Beep boop. Hello fellow humanoid entities. Unitzer07 here to report on a brand new take on a classic cartoon from the times when I was still just an accounting program at ENCOM. That's right, your favorite ThunderCats have all been revived with a fresh spin on a great idea. There are some key differences to the look and story so let's dive in and explore!
The show starts out with our hero Lion-O as a young cat trying desperately to step out of his brother's shadow and become his own man. The main conflict seems to revolve around Lion-O coming of age and proving himself to those around him. Eventually (we assume) taking on the role of lord of the ThunderCats.
Now, if you're wondering, "Is this just a re-make?" I have to say definitely not. There are a few pretty big differences in the story that make this version of ThunderCats a more well rounded re-telling. The biggest difference is that the cats start on Third Earth. In the original show the ThunderCats flee, "Superman style" from their home planet "Thundera" just before it self destructs. Another key difference is that Tygra is now Lion-O's adopted older brother. He's literally taken on the role of the son that the king never had. Lion-O can never seem to live up to his father's expectations. King Claudis even goes so far as to say, "Why can't your brother be more like you Tygra?". This sets up an interesting relationship for the two of them. They are closer in age and always in competition. This is emphasized even more when Cheetara shows up.
Originally Tygra, Cheetara, Panthro, Wily Kit/Kat and Snarf all functioned as mentors for Lion-O. He was a boy stuck in a man's body and it was their job to raise him. This time around Cheetara is the only known member of the elite group of king's guards.(known as Jaga's clerics)
Also, Snarf does not talk, which I find I do not miss. Wily Kit and Kat take on this very Aladdin street rat role and they do not meet up with the cat crew in the first two episodes.
The animation was produced by one of my favorite animation companies in Japan, Studio 4C, which has been responsible for some amazing productions such as segments of the Animatrix, Batman Gotham Knights, and Halo Legends. Partnered with Warner Bros, I'm hopeful that this show will remain at the high production value the first two episodes teased. Overall I'm very happy with the new show. The storytelling has been unified and brought to another level. The character animation is above what you would expect on television and the style has just the right blend of Japanese and Western influences. Let's hope that ThunderCats is a success and we can see more in the future!