They may have been eternal enemies in He-Man and The Masters of the Universe but in 2017, the eponymous, muscle-bound hero and his mortal nemesis Skeletor need to pay the bills and so have put their differences aside to tackle Dirty Dancing in a new television commercial. The much-loved animated series from the 1980s is still widely recognized to this day - perhaps partly thanks to meme culture - and although a 2002 reboot was short-lived, the original adventures of He-Man and his pals remain cult viewing for cheesy cartoon aficionados. In addition, a live-action film reboot (scheduled to arrive now in 2019) is actively in development.
Due to the relentless march of time, those same youngsters who first down in front of the TV to witness He-Man and The Masters of the Universe in all its glory have now grown up to be marketing executives and are enlisting the help of their childhood heroes to meet sales targets. The likes of Scooby-Doo, Thunderbirds and The Flintstones have already been brought in to represent various financial companies in ads recently aired in the U.K. - and now He-Man and Skeletor have joined that growing roster.
In a commercial for price comparison website MoneySuperMarket, the former Masters of the Universe rivals team up to take on the iconic dance scene from Dirty Dancing, with He-Man playing the Swayze role and Skeletor that of Jennifer Grey. And yes, they do the lift.
This commercial is the most recent entry in the series of "Epic Skeletor" ads that see the fleshless villain expressing his joy at saving money on MoneySuperMarket via the medium of dance. The previous clip showed Skeletor dancing through the streets of the United Kingdom to "Fame" and only featured He-Man in a short cameo towards the end. With the duo now sharing the limelight, it's perhaps only a matter of time before Battle Cat, Teela and the rest of the team join in the fun.
While it's easy to be skeptical of commercials that play on nostalgia to sell a product and the cringe factor here is stuck firmly on maximum, the Epic Skeletor ads are infinitely more entertaining to watch than your standard, generic financial services commercial. Longtime fans of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe may wince at seeing their favorite characters reduced to such lows but it would take a stony-faced viewer not to at least raise a smile at the sight of He-Man and Skeletor lighting up a dingy bar with this gloriously camp dance routine.
- Masters of the Universe (2019) release date: Dec 18, 2019