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New “Thundercats” trailer

Something we are not showing at the Rankin-Bass tribute on Tuesday is Thundercats, the studio’s 1985 response to Filmation’s He-Man. As you may know, Warner Bros. (who now own the property) is preparing an update for Cartoon Network. And from the look of things, they may have improved upon the premise:

  • Doz Hewson

    I am, quite honestly, wordless.

  • Teafly

    I like it!

  • Katie Johnson

    Wow. I am blown away. The original Thundercats had to be one of the worst cartoons ever made, of the so-bad-its-good kind. This, one the other hand, looks pretty darn epic.

    I’m glad to see Snarf is still there.

  • HermanMelting

    I like it. Looks like it will be much more intelligent than the original.

    That said, why is this seen as an improvement and the new My Little Pony cartoon seen as a sign that good TV animation is dying out? Sorry, but that just kind of makes Amid’s rant in response to the MLP reboot look kind of sexist, even if that wasn’t the intent.

    • Mark Morgan

      I don’t think it’s so much sexist as opinionated. One of the things I like about Jerry Beck is that he’s fair. Sure, he doesn’t like most Bluth films, but he’ll admit that The Secret of NIMH was pretty good. Amid on the other hand knows what he likes and if he doesn’t like it he doesn’t think that it’s good … or at least that’s how it comes off. I don’t know the man personally, so I could be wrong.

      And even if that is the case, there’s nothing wrong with holding that view. I don’t like cheese. I think it tastes bad. If someone asked me about grilled cheese-sandwhiches, I’d tell them they were nasty. Someone who really likes cheese might get upset, but that’s my opinion.

      I don’t know this for a fact, but I think there were two main reasons Amid didn’t like MY LITTLE PONY. The first was that Lauren Faust who had worked on several previous creator-driven shows (by creator driven I mean, a show that was conceived by and produced exclusively to be an animated program) had started working on an idea that wasn’t her own. I really do think that was part of it. That’s one of the main things he said. However, if you remember in his original article, Amid mentioned Bruce Timm in the list of those who had helped shape the previous era of cartoons.

      This brings us to my second point. I think that the second, and probably the real reason that Amid didn’t like MLP is that it was based on a toy. Bruce Timm worked on characters who were based on comic books. I can understand why someone would view that as better or more artistic material, even if I don’t agree. I think anything can be artistic. I think anything based on any product, story, or idea can yield a good, well made film or television show if it is developed properly.

      I don’t think toys should be excluded from that. I don’t think anything should be excluded from that.

      But then it’s no secret that neither Amid or Jerry is very fond of the ‘toy’ cartoon period of American animation in the 80s. Again, I’m not judging. I understand how they might feel that way. There was a lot of crap that came out during that decade, but then there’s been a lot of crap before and since too.

      Personally speaking, I love the 80s, in terms of movies and entertainment and especially cartoons. Transformers, GI Joe, Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Duck Tales, and heck, much as I hate to admit it, even shows like Rainbow Brite or My Little Pony remain some of my favorite cartoons to this day.

      My real point is, that I don’t think its fair to call Amid sexist. I think if you look at what he was saying, it was the idea and not the person involved. Mad House that is producing the animation for this is in Japan and Jerry and Amid haven’t been outspoken anime fans either, so what do they care?

      Most of the American end is, from what I’ve heard anyway, just basic production and writing with few American artists involved. So, again, what do they care? Writers aren’t exactly well loved on this site as the Kung-Fu Panda discussion from waaaaay back showed pretty well.

      It’s not a question of sexism. It’s a question of interest. That’s all.

      • Shannon LeClerc

        Did you say that MLP is animated by Madhouse? If so, that’s total BS because I visited the animation studio that made MLP…in CANADA!

      • Mark

        He said the new Thundercats is being animated by Madhouse, not MLP.

  • Neon_Noodle

    My first encounter with this reboot was this image:

    I’m skeptical. It looks like Ed McGuinness’s style, which I loved as a kid and grew up with, and has since become a cliche, but extremely watered down and with mediocre inking (dig the sinew and muscle lines on the forearm in the foreground, and how even they look. No thick or thin or dynamics, just a straight line.)

