Episode 101 and 102
The Sword of Omens and Ancient Spirits of Evil
Now this is how you make (or in this case, remake) a cartoon! Since I watched this on it's initial broadcast, I'm not going to split up both episodes into separate review days.
I've always been a huge Thundercats fan. Ever since I first saw the pilot episode of the original series, "Exodus", I was a die-hard fanatic. As a kid I had the Cat's Lair and half of the entire action figure collection. I also had a number of episodes taped on VHS. So when I first heard that they were remaking Thundercats, I had very high expectations. The initial series had such great designs and story, I felt like there was no way to screw it up. Thankfully, they blew my expectations out of the water. The first two episodes of the series are some of the best animated stories I have ever seen.
The series begins with your standard intros... We meet Lion-O, son of Claudus and brother to Tygra(!). Lion-O gets himself into a little scuffle on the street looking for mysterious ancient Thundera Technology, but thank goodness Cheetara is there to save him. Soon after this event, we are introduced to his father and brother as Grune, a general in Claudus's army, arrives with news that Panthro has died in battle, but he has returned with riches. Claudus holds a ceremony for the fallen Thundercat, but once again Lion-O can't stay out of trouble when he finds a bunch of cats picking on some Reptilian prisoners. After making a pretty good argument, Lion-O convinces his father to release the lizards and thus ends episode 1.
Episode 2 picks up the next day with an army of Lizards storming Thundera with massive robotic machines - the same ancient tech Lion-O was so curious about in the beginning of the episode. A battle ensues, but not without unveiling a whole slew of possible story threads...
I don't want to reveal too much for those of you who haven't had the chance to see the first episode yet. All I can say is that the show is amazing. I was a big supporter of the 2002 He-Man series, but I have to admit this series is vastly superior in animation and in story.
Here's some of the things I loved about it...
- Snarf is no longer annoying... just cute.
- The voice acting is great - Tygra's voice is very reminiscent of the original Tygra's voice. Mumm-ra, Lion-O, Cheetara, Wily Kit and Kat, Jaga and Slythe are all spot-on.
- The set up of Grune's character is ingenious.
- The history of the eye of Thundera relating to Mumm-ra should be interesting.
- Wily Kit and Kat being orphan-like thieves is intriguing.
- The death of a main character is actually shocking.
- Hearing Larry Kenney speak the famous Thundercat oath made me feel like a kid again.
- Lynx-O cameo!
I can't speak any higher about the series. Can't wait to see where it goes from here!