Friday, 4 June 2010

Chibicats are Go!

The other day, as is their way, io9 republished a press release with no comment whatsoever on its content. But what a press release it was. For you, TSS readers, the highlights:

"Warner Bros. Animation has begun production on ThunderCats, an all-new animated series for Cartoon Network, based upon the iconic 1980s action classic... The 21st century reimagining of the series marks a creative collaboration between WBA and Studio4°C, one of the most vibrant animation studios in Japan, with credits including The Animatrix, Gotham Knights and Halo Legends. WBA is working closely with Studio4°C, utilizing the latter's expertise to give the ThunderCats characters a new cutting-edge look while remaining true to the compelling storylines and mythology of the original series."

Which has to be the best cartoon news since they brought Futurama back from the dead, don't you think?

Or is it just me? I wonder. ThunderCats was my cartoon of choice, when I was but a little lurker on the speculative threshold. My dad made a video tape of twenty episodes on grainy longplay for me, which I watched and watched until there were more scan lines on the screen drawn lines. He cut some black and red cardboard into that iconic cat-face, the show's logo, which I proudly displayed on my bedroom door.

The rest of the cartoons - your He-Mans and Ghostbusters and what not - I'd watch 'em, but they were nothing to me next to the bumbling adventures of Lion-O and Snarf and the rest of the crew. I loved me my ThunderCats.

This re-envisioning, then, leaves me with mixed feelings. There's the little kid inside me, stamping his feet and squealing with excitement, and the rational, critical adult I wear on the outside, thinking... what? ThunderCats, of course, isn't the first treasure trove of 80s nostalgia to be brought kicking and screaming into the modern day, but let's not speak of the others, for fear we jinx this one.

In fact, let's look to the positives. The anime production house lined up to assist in the creation of the new world order of ThunderCats is certainly a promising one. Yes, they've done some passable work in service of Western intellectual property in the past - namely Batman: Gotham Nights, Transformers Animated, The Animatrix and Halo: Legends - but Studio4°C have knocked out a few gems of their own, too: the 1995 film Memories and the mind-bending Tekkon Kinkreet in 2006, not to mention Tweeny Witches (better than it sounds, I swear) or the superlative Detroit Metal City OVA.

Studio4°C is a fine studio, in short, and if it brings its A-game, we can be certain of at least one thing: the new ThunderCats sure will look great. The notion that it will remain "true to the compelling storylines and mythology of the original" makes me giggle a bit, though. I mean, come on. I bought those ThunderCats DVDs collections a few years ago, and you know what? I even tried to watch a few episodes. But no.

I'm not at all sure what to make of this announcement, even now, but consider my interest piqued. To be sure, I'll be keeping my eyes open for the new series, whenever it airs.

Anyone else have happy memories of Lion-O and co. to share?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I remember Thundercats very well. Panth-ra, She-ra... I can't remember what the little cat was called. Best of all was the theme music...brilliant!