ThunderCats has gone through a number of iterations over the years. There is, of course, the 80s animated action classic from Rankin/Bass that introduced Saturday morning cartoon kids everywhere to Lion-O–a child prince trapped in a super-jacked cat-man’s body–and his Thunderian cohorts as they battled the villains of Third Earth in defense of cute critters like the Berbils. This 80s blast of nostalgia and its 130 episodes found their way into syndication and re-airings over the decades, but the first real try at a reboot arrived in 2011 with the excellent but ill-fated adaptation fronted by Will Friedle that was canceled after 26 episodes. Now, however, a very different sort of ThunderCats adaptation is headed to Cartoon Network, courtesy of Warner Bros. Animation.
Enter: ThunderCats Roar, a much more cartoonish and comedic take on the property that’s led by producer and cartoonist Victor Courtright. He draws, no pun intended, from his work on shows like Mighty Magiswords, Pickle and Peanut, Yo Gabba Gabba, and even the recent series OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes. This new take is definitely going to rub some older fans the wrong way, but Cartoon Network’s model has shown that younger-skewing audiences really enjoy their brand of animated action and humor, so time will tell just how successful this sillier take really is.
ThunderCats Roar stars Max Mittelman (Justice League Action) as Lion-O and Wilykat, Erica Lindbeck (DC Super Hero Girls) as Cheetara and Wilykit, Patrick Seitz (Justice League Action) as Tygra and Mumm-Ra, and Chris Jai Alex (Star Wars: Battlefront II) as Panthro. ThunderCats Roar is set to premiere on Cartoon Network sometime in 2019.
In the meantime, check out this new, behind-the-scenes look at ThunderCats Roar, followed by the new show’s synopsis:
Here’s what Courtright had to say about the series:
“I think the world that they built lends itself really well to comedy because of how silly and crazy and outlandish those ideas are and some of those settings are. But at the same time, it wouldn’t be ThunderCats if it didn’t have super cool action elements because that’s what people came back to. It’s very much something that we want to lean on. So with the new show, we’re not walking away from the action in any bit. Every step we take towards comedy, we take two more towards really cool action scenes and explosions and lasers and actions effects.”
And here’s the official logline for the series:
“Staying true to the premise of the original series, Lion-O and the ThunderCats — Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Wilykat, and Wilykit — barely escape the sudden destruction of their home world, Thundera, only to crash land on the mysterious and exotic planet of Third Earth. Lion-O, the newly appointed Lord of the ThunderCats, attempts to lead the team as they make this planet their new home. A bizarre host of creatures and villains stand in their way, including the evil Mumm-Ra, Third Earth’s wicked ruler who will let nothing, including the ThunderCats, stop his tyrannical reign over the planet.”