She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Season 1
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars
Warning! Minor spoilers ahead for Season 1!
Anyone who has been reading my content for awhile knows that I adore kids shows when they are made in a way that adult audiences can appreciate. Yet I was still skeptical about this one. It just looked childish to me from the pictures, and my sister’s claims that it was as good as or better than Avatar: The Last Airbender didn’t assuage my doubts.
I was wrong to judge it so quickly. It is one of the best cartoons I have watched in my life, even if I still like Avatar: The Last Airbender better.
The first season begins with Adora, the main character, working as a soldier for the evil Horde. She has been brought up to believe that the Horde’s missions are benevolent in nature, and that the Horde’s enemies–the princesses–are wicked. One day she ventures outside of the Fright Zone, which is the headquarters of the Horde, and finds a magic sword. The princess Glimmer and her friend Bow capture Adora. They try to get the sword for themselves, but Adora manages to use it. This sword transforms her into the legendary She-Ra.
Even though Adora has several opportunities to escape from Glimmer and Bow, she does not. This is because she comes upon a town burned by the Horde and realizes there is something wrong with what the Horde is doing. Adora comes to realize that the Horde has lied to her and that they are attacking innocent people.
She joins Glimmer and Bow and they take her to Bright Moon, where she joins the rebellion against the Horde. The first season focuses on building the rebellion’s forces.
Adora’s best friend from the Horde, Catra, is devastated by Adora’s abandonment of her and the Horde. Catra’s character development is one of the best parts of Season 1 and of seasons to come. Her mental and emotional breakdowns, her mourning, her pride, and her jealousy make her a well-rounded and sympathetic villain.
Despite being very good, the first season in a lot of ways is the set-up for what is to come. As the rebellion grows, several episodes each introduce a new princess who is not very well-developed in the first season. Background information is established and relationships begin to development and change.
There are many funny parts such as when Adora discovers things like parties and horses for the first time, because her experience has been limited in the horde.
My favorite character in the first season is Entrapta. From her love of tiny foods to her passion for anything science, she is a hilarious character. Her prehensile hair makes her even more interesting.
The intro seems more childish than the show itself, and I just couldn’t get behind the song. It’s fine–but it could be better.
The design is attractive, with bright colors and a beautiful palette that features various hues of pink and purple. Character design looks good, with representation of various skin colors and body types. Some people, mostly men, criticized the show because She-Ra doesn’t look sexy enough–but I can’t see why that is a problem, especially since the show promotes body positivity.
Animation is decent but not amazing. It’s kind of oversimplified, but it doesn’t look bad.
LGBTQ+ representation is present in the first season, but not as obvious as in later seasons. Spinnerella and Netossa are married princesses, but their relationship is not explored in the first season. There is more to come.
The names are not particularly creative, but they come directly from the 1980s series She-Ra: Princess of Power. Since the new show was loosely inspired by the 1980s one, I don’t consider this lack of creativity a con. Examples are Catra for a character with cat features, Bow for an archer, Perfuma for a girl with flower power, etc.
I would certainly recommend this season for most people ages 8 and up. I especially recommend it for fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. If you are expecting it to be anything like the 1980s show She-Ra: Princess of Power, you will be disappointed because it is vastly different from the moralistic and old-fashioned episodes of She-Ra: Princess of Power.
- Great for children and adults
- Attractive design choices
- Representation of different body types and skin colors
- LGBTQ+ representation
- Overly childish intro
- Decent animation
- Names are not creative, but they are directly from the original She-Ra series from the 1980s
- Not very similar to the original She-Ra
- Buzzfeed article about She-Ra not being sexy enough
- Season 1 intro