New ‘ThunderCats’ Trailer, Concept Art And Synopsis [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 8th, 2011 at 7:04 am,

thundercats 2011 New ThunderCats Trailer, Concept Art And Synopsis [Updated]

[Update: Check out a trailer for the new ThunderCats cartoon!]

Children of the ’80s, your latest nostalgia trip is drawing near. After announcing last June that ThunderCats would return to television on Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. has released the first official artwork and a revised plot synopsis for the series.

The new show will be animated by STUDIO4°C out of Japan. The animators are veterans of anime movies and TV shows, as well as notable western work like the latest Transformers animated series, as well as the Animatrix and Batman: Gotham Knight film tie-ins.

While the original ThunderCats was also produced in the United States and animated in Japan, the anime influence is much more intentional and obvious for the new series. You can see the Japanese heritage in Lion-O’s shorter, more segmented hair and asymmetrical costume. The more exaggerated size difference between the characters (Cheetara is smaller and waifish, while Panthro is a huge bruiser-type) also feel very eastern. The new look should allow for much better differentiation between the main cast.

Warner Bros. has also released an extended synopsis for ThunderCats:

The new “ThunderCats” will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise. A sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes, the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne – and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost – takes on epic dimensions in this sharp new telling. As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode.

The newest incarnation already has a promising pedigree in executive producer Sam Register, who’s worked on everything from Teen Titans to the previously mentioned Transformers. He’s also an executive producer for Young Justice, as well as the generally top-notch series of DC Universe features like Batman: Under The Red Hood and the upcoming All-Star Superman. Michael Jelenic (writer of Wonder Woman and Legion of Super Heroes) and Ethan Spaulding (Avatar: The Last Airbender) are also producing.


Check out the trailer for the ThunderCats cartoon on Cartoon Network:

In addition to the official artwork, fan site ThunderCats Lair snagged a few photos from the London Toy Fair. In the finest tradition of 80s cartoons, the series is being made with an eye for its merchandise. You can see action figures for Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro and Tygra, as well as a plastic Sword of Omens and what looks like a faithful recreation of the Thunderian’s car/tank.They also got a look at some more promotional art.


thundercats 2011 concept art hi res 280x164 New ThunderCats Trailer, Concept Art And Synopsis [Updated]

thundercats toy image 280x227 New ThunderCats Trailer, Concept Art And Synopsis [Updated]

thundercats character image 272x430 New ThunderCats Trailer, Concept Art And Synopsis [Updated]
There is also news about ThunderCats’ voice cast. Larry Kenny, the original voice actor for Lion-O, will return to play Lion-O’s father, Claudus. Matthew Mercer, who’s had bit parts on dubbed versions of anime favorites like Cowboy Bebop and Trigun as well as video games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, will play Tygra. These two are the only voices cast so far, but Panthro’s revised character model looks perfect for fellow Bebop alum Beau Billingslea.


ThunderCats is scheduled for a 2011 debut on Cartoon Network.

Source: Collider, ThunderCats Lair

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  1. They look so young…

  2. I wonder how Snarf, Mum-Ra, and the others will look.

    • I read somewhere Snarf won’t be included, or at least won’t speak…something along those lines…

      • :O

        • GOOOD.

  3. Is it just me or does panthro look like Jet from Cowboy Bebop?

  4. This is feeling better with each new revelation. I’m very much anticipating the new series (and still hoping for a live-action film somewhere down the line).

  5. Too young and clean lookin’. I like my cartoon female crossbreeds to be a little older.

  6. You know what? I’ll take it, but only if there’s a movie in the works. I mean I like how they looked originally, but my only real problem with the new cast is Cheetara – too young looking. Still, I’m glad to see a classic come back.

  7. eh. What happened to the Thundercats movie? That appealed to me a bit more.

    • I’m not sure there was one. There was a fake trailer that looked well done, but it was purely a fan production.

      • Don’t know how legit it was but there was talk of doing a CGI version at one time.

    • my thoughts exactly

  8. Speaking of cowboy bebop wasn’t Keanu reeves supposed to be working on that movie?

    • i hope not. if the cowboy bebop live action movie ever comes to light and they use reeves to play spike im going to shoot myself

  9. I’m a massive Thundercats fan so count me out of this crap. That art style is terrible and they have ruined the Thundercats. Thanks for ruining my favorite child hood cartoon and destroying all hope that a good quality show of it could be made in todays world.

    • i agree daniel.

      • RogueX,

        This is off topic, but what part of “no profanity” do you not understand? Keep dropping f-bombs in your comments if you want them deleted without ever being published.


