The 1980s TV cartoon character She-Ra is having a renaissance with DreamWorks Animation’s Netflix original series “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.”
The second season of the series, which debuted in November 2018 with 13 episodes, drops (all at once in seven episodes) April 26, and the show runner and voice actors from “She-Ra” converged on WonderCon in Anaheim, Calif., March 30 to discuss the reboot.
Panelists included executive producer Noelle Stevenson, Aimee Carrero (voice of Adora/She-Ra), A.J. Michalka (voice of Catra), Marcus Scribner (voice of Bow), Karen Fukuhara (voice of Glimmer), Lauren Ash (voice of Scorpia) and Merit Leighton (voice of Frosta).
While the new series may pay homage to the original (and there are some Easter eggs about the original series in season two), it’s definitely a different take, with complex female relationships.
“I think it’s what I’ve been the hungriest for in media,” said Stevenson in an interview after the panel. “You see these male characters who get to have all of these really complex relationships to each other, like even villains and heroes and the richness of those relationships, and it just was something I was really hungry for.”
The relationship between Princess Adora (She-Ra) and Catra is at the center of the show. Leader of the Princess Alliance, Adora in season two is embarking on a quest of self-discovery as She-Ra while fighting her former friend Catra, who is rising in the ranks of the Horde.
“I think it’s been my favorite part of acting in this show because so rarely do you see complex female relationships in a show about young people, and it’s probably one of the things that young people deal with the most, having to say goodbye to a friend that no longer is going in the same direction that they are going in, but still having a lot of love for them but not being around them and making the difficult decision to separate from them,” said Carrero (voice of Adora) in an interview after the panel.
The relationship is a fan focus.
“It’s definitely been talked about between a lot of fans, and Aimee (Carrero) and I, as well, as actors,” said Michalka (voice of Catra) in an interview after the panel. “And I think there is kind of a really deep love between those two characters in the sense that I think maternally Adora has kind of taken care of Catra for years and now Catra is figuring out who she is as an adult. I think a lot of anger is coming out of this character from the fact that Adora is no longer in her life. But these are two best friends and their relationship is beautiful, and I do think there’s something deeper there, and hopefully we will be able to explore that later in the show.”
Scribner (voice of Bow) said in the after-panel interview that he appreciated the new take on the series.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of a remake that’s staying true to the source material, but at the same time is kind of flipping the script and reflecting a more accurate tone or reality and culture that we are in right now,” he said.
When asked about the LGBTQ implications of the series during the panel, Stevenson said she wanted the series to speak for itself.
“If you stick with the show, you’ll find the answers to some of your questions there, but I really want the show to stand on its own and speak for itself,” she said. “It’s always important to us. It’s at the heart of the show, and you will see it on your screen.”
Season two is just seven episodes while the first season was 13. The shorter sequence should help audiences keep engaged, showmakers said.
“All of the seasons were planned as 13-episode arcs, but now they’re being divided so it’s going to be a little bit different experience, and I’m interested to see how it goes,” said Stevenson.
“The good thing is there won’t be a ton of lag time between seasons, which I think is good just in terms of memory and intake because, we’re all used to seeing so much on all these streaming platforms so how do you stay engaged with where a season’s leaving off and when a new one starts,” added Michalka.
During WonderCon, DreamWorks introduced a trailer for the second season: