A new two minute promo for Cartoon Networks upcoming Thundercats reboot premiered at Wondercon. It offers the clearest look yet at this latest iteration of everyone’s favorite humanoid felines. Voice over narration has been added to give the images some context. There is no mention of Thundera, and the Thundercats dynasty seems to be thriving and firmly in place well before Lion-O takes his rightful position as lord. The Thundercats headquarters looks more like a castle or palace. The Science fantasy lean of the original series seems to have given way to a full on fantasy approach. There are also hints of a Braveheart, with armed battalions of Thundercat troops being addressed by a horse mounted commander. The animation looks minimalist, with low frame rates and very basic character designs.
If I wasn’t a fan of the franchise I’m not sure if this footage would move me. Aside from the Thundercats name there isn’t much to distinguish this series in the marketplace. Its saving grace seems to be a decidedly more “serious” take on the material. Having a younger protagonist makes sense, seeing as how the focus of the original series was always the lessons learned as Lion-O grew into his leadership role. Aside from some obvious changes (character designs, etc.), this is pretty much a logical evolution of the original Rankin Bass syndicated series. At the very least, Studio 4C seems to be showing the property a modicum of respect.
Now stop teasing us and show the damned cartoon already!