Pop Culture | Cartoons | 80s

'ThunderCats' Reboot Has Given Them A Makeover And Their New Look Is Dividing Fans

ThunderCats are coming back to TV but so far, people aren't so convinced that they are going to love it as much as they want to.

So the new series, ThunderCats Roar is set to premiere in 2019, and it is supposed to continue following the characters we know and love, but they've been given a major makeover.

And here's the thing, people are really not happy about it.

The original show ThunderCats was on the air between 1985 and 1989 and it was starring the characters Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro, Tyra, Snarf, WilyKit, and WilyKat.

They were refugees who find themselves on a planet called Third Earth, and while that general plot outline seems to stay, there is one big difference: they are really leaning into the comedic elements.

ThunderCats, the comedy series

ThunderCats Lion-O
Warner Bros.

That's right, ThunderCats Roar is leaning hard into the funny moments, but there will be action as well, don't worry.

Producer Victor Courrtright explained the plan.

“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.”

The official series description

Warner Bros.

Here's what the network released as far as a description of the show.

“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.”

But it's not the premise people are mad about, it's the style of the show

ThunderCats Roar
Warner Bros.

Because of the new focus on comedy, the show has drastically changed how it will look. Gone are the old muscled figures from our childhood, and welcome to the style that is currently all over cartoons.

They call it the "CalArts style" because the people who are known for drawing these cute little images are thought to have attended the California Institute of Arts, even though a lot of them haven't.

Warner Bros. Television/Cartoon Network

Shows like Gravity Falls, Adventure Time, and Steven Universe, all have very similar animation styles. They have the cute little rounded faces, the barely defined body parts and really they all do well for themselves. So why are people so mad?

Well, they don't like that they are making it cuter.

People are pretty angry about it. Saying things like "If you can look at these three pictures and not see why people are upset about these new character designs then I don't know what to tell you."

They really aren't holding back...

This person asked "Does anyone remember when you actually hate to have artistic ability to make a cartoon? Drawing like a 5 year old is not a style but a copout for people with no talent."

The harsh criticism is a lot to be completely honest. Personally, I don't hate this style of animation in general, but I can also see that it's very different than what people were expecting.

Not everyone hates it

Here's the thing, like I said, the style of animation may not be for everyone, but I don't hate it. A lot of people are actually really excited about it too.

This person said "I for one am very optimistic and appreciate the change in direction. Patiently waiting for Silverhawks and Tigersharks."

Another simply said "haters are cancelled" with some very cute fan art of the new Snarf design.

So far there are more angry people then excited people, but the thing is, you should maybe consider giving the actual story a chance before you judge it too harshly right?

Like this person says, "it's sad to see immediate backlash against [ThunderCats Roar] either from people blinded by nostalgia or from those who can't stand silly animated comedies... We are quickly judging the show already despite the announcement and scant details, and that's just not fair."

The show Gravity Falls is technically a kids show, and is this same style, but it's beloved by many adults, including myself. Looks can be deceiving, sometimes there's a lot of heart hidden in some simple images.

ThunderCats Roar
Warner Bros

But, to be fair, I get it completely if you hate it because it's drastically different. If I was being honest, I really don't know how I feel about the new direction.

What do you think about the new style? Are you going to give it a chance or do you hate it way too much?

It's not the only classic cartoon that's coming back though! If you don't like this one, maybe you'll be happy to know that She-Ra is coming back soon too!

Source - CBR / Polygon / EW