BLOG Thundercats: First Impressions Of The New Version

SFX Blogger Laura McConnell shares her nearly-spoiler-free thoughts about the Thundercats remake

Since I blog for this site, I think it’s safe to assume that everyone here knows I’m – ahem – a bit of a geek.

Okay, a lot of a geek. So much so that I named my cat Thunder. Yes, Thunder. As in Thunder the Cat. Or, more succinctly, Thundercat. And you can guess what that means I loved Thundercats as a kid.

Now, I confess that I haven’t watched the series since I was little (though I have tried on Netflix a few times, but was too impatient to wait for the DVDs), and therefore I’m a bit fuzzy on canon, but my interest in Thundera and its people is still pretty strong. I’ve been following the remake series with some interest for the past bit, and through the miracle of Twitter not letting anyone forget anything about television ever, I tuned in for the hour-long premiere of the Thundercats remake on Cartoon Network tonight here in the States.

I’m glad I did. It was fantastic!

I really enjoyed the animation, which was crisp and clean and remained true to the original characters despite giving them an anime makeover. I loved that Snarf made, well, Snarf noises, and that at one point, he made me laugh out loud. (Yes, I know some hate him, but I’m in the Snarf camp, okay?) The Sword of Omens was super cool, and Mumm-Ra was absolutely amazing. From his bandaged limbs to his verbatim: “Ancient spirits of evil, transform this decayed form to Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living!” – which I quoted with him even after all these years – he was just plain sinister, as he should be.

In addition to all that, the history of this Thundera was presented quickly and mostly with actions, not talk, which I think made it easily digestible to fans both new and old. Though it definitely differs substansially from the original series even in my time-faded memories, it works fine. The plot was fast-paced and I was interested throughout. So much so that I actually put down my phone and just watched this show with my full attention. I couldn’t help it. And that’s not just my nostalgia talking, or at least I don’t think so. It was just plain good! Later, when I picked up my phone again, Twitter told me I wasn’t alone in this opinion.

Now, there was one thing that would have left me confused if I hadn’t already known how this Thundercats was handling it. And because I think it doesn’t hurt the viewing experience at all to know it ahead of time, but actually helps it, I’m going to spoil you all just a bit. In this remake, Tygra is Lion-O’s adopted brother. He is older than Lion-O, but as I said, he’s adopted. Therefore, he is not heir to the throne. This was never really explained in the episode, or I missed it if it was, and it was a bit baffling. I’m not sure where the writers are going with this, but for now, I’m reserving judgment on it.

Seriously, though, that’s my only complaint, besides the fact that my own Thundercat had to leave last year at a pretty ripe old age and didn’t get to see this jolly romp with me. I’m left wanting more of this universe. I want to know what really happened to [ spoiler redacted ] and how Lion-O and his not-so-merry band of brethren will fare on their quest for [ second spoiler redacted ].

So, I think I have to agree with my husband when he proclaimed, at the most epic of moments, “Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

Roll on next week’s episode! Thundercats HO!