Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ho!

CBM has your first (posted) look at the trailer for the new iteration of "Thundercats."



All the leaping, whooshing-backdrops, etc. won't do anything to assuage the irrational, blinding hatred some people have for Anime design-sensibilities (ironic, given that the original show's lasting-legacy is that it's animators eventually became Studio Ghibli) but in some respects it looks almost absurdly-faithful: The quick glimpse of Mumm-Ra could be a direct lift, and even Snarf seems to have made it over.

And I'll say it: "Teenage Lion-O" is an improvement. It's destined to become the poster child for fanboy bellyaching over "chickification" (his nickname will be Lion-Emo, calling it now) but one of the goofier things about the original series was that Lion-O was written as an impulsive, immature "kid" who the others were tasked with whipping into leadership-shape... but he was drawn and voiced with the same generic deep-voiced muscleman persona as every other would-be He-Man of the 80s. Assuming the premise is even somewhat close, making him look closer to 18 than 35 makes more sense. I also like that they look more like cat-people than people in bodypaint.

The real question, of course, is whether the intended audience for this - actual children far too young to remember or give a damn about an admittedly-obscure relic of the mid-80s - will actually care.

31 comments:

Drunken Lemur said...

So, does this take place before Thundera was destroyed then? I'll admit I'm a bit upset it won't take place on Third Earth, but at least we won't have any of those creepy robot bears. Definitely looking forward to this, any idea when it's premiering?

zender_1 said...

As long as who ever makes the toys doesn't make the same retarded mistakes Hasbro and Mattel did that got Transformers Animated and He-Man 2002 killed, it should be okay.

Popcorn Dave said...

I agree on Lion-O's age. I didn't pick up on it when I was a kid, but I was watching a few episodes recently and the disconnect was pretty jarring. I also found it funny that the cryogenic malfunction gave him huge bodybuilder muscles as well. I'd like a "malfunction" that did that!

I think it will do quite well to be honest. Not as popular as the 80s show but I think it will carve out a good market for itself like the new Ninja Turtles did. The show was a bit goofy, but the actual premise was pretty damn epic - you always got the sense that you were watching something far more "important" than, say, He-Man. I think that's what made it stand out back in the day, and it looks this is going to have that same vibe (and even improve on it with the superior animation).

TheDVDGrouch said...

My only question is whether or not they plan on reworking the classic piece of 80's cheese that was the Thundercats awesome theme song.

Sssonic said...

@Drunken Lemur: My understanding is that the initial episodes will take place on Thundera prior to its destruction, but that the action will move to Third Earth before too long; the trailer most likely only used footage from the opening episodes, hence no sign of Third Earth yet. It's set to premiere this Summer, July in specific if I recall correctly.

Anyway.

LOVE it. The animation's great, the revised desgins are the perfect blend of faithful-to-the-original and revised-and-improved, and the glimpses of backstory and worldbuilding we see here are tantalizing indeed. Of particular note, the Mutants seem to be slaves of the Thunderians; we see Grune the Destroyer (and, by the way, great call to bring Grune in right off the bat, he was one of the better sub-villains of the original series) presiding over a chain-gang of them, and there's a lizard-man in a stockade next to Tygra when he cracks his whip at around the 0:56 mark.

So yes, color me very excited for this.

kevmon1116 said...

Being born in '88, essentially missing everything awesome about the eighties, I don't have the same nostaligia for shows like Thundercats as older/more fortunate nerds do. That said, this looks awesome! Everything from start to finished has me enticed. I can't wait to check this show out.
Also, Ghibli did T-cats? Huh... no wonder everyone liked that show.

Aaron said...

@Kevin: Don't worry about it. The 80s sucked. The 90s was where it was at.

You hear that Bob? The 90s mother fucker.

sniffits said...

It would appear that Lion-O underwent another design change and he's better for it. The first iteration for the remade cartoon gave him long hair and a much lankier body. This new one is good for me. As a fan of Avatar:TLA and any animation show that tries to have kids follow a consistent narrative, I'm proud of the animators and directors for going that route and excited for this show to come on. My little brother is 7 and we'll be watching this together.

