For an animation fan who has grown up on cartoons and what an animator’s drawing can do, this may not be the best news to see and hear. It is not something new nor is it something rare or hard to find. A major American outlet for animation has announced another “comeback” and the old fans are not happy with that news. Happens all the time with new TV shows that try to “recreate the magic” or movies that are nothing like the originals except for a tagline in the title and maybe a character name.
This one caught my attention.
Yeah, that show. A LOT of people grew up on the televised adventures of the alien cat/human hybrids. It created toys, comics, A cartoon, and a whole bunch else back in the latter half of the 80s. That original show’s run was around 4 years! And having both Rankin Bass and Lorimar behind you was even better back in that day. Most of the time it was shown in the dirt worst time slots too. I remember originally watching the show in the Earliest part of the morning before school. The show often came on here around 6 in the morning, but I still watched it.
And of course, it went away. Things ran their course and the 80’s isn’t a time known for its longevity. There were Silverhawks and Landsharks with the same casts and much of the same crew, but still. I wouldn’t see Lion-O again until Cartoon Network brought them back (in order) for the Toonami Block in the late 90’s.
But I was a fan and still am today. And that is the time period where we saw this:
And many told us that we, as older fans, “deserved” this. That they had tried to bring back something flashy and was “canceled” so that means it did not work. I remember the reboot. I watched it in my hotel room during the Otakon convention. We didn’t “deserve” this version of what we grew up on. No one “deserves” animation, especially to explain your narrative.
The original lasted for a long time, most shows of that day do. The reboot was well animated and well received by an audience, but Cartoon Network for whatever reason did not see it like the fans did. Some complained it was to sell toys. This is Thundercats, what did you expect?
But this, I’m not.
This is not the Thundercats I knew. And that is a problem. Using a known name to try to entice older fans to check out a new show never works. The fans who kept that show going for those 4 years, the ones who helped Toonami, or the ones who watched the reboot do not deserve this. This resembles a lot of Cartoon Network’s output in that it is probably a lot less cheap to produce and it looks it. If you are trying to bring in those fans, using the Thundercats name is not going to “recreate the magic” of the original show let alone those shows this is trying to resemble. A lot of those shows are good. Many of them are well written and well thought out (some aren’t) but Thundercats is from a different generation with a different approach. And using the names and characters from the original show isn’t going to make history repeat itself. Ask the makers of the JEM movie how that worked out.
So I’m not saying this show is bad based on some stills and action reels. But as a fan of the old series, I’m already turned off. Let alone the attitude that comes with it.