“Thundercats” Wondercon Preview

It’s rare when a series revival is an improvement over the original… but that seems to be the case with Thundercats. In case you couldn’t make it to Wondercon this past weekend, here’s the “sizzle reel” they ran there:


  • http://popyea.deviantart.com/ nick

    The only things i’ve seen from studio 4°c are Tekkonkinkreet and Mind Game. Was i wrong in expecting this to be anything like those? To me, It doesn’t stand out from other anime the way those did.

    • Anonymous

      I suspect this is one of those Jobs the studio takes on to pay the bills, nothing more.

  • http://www.webcomicsnation.com/dholvrsn/index.php Doug Holverson

    “Let’s fight like cats!”

  • http://kelseighn.blogspot.com Kelseigh

    Video not available in Canada. I suspect it’s US-only.

  • mg

    “Sorry, this content is not available in your location”.

    Geotardation FTL!

  • GhaleonQ

    Nick, they have their highbrow projects and their cash-in (usually American) ones. They did Batman, The Matrix, and this. You can check Anime News Network’s database to see if they’ve put their best people on this, but I doubt that they have.

    You can basically ignore this unless you just want to stare at the pretty pictures. Use that time to see everything else they’ve done (shorts, features, and seriese).

  • Steven M.

    I’m still not very impressed, mostly the look. I looks too Avatar-ish.

  • http://www.animehell.org danno!

    Lord of the Rings with furries?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Anymore furrier and they’d have to put tails on these guys!

    • Ken

      I totally got a Lord of the Rings vibe from this too! Combination of the music/editing/narration I guess haha.

      I am going to have to give this show a try.

  • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    Anyone going to miss the variants of this logo at the end:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8VWv4kBaI0

  • William

    Interesting take. The lizard characters, to me, feel a lot like the Orcs and Goblins from the Rankin-Bass Tolkien movies.

    • Brian Kidd

      That’s because the same Japanese animators who did THE HOBBIT did the original THUNDERCATS. The original series was produced by Rankin/Bass.

  • PeteR

    Sorry…but where is the “improvement?”

  • Lala_Marin

    All I can say is Wow.

  • Brian Kidd

    Visually, it’s sticking fairly close to the designs from the original series, so you probably won’t see much, if any, of the quirky designs of some of Studio 4°C’s more-daring shows. That said, the studio is amongst the finest working in Japanese Animation today. Any shortcomings the show may have will likely be due to the writing and not the animation.

    • http://braveandboldbackgroundpaint.blogspot.com/ William Joseph Dunn

      Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Wonder Woman DTV, etc.) is writing on the show. I think he’s a damn good writer, so maybe you should wait to see it before condemning the writing.

      • TS

        Actually, I had the opportunity to read the first 5 or so scripts and I was very impressed. That being said, I never watched the original show so I don’t really know how well it builds on the old material.

  • Iritscen

    Some of these commenters must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, because there’s a promising premise here, and some great animation and character designs. I think it’s safe to say that this show is going to do well with its intended demographic, plus it may also draw in some of us who watched the original as kids.

    As one of those kids of the ’80s, I just want dependable animation and a story that the writers care about. I’d like to see them make smart use of each of the Thundercats’ abilities. As far as the look not being original enough, like it or not, the quasi-animé look is the face of animated dramas in this country for the time being. Avatar may have done it first, but the look is here to stay. New styles of TV animation don’t come along that often, so I don’t know what you were expecting.

  • Nat Booth

    Decent Japanese animation. Better than a lot of the stuff CN puts on the air.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    The 1980s THUNDERCATS can charitably be described as garbage.

    This new version ranges visually from adequate to very good.

    The new continuity seems much less like cynical hack-writing than that of the old series.

    That’s a good thing, right?

  • victoria

    I’m gonna stick with Clone Wars and Young Justice

  • http://www.rocarts.com Meredith

    I don’t see how anyone could call the highest quality tv animation of its time “garbage.” The original was great Saturday morning/afterschool fare, and this looks to be an improvement of the original. For those of you who don’t like it, what are you comparing it to?