  10. cheetara has to look young because the japanese have a thing for young girls. i am not too keen with everything on cartoon network, all the newer stuff is too anime looking. there will probably be a bunch of stuttering strobe effects when the characters fly at each other.

  11. all looks good except panthor.. wtf? he looks like a buff version of the dad from fresh prince of bel-air O_o.

  12. terribly done! liono never had blue/green eyes and he didnt look so young and cheetara looks like shes on drugs? they did a bad job of appealing to the 80′s generation that watched this show in my opinion.

    • “cheetara looks like shes on drugs?”

      At least she doesn’t look like a KISS fan. =P

  13. I apparently loved TC when I was a toddler (my family said it was the first series I was really glued to the TV for and made me speak out loud) When it was on Toonami in the 90s, I was in High School and I was much less impressed by it. So I’m really eager for a fresh take, and I like what I see so far.

  14. The images doesn’t look too far off from there previous animated counterparts. Where’s Snarf?

    As a kid I loved the old TV Show. They were always so muscular. I guess that’s how these cat-people are I suppose.

    I used to have the Lion-o toy. His eyes used to glow when you placed this little charger in his back.

    I’m not always in tune with the way amine does some of these shows. The new Transformers look weird to me. Although yet I used to love the way they did the old Voltron series. But a lot of their series do have similarities of flying at one another with blurred background.

    Cheetara looks like she should be in a band with Joan Jett.

    • Willy Nilly I suggest you look up Thundercat images again if you think they don’t look far off. They barely hold any resemblance what so ever. Other than being cats that wear the same symbol these look nothing like the Thundercats.

      I consider this an insult to the cartoon and comics. They simply could of updated the art to look more like the more recent comics and it would of been perfect rather than this god awful design. I’ve lost all respect for this network now and will honestly never watch it again. They have ruined a very special Cartoon to me.

      • Oh pleeeeeeeeeeease. *roll eyes* Yeah that’s totally being fair….

        Comics are a totally different medium than animation. Simplifying the designs and colors makes for some smoother animation. Have you SEEN the stuff 4C has done? It’s one thing if you don’t like the new designs, but don’t call the whole thing an “insult” until you’ve seen the final product and the series in motion. Geeze…

        Besides at least we’re not getting that early concept where the Thundercats was a Rock Band.

        • I can and will call it an insult because that’s what it is. The art style and design is insulting. Obviously they changed the story completely as well based on the art since Liono looks like a teen. All praise the teen king of the thundercats.. Lame.

          The style is ugly and an insult to what the Thundercats have been for decades. They didn’t need such a massive change physically their design has held up for decades suddenly some group of people step in and think they know better than people who have been dedicated fans for a long time.

          I don’t care if Comics were totally different than animation the design was the same as the original animation just touched up to look nicer. That’s my point all they did was make the colors a little less dull than the original and make the art a little more stream lined.

          As oppsed to this which not only changed the age of the cats but their outfits and their faces even. Not one part of this even looks like the Thundercats. It’s an insult to it because they changed so much. It’s like saying what it’s been for decades is crap so we will change it all. The cartoons captivated children and others enough that the DVD sets still sell well and the Comics took a more adult approach, but still managed to be faithful to what the show was. The more recent comics managed to go to a dark and gritty place while still being the Thundercats with the same look they always had. That’s respect.

          • Hey let’s give a hand to Mr. Ignorance over here, how about it folks?

            Like I said, you want to bash the art, fine, but it’s quite foolish to make a bunch of presumptions about the show AS A WHOLE from just seeing initial promo artwork. You just said how awesome the comics were story AND art-wise. I wasn’t keen on Brave and the Bold when I saw it’s first promo image (who has the same producer as this, go figure) but I started watching the series and it turned out to be amazingly good . I’m saying try to act mature and reasonable and wait until the first episode airs. I mean I know, you’re probably too immature to absorb anything I’m saying and have already made up your mind, but bashing a show based off an early promo image makes you look really really STUPID.


            • Choppasmith,

              You can disagree, but cool your jets with the name calling. And adding “Cheers!” to the end of an insulting post doesn’t make it any better.


              • I’m sorry you’re right I did get a bit carried away, but my point still stands. It’s just way too early to start condemning the show and talking about boycotting the network over a simple promo image. It comes across as very dumb and ignorant.

                • Choppasmith,

                  Fine, I get that, but again, you’re throwing around words like dumb and ignorant. You could have stopped prior to your final sentence in your latest comment.

