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ThunderCats Roar

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ThunderCats Roar
Thundercats.jpg
Thunder... Thunder... Thunder...
Thundercats... D'OH!
Genre: Action
Comedy
Running Time: 11 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: February 22 - December 5, 2020
Network(s): Cartoon Network
Created by: Marly Halpern-Graser (Based on 1985 series by Ted Wolf)
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Starring: Max Mittelman
Chris Jai Alex
Erica Lindbeck
Danielle Pinnock
Patrick Seitz
Dana Snyder
Trevor Devall
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 52 (48 + 2 specials)
Previous show: ThunderCats (2011)


ThunderCats Roar is a short-lived animated television series based on the 1985 cartoon, ThunderCats. It premiered on February 22, 2020 on Cartoon Network and ended on December 5 in the same year after its cancellation, lasting only one season.

Summary

Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, WilyKit, and WilyKat barely escape the sudden destruction of their homeworld, 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.

Why It's a ThunderCrap

  1. Horrendous grasp of the source material: the real issue is that it's far from being an actual ThunderCats show. It instead feels more like a fan-made YouTube parody that was somehow picked up by Cartoon Network due to its massive popularity (keep in mind that this happened with Annoying Orange). It doesn't have any charm, heart, or anything that made both the original and the short-lived 2011 revival great at all.
    • The generic thin-line animation style (or rather, bean mouth style) is used for the characters, which looks way too simplistic and ends up failing miserably but yet typically altering the body proportions drastically. This style usually never works for cartoons with anime-esque looking designs or better yet, action cartoons in general. Not only that, but the designs even try so hard to look "cute" (the announcement trailer depicted Lion-O making the ":3" face), but as said before, it just fails.
    • The tone also is very off-place, being way too light-hearted and comedic. And the thing is, the originals had a dark tone (possibly more than Teen Titans (2003), The Powerpuff Girls (1998), and Ben 10 (2005) combined, though to be fair, it had lighthearted moments), so any chance of making an action-comedy of ThunderCats would be a very rancid idea, to begin with.
    • Even the MAD sketch "ThunderLOLCats" and the Robot Chicken sketches of Thundercats, both which are from (intentional) parody shows, did the comedy better, while this show did not. You know you've failed BIG TIME when parody versions of ThunderCats can do comedy better than the actual comedic spin-off of ThunderCats.
    • Speaking of which, some serious cartoons had comedic spin-offs that worked such as Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Naruto SD: Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals and Batman: The Brave and The Bold, but this show failed at that since it uses poor toilet/crude humor and generic comedy scenes that were bad or boring. Even certain cartoon/anime shows like Xiaolin Showdown, Totally Spies!, Naruto, Dragon Ball, Bleach, Fairy Tail, Ranma 1/2, Pokemon, Kim Possible and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) were originally action shows, but had a right amount of humor.
  2. The characters are depicted as dumb goofs who often act happy which little to other emotions. Lion-O is the biggest offender, as he is now a complete idiot, without any kind of charm.
  3. In the first episode, it's revealed that Snarf is now a robot. This is a good example of a continuity error (though this show might be in another iteration that doesn't connect to the original except in name and a similar plot).
  4. Speaking of Snarf, yet again, as usual, he is still an unlikable character, even more so than in the original and 2011 series where he started off acting out of character. While he was annoying in the first ThunderCats series, he at least had character and showed concern to others. The same can be said for the 2011 series, but being retooled while staying true to the source material, but in this show, he barely has a personality due to being a robot that is mainly used as a plot device in several episodes.
  5. Bland voice acting, even from iconic anime voice actors such as Max Mittelman (the voice actor of Saitama) and Patrick Seitz (the voice actor of Dio Brando). Not even Erica Lindbeck, the voice actress of Loona from Helluva Boss and Cassie Cage from Mortal Kombat 11, could save the show.
  6. The character designs look very lazy, to the point where it looks like a 6-year old drew it, and it gets to the point that some of the characters don't even resemble their previous designs, but also, Panthro's new design looks way too similar to Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy.
  7. Some of the characters feel like they were dumbed down to try and fit the tone of this show.
  8. There are times where due to the mediocre animation, the characters make very odd and silly faces, similar to Ben 10 (2016), The Powerpuff Girls (2016), and even Teen Titans Go!.
  9. The theme song is now a generic, high-pitched song. Instead of the classic theme, all the show has is a 20-second short tune with obnoxious singing and terrible composing.
  10. It can be considered an attempt to copy Teen Titans Go!
  11. Speaking of TTG, in a crossover episode they had, it shows that the creators of the latter series cannot handle criticism proven by this video posted on Twitter.