    • Jason

      Nostalgia.

  • Timothy Douglas

    Much like the original Thundercats I don’t know what to make of this. They’re certainly trying and that’s more than most so fingers crossed.

    However I don’t think the visuals will hold up in a full episode. The look reminds me alot of when anime first went digital, the foreground jars with the background & seems undetailed (e.g. the catapults at 00:00:37).

    As for the original the title sequence was fantastic but their budget didn’t allow them to get to that height often. I think the story totally works on paper but – with the clunky dialogue and all… I’m currently rewatching, maybe it gets better.

  • KBo

    Some of us don’t consider gritty anime reboots an improvement, but I’d like to reserve judgment until I actually watch a full episode.

  • Greg Ehrbar

    You know what, that’s promising stuff! I cannot get over how much of the original look and feel is still there, especially in the basic character design, which if I’m not mistaken, has its roots in the Lester Abrams designs for the Rankin/Bass Hobbit (and also their Return of the King, The Flight of Dragons and even The Wind in the Willows).

    The narrative tone, though we haven’t really heard much in the way of dialogue, is a little less staccato (which to some might have been perceived as campy), so I’m assuming it’s going to be straightforward in its approach.

    But at least it’s not a complete “re-imagining.”

  • Sherrie

    No Panthro? Other than that, I’m looking forward to this.

    • Oluseyi

      Panthro’s in the show, he’s just not in the sizzle reel. His toy was even shown off by Bandai (I think), along with the rest, not to mention a pretty sweet Thunder Tank. From what I’ve gleaned, Panthro’s been scouting out Third Earth, whereas all the scenes in this reel are from Thundera itself, thus explaining his absence.

    • Oluseyi

      Oh, and Kevin Michael Richardson is doing his voice.

    • http://typophile.com/blog/14556 Jason

      Panthro has appeared in other promotional art, though not in this clip. In the new design, he looks a lot like Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop.

  • Kitschensyngk

    Looks interesting. Hopefully this will last longer than the 2002 He-Man reboot.

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    I’ll take this over more live action on CN ANY. DAY.

    I came in as the nostalgic 80′s animation door was closing, so I never got attached to the iconic shows of the decade, and frankly love the way this looks over its predecessor (which I did watch bits of). This may feel like another dime-a-dozen anime-esque show over in the states to some of you here, but considering there’s still people out there who are creating series like The Govenator…well…THUNDERCATS PLZ K THANKS.

  • Conor

    “It’s rare when a series revival is an improvement over the original…”
    Unless the original is any animated series that came out in the time between Scooby Doo and Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. In which case it would have to be some awful dreck like “A Pup Named Scooby Doo” to be any worse.

  • Acmal

    It drives me crazy when people make dumb statements like “so much better than the 1980s version.” Jeez people 1985 was 22 freakin’ years ago. Hopefully we have gotten better! (although some animation I can’t say that’s true.

  • Acmal

    Shoot…i mean 27 years ago. Guess I need a calculator

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com FloydBishop

    I always liked the FX in the original intro:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qd_IsxgAf8

    They remind me a lot of the work of Michel Gagné.

  • Toonio

    Whatever Pokemon they are riding, I called it first! (gotta catch ‘em all).

  • Bamf Police

    i. didnt. see. panthro! why why why?

  • NC

    I wouldn’t say it’s an improvement it’s more of a reinterpretation. I like it, I like how they’ve attempted to take the Rankin-Bass style and do their own thing with it. I’d enjoy storyboarding on it than most other shows out there.

  • Mister Twister

    Petting zoo people.

    • Mad dog

      Have you been surfing Tv Tropes? :3

  • joecab

    I love this, but don’t change the theme song!

  • AgumonKid

    Man I really wish studio 4°c made that Global Astroliner anime from that She loves the cream video!