There’s a new She-Ra in town and I couldn’t be more excited! Noelle Stevenson and the She-Ra: Princess Of Power crew are hard at work over the summer months leading up to the fall release of the streaming show, but Netflix and DreamWorks Animation dropped a first look at the series at Entertainment Weekly along with the official start date and some casting news.
The images showcase She-Ra in all her heroic glory along with one of Glimmer, Bow and Adora (She-Ra’s alter ego), Catra and Adora as well as the Bright Moon Castle location.
In the November 16th debuting series “a magic sword transforms an orphan girl into warrior She-Ra, who unites a rebellion to fight against evil,” according to the official Netflix description. Stevenson expounded on the jumping off point with EW:
We’ve really started from the same starting point where the original show started from because Adora has such a great backstory. She’s separated from her family as a baby, she’s sent to another planet, she’s adopted by the villain overlord and raised by him in this evil army. She’s been raised to believe that the villains are doing the right thing and that the Princesses are the evil ones. And so we follow her as she has this crisis of faith; she’s been very sheltered her whole life and as she starts to experience the world, she realizes that there’s more to this than she knew, that maybe there’s a reason they were called the Evil Horde [laughs] that maybe they were evil.
The voice cast consists of Aimee Carrero as Adora/She-Ra, Karen Fukuhara as Glimmer, Marcus Scribner as Bow, AJ Michalka as Catra and Sandra Oh as Castaspella. If the names aren’t ringing too many bells, Carrero voices the title character on Disney’s Elena Of Avalor, Fukuhara was Katana in Suicide Squad and Sewer Queen in the excellent Craig Of The Creek, Scribner plays Junior on black-ish, Michalka is Laney on The Goldbergs and Oh has been in a ton of movies and shows, including Grey’s Anatomy.
Late last year word got out that DreamWorks Animation and Netflix would team up to bring the Princess of Power back to the small screen with Eisner-winning comic writer Stevenson at the helm as executive producer. I had the pleasure of talking to Stevenson and Grace Ellis in a 2014 CBR interview about the launch of Lumberjanes and became an instant fan of her work. In that interview she talked about the importance of creating stories with lots of female characters so that one or two don’t have to carry the load for an entire group:
One of the biggest issues plaguing female characters is that, because there are relatively few of them, there isn’t a lot of diversity, and the conversations around them push very specific traits as being “more feminist” — typically masculine traits like physical strength, emotional toughness, etc. — and there ends up not being a lot of room left for genuinely nuanced and organic female characters. Because when there’s only one woman in the cast, she has to be everything for everyone, and that’s not really possible. Every person is both strong and weak at the same time, and if you can’t show that weakness and you can’t show how there’s lots of ways to be strong, you don’t really have a real character. The best way I can figure to address that is to have way more female characters. Just, like, so many. Then it’s not on one woman’s shoulders to represent all women in a positive way. They can be heroes, villains, ambiguously moral, comic relief, femme, butch, strong, weak, etc. and what you’ve got are — people.
I think this is a super-important point as inclusiveness continues to trend in the right direction. You can see some of that in the designs for the show as well as the cast. You already would have grabbed my attention as a childhood He-Man fan with this new She-Ra series, but by mixing it up a bit, putting a creative force like Stevenson in charge and aiming to give more kids heroes they can relate to, I’m all the more jazzed to watch this new show with my own children.