In 2011, Cartoon Network launched an ambitious, sleek, modernized cartoon series, ‘ThunderCats,’ updating the slightly crude 1980s show for a modern audience. While the show attracted fans of the original, who were now adults, it was not a huge hit with kids, meaning that the accompanying toy line didn’t move fast enough, so the show flamed out after only one season.
Well, if at first you don’t succeed… Cartoon Network, in association with Warner Bros. Animation, is set to launch a brand new ‘ThunderCats’ series and since the more mature, sophisticated approach failed, why not go in the exact opposite direction?
Behold! ‘ThunderCats Roar!’:
Staying true to the premise of the original series: Lion-O and the ThunderCats — Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Wilykat and Wilykit — barely escape the sudden destruction of their homeworld, Thundera, only to crash land on the mysterious and exotic planet of Third Earth. Lion-O, the newly appointed Lord of the ThunderCats, attempts to lead the team as they make this planet their new home. A bizarre host of creatures and villains stand in their way, including the evil Mumm-Ra, Third Earth’s wicked ruler who will let nothing, including the ThunderCats, stop his tyrannical reign over the planet.
The new show is described as being a mixture of “over-the-top action and razor-sharp comedy.” ‘Teen Titans GO!”s Sam Register serves as executive producer. Max Mittelman provides the voices of Lion-O and Wilykat, while Erica Lindbeck voices Cheetara and Wilykit. Patrick Seitz portrays Tygra and Mumm-Ra, with Chris Jai Alex voicing Panthro.
‘ThunderCats Roar’ won’t roar onto TV until next year, but Cartoon Network has released a behind the scenes video preview, in which animator Victor Courtright discusses the evolution of the show and gives an idea of what to expect. Despite the ‘Steven Universe’-like art, Courtright stresses that the show will retain the heavy action tone of the original cartoon.
Bear in mind that when the initial artwork from the first ‘Teen Titans’ cartoon was released, fans of the comics and earlier DC animated shows like ‘Justice League’ absolutely hated it and wrote it off as a Pokémon-flavored bastardization of the beloved heroes. But once the show premiered, those that had written it off, found themselves pleasantly surprised to discover that while the show was heavy on slapstick, it also had a darker, more sophisticated edge. There’s a reason that that series still retains a devoted following among adults.
Hopefully, the same thing will happen with ‘ThunderCats Roar’. Fingers crossed!
What do you think of this new series? Will you give it a shot when it premieres next year?