So I just saw the 2-part pilot of Thundercats Roar, and this show was an absolute pile of aaaaawesome.
Okay, no it’s not. If I’m going to be honest, it’s only decent as a standalone cartoon and pretty decent as an entry into the Thundercats franchise. If we throw the sucky 2011 reboot into the mix, then we can bump Thundercats Roar into the “pretty good” category. All that said, it is awesome because fans seem to universally hate it. Every review on YouTube as of this writing seems to HAAAAATE it. Which automatically bumps it up a few notches.
But seriously, it’s a decent pilot that’s worth watching for the supporting cast and use of the original music if nothing else.
Let’s start off by talking about the music. It’s basically the original music. Maybe it’s been remixed a bit here and there? But it’s at least 99% the original and you know what? It really holds up. I had forgotten that virtually every character or group had their own background music and Thundercats Roar uses it to terrific effect, adding character and even the occasional badassery to every scene.
The characters are pretty decent overall. The main Thundercats are more or less like their 80s incarnation. Especially Panthro, Cheetara and the Thunderkittens. Lion-O is almost entirely devoted to being a dumbass, but that’s necessary so that he can get everyone into trouble every episode. Tygra is his traditional sensible self, but merged with the original Snarf, so now he’s the sensible yet naggy advisor to the ADHD Lion-O. As for Snarf, well, it’s basically the best incarnation of Snarf, period. And that includes the Snarfs from various comics like the DC crossovers or the one where Wily Kit was Mumm-Ra’s sex slave and Cheetara was the mutants’.
Speaking of the mutants, they’re pretty decent too. They don’t really do much but you get a real Regular Show baddie vibe from there.
Then there’s Mumm-Ra, who is… a baddie. He’s a pretty straightforward modern baddie. Nothing we haven’t seen before. Hopefully he’ll get better as the show progresses.
Then there are the Berbils. And they are LEGIT. Pretty much the best part of the show so far and they’re the reason A) why the show is decent instead of just mediocre and B) why everyone on the internet/YouTube are dumbasses for hating the show. I mean, it’s okay to not like or hate a show. And it’s alright to hate this show if it’s simply not your jam. But they hate it because they’re either being small minded or they’re adopting the internet proclivity whereby something is either awesome or it sucks, and that anything less than awesome, sucks. Thundercats Roar is not great. I can even accept the argument that it’s not even good. But to say it’s terrible is just typical internet over-reactionary behavior.
Also, while the art is simplistic, there’s actually a lot of nice attention to detail in terms of homages to the 80s cartoon, like the design for the 4 statues of EVIL and the Berbil Village having a mushroom aesthetic. In fact, for the most part, the pilot of Thundercats Roar is just a condensed retelling of the original show, with just a few tweaks here and there. Even the whole running gag with the Berbils being fast builders can be a references to them being able to complete massive projects in the space of a single episode, back in the old 80s cartoon.
So, to sum up. Watch it, don’t watch it. It’s up to you. It’s not yet a “must watch”, but it’s not at all bad. At least it literally can’t be worse than the 2011 Thundercats, because that was literally, just… the worst.