Original Air Date: 1st November 2002
Writer(s): Mark Edens, Michael Eden
Director: Gary Hartle
The latest episode of the 200X MOTU series is the first since the three-part opening that doesn’t adopt the “focus on a character and flesh out their personality/backstory” approach. Instead, it opts to broaden our understanding of Eternian fauna by throwing dragons into the mix, which sounds like a fun idea to me.
On a fairly routine diplomatic mission, Teela and Adam manage to rescue a hulking, roaring beast from being trapped in a cave by a rockslide. The beast flies off without a trace. Later, we discover that Beast Man was the one responsible for trapping the Dragon to steal its eggs to raise them as weapons for Skeletor. Unfortunately, in typical henchman fashion, he managed to lose them en route, only for them to be discovered by Orko who mistakes them for juggling balls. Cue the dragons hatching, growing in rapid fashion, wreaking havoc and then heading off to Grayskull to destroy it (because Evil-Lyn makes it shiny).
Out of all the episodes so far in this series, this is the one which feels most like a Filmation original, which is both a positive and a negative. On the one hand, it’s always nice to experience the larger world of Eternia and its various inhabitants (in this case, Dragons), but on the other, the main selling point of this series – and the reason it has been so incredibly well received – was its focus on the delving deeper into the established characters, and we sadly get none of that here.
The action here is suitably dynamic and rather well animated throughout, but the actual story itself feels a little flimsy and doesn’t really impact anything moving forwards. That said, it’s always nice from my perspective whenever He-Man goes up against an adversary that can match him physically, which is certainly the case here. I mean, as cool as they are individually, it does get a little repetitive watching him easily handle the increasingly inept Evil Warriors on a weekly basis.
As expected, the rescued Dragon mother shows up at the end to save the save, and there’s a nice moral message about kindness inspiring kindness thrown for good measure. Don’t get me wrong, I love this MOTU take on the classic fable of Androcles and the Lion, but this is most definitely a filler episode, albeit a fairly entertaining one.
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