When news first came out that the 80’s cartoon “Thundercats” will be rebooted, I really wondered if USA is already scraping the bottom of the barrel when even cartoons are being remade. On top of that, the felines aren’t even getting the ‘upgrade’ to be converted into a movie like their peers, Transformers and … Smurfs.
It took me about 5 minutes of the pilot to make me realise this reboot might have been the best cartoon for kids (and kids at heart) since the Justice League Unlimited series!
The pilot and 2nd episode, respectively named “Sword of Omens” and “Ancient Spirits of Evil” were bundled together which is all about setting up the new lore. The 2011 Lion-O seems much younger than the 80’s counterpart, while the rest of the pack, Tygra, Cheetara and the two kiddos pretty much remain similar to the original. (note: Cheetara is one hot kitty! MEOW!)
Brief Episodes review : *SPOILERS AHEAD*
What’s great about the series is the elements of classic tales incorporated into the episodes. The first two shows referenced the Trojan Horse which led to the downfall of Thundera, after the King was betrayed by his own trusted aide. There are some seriously good shit happening in this pilot which was dark in theme yet ok for kids to enjoy. The pilot deserves an A+ in my humble opinion.
So, the big challenge would be how are they going to follow that awesome opening? Well, episode 3, “Ramlak Rising” falters a bit. Carrying on where they left off, the cat pack trio now led by a Lion-O consumed by vengeance embarks to avenge the late King by killing MummRa. While the rest thought the right thing was to seek out some ancient book. The new King quickly veto that and they basically ended up in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie (…or so I thought!)
Fortunately, the story took a turn for the better towards the end as the theme of obsession for revenge shone through which is of course, a direct homage to “Moby Dick”, which I thought really saved the entire episode. (Grade : C+, but that’s cos the first ep was so good)
Interesting notes on ep 3 though :
1. Wileykit and kat’s attempt to get Lion-O to change his mind was basically to act cute and purr to him, a moment they made me laugh out. Especially because I had just fed a cat and it was what the cat did.
2. speaking of hungry cats, boy the two Wiley can eat!
3. still on the topic of food, why would fishes whom already have decent food want to cook cats as dinner? First time I have ever seen fishes eating cats. Reverse cannibalism?
4. Yes, cannibalism was being referenced with humor in this cartoon.
5. Last but not least, as I was trying to find pictures for post, I only just learnt of the following news… that this may be one of the rare moments where the voice actress is as chio (if not more) as the character she plays! I had no idea that Emmanuelle Chriqui voiced Cheetara!! (Entourage’s Sloane, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan)
This show is making me long for a Warlord animation.