ThunderCats (2011) Review

I’m ashamed to admit that I actually forgot the new ThunderCats series was premiering last week. As of late, most of my television viewing has been via Netflix Instant Queue. For some reason I thought the series wouldn’t begin until August.

I searched the internet high and low to find out when an encore presentation of the premiere would air, only to find out there would be no encore [sad face].

Thankfully, the 1-hour series premiere is available OnDemand this week. So last night, I geared up to see something nostalgic and new. ThunderCats is a series I grew up with. My first cosplay was actually an original ThunderCats character that I created name Cougara.

So, it’s safe to say that I’m a bit of a fan. I decided to watch the premiere with an optimistic attitude. This is definitely a reboot of the ThunderCats series, and not a remake. The premise and character back stories are different from the original 80s series. I’ve read mixed reviews about the new ThunderCats, but I actually like it.

Two versions of my original ThunderCat character

The original ThunderCats  combined fantasy with technology. They had spaceships and machines, yet they also fought with bow staffs, swords, whips, and nunchuks. In the new series, cats see technology as a myth or fairytale. Unlike most of his people, Lion-O is a believer of technology. He thinks there is more outside the walls of Thundera that they have yet to discover.

This puts an interesting twist on the story, and puts the ThunderCats at more of a disadvantage since their enemies actually learn to use technology to take down Thundera.

The new series also changes the relationships between the ThunderCats as well. Lion-O is of course Prince of Thundera, and heir to the throne. Tygra is actually Lion-O’s adopted brother. They have a very competitive relationship. Tygra is the favorite of their father, and a superior fighter.

Cheetara is actually one of Jaga’s Clerics. The Clerics appear to be an elite team of swift warriors. She meets Lion-O for the first time at the start of this series.

Panthro is a highly respected general who hasn’t returned from battle, who isn’t actually seen in the series yet (I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s not actually dead since he’s in all the show’s promotional artwork).

The Thunderkittens, Wilykat and Wilykit are street urchins. They use their abilities to steal money and food, and they seem to be homeless.

Snarf is Lion-O’s loyal companion, and he doesn’t speak…at all! Fans might hate me for saying this, but I actually love Snarf more as an adorable cat-pet. Snarf from the 80s series was very much annoying to me. Yes, it’s like we’re losing a main character of the series here, but he was never my favorite anyway.

What’s interesting about this new series is the relationship with the lizard people and the cats. Cats are the dominate species and seem to oppress the lizards. In this premiere, cats seem to be the jerks in this situation.

Lion-O shows compassion to a pair of lizards who were only stealing food to feed their children. In the end we see that lizard-folk aren’t all bad. Maybe if the cats shared more of their resources and worked with the lizards, they wouldn’t be at war.

Mumm-Ra is the same creepy sorcerer who seeks the Eye of Thundera (the stone that sits inside the Sword of Omens).

I definitely have to get use to the animation style, but I actually love all the costumes and armor. I think this series has some hope. The writers have established a great conflict with tradition vs technology, and I’m interested to see the cats adapt and fight back.

I don’t think it’s fair to compare this series with the original. It was the 80s…you can’t recreate the 80s, it just won’t work in today’s world. I respect and love ThunderCats for what it was, and I’m starting to love this new series for different reasons. It will absolutely be programmed on my DVR from now on (no way I’m missing another episode).


Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

Oh yeah…I own a Sword of Omens. You wish your girlfriend were this awesome! “ThunderCats…hooooooo!”

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