                  Best regards,


            • Little advice don’t throw around words like Mature when you can’t have an adult discussion about something with out insulting someone simply because they disagree with you.

              “but it’s quite foolish to make a bunch of presumptions about the show”

              I’m not. Where did I say I was? I’m insulting they design and art style. That’s it. I’m not presuming anything about it. I don’t care at all about the story at this point because i hate the design and style that much. Animation is a two part thing. It has to be well written but it also has to be appealing to the eye that’s sort of the point of animation. This is not appealing to the eye and the design shows no respect toward the original design. I’m not presuming anything everything I’m judging is what I can see in this picture alone. I don’t like the way it looks. It really is that simple. No amount of personal insults is going to change the fact that I don’t like how ugly this looks.

              Brave and the bold sucks by the way. Even worse art and cheesy everything else. It’s about as bad as the old Adam West show.

              There is nothing wrong with judging art or designs based on a picture of the art and the designs. Makes no sense to tell someone they can’t. If I said “The story for this is awful” ok yea that would be dumb. However I’m bashing the art which I can clearly see from the pic above. That’s like saying I can’t judge a painting by whats on the canvas. Don’t judge music by the sound the band makes.

              • Don’t worry I’ll behave I promise!

                “I’m not. Where did I say I was?”

                “destroying all hope that a *good quality show* of it could be made in todays world.”
                “Obviously they *changed the story completely* as well based on the art ”
                “I’ve lost all respect for this network now and will honestly never watch it again.”

                Even if you don’t like the designs, doesn’t mean it can’t be a quality show. We have yet to see how it animates, how the characters sound, or how it’s written and plotted. THAT’S what I have a problem with. And come on, I’m not big on CN these days either, but that last comment sounds incredibly immature and thoughtless.

                And I’m really sorry you feel that way about BatB. You sound like my sister who only saw bits and pieces of the show until I finally showed her some of the GOOD episodes and now she likes it. We’ll always be fans of TAS and the DCAU but we still enjoy BatB way more over the “Been there done that” The Batman. The “Chill of the Night” episode has to be the best Batman episode of anything EVER. I seriously DARE you to watch that and tell me the series still sucks.

                Didn’t mean to go off topic there, but hey the new Thundercats DO share a couple Staff Members from Brave and the Bold.

                • Obviously they changed the story is a legit observation. Not sure how much you actually know about the story. However, their planet was destroyed and they were left with out a leader so they aged the Child Lion O who was next in line to be kind so that he could fulfill the role of king. He went from being a young cub to being a grown adult kind and lord of the Thundercats. It’s obvious they can not do the same story here because he’s much younger than the other Thundercats. To old to be a young cub before the aging proccess but far far to young to be the adult and lord of Thundercats that he was in the original show. He is pretty obviously a teen and not at all fit to lead the adults. The story cannot be the same based on the age of the character.

                  For it to be a quality show it has to have a good story and look good or at least look acceptable. A show can not be great with out both ingredients. So even if the story is fantastic the art and design is awful. Hence it ruining any hope of a quality show. Also when you factor in the age change which will obviously effect the story it ruins alot of the hope that the story will be good it certainly won’t be respectful of the source material.

                  I didn’t like Cartoon Network as it was and have not watched it in a long time. This just gives me more reason to dislike it and not watch it. It’s not like I was a huge fan of the network and based on this one photo suddenly decided I’m not longer a fan. This simply made me hate a network I already hated even more. I have not watched the network since they stopped airing the original and now I won’t be watching it still.

                  You don’t understand because your not a huge Thundercat fan. I can understand my problems not making since to you, but I’m sure there are things that you are a huge fan of. Maybe Star Trek, Comic books or even Harry Potter. This is an insult to the source material by making such radical changes to it.

                  It doesn’t matter how they sound or how it animates. It won’t make up for the art style and designs. Unless the look of the characters is changed it’s an insult to everything that came before. It’s like making some sort of radical change to Spiderman or Batman. What if Batman suddenly didn’t have a cape any more? Or instead of a cowl he just wore a domino. It’s a matter of not respecting the source material at all.

                  Look at the Spiderman threads. They made some changes to the costume from the comics nothing as drastic as this but a few minor changes and some of the more hardcore spidey fans are flipping out. Now imagine if they had made changes as drastic as this to where Spiderman’s outfit didn’t even slightly resemble it’s self from the comics.

