Thundercats, ho...

After witnessing the fan reaction to this blurry leaked shot last month, the studio dropped the first "official" image from the new Thundercats cartoon this week... the response I saw to the images when I reposted a link from Complete Nerdom on Facebook was mostly negative, so I expect more of the same for this "official" image released by Warner Bros...

As far as I know, Thundercats will debut later this year on Cartoon Network. The animation is being done by Studio 4C (The Animatrix, Tekkon Kinkreet, Genius Party and Mind Game), so I'm not all that worried about how the show will look. These character designs work for me, too... for me, it's all about the story and character development.
For all the worship of the franchise, I spent a lot of my middle and high school years rolling my eyes at the original show's flimsy writing and inconsistent character portrayal. Mind you, I LOVED watching it, but I am happy to see someone take a shot at updating it. Hopefully, they are able to throw away some of the cornier elements and bring us a leaner, meaner Thundercats. I'm sure it's too much too ask for them to ditch Snarf, but maybe he can have some kind of skills to justify his food rations...


ross said...


i don't know if you saw my tweet storm about these designs the other day so maybe i should just shut up about this and move on, but i kind of hate these new designs. i'm not even a big Thundercats fan at all so this isn't coming from a fanboy perspective at all, but i hate how predictably "modern" these designs are, which maybe is a dumb complaint since obviously it's modern.

but i hate how these reflect pop culture today, where the men are all covered up and almost de-sexualized, while the women are all scantily clad and sexed up. i don't think i'd mind so much but it's a sobering thing to look at the old Thundercats character designs and now these; and i realize these are different times, but looking at the two batches of characters side by side, it's like a barometer of where American pop culture has headed. the old characters were pretty unisex in their costume designs, the male hero was probably the most scantily-clad, the women weren't sexed up at all, all the characters were really equal. but then the new designs have the men all badass and armored and covered up like real warriors, with the only one unarmored being the requisite big muscular brute guy, while Cheetara, who was probably the most clothed in the original with muscular and realistic proportions, is all busty and cleavagey on a lithe, thin frame, with no armor and the usual bare midriff.

i feel like such a drag bringing this shit up all the time and people always dismiss it with "it's just a cartoon" or "well, that's not how i see it" but it's clear as day to me, the patterns this sort of stuff falls into and the context it comes out of. i feel stupid and crazy sometimes but i gotta call it like i see it. not they're bad designs or that anyone should feel bad for liking them, i even kinda like them outside the cultural context and i'm not gonna object to a sexy/cute Cheetara if the context is right, but these also just seem really generic to me.

i actually liked the cornier elements of the old show, though! come on, robot bears?! XD

B_Steelo said...

I'll be honest with you, I dig it.
The desexualization issue is pretty much anime. I dig anime so it's a tossup for me. Thing is the older designs were just as anime for that period to me. I mean let's be real: You see that old show intro !? It's all a natural progression

I agree with chicks having their stuff hanging out or whatever though. Kids do need to see that yet.

I will say though that there's enough of an animation range now that this thundercats fits more to what the story is. I give credit to Genndy Tartakovsky for that. America wise.

samax said...

Great comments, guys.

@ Ross- I hadn't given any thought to the points you brought up, since I typically reserve judgment until I see some actual animation (or better yet, the show itself). I'm not crazy about the designs one way or another, but the points you brought up are definitely valid. I could see Cheetara's bare mid if she was more designed for her function as a speedster. Seems like a girl with super speed should be built like a runner, not a stripper, or at least have a sports bra on...

Frankly, the designs seem to be made by committee, and not much of a departure from the originals to me. Re-imaginings by fans (like you find on deviantArt, project rooftop, etc) are often well-conceived and imaginative, while corporate revamps tend to fall short more often than not. I'm sure there were lots of cool designs left on the cutting room floor...

I'm still interested to see the show itself to see what their approach is.

corance said...

I'll add my 2 cents. For me, the designs aren't extreme enough. Specifically Lion-O. They seem a little too tame. They're not Thunder Cats, they're house cats.

And why does Tigra have a gun!?

samax said...

that's his BOOM stick! feel the magic, hear the roar... Thundercats! rowr!

ross said...

sorry i wrote so much! :\

i like your "designed by committee" comment, totally true! i'll reserve judgment on the show itself if i ever get to see it, maybe it'll be awesome and i hope it is, so this is all me just going off the designs themselves. maybe there'll be some amazing context in the story as to why the characters look this way, i don't know.

i agree with Corance, too, they seem so... tame. i know the old Thundercats were silly spandex spacey looking people, but even they felt like they had more "edge." i realized that if the old Thundercats designs had never been released and were done today, the show would be considered progressive. XD. kind of sad.

samax said...

LOL! there's no comment length limit Ross! I'm happy to read comments that are on topic... every now and then, I write about some rapper or actor or whatever, and their fans shows up and type 750 word responses in all caps with no punctuation or paragraph breaks. Those are the ones who awe us all an apology! lol!

This Post Brought to you by

Zero Killer TPB

This post brought to you by

This post brought to you by
Support GhettoManga + Save on Books = WIN

was that it? find it here