    Btw, even if it turns out Ed McGuinness designed or penciled this image or tv show, I still say it looks watered down and simplified for television, or possibly the movie.

    Batman & Superman: Public Enemies, was, after all, watered-down McGuinness, and it was based directly on his style.

  • tonma

    AAWWW!! lookit itty bwitty Snarf…..sowwww cuuuuttteee!

  • So bland cheap 80s animation turns into a generic-looking anime nostalgia cash-in? Works for me.

  • udx


    Damn this looks that *CENSORED* good

  • Mister Twister

    I have never seen the original show, but got to admit:


  • Katella Gate

    Yawn. Sorry, no love here.

    The only way this could have been more cliche was to use Carmina Burana as background music.

  • Karl Hungus

    Can someone dub in the old soundtrack?

  • Michel Van

    The original serie is a masterpiece of scrap tat JUNK
    This New here looks pretty darn epic in stile of Lord of Rings!
    hope the maker ceep up our expectations…

  • Kyle

    It’s got an Avatar: The Last Airbender vibe.

    • JMatte

      One of the directors from Avatar; The Last Airbender (Ethan Spaulding) is at the helm of this reboot. So your vibe feel was correct!

  • Mark Morgan

    Thundercats was and will always be a masterpiece. It’s one of the true examples of art in story telling from the 80s and one of the main reasons I love that decade’s turn out so much. It truly was the era of science fiction and adventure in American cartooning.

    I never saw Thundercats until I was an adult and was surprised at how well it held up. The writing for the show was extraordinary, not surprising as most of the staff were former DC Comics writers going back to 60s and even late 50s, back when sci-fi, horror, and mystery were still a viable market for big name comics publishers.

    But I’m not here to declare the majesty of the original Thundercats or its staff. That should be self-evident. The thing that impressed me is that, well, yeah, this actually looks like it might be better. It’s going to have to go a long way to prove that, but then I never thought I’d find a better He-Man cartoon than Filmation’s original until Mike Young took a crack at it almost ten years ago. Let’s hope this series fairs better in ratings than Mr. Young’s exceptional and highly under-appreciated series.

    Thanks for posting Jerry. You just made my day!

  • Steven M.

    Now it just looks like a generic anime.

    • Justin

      my first reaction exactly… come on, seriously, you went to the big box of styles and anime was your first choice? and not even unique interesting anime design, but generic bland anime design… well I guess anime fanbois are a pretty big and dedicated market that are very easy to please.

      • HermanMelting

        Yeah because the original didn’t look like anime at all.

      • it was 80ies anime design, A japanese studio was also highly involved if I remember right. And that opening was glorious.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Yeah, I I think a company called “Pacific Rim” was involved in the original Thundercats series, and even some of the guys who worked on it threw in a ref. to that in an OVA that came out called Megazone 23 Pt. II if anyone cares to check that out!

  • Keegan

    Hahaha, 80’s cartoons? Art of story telling?

    Man 80’s cartoons had the worst stories ever, you’re one nostalgically blind individual if you can’t figure that out by now.

    On topic: It looks like a generic anime-wannabe show. Am I excited?

    I’m about as excited as I am for those other 80’s reboots we’re seeing (My Little Pony, GI Joe, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.)

    Cartoon Network has hit a new low, not as low as their live action stuff though. Get some more CARTOONS ffs.

    • Mark Morgan

      Well, that depends on how you look at it Keegan. The 80s was a story driven period of animation, for better or worse and I happen to feel that it had stronger writing than much of what’s come now.

      Was the dailogue cheesy in places? Sure. Is dialogue still cheesy in places? Superman telling Darkseid that the whole world feels like it’s made of cardboard to him in the Justice League cartoon wasn’t exactly snappy banter, especially when you consider he stole that line from the Thing during John Byrne’s run on the Fantastic Four.

      As for being Nostalgically blind, that would be impossible for me with Thundercats because I never saw it until I was an adult as such it holds no nostolgic value for me whatsoever. There was some shows I grew up with that certainly aren’t as good as I remember them, but to dismiss the output of an entire decade on a broad easily refutable comment reveals a depth of blindness on your part, not mine.

      Consider the subject matter. The ballsiest animated project I had seen on TV prior to the 80s was Johnny Quest, the original at any rate. It dealt with politics in a generic sense, it dealt with death and it had good pacing and suspense.

      Well so did the Transformers. The show dealt with death, the episode “The God Gambit” dealt with religion vs. atheism, the series parodied Qaddafi in series of episodes quite cleverly.

      G.I. Joe addressed concerns about criminal rites vs. citizen’s rites.

      In fact, I actually passed a literature test in college in part to facts about Sophocles that I learned from watching the original My Little Pony.

      Not only did the 80s have good writing, but most of these shows still hold up today. I know a lot of people who didn’t grow up in the 80s who love several of these series. And once more the decade is starting to get more respect as things move on. Particularly because of the work of Mr. James Eatock.

      That’s only my opinion of course, but it’s as valid as anyone else’.

  • chipper

    It certainly looks better than the 80’s one, but I wonder, too, why My Little Pony got trashed as being a rehash but this gets treated as good. Even though it’s digging into an old franchise, the new My Little Pony is one of the cleverest out there. It’s finally a cartoon that has girl characters that aren’t just bitches or love interests, or boring.

  • Doesn’t look terribly thrilling to be honest. The designs still turn me off and the ‘epicness’ of it all just seems silly.
    I’m pretty neutral about the 80s one as well. I remember watching it but not particularly thinking it was the best thing ever.

    As Steven M. said, “Now it just looks like a generic anime” … with cat people.

  • joecab

    Holy crap, I thought this was going to be terrible because of the clip from the CGI Thundercats I just saw. Wow! And it never occurred to me that to make Snarf work all you;d have to do is make him as cute as a real kitty. :)

  • Nanooque

    It’s a pseudohip version of something that was, like somebody did an Anime version of Walter Lantz’s best-known creation and called it WOODROW, PECKER OF WOOD.

  • AltredEgo

    As someone who watched this series as a kid in the 80’s and loved it, I don’t mind saying that it isn’t great. The core ideas were really interesting and there is nothing saying that a remake couldn’t work. Heck, they remade the entire Full Metal Alchemist series less than 10 years later and it was amazing!

    This preview however left me cold. I kept looking for something that felt like ‘Thundercats’ but nothing appeared.

    This is the problem with remakes, if you’ve seen the original, you can’t help but make constant comparisons between old and new. For people who never watched the original, maybe for them this is great. To me, it looks like generic anime based on Thundercats(as has been stated above). The characters look fine, I suppose. Though Cheetara seems much bustier than I remember her.



    • Jabberwocky

      Except the comparison to Fullmetal Alchemist isn’t really a fair one. The first anime was made while the manga was still in-progress, so the writers were forced to come up with a different storyline. The second anime was not a remake– it simply followed the original manga’s storyline more closely, since by that point the manga had finished.

      I don’t know much of anything about Thundercats except a vague recognition of the designs, but it looks like they’re completely re-imagining this series. Didn’t the original have fighter jets or something? This looks like a very different take on the story and characters.

  • James E. Parten

    I had one comment to make, but Katella Gate beat me to it!

    I watched “ThunderCats” back in the 1980’s, and it was, if not top-drawer, one of the better animated series at the time. Storytelling was moderately intelligent (at least early on), and there wasn’t so much of an incentive to push related lines of toys, “action figures” or whatever. And somehow, a deathtrap or two managed to sneak its way past the pro-social Standards and Practices people.

    Unfortunately, Rankin-Bass could not or did not follow up on the promise. “Silverhawks” was rehash all the way, and “Tiger Sharks” (one of the elements of “The Comic Strip”) was a faded carbon copy, generations removed from the original.

  • Hmm.

    not sure how to feel about this new Thundercats meet Conan the Barbarian cartoon.

    Not sure at all.


  • Gray64

    I must admit, I’m looking forward to this. I was an actual kid (10 years old) when I saw the original, and I loved it, so I’m not exactly an impartial observer here. This looks like what you’d get if fans of the original grew up, developed a story-telling ethic, and were given a budget.
    And c’mon all you nay-sayers. This looks like it could be a lot of fun. Sure, it’s not pompous, preachy, and self-involved, like “art,” but it looks like you might actually crack a smile or say “hey, that’s kinda cool,” while watching it.

  • DB

    Nice backgrounds.

    The rest…meh.

  • Awesome, I can’t wait to see this. I’m a big fan of studio 4C. Wondering if they can top the intro of the original, which in my humble opinion, the greatest opening ever.

  • Sir Richard

    Doesn’t look too different to me. The original was very anime flavored as well. Not excited, but maybe there will be some good VO outtakes…

  • Clint


    I never grew up with Thundercats, so I think that the designs of the old show look downright sloppy. Then again, I don’t think there’s been a good cartoon show from the 80’s. Stuff like DUCKTALES, THE RACCOONS, GUMMI BEARS, Ralph Bakshi’s MIGHTY MOUSE, and GARFIELD AND FRIENDS are exceptions.

    This revival doesn’t look any better. It just looks like another 80’s show given the slick modern-anime treatment. The colour scheme is nice and the Snarf character looks cute, but that’s about it.

  • I’m a Thudercats Ho.

    Nothing in this new version will be as cool as the opening title sequence to the 80’s original.

    Also, I dont see the new design of Cheetara provoking as many strange new feelings to adolescent boys as the older one. But that’s just me… and now I’ve said too much.

  • Sherrie

    Wow, I’m excited!

  • This new version might be watchable, based on the trailer. It appears to be quite an improvement over the hopelessly crappy 1980s version.

  • Toonio

    If they get the Luna attacks in a we-are-going-to-kick-thundercats’-asses-till-next-century approach I’m in.

  • Matt Sullivan

    The original Thundercats was bad. Really bad. Just accept it. The only thing good about it was the INTRO.

    That said, I don’t hate this. I like that they gave them fur (or the appearance of fur) Could use more feline traits like tails or larger claws…but that’s small potatoes.

  • I hope that wasn’t the opening we saw, and the animation in the actual show looks like crap.

    All humorless joking aside, I remember when Thundercats came on CN during the 90’s, and although that opening was all kinds of awesome, the show itself seemed pretty dull actually, and the animation equally dull. I guess someone was wearing their nostalgia goggles while remembering Thundercats, and decided to make it look as awesome as he (or she) thought the original was. The cartoon certainly looks epic, but not something that I’m looking forward to seeing.

  • Sarita

    Why don’t ppl just wait to see the first episode and judge then. A trailer doesn’t always tell the story of a show whether it’s good or bad.

  • Jesse Moynihan

    A lot of people I know are excited that Studio 4C is animating it. I will definitely tune in for a few episodes to see how it turns out.

  • I’ve actually never even seen a full episode of the original show before, but a friend of mine is on the cast for it and has mentioned it has an incredibly cool story. I think it’s worth a shot to watch it.

    At the very least, companies seem …to be figuring out that if you’re going to try reviving a several-year-old franchise to put some actual production value and effort into it, instead of just making it an old 80’s toy commercial. It’s working pretty damn well for some of these other series…except Transformers, but they’re robots, so who cares.

  • Steve Gattuso

    1. I hated the original show with the passion of a cult member. Substandard designs and animation, horrid voice acting, and scripts that made one wish for the halcyon days of “Sigmund the Sea Monster.”

    2. Those saying “They’ve turned it into anime!” are a tad off. It was ALWAYS anime, in the cheapest sense. Just look at the original title sequence and try to tell me that it’s not.

    3. If remakes are to be done, I PREFER remaking crap. It’s much harder to make it any worse, and sometimes you actually take the premise and create something higher. “My Little Pony” has been brought up, but I would also point out “Battlestar Galactica” as an example of the remake proving to be better than the original. The animation and design in this trailer looks better than the 80’s show, so it has already improved immensely.

    4. Are they actually going to bring back a character named after a weird sexual fetish? And is he going to spout his name every 30 seconds and make me want to kick in the TV?

    • Given the original title sequence was made by the Japanese, it literally was anime.

      But hey, we can ditch that for “two characters standing there talking” like is so popular in American stuff these days, right? That should make everyone happy.

