The ThunderCats are back again! However, they are not coming back the way you may think. Cartoon Network is giving the franchise the Teen Titians GO treatment with their upcoming animated series entitled ThunderCats Roar. Warner Bros. Animation recently announced the new cartoon series via Entertainment Weekly.
This is not the first time we had a ThunderCats reboot.
ThunderCats began as a franchise in the mid 1980s with the original series airing from 1985 to 1989. It followed the adventures of the ThunderCats, a race of humanoid cats from Thundera, who found refuge on Third Earth. After the series ended, fans of the show had to wait two decades before they could continue watching Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro, Tygra, Snarf, WilyKit, WilyKat, and their friends as they saved the world from Mumm-Ra and the Plun-Darrians. The 2011 series ran for one season before being canceled to the dismay of fans.
Today, fans of the franchise do not have to wait as long, but they are also not getting the show they remember. The new series is not an action series. It is a comedy. While it will still have action sequences. It will fit more alongside the network’s current comedic offerings.
Series producer Victor Courtright explains this decision to EW by saying:
“I think the world that they built lends itself really well to comedy because of how silly and crazy and outlandish those ideas are and some of those settings are. But at the same time, it wouldn’t be ThunderCats if it didn’t have super cool action elements because that’s what people came back to. It’s very much something that we want to lean on. So with the new show, we’re not walking away from the action in any bit. Every step we take towards comedy, we take two more towards really cool action scenes and explosions and lasers and actions effects.”
The characters do not look like their old selves either. ThunderCats Roar uses a very simplified art style as seen in the key art below.
Either way, the series will star Max Mittelman (Justice League Action) as Lion-O and Wilykat, Erica Lindbeck (DC Super Hero Girls) as Cheetara and Wilykit, Patrick Seitz (Justice League Action) as Tygra and Mumm-Ra, and Chris Jai Alex (Star Wars: Battlefront II) as Panthro. It will still follow the ThunderCats, who “barely escape the sudden destruction of their home world” to reach the exotic planet of Third Earth. The series will retain much of the franchise lore as well. Lion-O will still be the new Lord of the ThunderCards, and they will still fight villains such as Mumm-Ra, who is now the tyrannical ruler of Third Earth.
Cartoon Network plans to premiere ThunderCats Roar in 2019. With the release date still a year away, the series still has time to present itself as a worthy continuation of the franchise.