Producers of ThunderCats, Michael Jelenic and Ethan Spaulding, art director Dan Norton and the original Lion-O, Larry Kenney — will be playing the role of Tygra’s father Claudius in the opening three-part episode of the new series — were on-hand at WonderCon this weekend to talk about the new show. A new trailer for the series was released, evidently has Avatar: The Last Airbender feel (expect it to be because of Spaulding) and the musical score resembles like that of The Lord of the Rings. The animation may be updated but the the old series we loved is present all over, so there’s nothing more we can ask for.
Today’s version explains Lion-O’s ascension to the Thunderean throne with a more original feel and darker style than the 1980s series.
The reboot is ten years in the making, and Norton said he tried to relaunch it when he was on the Wildstorm comic adaptation where in 2003, a wave of mini-series and one-shots were published.
Here are some fun facts on the new Thundercats:
- Thundera is now a kingdom on Third Earth, after the destruction of Thundera.
- Lion-O will be aged a bit during this series — as with the original, which the new series is staying respective to, it’s about growth. Kenny mentioned that “his” Lion-O was also forced to learn/grow through the 130 episodes of the original series.
- While the series will be darker in tone than the original, it will still be, at its core, about a group of individuals who come together and learn to be a family.
- Mumm Ra is apparently trapped in stone at the beginning of the story.
- They’re going with a cuter Snarf. Snarf won’t speak English; it will be more of a Chewbacca/R2D2 thing where he makes sounds and the other characters understand him.
- They were told to have characters “demonstrate authentic animal behavior when possible.” So the characters at times have traits like stretching, hissing, etc.
- The new show is going with a more epic score, using cues from the first series.
- There will be 26 episodes in the first story; the total arc is over 52 episodes.
- The new Thundertank is more modular; parts break off into motorcycles, etc.