It’s a pretty well-known fact that I’m a sucker for 1980s cartoons. Many an evening with my girlfriend have devolved into us watching Transformers or GI Joe, sometimes even Jem. As much as I love these characters and concepts, sometimes I find myself not enjoying the updated versions. When I heard that Cartoon Network was relaunching Thundercats, I didn’t know what to expect.
When I saw last week’s two-part debut, I was hooked.
This new version of Thundercats is very faithful to the original concepts, but is telling a new story. Most noticeable is that its set on their home planet Thundera as opposed to Third Earth. Oh, and the fact that Lion-O is a young adult as opposed to a full-fledged man. This gives them a lot more room to explore his character. Will Friedle is the voice of the character, and at times reminded me a bit of his earlier role of Eric Matthews.
Larry Kenney, who was Lion-O in the original series, lends his voice to Claudus, the king of the Thundercats that dies at the hands of Mumm-Ra. This leads to Lion-O, Tygra and Cheetara fleeing to find the Book of Omens in an effort to stop the evil mummy and gives the framework of the show’s story.
The animation has grown on me, as I’m not usually a fan of the more anime stylized cartoons. I will say that it looks nothing like any of the other modern cartoons. I like the new character designs, but Lion-O’s hair seems a little too Dragonball Z for my liking.
One of the things that fans of the original series like to reminisce and joke about was how they forced social themes into the episodes. We did see a bit in this, when Lion-O pleaded to his father to not kill their enemy Lizards, preaching peacefulness and tolerance of those who are different. This scene played out very well.
Consider me hooked. I can’t wait for the next episode.