I grew up in the 80s, a time of hand-drawn cartoons, live audience television, and when it was cool to stay in on a Friday night and enjoy TGIF. Nothing was digitally enhanced, nor was it filmed behind a green screen. To me, media during my childhood, was amazing. Hand-drawn cartoons were great! Looking back, it didn’t matter to me if the drawing was sub par, nor did it matter if the voice acting was cheesy. I just know I enjoyed it.
When I was younger, my brother stayed home a lot. My mom was a nurse and worked 24 hour shifts, and my dad was working for a biotech company, working his own grueling schedule. So, while my parents were working hard to support my brother and I, we kept busy with watching cartoons.
And there were so many to choose from! Weekday mornings before school, there was a line-up of cartoons like Dinosaucers, Bionic 6, and King Arthur and the Knights of Justice. After school, I remember watching cartoons like Snorks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Inspector Gadget. And then, there’s the amazing Saturday morning cartoons. Endless possibilities of adventures on Saturday.
So for a kid like me who had busy parents, the cartoons was a way to explore and adventure through the worlds of these cartoons. It was amazing and I loved every minute of it.
One cartoon that stands out is Thundercats. Thundercats is about a team of heroes, cat-like humanoids from the planet of Thunera. In the beginning of the series, Thundera is dying, forcing the Thundercats to flee. Thundercats were a form of nobility on Thundera who had enemies all around. One set of enemies in particular are the Mutants of Plun-Darr, who sets out to destry the fleet of startships in search of the Sword of Omens. The Sword of Omens holds the Eye of Thundera, which is the source of the Thundercats’ power. Throughout the series, the Thundercats make a new home for themselves on ThirdEarth and protect the Eye of Thundera from Mumm-Ra and the Mutants of Plun-Darr.
During Comic-Con, they showcased the 2011 reboot of the cartoon series. Imagine my excitement that there will be an updated version of the show. When I watched the series premiere, I noticed some differences. The situation in which the Thundercats flee their home is different. While the 1985 series’ Thundercats had to leave because of a dying planet, the 2011 series’ Thundercats escaped an ambush on their kingdom. All of the characters have been given a youthful appearance and appear younger than their 1985 counterparts. Lion-O in 1985 was already the declared ruler and king, while the 2011 Lion-O was only beginning his ascension to the Thunderian throne.
The quality of animation, of the remake project, had me a little concerned, but I was proven wrong. The animation is great, reminiscent of anime projects. The voice acting is spot-on, showcasing the talents of actors Will Friedle as Lion-O, Emmanuelle Chriqui as Cheetara, Corey Burton as Jaga, and Kevin Michael Richardson as Panthro.
So far, I’ve enjoyed the 2011 revamp of Thundercats. I especially appreciate that Snarf is no longer the annoying talkative creature.