Oh, the power of comics. Thirty years ago, this was unimaginable – the goofy cartoon with the best cheese-to-fun ratio, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and the cartoon with the slickest animation and coolest characters, The ThunderCats, were the top of the top in terms of after-school entertainment. Two fun shows with the two most-iconic swords; two shows with decidedly different vibes; shows that could coexist in a TV-watching lineup but never in the same story or space, save for the imagination or perhaps the toy box.
It seems like people have a real soft spot for 1980s pop culture, especially fans of children’s television. This is due to a combination of the toy tie-ins on the cartoons of that time, the bright and vibrant colors on the shows, the larger than life characters, and the fact that the children of that era have grown into adults and they’re making content about what they loved. And I am just as much a victim of this ’80s nostalgia bug as anyone, and that is why the following artist caught my eye.
On Friday July 29th at 8pm the Thundercats roars back onto TV on the Cartoon Network, with an hour long series premiere. It then will regularly air on Fridays at 8:30 pm on August 5th. So start setting your DVR’s.
Most will remember Thundercats from the 1985 cartoon series which ran through 1990 with four seasons and a TV movie. The series centered around a group of cat like humanoids that were fleeing their doomed planet of Thundera, and crash land on middle Earth. There they battle mutants and the evil forces of Mumm-Rah, along with other challenges. The series usually had some kind of sappy moral or lesson to learn which obviously made childhoods everywhere better off, and made TV properly raise us instead of our parents.
The show primarily followed the main character of Lion-O, the boy king whose body aged in a sleep chamber, but his mind didn’t. Which is an obvious problem with monarchies, and clearly an over used plot device. So Lion-O has to learn how to be a king and use his kick ass sword of omens to fight off all these lame ass enemies and teach kids some important life lesson, all while holding it down 80’s style.
It’s gonna be pretty hard to top that, but Cartoon Network looks like its gonna give it a great re-boot. They have Sam Register (Young Justice, Batman the Brave and the Bold, and most of the DC cartoon movies that have been released recently) and Ethan Spaulding (The Simpsons, Avatar: The Last Airbender) producing. As an added bonus Will Friedle the older brother from Boy Meets World is voicing the character of Lion-O this time around.
The animation looks better and there seems to much more an actual plot and character development. It appears that the series is gonna start on Thundera and give us a look into the Thundercats home world and culture, not just start with a space fight and space ships crashing.
There was a 10 minute video of the series that was leaked online that has since been taken down but gave me just the taste I was looking forward to get me excited. More updates to come as more information becomes available and the series airs.
– B. VanGorder