Let’s all say it together: Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats, Ho!
This past weekend at San Francisco’s WonderCon (the hippie pre-cursor to San Diego Comic-Con) saw a screening of footage from Cartoon Networks upcoming revamp of the 80’s classic cartoon Thundercats. In short, some shit happens on Third Earth and the kingdom of cat peoples are under attack. Evil sorta wins, but heir to the Kingdom is teenage Lion-O, who is thrust into being a new leader and not ready for the responsibilities he’s handed. That’s the set-up anyway. Watch it below:
I’m not entirely sure if I have a definitive liking or disliking for it. I think I’m excited for it, but perhaps the fanboy in me is being too critical. Maybe I’m too attached to the original source material to allow myself to appreciate this new version. Of course, in hindsight the original doesn’t exactly hold up. Try re-watching it sometime. It’s so laughably lame. A group of pussy people land on a dark planet that is home to a cranky old bastard named Mum-Ra. All he wanted was for those damn kids to stay off his lawn (and maybe snatch the power of The Eye of Thundera, but you get my point).
Anyway, this new take has an Anime look to it, which I’m not thrilled about. Does everything have to be Anime nowadays? The voice acting is a little rough and the story is a bit different (No Thundera, Lion-O is a teenager, etc…), but all-in-all, it looks and sounds like Thundercats. When Lion-O shouts “Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats, Ho!” I go squeee.
I do think that it’s a bit of a carbon copy of the revamped He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon from back in 2002. It looks the same and the premise mirrors it almost exactly (difference being cat people instead of humans and lead character turning into a muscled strong man ). You know…teenage hero with a power sword and warrior friends that must protect their kingdom. Much like He-Man, it’s obviously intended for the generation of today and the creatives behind it have tried to keep enough nuances of the original to keep us old fans appeased. Cartoon Network needs to learn from their He-man mistakes (it got canned after a season and a half) and give it a good time slot, repeated airings, and good toys that don’t clog the toy store shelf with dozens of the same two characters.
Thundercats has the potential to be great, but we’ll just have to wait and see.