Cartoon Network Unleashes New ‘ThunderCats’ Trailer

Published 4 years ago by , Updated October 5th, 2011 at 5:16 pm,

thundercats wondercon trailer1 Cartoon Network Unleashes New ThunderCats Trailer

The ThunderCats are loose. After months of teasing, Cartoon Network showed off a full trailer for the new cartoon series at WonderCon last weekend. It was released to the Internet shortly thereafter.

The trailer represents the first extended look at the classic characters in their revived forms, with full battle sequences and voice accompaniment. Fans are also treated to their first glimpse of classic ThunderCats villains like Mumm-Ra and Slithe.

The tone and direction of the series seems to be taking a significant shift from the original cartoon. There’s a significant bit of geopolitics on display on Third Earth (for a kids’ show, in any case) and a more pronounced prophecy plot device.

The biggest stylistic change of the new series: character differentiation. Changes to body type, color patterns and facial structure allow viewers to easily pick out the individual characters, though Panthro is notably absent.

Easily the biggest gripe that fans have had with the new series is the depiction of Lion-O as a teenager. His more child-like stature is on display as he spars with his father Claudius (voiced by Larry Kenney,  the original Lion-O) and wields the Sword of Omens.

Personally, I’m OK with the change. Lion-O was originally a 12-year-old who was artificially aged – a detail lost on many. The new design should make him more appealing to the 8-12 target demographic, and get the point across that he’s very much a leader in training.

Judge for yourself – watch the ThunderCats trailer below:

The ’80s version of ThunderCats took place in an unmistakably sci-fi universe, with spaceships, battle tanks and (gasp!) laser guns. The new cartoon seems content with more sword-and-sorcery fare, with bows and arrows, catapults and such, in addition to the close-quarters weapons of the original. There’s still room for sci-fi elements including missile-firing mechs and a Thunder Tank, (gotta sell the kids something!) but the action of ThunderCats will be more He-Man than G.I. Joe.

The animation is good, if not great. Warner Bros. Animation is turning out some truly impressive stuff these days, and Studio 4°C seems to be demonstrably behind, even in the action-packed trailer (WBA provides the character designs and artwork, while Japan-based 4°C is doing the actual animating). Even so, it’s a noticeable step above the old series on a technical level, and much more appealing than leaked footage from the cancelled CG adaptation.

Be sure to watch the trailer until the very end: there’s an auditory treat for fans of the original series.

ThunderCats is currently slated for a July release on Cartoon Network.

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  1. Other than leaving the old premise of escape and being stranded, this looks quite good.

  2. This seems like it could easily be quite entertaining…

  3. The beginning reminded me so much of Gargoyles.

    • I liked her old 80′s design better.

  4. I loved it growing up as a kid, this looks like I may love it ad an adult.
    Question, has anyone warned the old ones recently? If so, how are they as an adult? Are they entertaining?

    • I watched it with my three girls a few months ago (the whole series is available online @cartoon network or at least was) It was still a lot of fun for me and i still enjoyed it as an adult. This looks amazing IMHO…

  5. Looks pretty good cant wait to see it

  6. Agreed, I like what I see. Deviates enough to be a new series, but appears to stay true to some of its 80′s roots.

  7. Can’t wait. Ready to set the DVR for that one.

  8. What was the auditory treat?

    • The melody of the original ThunderCats theme song plays over the logo at the end.

      Well… I thought it was cool. The music was my favorite part of the old cartoon.

      • Yeah, I heard that. I just thought it was something else.

  9. Looks alright. I just wish they hadn’t felt the need to include the kiddie/comedy relief elements. Animated series have proven repeatedly they can be successful and appeal to younger audiences WITHOUT them.

  10. Wtf no panthero he was my fav. With nunchuckas and his spiked suspenders that shot out lifting him to a safer ground. Lame unless he comes on board later. If he Is In it I’m pumped. Now all they have to remake is MASK.

  11. i used to watch the original series and although I’m a little uncertain about this remake i do have to say it looks like it may be ok, iv seen worse remakes, i cry at what they did to Transformers but this might work out!

  12. Hmmm… to address the author’s comment about the animation being “behind”, I think stylistically the makers of this remake can be forgiven… maybe it was intentional to give the remake the same look as the original.

  13. This looks quite impressive and whilst some parts of the animation look kid-orientated, it’s seems like their going for a more serious epic direction which is all good. Looks also like we’re going to see an expansion of the mtyhyology rather than just a replication it. Lion-O can also develop a more adult physique if the show lasts a couple of season and I too admit, it wont be the same without Panthro.

    It kind of reminds me of He Man reimagining from 2002. That was an excellent series and as well look to expand the concept. Just a shame that it was cut short into it’s second season as it was hitting it’s stride, and frm reading what plans writers had in the future, season 3 would have been amazing. Still hoping they’ll bring it back

  14. I loved Thundercats growing up and still do. I still actively collect Thundercats things and this may be just what I needed to push me away from spending my money on anything Thundercat related because this is going to be crap. They changed the story having Lion stuck as a kid rather than as a man. I have no interest in following a pre teen hero.

    The Animation is awful and is spitting in the face of the Thundercats. Would it of killed him to keep similar designs with simply updating the animations? Rather than such radical anime style changes. It looks like someone should be tentical raped any minute.

  15. I will be there. Cartoon Network, got to love them.

  16. Yeah, i liked the 80s Thundercats, too. Someone asked how do the 80s cartoon fair with adults…I think it still works. I did not see panthro in this version though. If they are making this cartoon more on the fantasy side rather than the mechanical, it still makes no sense to leave panthro out it (if he is out of this series), even if he was the Cats’ resident builder/mechanic. They could have just had him to have another interest. Perhaps they will introduce him later on. If not, I hope they don’t have Wiley Kit and Kat in it. Makes no sense to me to have them in it and not panthro. Nevertheless, I think this version is alright. It looks interesting, despite the trailer not being all that.

    I kind of thought the cartoon would also look good in the same animation and art style as the 2003 He-Man cartoon. I can definitely see multiple live action movies being made for the Thundercats with the setting, look, and feel of the Lord of the Rings.

    Hopefully, we will get an x-box 360 game of the thundercats that is hot.

  17. This is clearly some prequel story, why bother using the same names like Lion-O. maybe some other guy had the same name but…

    I mean this just isn’t a remake. It’s a prequel story. Why not act like it. I dunno how I feel about this. The trailer was fine and exciting and it seems well animated. Yet sometimes even the regular 2D characters seemed kinda CG-ish when they moved, and they faces do look oddly plain.

    Fact is the remakes have consistently sucked(of other cartoons), they never quite get what the shows were about. OR they want to do a story in teh same universe and feel the need to reuse characters and characters names instead of just moving on. And that what it seems here. This seems like a prequel, that isn’t lion-o, not just use some other name or prince along with every other character. if they are basically new, how could they screw them up, how is using the old characters safe?!

  18. I can accept the anime influence, & design changes but what is the point of making Lion-O a teenager, it actually defeats the purpose of the ENTIRE show. One of the main plots was Lion-O’s space pod cracking during their travels physically aging him to adulthood. He then has to deal with the responsiblities of being a leader while really wanting to just hang out with Snarf and the twins (cant remeber their names). That theme only was deep.

    Shame on this new adaptation.