They’re baaack! That’s right, our 80’s favourites, the Thundercats have been remade for a new generation. Lion O, Cheetara, Tygra and Panthro return for brand new adventures. And there are familiar villains in the form of Mumm-Ra and Slythe.
But while many things have remained the same, this version of Thundercats is quite different to the original series. I thought we’d have some fun today poring over what’s changed, besides the groovy new animation style!
1. How the Thundercats were wiped out: Originally, the Thundercats were wiped out when their planet was destroyed, forcing a few ships of survivors to search for a new planet to live on. That’s when they discovered Third Earth. In the new series, Thundera is a kingdom, and the race is virtually wiped out when the Lizards attack them using advanced technology.
2. Lion O doesn’t grow up suddenly: Original Lion O grew to adult size while in stasis as the Thundercats escaped the explosion of Thundera. A bit like Tom Hanks in Big, Lion O was a kid in a grown-up’s body – but in 2011, he’s the equivalent of a young teenager rather than a fully-grown man. He can still be immature, but his biggest problem seems to be winning the respect of his elders.
3. Cheetara is a Nun: Yep, the sexiest of the species has been made a strange cleric. She’s still lightning fast, but secretly she’s one of a religious order attached to Jaga. If they’re going to repopulate their civilisation, they’ll have to find some way around her vows of chastity!
4. Lion O and Tygra are brothers: I always looked on Tygra and Cheetara as older, wiser parent types for Lion O. However, Tygra seems much younger in this new series and he’s Lion O’s older brother (although Lion O is somehow the heir to the throne). This leads to considerable sibling rivalry, with the elder brother loathe to accept Lion O’s orders.
5. Snarf can’t talk: Perhaps the most immitated character of the *snarfff* original series, the cowardly nurse is more dumb animal and simply follows the rest of the cats around. I wonder if that’ll change down the line?
6. There’s no theme tune: That original theme tune was enough to send shivers of excitement down my spine as a kid. And it’s gone.
7. The Sword Of Omens isn’t quite as phallic: When Lion O cries Thunder… Thunder… Thunder… Thundercats HO!, the sword doesn’t extend in that unsettlingly sexual way. Or was that just me who thought that? Oh. Just me then…
8. Jaga might actually, permanently be dead: Ah, Jaga. He was like a wise old grandfather to Lion O. If wise old grandfathers could come back from the dead and dispense crucial advice at precisely the right moment. But sadly Jaga appears to be proper dead now and our aspiring Lord Of The Thundercats is missing a spirit guide.
9. Panthro’s dead: Oh, wait, no he’s not. But the series played a blinder by making us think that the nunchuck-weilding Thundercat had been killed in battle! (Though don’t mention the slight discrepancy that the Thundercats are now largely medieval and suspicious of technology, yet Panthro rides around in a Thundrillium-powered tank.)
10. Mumm-Ra’s more practical and less mystical than he used to be: For instance, he killed Claudus, Lion O’s father with his own hands. And he’s amassed an army of reptiles to fight for him. Another notable change: the Jackal and Ape mutants don’t exist in the new series (so far).