Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thundercats Cartoon in 2011

The Thundercatsplosion is under way! First Pop Culture Shock Collectibles announces a line of the most killer statues you'll ever see, then Icon Heroes announces 6 inch staction figures and now..animation!! WB drops the bomb on the new cartoon we'd heard rumbling on for at least 2 years now. Here's the skinny...

Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) has begun production on “ThunderCats,” an all-new animated series for Cartoon Network, based upon the iconic 1980s action classic. “ThunderCats” is the newest series from WBA, joining “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” which was recently renewed for a third season, and the following forthcoming programs: “The Looney Tunes Show,” “MAD,” “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” and “Young Justice.” The announcement was made today by Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, Warner Bros. Animation.

“In addition to being Warner Bros. Animation’s first anime series, ‘ThunderCats’ marks our most ambitious foray yet into fantasy,” said Register. “The realism and dynamic visual style we’ve achieved are sure to thrill viewers, and the cool weapons, vehicles and technology should help the show appeal to a diverse audience.”

The 21st century re-imagining 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.

“We at Studio4°C are excited to be in this creative partnership with Warner Bros. Animation to bring ‘ThunderCats’ to life,” said Eiko Tanaka, President and CEO, Studio4°C. “This collaboration combines the strengths of our two companies – high production values and great storytelling – toward reintroducing this classic fan-favorite to a new audience.”

Roaring to life through WBA and Studio4°C’s use of the Japanese animated artistry of anime, “ThunderCats” characters Lion-O, Mumm-Ra, Panthro, Cheetara and others will spring off the screen with realistic cat-like characteristics inconceivable in previous incarnations.

The new “ThunderCats” will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise. A sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes, the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne – and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost – takes on epic dimensions in this sharp new telling. As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode.

“ThunderCats” is executive produced by Sam Register (“Teen Titans,” “Ben 10,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”). Michael Jelenic (“Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” “Wonder Woman”) and Ethan Spaulding (“Avatar: The Last Airbender”) are the producers.

Things that get me worried...

A. The word re-imagining
B. Halo Legends was very NOT fun. The complete opposite of fun.
C. Quest for the fables Stones of Power...gotta catch em all? Sounds very formulaic. I guess the tale of crash landed, super powered cat aliens led by a powerhouse with the mind of a teenager fighting an army of monstrous mutants led by an ancient evil mummy was too tame for them.
D. The phrase "realistic cat-like characteristics inconceivable in previous incarnations" conjures images of them scratching themselves behind the ear, purring and licking their fur clean. Maybe save the realism for Thundercats XXX.

I say grab the whole Avatar: The Last Airbender squad and have them make a show true to its roots and create a dynamic we really care about. Could be epic!

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