                  As far as Brave and the bold is concerned I’ve actually watched alot of it. I’m a massive Batman fan even bigger than I am of Thundercats. I’ve seen about 12 episodes and it never got better. It was by far the worst Batman I’ve seen just as bad as Adam West and Batman and Robin. The art is not just bad but horrible some of the worst animation on television today. The writing and stories them selves are cheesy. It’s a very campy Batman. I don’t like campy Batman never have and I hate every time someone does a Campy Batman show or story. There is a reason I have no respect for the Adam West show. Campy is what ruins comic book things. It’s the reason the general public has a hard time accepting comic films is because all anyone pictures is the campy things. All this cartoon is doing is making the stereotype even worse.

                  Anyway as far as this show is concerned just picture something you care about some property your passionate about like Star Trek, Comic books, Harry Potter or Lord of the rings. Then imagine if they made drastic changes to it. It’s hard to understand people being pissed about things like this when it’s something your not passionate about so maybe if you picture something that matters to you being disrespected and changed drastically maybe then you can understand where I’m coming from.

                  Look at pictures of the thundercats from the comics and the original cartoon. Read up on the back story see how much everything has changed and see how they will be able to follow that same story with a teenage Lion O.

                  • Wow… I’m speechless.

                    I don’t mean this as an insult, I’ll just politely disagree. But, wow, having such strict expectations and ridiculously high standards of taste with such pessimism makes me rather sad (and generally the reason I get riled up in situations like this), though I’m totally unenvious. It’s like meeting Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas.

                    Oh well, like I said before, I generally keep an open mind and am not quick to judge until I get a good look at the whole package. Personally with something like KARAS out there, a show with great visuals and a “meh” story can still be enjoyable, as well as the other way around. I judge based around the whole package.

                    Of course, my fault with this is, like you said, maybe since I have little attachment to the original I’m looking at this as a NEW series, and not a completely identical remake.

  15. As long as it’s a fast pace action anime and not the boring type of anime ala Ironman and Wolverine where an episode consists of 98% dialog. I can’t stand that crap. I can dig it if the a character design is taken seriously unlike Teen Titan where the characters were basic shapes.

  16. They had better keep the same theme tune I used to get well excited as a kid when I heard it come on

    • Ditto. ThunderthunderthunderthunderCATS.

  17. The former thundercat characters look way better than these new ones. the old Lion-o looked more heroic and more warrior-like. The new Lion-o looks weaker.

  18. Approved!

  19. AWSUM !!!!

  20. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhh its not…. bad… the designs are just… weird? i guess thats a better word than any. liono just look sooooooooo young. he doesnt look like a deep voice would match him very well so im betting it’ll be a completly different voice type. he’ll most likely sound younger. and im definately not a fan of Panthros look. i dont like this whole super bulky retired warrior thing they’ve got going. He reminds me of Bulkhead and Ratchet from transformers animated. hes old like ratchet and well bulky, like bulkhead. i dont have much trust in this series thats for sure.

  21. I’m on the fence with the Old look/New look war currently waging in the comments. Yes I grew up watching the original Thundercats so I was also a fan of the animation style (Silver Hawks was also my favorite). I’d like to ask the people here, if they took every cartoon we watched and loved back in the 80′s and used the exact same original artwork style back then…probably just making up new stories… would the current generation of kids appreciate it? I am able to appreciate most cartoon styles so I can appreciate the Anime Take on this reboot too.

  22. While i am happy that they are revamping the series I have to agree with others that t first look I am not too impressed with Panthro, it does look like Cowboy Beebop. Not to mention that Lion-O needs to be a little more mature but I am willing to give them a chance and see how it works, after all Lion-O was young before they left the planet of Thundera and crashed on Earth.

    But I will trade all of that as long as SNARF nor any stupid side kicks are included. Always hated that concept from shows in the 80′s.

  23. I agree with Lionolol… Panthros is wayy to bulky, and what’s with the horseshoe hairline??. In any case , nunchucks would not seem to be the perfered weapon for this guy.. more of a mallet/axe kind of look to him.
    Lion o is just plain to young. Maybe it’s the old fan in me coming out saying “don’t change a thing!”. He was probably made younger to appeal to the younger generation… wait a minute, i was the young generation of the original series and i thought a late 20′s/ 30 lion o kicked ass!.
    What i want to see is how mumra is gonna come out!

  24. If the characters look like this, what can you expect of the actual series?…

  25. where are the twins are they going to intro them later and i kinda like everyone but Panthro i agree with almost everyone else he is just way too big and old ..u always new he was old but he now looks the oldest and i never got that vide from him i always thought Tigra was the oldest