From the destroyed planet Thundara and hurtling through light years of space and thirty earth years, it’s the return of the Thundercats! But, these aren’t your father’s Thundercats. Therein lies the problem and the solution. Lets take a fresh sight beyond sight at this new series from Cartoon Network.
This new series is a completely new take on the concept of the Thundercats. There will be nothing continuing over from either the classic series or the 21st century reboot. Every team member is still true to that which we fell in love with decades ago, but with a Teen Titans Go twist. This modern day Cartoon Network prism has created a house style which shows like TTG, Steven Universe, Regular Show, Adventure Time, and now Thundercats Roar fall in to. While the shows have many differences they all obviously from the same channel.
The spaceship crash lands on Third Earth in the first minute of a show, and the ‘Cats are given a quick background history thanks to a familiar face acting as narrator. It is over the top silly and each character’s dominating personality is turned up to eleven. Lion-O as cub who turned into a man physically yet not mentally is brash and impulsive. He causes trouble which the rest of the team then needs to resolve, but maybe Lion-O’s mistakes are actually helpful.
While it is in that Teen Titans Go genre of super cartoony, chibi manga, over the top, all of the negative examples you’ll read on the internet, that is surface. In the two part preview episode up now on the Cartoon Network app, there is tons of humor, world building, and -surprise- action! In two episodes this new version manages to do something that no previous version of Thundercats ever accomplished. They make the Berbils into heroes and integral to the story. No longer are the robot bears the butt of the joke!
Therein lies the route to take in enjoying this show. Watch some of the original Thundercats episodes. While the show had the greatest opening video of any 80’s cartoon, many episodes are difficult to watch as adults. Who is this guy? Where did that come from? How in the hell did they not solve this problem in two seconds? The Roar cartoon takes some of these elements from the original and embraces the ridiculousness of it all then runs alongside Cheetara with it.
This is only a two part opener which can never be perfect. The size transformation between both versions of Mumm-Ra is very reminiscent of Trigon on TTG. The Mutants aren’t seen as serious threats, but were they ever? Grune could be very interesting on this show. The Lunataks, the Berserkers, even the later additions to the Thundercats could become more well rounded thanks to this in on the joke style.
Even if my words aren’t enough and you still think this version of the classic ‘Cats is not for you, tune in for a couple minutes. This new show brilliantly uses the same score as the original cartoon and a few notes is all it took to make me Roar like a kid again.