This American franchise is legendary for kids from the ’80s and ’90s. It starred cat-like humanoids and copious amounts of thunder.
The History of ThunderCats
Tobin Wolf (1922-1999) was responsible for this series.
The American writer came up with the idea, which Japanese studio Pacific Animation Corporation picked up.
The scripts, and voice acting, were completed in the US. Given that was during 1985 and the world didn’t have the same communication tech as we do now, that’s a pretty impressive feat.
ThunderCats is about a bunch of humanoids who are like cats. We have fearsome warriors such as Lion-O, Jaga, Bengali, Cheetara, Claudus, and Jahara.
Plus, there’s this proper cat thing called Snarf. This guy probably seemed more wacky and good fun in 1985 than he does now.
Like with that diminutive bastard Scrappy-Doo from the Scooby-Doo show.
They all live on an adopted homeworld of Thundera where they fight off evil. Usually mutants of some sort.
Lion-O is the redhead bloke who’s kind of the lead protagonist.
As Lord of the ThunderCats, he lets his hair (and fighting skills) do the talking.
And yeah, there were four seasons in total and it wrapped up in 1989.
Here in England, we got a lot of reruns in the early 1990s and we remember watching this thing quite a lot. And being enthralled by it.
Life lessons were a big part of the show. We particularly remember one episode where Lion-O’s humanoid mates put him through a series of gruelling challenges.
Cheetara was involved right at the end, pushing him to his limits in battle.
As kids, it seemed surreal to have your friends turn on you like that. But the episode rounded off with Lion-O coming out the other side united with all of them. Or something.
Then, of course, there was just the flat-out awesome of the ThunderCats theme tune.
So, yeah, we’ve got a lot of happy memories about this SOB.
We’ve seen some “back in my day” type morons claiming modern cartoons “stink” and this is what it’s really all about.
Cram a sock in it! Don’t let rose-tinted glasses cloud your judgement. We don’t need more people whining about “the good old days”, thanks very much.
What we need more of is ThunderCats, hoooo! Ho ho.
ThunderCats 2011 Reboot
Michael Jelenic and Ethan Spaulding developed a reboot a decade ago, featuring fancy new looks and dramatic themes.
Warner Bros. Animation handled the project, in a joint venture with Japan’s Studio 4°C.
Obviously, it’s notable for bringing back the beloved ’80 series. But it also merged western animation styles with Japanese anime themes.
We can’t recall anything about this from 2011, probably because it didn’t air in the UK.
Why? Because the plan for 52 episodes didn’t come to fruition. Instead, only 26 episodes ran. Producer Dan Norton said, in 2013, the show was cancelled by Cartoon Network. We can’t find an explanation for why.
It’s also despite a positive reception from critics and fans.
Oh well, crap happens. And at least ThunderCats 2011 got to burn bright for one season.