  • mara

    I have to agree: this looks way awesome with the action/animation…but the first thing that stuck out of the “EPIC” was the generic anime style. Which isn’t bad…Avatar: The Last Airbender had that generic feel, but the story was excellent. I’m not gonna judge anything, other than the fact that this looks awesome so far.

    • Sean

      I don’t know that I would call Avatar: The Last Airbender generic. Just because it has influences that come from anime does not mean it adhered to “generic” stuff.

  • Christopher Cook

    Visually it looks fine, if not something that cosplay is made of. How it translates storywise remains to be seen, if it’s not something cheesy fan fictions are made of.

  • …..but this doesn’t look ‘anime style’ AT ALL. :-/ Less so than the original if anything (you guys DO know that all the passably well animated parts of the original were Japanese animated….. right?)

    Considering 4°C involvement I’m pretty dissapointed that it pretty much just looks like the higher end of post-batman american tv animation.

  • Austin Papageorge

    The difference between this and “Avatar the Last Airbender” is that this actually looks like authentic anime.

  • S.H.

    “Yawn. It looks like anime. I am above such dribble.”


    I wasn’t that impressed either, but marking the style and designs as an objectively negative point because you don’t like it is silly. It’s not even overtly ‘anime’-ish, just more like there was a touch of eastern influence, which isn’t a bad thing.
    The designs mesh with each other and their environment. They work.

  • Conzeit

    Thundercats always was meant to look like anime, the famous intro was made by an anime company and was much of the series’ might.
    I would think the series takes place in Thundera from this preview…I wonder if they’ll come up with a setting that feels right. MY choice for a new setting for Thundercats would’ve been an earth similar to the one from Vamipre Hunter D:Bloodlust with a similar visual style, only the main characters would obviously be a lot more aligned to righteousness.

  • Conzeit

    The anime setting fits Thundercats, it was always animated in an anime studio and that was the sole reason the intro was so great. The soundtrack is much worse than the original soundtrack (even if it was overused it was always great). This looks a bit kiddie and seems to happen on thundera, I wonder if they’ll come up with a fitting setting. I would’ve set it in an earth similar to the one in Vamipre Hunter:Bloodlust, with a similar visual style and enemies like the Barbarois…and the usual shonen routine of figuring out their techniques. Of course, the Thundercats would be a lot more righteous than D but a world full of Barbarois would seem fitting to me for a new Thundercats.

  • Mike Russo

    YAWN. It looks like all the other garbage on Cartoon Network now.

  • Billy Batz

    HaHaHa! all the comments are about surface! go watch Family Guy for your comfortable american design.This looks like an adventure show to me, and Japan wrote the book on all those type shows since 1962. All is well .no need to bitch about how they changed the packaging of your Froot loops, it’s just a sugar cereal in the end.

  • Toast

    Looks prosmising, I hope it gets a decent time slot and doesn’t undergo the de-evolution experienced by the updated Ninja Turtles cartoon. Plus I hope it doesn’t suffer the fate like that of the remade He-man cartoon.

    I wonder what Mumm-Ra would look like. While they’re at it are they going to remake Pirates of the Dark Water next? (kind of questionable, but I like the premise)

  • david

    the age of the FANBOY.


    remake, remake, rehash, redo, rehash, OMG I CANT BELIEVE THUNDERCATZ IS COMING BACK I USED TO LOVE THAT SHOW!!!


    guys i want to buy tmnt for 60 million and then remake it again for the 19847234982347 time. it’s gonna be a hit because it was a hit in the past. My logic is infallible.
    -lame exec.

    • Mark Morgan

      I think you’re missing the point. There were hundreds of cartoons in the 80s, but no one’s trying to remake Bionic Six or Madballs. The ideas that garnered the biggest followings are surviving because there is a demand for them, kind of like there’s still a demand for Bugs, Mickey, and Goofy or for that matter guys like Sherlock Holmes. Do you know how many detectives were loose in popular fiction when Mr. Holmes made his first appearance? Quite a few, but do you know the names of any of them? No? Why? Because Holmes and a very few others (Father Brown comes to mind) were popular enough and good enough for a renewed interest in their adventures to continue.

