in the first three episodes is similar but still different.
Opening UK Theatrical Version: 118.04 sec
Opening She-Ra Version: 82.24 sec
UK Theatrical Version 35.8 sec longer
02:35 / 01:59
After Hordak vanishes with baby Adora, the UK Theatrical Version shows the sleeping Sorceress.
In the She-Ra Version, we see Man-At-Arms and the Sorceress who is screaming "No!". Then a close-up of her sleeping with an overlay of Hordak laughing diabolically. It is obvious that this was just a memory resp. a dream. Then the mentioned shot of the sleeping Sorceress in the She-Ra Version.
06:46 / 06:18
After the shot of Hordak's men, the versions continue differently.
In the UK Thetrical Version, a shot of Bow and Kowl follows.
The She-Ra Version shows Adam and Cringer instead. After Cringer explains in both versions "I think I'm gonna like it here, Adam.", he lives up to his name and revises his statement after seeing Hordak's men.
Cringer: "On the other hand, I wanna go home."
Cringer is so scared, he hides under the table. Adam stays cool though.
Adam: "I don't like the looks of those three."
Then Cringer under the table. As always, he cringes in fear.
Cringer: "Do what I'm doing: Don't look."
Then Bow and Kowl in the She-Ra Version as well.
06:55 / 06:39
Missing shot of Hordak's men.
One of them says to the harp player: "You boy, keep on playing and make it good."
The harp player laughs anxiously and responds: "Yeah, yeah, sir."
He then continues playing. Now Hordak's men again. On their way to a table, they deck a few guests in the process.
With the following shot - Hordak's men grab the three guys at the table and toss them across the premises - the versions are back in sync.
09:33 / 09:34
After Bow's comment "From now on, my friend, you are part of the Great Rebellion.", the end of the shot of Bow is longer in the She-Ra Version.
While the UK Theatrical Version simply continues with the next scene, the She-Ra Version fades to black and subsequently back in (no screenshots).
Alternate Audio Track
11:15 / 11:21
Basically, the scene is identical. Except for one thing: Bow makes his comment ("We should be there any minute.") a little later in the UK Theatrical Version.
Screenshot to illustrate the scene
12:47 / 12:53
The introduction of Madame Razz is cut.
In the UK Theatrical Version, she attempts to avoid hitting a tree but she fails. It does not take long and she smashes right into one.
In the She-Ra Version, she avoids hitting a tree for a longer period. Furthermore, Sprag wagers with Bow when she will smash into a tree.
Sprag: "One tree or two, Bow?"
Bow: "Make it three."
Madama Razz avoids a few more trees, then she also smashes right into one in the She-Ra Version.
Sprag: "Three it is."
With the shot of Madame Razz sitting on the ground, the versions are back in sync.