People, we need to talk about about “Thundercats.”
No, not the quintessential ‘80s Saturday morning cartoon.
Instead, the topic of conversation today is the brand new, quintessential ‘00s cartoon.
It looks like someone chucked a huge lump of “Adventure Time” into the mix while this new “Thundercats” reboot was being put together, and certain fans of the original show are less than thrilled.
This isn’t “Thundercats”, they argue – the new show has a wacky, bendy, bouncy art style that feels very much a product of its time. This new show simply isn’t ‘80s enough!
It’s true. This new show looks an awful lot more like a modern cartoon than anything from several decades ago. But is that a bad thing?
The Major Flaw in “Thundercats Roar”
The animation in “Thundercats Roar” is better. The characters look more distinct. The show looks poised to follow in the footsteps of a lot of modern shows by providing a high quality kids’ experience.
Let’s face it – modern cartoons are a lot better than the stuff from the ‘80s. Cartoons like the original “Thundercats” or “M.A.S.K.” or “Transformers” or “My Little Pony” were all made as cheaply as possible in an effort to sell toys.
Modern cartoons, on the other hand, benefit from more advanced animation technology, bigger budgets, and (crucially) creators who care deeply about what they’re doing.
The new “Thundercats” looks like a lot of fun.
The problem the new show is simply in the name.
I get the feeling that if this cartoon series were called anything other than “Thundercats”, people would have loved it. The weird decision to try to attach this show to some form of nostalgia ultimately weakens its impact, and opens the doors for complaints.
Why make a nostalgia property that doesn’t rely on nostalgia? That’s just asking for the Paul Feig “Ghostbusters” reception.
So if you’re mad about the new “Thundercats”, in fairness, it’s not really your fault. You’ve been baited.
That said, calm down. This show isn’t going to retroactively ruin your childhood; it’s just a very modern cartoon for a new generation.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually like it. But, if you don’t bear in mind that it’s not really for you. No matter how brazenly it wears the skin of your childhood.