    • One can even tell when the classic Lion-O says "And anyone who says otherwise has a poop mouth, with poop opinions."
    • Even worse when the episode mocked the fans of the original ThunderCats as well as fans of the 2011 reboot.
    • Jelenic and Horvath even have the guts to throw in Panthro's skeleton. In which it only describes the death of Earle Hyman who is the voice of him in the original, which is pretty disrespectful.
    • Tygra is often treated as a punching bag character though not much.
  12. The series has pretty bad, terrible, and evil morals like:
    • Lying
    • Hurting others' feelings
    • Starting drama
    • Violence
    • Not learning their lessons
    • Being an idiot
    • Disobeying instructions
    • Theft
    • Stealing
  13. It feels more like a cartoon from the 2010s (which it was originally going to be) rather than an actual 2020's cartoon. It tries too hard to appeal to children today because of its outdated humor.
  14. Lion-O looks way too young for a leader.
  15. False advertising: The ThunderCats are shown riding on a giant Snarf while he's trying to eat a mummy in this poster attached to the Warner Bros Studios mural but in the show itself, none of them are riding on him because Snarf is too small.
  16. The color palette looks ugly, and horrendous for the most part.
  17. Disappointing ending: In Mandora Saves Christmas, the ThunderCats got arrested and went on the naughty list for doing bad stuff in that episode.
    • Then again, it was not intended to be the final episode since Grune was the last episode produced.
    • Speaking of Mandora, Lion-O and the Thundercats being arrested at the end of every episode where she appears is an considered to be an unfunny running gag.
  18. The characters don't even like to fight villains anymore, when in the episode "Summer Fun Day" they get tired of fighting villains which rarely happened in the original two shows.
    • Adding insult to injury, they barely fight villains already in the show, so that brings a question, How would they get tired of it if they barely ever do it?
  19. Overall, this show has managed to damage and ruin the famous ThunderCats franchise, especially when both the original 1985 and the 2011 were a success, and the fact that this reboot made it go downhill at it's finest.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The reboot, while unfaithful at worst, stays true to the original 1985 series compared to the 2011 version in terms of it’s elements, while the rest suffered from terrible execution.
  2. The background designs used in the show, while they may be subpar at times because of the ugly color scheme, are pretty cool in some aspects.
  3. The action scenes can be entertaining, even with the animation not being good.
    • In fact, unlike Teen Titans Go!, the show has some effort put into each episode plot and doesn't stray too much (with exceptions).
  4. The show builds it’s own continuity, and it’s shows in many episodes.
    • If the series would have continued past it's first season, then it would allow it to introduce other characters and covering more concepts and storylines from the 1985 series while having a lore of it's own, thus adding the potential of world-building and heavier continuity. Then the series would get better as it progresses. Alas, none of this is happening with the show not being renewed for another season due to it's poor reception. Resulting them to become missed opportunities.
      • It would have toned down some of the worst traits of the series as well if it’s wasn’t for it’s cancellation.
  5. While dumbed-down from the original show, the vocals for the music in the show are decent at best. The theme song, despite being bad, can still be catchy (but not all the time).
  6. It uses the soundtrack from the original 1985 show it was based from, while Matthew Janzen's arrangement adds a remastered feel to them.
  7. Aquaman: King of Atlantis, a three-part miniseries made by the same creators, is an improvement over that show.

Reception

ThunderCats Roar's announcement was met with backlash from fans of the original series and its 2011 reboot. On Cartoon Network's YouTube channel, promotional videos for the series have received many dislikes. Upon its premiere, the show was met with polarizing, majority of negative reviews from critics and audiences, but was critically panned by fans of the original show and it's 2011 reboot. Much of the criticism was aimed its art style, characterizations and comedic tone, drawing unfavorable comparisons to Teen Titans Go!. It currently holds a 2/10 on IMDb (between The Problem Solverz and The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange), making it one of, if not the lowest Cartoon Network series on the site currently, and it has been regarded as one of the worst Cartoon Network shows ever made. Only 24% of Google users liked the show.

It is also the second lowest-rated WB Animation show on IMDb (2.1/10), only behind Little Ellen.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the show holds an audience score of 15%.

As a result of the show's negative reception and low ratings, the show was canceled after only one season.

In July 2022, the series was taken off of digital downloads and written off by Warner Bros. Discovery.

Trivia

  • The executive producers were fans of the ThunderCats series.
  • Larry Kenney, who provides the voice of Jaga here, had previously voiced Lion-O in the 1985 ThunderCats cartoon, and Lion-O's father Claudus in the 2011 reboot.

Videos

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