Cartoon Network's revival of ThunderCats just got a lot more clear as Warner Bros has released the first official image from the series, which is set to hit sometime this year. The series will be a collaboration between the studio giant and Japan's Studio4°C, who were responsible for stylized animated adaptations like The Animatrix, Halo Legends, and Gotham Knights. After a promotional poster was released last year that depicted gritty, menacing imagery of ThunderCats leader Lion-O, the assumption was that the series was headed towards a darker, more realistic tone in concert with that image. However, what we're seeing is something quite different than expected. It appears to contain updates of the characters from the classic 80's series in wide-eyed, pastel-colored anime style. However, even within the seemingly more lighthearted motif, lies what appears to be a clever reinvention of the franchise.
What's immediately apparent, is that Lion-O has been reinvented from the tall and buff character from the original series to reflect his youth. Of course, in the classic show, Lion-O was quite literally a child in a grown man's body as the result of a snafu in the suspended animation pods during the group's long trip from their destroyed planet of Thundera. In this new iteration, we will more likely focus on Lion-O's journey in earning his place as the group's would-be ruler and the woes from his coming of age. As the official synopsis depicts:
The new “ThunderCats” will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise. A sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes, the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne – and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost – takes on epic dimensions in this sharp new telling. As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode.
The other ThunderCats appear to be much more prepared for action this time around in their new outfits, which reflect more battle-friendly armor characteristics. Panthro is far bigger and even more grizzled than before, Tygra finally got rid of the spandex, and Cheetara is no longer sporting that signature one-piece bikini, opting for a more midriff-centric look. (Don't worry guys, the feline goddess will still manage to bring unnatural thoughts into your heads.) And lest we forget, the group's whiny pogo-tailed mascot Snarf, who is not seen in the picture, will be in the series, just minus the ability to say anything other than "Snarf!" (I'm not sure if that makes it any better.)
Have any thoughts on the new look of ThunderCats?
Source: Press Release