Martín Cerón said...

Being born in '87 and living in a third-world South American country where everything got here later (Chile), I actually lived the eighties during the early nineties, that is until the internet changed the world, and the nineties became the nineties, and then they sucked, of course. So this was actually what I watched as a kid, and the trailer brought many memories to my eyes. Oh, the memories...

smile said...

Having grown up on the original Thundercats this new rendition looks too dry for me. Considering I'm content with my old Thundercats DVDs I don't care either way if this is a success or not.

Lap it up kids.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

I hate it when I typo...

I was watching this video trying to summon that feeling of nostalgic hate that you were describing, but my heart wasn't in it.

You are right. The character might be better off as an adolescent thrust into a position of authority he isn't ready for. It's a good basis for a story.

I probably will only give it a glance either way, but I should allow it a fair shake before lowering the hammer of judgement.

And you know what... if it means more cat girls(and boys since the ladies need something to look at too) at the conventions, then it is ultimately a good thing.

akkuma420 said...

Being Born in 85' made me miss alot of the classics, just barely.
That being said, not really to familiar with Thundercats but from what I do know, this looks pretty faithful to the original and very cool.
I'm interested.
Now that a new version of this is being made, we can definitely count on a movie being made as well... for better or worse.
For better I hope.

Joe said...

As a kid, I thought Thundercats was one of the greatest things ever. When I saw episodes again in my 20s, I groaned at how horrible it was (I now feel this way about every 80s cartoon I watched except GI Joe and Jem). But Popcorn Dave, you're right: the Third Earth setting was massively epic and had a lot of potential.

This, however, looks awesome. The anime style is a perfect fit for the space opera/epic fantasy/Narnia mashup that Thundercats had going for it, and the animation looks really good. I may have to check this out.

The Partisan said...

If it looks like anime, that's 'cause it's made by Studio 4C, the critically overrated, publicly underrated Japanese think-tank of avant-garde animators who lend their talents out only whenever and to whomever they feel like it.

For reference see:
The Animatrix: "Kid's Story"
Halo Legends: "Origins", "The Babysitter"
Batman: Gotham Knight - "Have I Got A Story For You", "Working Through Pain"

...and their full-length films "Tekkon Kinkreet", "Mind Game", and "First Squad" (if you can find them online)

They also did "Transformers Animated" (2007), but let's all pretend that never happened...

James said...

Born in late 1986 and on the other side of the Atlantic, Thundercats came with a bang when I was around four. Despite having only the sparsest of memories of it, I always thought of it fondly - particularly its theme tune, ho-oh.

Then when I was in college, a guy I knew lent me his DVD of it, and while I was initially enthused, it quickly waned. The episodes generally proved to be incredibly formulaic, with Mumm-ra's villain following the exact same battle plan every time. Some episodes showed a greater use of the Third Earth arc, and I liked it when they returned to Thundera, but it got old, quick.

This looks okay. Not sure if I'd be inclined to tune in, as I like the occasional cabbage based chuckle, à la Avatar:TLA.

But I guess I am also not a proper 80s kid. Gargoyles, though, OMG that was awesome, with that latter G standing for gargoyles.

beyrob said...

I liked TC back when i was little and saw reruns. I'm actautly quite excited. I just hope they give the old theme time to shine. I won't throw a fit if they don't, if i really need a fix, 10 secs of searching on youtube can find me the same thing

James said...

where was Panthro?

Christopher said...

I can dig it, I especially like the fact that there seems to be more characters in this world besides the Thundercats and Mum-Ra's goons

CraftyAndy said...

well I hope the show is as serious as it's trailer. Cartoon Network needs a better line of action shows. This looks like "Game of Thrones" with cats and lizards so yay for that. I hope this is handled much like Last Airbender with a planned three to four season run and a ultimate conclusion.

Harold said...

Lion-O was an impulsive, immature "kid" that aged 20 years in a sleep chamber traveling from Thundera to Third Earth

matthew_harvey13 said...

