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Cartoon Network bringing back ThunderCats for new animated series


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The ThunderCats are coming back!

EW can exclusively reveal that Warner Bros. Animation is bringing back the iconic cat-like aliens for new animated series called ThunderCats Roar, which will debut on Cartoon Network in 2019.

Check out an exclusive sneak peak at the show above.

The original ThunderCats show aired from 1985 and 1989, and followed the adventures of Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro, Tygra, Snarf, and WilyKit and WilyKat, the refugees of the planet Thundera who end up on Third Earth. While ThunderCats Roar plans on staying true to the original’s premise and will feature tons of action, it will also lean into the inherent comedy of the world, too.

 

in order: original, reboot, modern

 

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Yeah, I'm tentatively in.

 

I mean, in fairness Thundercats legit had some of the best art/animation for the era.  Most of those '80s cartoons (He-Man, Transformers, G.I. Joe) look like janky dogshit but Thundercats was always smoothly animated and super detailed.  Mumm-Ra is a fucking scary looking villain and the mutants he uses for Henchman are weird creepy designs.  So I understand that aspect of being mad.

 

Now as far as the tone goes, I'm sure it will be goofier than the original but lets sit down and have a talk about that.  Thundercats holds up about 50% better than most of the cartoons of that era, it certainly outpaces He-Man in that I don't cringe nearly as much watching it.  That being said, it's dumb as fuck and there's not much to "ruin" in that regard.  It's formulaic, snarf is obnoxious as shit, and very little actually happens.  Do I think that they went with this tone/look just a liiitle to piss off people who can't stop fucking whining about Teen Titans Go?  Probably.  But I'm also adult enough to realize that stuff with this much more intentionally doofy tone (Steven Universe/Star vs. The Forces of Evil/Adventure Time) does big serious beats so sooo much better than Thundercats ever did.

 

Also, look at this:

That's a damn fine piece of animation.  Cool your jets.

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The 2011 Thundercats reboot had a more cohesive story, a deeper lore, emotional profundity, and overall gravitas (and admittedly terrible pacing) but they canned it because they couldn't classically merchandise it... do they think they're going to get toys out of whatever this is? Still, Teen Titans Go isn't that bad, but damn it if hasn't changed the flavor when you consume any other Teen Titans property made before or since, not sure if that's ultimately a good or bad thing. And TTG and their like can't be classically merchandised, there are scant few action figures and and accessories or a show and art style like that so they're going to have to look for other revenue streams, which would have been nice for the 2011 show if they had bothered, those fuckers... ah well, I have no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn't that, so I guess we'll see.

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Well the merchandising of something ultimately comes down to popularity, for some reason Thundercats 2011 didn't connect with kids (the He-Man reboot lasted longer but ultimately suffered the same fate) but as far as Teen Titans Go, I think they're doing fine merchandise-wise.  Not to mention these shows engender deep rabid fan-bases who will shell out crazy amounts of money for so much bullshit, I don't know if it'll pan out but it seems like a reasonable move.  They've successfully double-dipped on Teen Titans AND Ben 10 at this point so this makes sense.

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Yeah, TTG is all just branding and kitschy shit; not a toy line of action figures, vehicles and play sets- the "classic merchandising" that the underwriters of the 2011 reboot were obviously going for. I'm just saying if shows would have stopped pushing for that route then we wouldn't have lost the 2011 series, or Young Justice, or Symiotic Titan, or all the others that were great shows with a solid fan base but were lacking classic merchandise-ability.

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Nobody's selling a lot of action figures these days.  It's not that Thundercats couldn't traditionally market, it's that Star Wars and Transformers are pretty much the only valid UPs in the action figure market and selling a show on its toy appeal is no longer a worthwhile market but Adventure Time proved that the Hot Topic crowd loves branded merchandise.  They easily could make Teen Titans Go action figures, it's a DC superhero show after all, and stuff like Steven Universe would easily lend itself to an action figure line (remember Biker Mice on Mars? Street Sharks? Wild West C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa?  That Stretch Armstrong cartoon has a an action figure line.) But "toyetic" isn't the moneymaker it used to be and I'm sure the toys would have sold better if the show was a hit, but it wasn't and I think a portion of that was the usual "don't ruin my childhood" crowd, so it makes sense to appeal to the younger demographic and maybe try and get the old fans to hate-watch.