      This is why the Lone Ranger is getting a new movie and why Zorro had two in the last few decades. This isn’t about blind fanboys, it’s about good ideas surviving.

      • david

        alright bud, if you think the new looney tunes is an example of “good ideas surviving.”

        It’s about milking the most out of an old property until it’s dead and buried and raped and exploited until it no longer resembles the original. That’s not making good ideas survive, that’s just using their popularity to get ticket sales or ad revenue and trick people into thinking that remakes are worth watching.

        and you know what? they will watch it, out of curiosity, because they are fans, they are hardcore fans and they will go on websites like these and talk and debate about how it compares the previous version and this and that and this and that and the corporation wins. originality and new ideas lose.


  • Ricardo

    I’m not sure what to think of it.
    The original characters were well proportioned (for the most part), so none of the big head/hands/feet that are popular now were there. It had decent animation despite the lack of frames in them (it was like, 8 fps). And the colors were DEEP and RICH, esp. in the backgrounds.

    This remake/reboot/whateveryoucallit is kinda generic anime, which I can bear, but… why make Lion-O a kid? Cheetara doesn’t look like a runner.
    The animation looked kinda good, though.

    Eh… maybe that’s what kids like today. Or to what they’re exposed, generally speaking.

    • Anoniguy

      Lion-o was always a kid. Literally – he was a child. In a man’s body. Something something artificial aging. It was a strange idea.

      I personally prefer a younger, slightly less macho Lion-o. Any victory he achieves will seem less pre-destined.


    I like it, I just wish the characters weren’t so bright, clean and smooth. The older character designs just had so much more detail to them. But if I was 12 years old today I’d probably watch this one as faithfully as I watched the original.

  • Always a fan of Madhouse, animation is a little on the light side but thats an expected trade off for the level of design.

  • dr. truth

    *sigh* It looks like “cheap” computer color anime.
    At least make them look more adult like the anime intro for the original!! But it is pretty cool to see it revived i must say!

  • Gray64

    Why do they do remakes? Easy. The production company already owns the property. There won’t be any argument over residual payments, like Rankin Bass had with Leonard Starr (head writer and developer, though NOT creator, of the first show). That’s not to mention the “built-in audience factor.” The folks in charge of this one, Sam Register, Richard Jelenic, and Aaron Ehasz have a pretty good track record. TO those of you decrying the “blandness” of the animation, I might point out that, while not as flashy as a lot of the higher-end Japanese anime productions, you can already see from whats in the trailer that Thundercats is going to be more visually impressive than, oh let’s see, ANY other adventure cartoon on American TV right now (and what ARE the adventure ‘toons on TV right now? Hmm? Anyone?) With as little as usually gets spent on animation for western TV, I’m continually amazed that everything doesn’t end up looking like Secret Saturdays.
    I predict that this show will be a hit. I also predict that most commentators here will STILL hate it (and will loudly proclaim their intellectual superiority for doing so), will cite it as offensive to the Animation Gods, and will loudly try to suck the life out of anyones enjoyment of it, all for reasons that I’m sure they’ll convince themselves are valid, but actually boil down to the facts that 1. They’re no longer 7 years old and are really angry that they’ve lost the ability to go “gosh wow!” at suff, 2. It’s not an animation student’s final project, and thus the general public might actually see it, 3.They are fetishistically in love with the word “crap” and just like to apply it to everything they see.
    Face it, folks. Most of you actually don’t care if it’s good or not. You just want to bash it because it exists.

  • Purin

    Not bad. I have to get used to Cheetara, but other than that, it doesn’t feel too bad. After all, wasn’t the original one of those shows that looked cool because it was outsourced to Japan? I’m getting kind of an… I don’t know? Escaflowne-ish vibe from it?

    I’m sick of the “doom doom. (singing)” kind of super serious trailer, though

    So, is this about life on Thundera before the original series started?

  • Ben

    this is just a string of anime cliche’s.
    its good when its done tongue in cheek like sym bionic titan. but this is trying to be last air bender but with none of the thought that went into it. it just looks like s cheep money making scheme. lets go sell some toys!