The trailer looks awsome. But I hope there are not too many comlains, as I watched a couple of episodes of the original series not to long ago, and got as far as the Ro-Bear Berbils before turning off in disgust. Wondering how I wanrtched this rubbish when I was a kid. So happy they are having another stab at it and they look to be making it better.

Ezenwa said...

I was born in 1982, and I'm approaching this like I did the new Voltron, the new Transformers, and the new He-Man: with great apprehension. Hopefully, I'm wrong. But this does raise 2 questions of mine:

1) I agree with an above question: where was panthro?

2) If they are all taking this wonderful time to redo things like this, where's the effort to remake Captain N(it's such a guilty pleasure of mine), and if not that, a move to get us a new Mario Bros cartoon series (Smash Brothers, maybe?)

All in all, It's a wait and see for me.

MontHenryKnitly said...

I didn't really like the original He-man show very much, but i loved the underrated He-man remake that looks suspiciously very much like what they're going for in this show. Although i actually liked the original ThunderCats, i have a feeling i'm gonna like this one just as much i liked the
He-man remake. by the way if you hadn't heard about that show, it was made in early 2000 and you should totally check it out if you like what they're doing with this.

Clayton said...

I only saw one episode of the original show, so I don't have that many memories of it. Still, I might give this a shot since I do like Studio 4 Degrees. Now update He-Man (and start by getting rid of that goofy haircut).

Curtis said...

As a guy who never watched the original, this looks pretty great. I'll be sure to check it out

Chris Evans said...

Panthro seems to be missing. No calls of racism yet? Cartoon Network doesn't care about black cats. :O

Dave Kraft said...

Something tells me this MIGHT be a prequel to the original show, or a sequel on New Thundera after the events of the '80s series (with this king being Lion-O and the teen-aged boy being the son, with the new Tigra and Cheetara being the children of the original. In this sense it'd be kind of like how GI Joe Resolute is a sequel which comes after the events of the '80s show). After all, in the original series, Lion-O's just a boy when they come to 3rd Earth, while the others are older. Of course, he appears physically-grown by the time they show up because something goes wrong with his suspension capsule, which slows down his aging rather than stops it.

Speaking of teen-aged Lion-O, I honestly don't think it's such a great idea, but that all really depends on how the script is handled. And I say that not because I don't think it would work out of some sort of Thundercats fanboyism, but instead because of the CGI footage that was released of the would-be CGI movie featuring Young Lion-O...... he comes across as your average male lead in anything written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.....

Here's the footage, for those of you who haven't seen it. http://www.movieweb.com/movie/thundercats/cgi-test-footage

I know the cartoon MIGHT be handed in a drastically-different manner, but that assumes that the people who worked on the CGI test footage aren't working on the series...... my fingers are crossed that it will be handled by different writers.

I'm interested to see it, though, so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. The visuals look stunning, and the looks for Tigra and Cheetara look really cool. :)

Btw Bob? Have you seen the Iron Man anime yet? Granted, it's still in subtitles, but if you manage to stick around for a major reveal in Episode 4 I guarantee you'll be hooked to see it through. It got off to a slow start but I LOVED IT!

Wolverine is kind of meh, though. The X-Men anime looks like it has a better production crew, but the same voice actor for Wolverine..... and I hope the Blade anime is just as awesome as Iron Man. (They're all in continuity, FYI) I highly recommend checking them out :) Iron Man finished up recently, and Wolverine's still in progress with the next two in tow. :)

Dave Kraft said...

BTW GOOD NEWS! Panthro IS in it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhIUcy0kGw8&feature=player_detailpage#t=53s

(pause the video at 53 seconds)

Whether or not Wilykit and Wilykat are, I don't know.

Kendall said...

@Dave Kraft

Weren't they shown running side by side in the video in the OP?

Sophie said...

Born in 1987, but grew up watching it as often as I could (which was not THAT often sadly)... I am torn about the trailer, but can´t pinpoint why exactly. And yeah, Panthro needed more screen time in that trailer. And one good questions really is: What about the theme song? I liked the old one.