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Thi

16 hours ago, Drifter said:

The 2011 Thundercats reboot had a more cohesive story, a deeper lore, emotional profundity, and overall gravitas (and admittedly terrible pacing) but they canned it because they couldn't classically merchandise it... do they think they're going to get toys out of whatever this is? Still, Teen Titans Go isn't that bad, but damn it if hasn't changed the flavor when you consume any other Teen Titans property made before or since, not sure if that's ultimately a good or bad thing. And TTG and their like can't be classically merchandised, there are scant few action figures and and accessories or a show and art style like that so they're going to have to look for other revenue streams, which would have been nice for the 2011 show if they had bothered, those fuckers... ah well, I have no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn't that, so I guess we'll see.

I liked how the 2011 reboot tried to bring in old and new Thundercats fans alike, and I was sad to see it so abruptly canceled. I guess the merchandising wasn't what they expected, but in fairness to the show it was entering a crowded market. I think toys are selling fine (Marvel and WWE stuff especially) but it's not like back in the day where a few brands have the Lion-O share of the market. Literally every show now has merchandise, so attentions and budgets get stretched. Funko is pretty much to the 2010s as Kenner was to the 1980s. But I digress.

 

This 2019 version seems squarely aimed at the CN core audience of 12 and under. Kids twelve and up are watching more and more anime, and I feel like Netflix is huge competition for CN, so they're going with a safe bet here by rebranding Thundercats as a comedy-adventure show. Good luck to them, and I'll give the first episode a shot--but it's likely gonna be hard pass for me on this new version.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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^ I've never seen any of these shows.  So this style is new to me.  (I don't have cable - I'm not on the pulse of these newer toons)

 

But, yeah - to Baytor's point - 

On 5/19/2018 at 8:48 PM, Iambaytor said:

...I'm also adult enough to realize that stuff with this much more intentionally doofy tone (Steven Universe/Star vs. The Forces of Evil/Adventure Time) does big serious beats so sooo much better than Thundercats ever did.

 

Of those, I've only seen Adventure Time - and they've had sum pretty good episodes, despite - really - being aimed at 6 year olds.  BUT, it also felt aimed at parents / baby-sitters - I ended up really appreciating that show.  I can't think of any OG Thundercats episode that they couldn't re-tell in the same vein as Adventure Time and it not work.

 

The art style really isn't a thing for me - I actually kinda like it...reminds me of Superjail / Korgoth.  I'm a fan of the 'actually animated' stuff - LOL  I'm extremely interested in seeing this show's action sequences.

 

I was initially tepid giving Clone Wars n' Nick's cg TMNT a taste - because of the art style - but, they both ended up being GREAT shows.  The latter being super-kiddy, but it was able to reel it in when it had to.  Totally felt for all ages...and a celebration and honoring of the IP (all things TMNT).  Reboot done right!

 

I mean, w/ this - so far - at least the characters and settings are recognizable?  They didn't re-imagine Snarf as a turtle-frog-android and they didn't give Mumm-Ra a Trump toupee.  I could prolly handle an 80s He-Man reboot / re-imagining like this - IF they kept it true to source / assets pulled directly from the 80s canon.  (shrugs)  Could be fun to see classic (not re-imagined) characters in all-new adventures.

 

These things - like Spidey - are gonna be re-imagined up n' down from here till Tuesday.  Not every version is gonna be aimed at me - but, when one is...

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So far - my only concern is that the tone and comedy will be too infantile...and just have me walk away.

 

Hopefully, they anticipate the action sequences to be appreciated by animation fans in general (I'm going by that killer intro) - and there'll be an all-ages approach for what they're doing - by that, I mean - not solely aimed at JUST 6 year olds.

 

"We shall see..."

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Not into it. At all. What they did in the comics with the He-Man / Thundercats crossover was bad ass. This... looks... like... a steaming pile of hot garbage. I don’t like the animation / drawing style for this. But if it gets my kid to watch it, I suppose I’d give it a try.

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Yeah, they were pretty dated. I'd also like to say that the character designs of the 2011 series were a massive improvement... 80s Cheetara always looked like she was about to star in an aerobics video.

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The 2011 series improved it but it was still working from a failed template.  It was about aliens fighting mutants and a mummy on a wasteland planet, did it really need to be a barbarian property as well?

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3 hours ago, Drifter said:

80s Cheetara always looked like she was about to star in an aerobics video.

 

Ooooh.  Yessss...

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5 hours ago, Iambaytor said:

Cheetarah's looks like a pop singer from 1984, her design is a mess.

 

"...I don't think you should go out there..."

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All day, every day.  God bless the 80s.

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