Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thundercats 2011 - TV Series Review

Before starting the review I just have to say one thing: During the show I was completely unaware of the outside world. The characters, the story and the mind-blowing animation were absolutely amazing!

So without any further ado, let us all ROAR the most “blood chilling” battle cry ever created in the animated world:

Thunder! Thunder! Thunder!
Thundercats HO!!! 
(2011)

Well, its official cat fans, the Thundercats are back and with a grudge!
For all of those who don’t know this great franchise, the Thundercats was an original 80’s TV animated series picturing a group of heroes that survived their planet’s destruction. Each one of the heroes is based on a different member of the feline family, such as their leader Lion-O. As the name suggests Lion-O was based on a lion, with a hot temper and a huge red mane as his hair (not even this series was able to run away from the horrifying hairdos of the 80’s!). Being a descendent of the lion lineage made Lion-O by default their Leader, Lord of the Thundercats, but as the series episodes revealed, it’s not enough to be a lion, for you must also prove that you are worthy of leadership.
Amongst our heroes you can find other examples of the cat’s family such as Panthro (based on the panther), Cheetara (based on the cheetah), Tygra (based on the tiger) and so on…

But we are not here to talk about the old series, we are here to drool over the new one.

The animation that was created for this reboot consists of a mix of anime style drawings along with Final Fantasy like technology and what I can only describe as the darker elements of “the evil that the Lord of The Rings had left behind…”

You need to understand that if you are a veteran of the 80’s show you’ll notice that the characters have some basic resemblance to the old look, but it is revamped, adding some more up to date CGI technology. The story line also got revamped, becoming more moderated in order to appeal to a wide range of audiences (younger through older, first timers through veterans). Oh… and let’s not forget one of the most important aspects of this reboot… a more reasonable clothing fashion! No longer will Lion-O run around the world wearing the top half of a swimsuit, Speedos and those god awful boots!


Moving on from that dreadful image. What the creators of Thundercats 2011 basically did was to keep the important aspects of the old story line, most notably with Lion-O been the young prince forced to rise to the challenges of his royal responsibilities and his quest to fight the evils of “Third Earth”. But what really got my attention is that they introduced additional intrigues to the story as they have changed the relations between the characters.
In this new series you find Tygra not to be the oldest member of the team and the responsible adult, instead he is portrayed as Lion-O’s older adopted brother whom everyone thinks should be king. But, his heritage prevents him from inheriting the throne. Cheetara is no longer a familiar face to Lion-O and Tygra, as she is introduced during the pilot. During the episode she shares some interesting looks with the brothers, and we all know what such looks can make men do. Even cats are not immune to those looks, or so it seems...

Another interesting notion in the 2011 series is that the Thundercats Team as we remember it is not completely present in the pilot!
We only hear of Panthro in the beginning but never get to actually see him. We get to meet Wilykat and Wilykit but only as two street urchin siblings making a living from pick pocketing and scamming. But still they hold on to their youthful innocence, hoping and believing that one day they will reach a fabulous hidden city filled with gold.

The creators have in no way revealed how all our heroes will come to work together, but after seeing the first 45 minutes pilot episode I can honestly say I don’t care! Just give me more of these new Thundercats and I am well sedated for at least a week… or until a new episode is aired, whichever comes first!

For those of us who have hoped for several things to happen in the old days of the 80’s, here are some fun facts regarding Thundercats 2011 that may appease our appetite:

  • The Legendary Larry Kenney, the original voice actor who voiced Lion-O in the original series will voice King Claudus, Lion-O’s father in the 2011 series, completing, if you will, the passing of the torch to the new cast.

  •  JAGA! He Fights! He Kick’s Ass! He is ALIVE! Need I say more?

  • And last but definitely not least, we all remember “Snarf”, the “cat-like” pet who used to blabber all the time in the 80’s version, acting as a teacher to Lion-O… Well guess what, they finally silenced that annoying “Snarffing machine!” Yes you are reading this correctly! Snarf is just a PET!!! Thank god for small miracles!


I hope you will enjoy the pilot as much as we here in the SaVa Reviews team did and that you are as eager and “on edge” as we are to see the rest of the series.

To all of you Cat Fans out there - Thundercats Ho!

With Much Respect,
SaVa.



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