I apologize. I am unhinging my jaw to make room for a big ‘ole piece of crow. In person and slightly in the blogosphere I bitched and moaned about how horrible this remake was destined to be.
Friday was a busy day for me…so of course I forgot to DVR the premier. So Monday I frantically scoured the interwebs in hopes of finding a copy to view online…and luckily I was able to find one virus-free. The animation is closer to the original series which is probably due to both series being animated in Japan. For me, the anime style is either a hit or miss…and in this case I think it is a hit. The soft pastely-like hues trigger some sort of nostalgia within me. Within just a few minutes I was sucked in.
The voice acting is excellant-o. The voice of King Claudus sounded eerily familiar…kinda like the original Lion-O. Guess what. Same dude (Larry Kenney). My ear-memory is awesome. Cheetara is voiced by the gorgeous Emmanuelle Chrigui of Entourage fame. Tygra and Jaga are voiced by v/o pros Matthew Mercer and Corey Burton while Panthro is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson from The Cleveland Show. Will Friedle from Boy Meets World fame voices the Lion-O.
The story is a familiar one. A young prince (Lion-O) has his head in the clouds and neglects his princely-duties. His precious ideologies creates rifts with his King father and fuels a rivalry with his older brother (Tygra). Due to betrayal, the cats’ enemy, the Lizard clan, decimate the cat kingdom forcing Lion-O and company to flee their once beautiful home.
This reboot feels similar to Marvel Comics “Ultimate” line. Rather than just going with the flow as was the case in the original series, each character seems to have his/her own point of view. Tygra is now Lion-O’s older, adopted brother. He seems to, by all means, be the better fit for King (on paper.) Wiley Kat and Kit are now resourceful street urchins. Snarf (perhaps my fav change) is now truly just a cat-type pet. No talky-talk. I was, however, correct in my assumption that Cheetara would be turned into the “beautiful enforcer” archetype of female warrior, rather than the badass mother-figure she was in the original. Unlike her contemporaries, she seems calm and collected rather than emotional and hotheaded. She is soon revealed to be part of Jaga’s cleric clan, which may be used down the line if they wish for this version of the character to also be telepathic.) Panthro was shown little in the premier, but I believe he will be explored later in the series. Lion-O, however, is similar to every other point of view young hero. A little stale, but he is supposed to be.
As I watched the premier I kept on thinking that if I were a parent this would be a show I would allow my children to see. Lessons in compassion, empathy, teamwork and creativity are woven in an action-packed pill. Yes, I will continue watching this series. I am excited to see where it goes.
ThunderCats airs on Cartoon Network Fridays at 8:30/7:30c.