By Jake Rivett
The Thundercats made a reappearance in a brand new Cartoon Network show in 2011, and we where all simply expected to just roll over and love it, along with all the millions of other sequels and reboots that exist, but this one was different, it was special.
It worked really, really well. The thirteen episode series benefits from taking a brand new timeline to the old Thundercats, and ‘re-creating’ old loved characters.
Yes, it is Lion-O, Panthro, Tigra, Cheetarah, and Wily-Kit; even Jaga too but they are all new versions with new back stories and new outfits (with homages to the original).
The new story features a cameo from the original Lion-O; where he and Tigra are brothers (assuming from a different mother). They have spent their entire lives in rivalry to each other and have to set out to find some crystals after Thundera is destroyed by an army of lizards which have finally outsmart the cat nation.
I won’t spoil massive amounts more – that’s the basic plot. I can’t say I had massively high hopes, but I was surprised and impressed by the excellent two-part opener.
Even the rest of the series kept me entranced, with only episode ten being a let down. One rotten egg in a basket of potential hazards is not a bad one, eh?
The story lines tend to be mostly about discovering inner strength; brother betraying brother and learning to get along but they’re always done well enough so that this becomes subtext. Unlike a lot of shows that wants the message to be hammered home, the subtlety of it all does it justice.
The new anime style benefits the show in that it looks modern. Snarf reappears and is generally the comedy relief, but he is a cat; a non-talking cat, which is great because though loveable in the original, he would have been a far too obvious Star Wars’ ‘Jar-jar Binks’ type character.
It mixes in well with the rest of the crew, old enemies reappear, with Slithe and Mum-Ra being the present enemies along with Saber Tooth, a good cat gone bad – no word from Monkian or Jackalman, yet.
A decently written well animated successor to the original that deserves the high wave its riding on, here’s hoping for season two.