Sure, the mutants look pretty tough–but I’m not putting anything past those plant people!
During a Q&A with Dan Norton, the Art Director for the new ThunderCats series, IGN showed off some images from the show, detailing some of the revamped locales of Third Earth. Most notable among all of the images is the painterly quality that’s been applied to them, bringing back some of the sense of the wild, unexplored frontier of the original series. There are also a couple of shots of habitable environments which also feed into the rustic and sometimes rough feel which the series seems to be striving for.
This fortress–maybe a mutant stronghold(?)–seems to going for more of the latter. Check out the mix of industrial structures that seem to be bolted together, surrounded by homes that appear to be carved into the cliffside. What kind of strange characters live and presumably work there? Certainly no one especially friendly, given the giant skull at the entry to their fortress as well as the two giant, blunted blades rising out of the Earth to frame the city.
By contrast, you’ve got this inviting little house straight out of Miyazaki. Again, note that there’s nothing else around–no other homes or modern structures. In interviews, the artists and producers on the show have talked about how Third Earth will be a mix of sci-fi and fantasy and this seems to bring that out a bit. Looking at this image I expect a ThunderCats version of either a friendly or fiendish witch to be sitting in front of the fire inside.
This is a more explicit example of the sci-fi/fantasy hybridization. I wonder if this is a mutant vessel or a revamped version of the Jolly Roger and if we’ll get to see Captain Cracker again.
This image–particularly the stairs and the stone figure at the base–recalls one of the most interesting things about the original series that I hope carries over into the new one, and that’s the implication that there were cultures and races around long before and for whatever reason they left their structures and the planet. In any event, the stairs–carved out of the side of the mountain–look like the kind of construction you would see in fantasy of this type leading up to a temple or some other impressive construction.
Here, the Thundercats art team shows off a couple of vistas, showing off more of the seeming emptiness of Third Earth. There’s not too much to say here (besides the fact that it looks nice enough). One question, because I can’t for the life of me recall: did the original Third Earth have two moons?
Finally, we come to the most intriguing image of the lot, this character sheet with detailed images of some of the new (and old) species of Third Earth. It looks like they’ll be adding variety to the ranks of the mutants (hey, is that the new Slithe?), and I have to say I’ve very disappointed that Vultureman (if he’s coming back) hasn’t been represented prominently. But then, I could say that about all of the images–“needs more Vultureman.” While the plant people, fish men, and elephant people are all new, I’m sure I recognize the big cat from the original series, but can’t place where. Of course, this means I’m just going to have to dig out the DVDs in the next few days to see if I can refresh my memory.
We’ll keep bringing you more images, videos, and news on ThunderCats as the premiere approaches this Fall.