With all the info getting tossed around about the new ThunderCats cartoon, from fuzzy toy photos to a brand new press image revealing the core of the main cast, to much clearer toy images, we're getting pretty excited about the upcoming Cartoon Network series. With any remake, the question always remains: how does it compare to the original? Some readers are probably thinking to themselves "you can never top the original!" while others say "newer's always better," but we're guessing the answer lies somewhere in between and it looks like that's something the creators of the reboot have kept in mind as they've updated the team's look for a new generation. Of course, since we're only privy to images and haven't seen even a clip of animation, these comparisons will only be based on only on what we've seen thus far.
The original Lion-O had the mentality of a child inside the body of an adult thanks to stasis problems while the 'Cats traveled through space, but those were some mighty big boy clothes he was wearing on Third Earth. The bare arms, legs and mid-drift might have worked in the 80's, or on an unusually hot planet, but they seem a little dated now. The Sword of Omens is always cool, though, no matter when it was created.
We can't say for sure, but it seems like the new show will be playing on Lion-O as a young leader. He doesn't look as old as his compatriots, and like his fellow redesigned felines, Lion-O's clothes look more tactical with a more armored feel. The Sword Of Omens still looks rad.
The most scantily clad of all the 'Cats, Panthro rocked a look that kind of screams "Village People" what with the chest straps and spikes. The big bald bruiser also had brains which he used to build all the gadgets the 'Cats used including, presumably, the clawed nunchucks he employs in battle.
They definitely seem to be playing up Panthro's physical size and strength this time around. The original had a temper, but he didn't have a big scar over his eye like the newbie here. There's certainly an air of Cowboy Bebop's Jet Black about him. One thing we noticed while comparing the old and new is that the original ThunderCats were all pretty much the same size, but this time around they seem to be more varied, which means the biggest 'Cat got bigger and possibly meaner. He's still rocking the spikes and nunchucks, of course.
The speedster of the group, Cheetara kept her gear simple with a skin-tight suit and thigh high running boots. It can be hard to tell with her suit's orange coloring where he skin begins and ends, but there are definitely times where speedy here looked underdressed in the past. Her primary weapon was an extending bo staff she'd use to twirl around and kick ass with.
The new and improved Cheetara looks a bit younger and has decided to wear half-top and shorts. Maybe it allows for better leg movement? But the skin plus the hair and the pink eye makeup? She's making us think of Kesha. Maybe "Tik Tok" will be her theme song.
The most modest ThunderCat kept everything but his head, neck, feet and lower arms covered. Maybe Tygra just realized that being both a scientist and a warrior meant that covering his fur would be a good call. His weapon of choice was a somewhat phallic looking extending bola whip. Tygra was also really the only 'Cat with superpowers being able to teleport, turn invisible, and with illusion powers that were revealed during Lion-O's coming of age trials.
Of all the new 'Cats, Tygra seems to have gotten the biggest makeover. Instead of a blue skin suit he's wearing a more armor-looking battle suit complete with belt canisters and a gun! Looks like he' still got the whip, so well see if it still looks kind of funny when retracted. He certainly has a more militaristic feel about him this time around, and we expect he'll still function as a tactician. Whether or not he retains any of his original powers is a big question.
Before Jar Jar came along and ruined Star Wars for some people, Snarf ruined ThunderCats for others. The high pitched voice combined with his clumsy nature and strange way of speaking soon earned him a place of dislike for many cartoon viewers. And isn't it a little weird that a group of humanoid cats have a cat as their leader's wet nurse?
Well, he exists, that's all we really know as of right now thanks to a leaked image on the box of the new Thunder Tank toy. Looking kind of like a Pokemon character, this new version appears less cat-like, but we're not sure what role he'll play. It's possible the ThunderCats might take another play from He-Man when they removed Cringer's speaking role by doing the same to Snarf to make him more tolerable. So will it be annoying sidekick or loyal pet? We're hoping for the latter.
As we said it's far too early to judge this cartoon book by its cover, but we definitely like what we see. It looks like there was a good deal of thought put into the practicality of the character designs which we appreciate. Here's hoping this is much more 2002 Masters Of The Universe than Transformers Armada.