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Cartoon Network’s new take on the ’80s animated series ThunderCats premiered Friday night to overwhelmingly favorable response.
The show revolves around the hero Lion-O, who in the premiere episode, leads a fight against evil to retrieve the legendary Stones of Power. Other characters are Tygra, Lion-O’s adopted older brother; Cheetara, a powerful magician; the young orphans WilyKit and WilyKat; Mumm-Ra, described as “the very essence of evil”; and Lion-O’s loyal pet Snarf.
Entourage‘s Emmanuelle Chriqui stars as Cheetara, and told Access Hollywood prior to Friday’s launch that she was pleased with the show and her part in it, “It’s actually a really fantastic cartoon. I saw the first two episodes and they were great. Cheetara is not that far from my normal voice. She’s just a little more fierce.”
Reviewers and bloggers were smitten as well. Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker writes, “It’s a rather canny rethinking of a series that probably didn’t take a lot of thinking to conceive in the first place. I’d watch it again to see where the series goes — with a show like this, all borrowed mythology and hoary adventure tropes, narrative momentum is everything.”
Wired‘s Angela Wattercutter believes the show will appeal to fans and Friday night partiers, “Having seen the premiere episode, it looks pretty awesome, and it should appear to both old-school ThunderFans and the crowd that likes to get high and watch cartoons on Friday night. Chances are, its nine lives will last for a while.”
Kenneth Carter of The Birmingham News also agrees that the cartoon is kid-friendly and interesting, “What I saw was a pleasant surprise. The story is multi-faceted. The characters have layers and flaws. Is ThunderCats still cheesy? Or course it is. But if you’re looking for something you can watch with your kids, this isn’t bad.”
Edward Adams of Atlanta’s Creative Loafing credits producers for giving the series their own twist, “Where in the original series the environment was bright and colorful, in the pilot episodes, the tones are much darker to support the new vision producers Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10), Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Ethan Spaulding (Avatar: The Last Airbender) are trying to tell. For die hards of the original ThunderCats series, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.”
“The new Thundercats successful echoes the fun, wonder and all-around coolness of the original characters while ditching some of the dated trappings of ’80s-syndication and offering up a more sophisticated, if still kid-friendly, plot,” concludes StarNewsOnline reporter Jeff Hidek. Similarly, ComicBookMovie.com, was impressed with the show’s look, “The animation is beautiful, very fluid in motion. The voice acting was really good and the characterization is a little cliche at times, but still it’s the start of something great.”
ThunderCats will air Fridays at 8:30 p.m. beginning Aug. 5.
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