The original Rankin-Bass ThunderCats
(1985) was a toy-based sword-and-sorcery program created for US syndication. For the new Japanese version (2011), the characters were redesigned--to match a new line of toys. Lion-O, the heir to the lost kingdom of Thunderra, and his friends Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Wilykit, and Wilykat continue their search for the magical "power stones" that will enable them to reestablish the feline realm and defeat the evil Mumm-Ra. The storyline zigs and zags erratically, undercutting what should be an increasing sense of urgency. Mumm-Ra regains the powerful Sword of Plun-Darr in episode 21, but instead of using it, he disappears. The next episode focuses on the silly misadventures of Wilykit and Wilykat in a canine city, where they obtain a magic bag Doraemon might envy. When Mumm-Ra reappears he doesn't use the Sword, but turns himself into a monster that looks like one of the clumsier Hollows in Bleach
--and is defeated by the giant bug that pulls the wagon of a huckster who sells a poisonous elixir. Although the series was made in Japan, the look of the characters, the fragmented narrative, and the very tame battle scenes all feel like an American series from the not-so-good old days of He-Man
ends in the middle of the story, as Cartoon Network ordered only 10 episodes, and its future remains uncertain. (Not rated, suitable for ages 8 and older: minor violence) --Charles Solomon
(17. Native Son, 18. Survival of the Fittest, 19. The Pit, 20. Curse of Ratilla, 21. Birth of the Blades, 22. The Forever Bag, 23. Recipe for Disaster, 24. The Soul Sever, 25. What Lies Above (Part One), 26. What Lies Above (Part Two)
It's time for new allies, fierce battles and strange mysteries with the climatic final 10 episodes from season one of the critically acclaimed series! With the Sword of Omens in hand, Lion-O boldly faces his future while rallying the inhabitants of Thundera to join the fight against Mumm-Ra and his looming evil minions. Take up arms with Panthro, Tygra and Cheetara as they scout out strange locales, unearth forgotten temples and forge the friendships of a lifetime. So rip into the action with ThunderCats, sound the battle cry of "ThunderCats Ho!" and race towards a showdown with Mumm-Ra that will push a hero to his limits and shape the destiny of a kingdom forever!