Did we just get a glimpse of the ThunderCats feature film? The folks at Flixist have uncovered what turned out to be test footage for the now-nixed ThunderCats reboot project, which was meant to make its way to theaters. Of course, the movie would be taken off the table once it was revealed last year that Cartoon Network would instead be reviving the franchise with an all-new animated series. The footage, provided by an anonymous source, seems to pass the litmus test of authenticity and certainly matches the style of concept art that was leaked in 2009. The brief few minutes that we get is somewhat rough CG footage depicting ThunderCats leader Lion-O horsing around in the rough rocky terrain of Third Earth, using the legendary (and apparently unbreakable) Sword of Omens to smash rocks. The movie may be sidelined indefinitely, but take a look at the footage and gauge whether or not the canceled project was something you'll regret missing.
It does appear that this movie would have attempted to weave a more complex narrative about the history of the ThunderCats and Lion-O's personal baggage. (Daddy issues are always a reliable plot device for that.) Mixed with a serious tone in imagery, it certainly had no shortage of sarcastic humor, which was a nice touch. While Lion-O jumping off a cliff while fighting with a non-diminutive version of Evil Mutant Leader Slithe may have been a little indulgent, considering that this was just meant to be test footage, I think it gave a pretty good read on the intended vision. However, that is not to say that its idea won't live on through the new series. (Even if they went more of a pastel-anime style.)
What did you think of the ThunderCats movie that never was?