12 Days of X-Mas: He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special
Most families have traditions of watching movies that give them warm fuzzy feelings around the holiday. My little family prefers a movie that is genuinely cringe-worthy. Once a year we gather together, in my case heavily lubricated with wine, and watch the He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special.
As if listening to Prince Adam for an hour wasn't hard enough, the Christmas Special doesn't even focus on He-Man and She-Ra. It follows Orko. That's right, this is a special about the bumbling wizard ball, Orko. And before you start on the whole, "I love Orko, that sounds amazing," tirade, understand that sometimes, we want things to be good when they just... aren't.
Bumbling Orko comes into possession of two children from Earth, due to a misfiring spell cast on experimental technology. The wandering children had been sent alone into the woods to chop down a Christmas tree. I'm not sure there was any point in history when sending an 8-year-old into mountain woodlands with an axe was a thing, but the mid-1980s would not have been the time. So, these children are basically left to their certain demise until Orko serendipitously crash lands near them, kidnaps them and takes them to Eternia. Because obviously, that's the most logical thing to do.
The Earth children teach Orko all about Christmas, a holiday he has never heard about. They are even so gracious as to illuminate Orko's religious knowledge by teaching him about Jesus. A random and awkward conversation that just serves to bring the magic and fantasy of Eternia and the He-Man mythos to a screeching halt. I might be in the minority here, but Eternia always seemed like a haven for those that identify as counter culture, queer and alternative. The Christ narrative really destroys that image.
I found it interesting, considering she's an astronaut from Earth, that He-Man and She-Ra's mother had never mentioned Christmas. Implying, obviously, that she's either an atheist or a witch. I get it. Holidays are usually just a big ball of stress, studded here and there with some booze and presents. Why bother? Especially when you would have to teach an entire culture about it. The benefit doesn't outweigh the effort.
I think the kicker in this movie is when they give the children back to their parents. You know, the parents who sent their children to the top of a mountain to die like a modern day Hansel and Gretel. They're just like, "thanks for the laughs, kids, go home to almost certain neglect and misery." Because let's face it, those kids grew up to work at a McDonald's. They lived the rest of their short, diseased lives remembering the moment they got away, the moment they inherited a kingdom full of magic where no one works only to realize that they just burnt the fries again and that will definitely be coming out of their paycheck.
If you're looking for a Christmas special that really hits home about the futility of retail culture and leaves you feeling slightly dirty by the end, look no further. Besides, the original song from the movie is dope af:
"Love and caring
Joy of sharing