With the release of the first official image for the new ThunderCats cartoon a few days ago, we all felt the magic. As always follows, we also heard the roar, as the Internet went wild with both positive and negative feedback.
Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro and Cheetara obviously have undergone drastic redesign, but they still seem familiar. The Sword of Omens looks spot-on, for example, but Panthro is bigger, bulkier and, as impossible as it may seem, even more badass. Of course, whenever it comes to redesigns of fan-favorite characters and properties, some love it and some hate it.
In an exclusive interview with MTV, ThunderCats producer Ethan Spaulding addresses some of the concerns expressed by those fans.
“We decided that it would be best to keep the core character traits of all the characters — specifically their colors — so at first glance you can tell who each one of them is,” Spaulding said. “We really kept that core spirit of all the characters and just updated them with a little more realistic armor, and some of the ’80s aspects — like Lion-O’s exposed midriff. The original designs are great, but the world we have going on in this story, we had to fit our designs to that story, so that was our overall impetus.”
Spaulding said he felt the costumes and designs of the old series reflected a more “superhero” feel. However, with the re-imagined series, they “couldn’t go in that direction.” He also discussed the anime influence of the new series, noting that the original cartoon was made in Japan and that they want to honor that in the new series, both in terms of visual style and visual storytelling.
When it came to specific characters, Spaulding confirmed that the three missing from the image — WilyKit, WilyKat and Snarf — all appear in the series, but that they’re “redesigned in a little different way.” He added that they plan to reveal more slowly.
“Everyone wants to know about Tygra, but that’s sort of story-specific,” Spaulding said when asked about the whip-wielding ThunderCat. “I can’t reveal too much. Basically, we wanted to make him cooler than he was. The consensus was that he was the boring guy of the old show, so we wanted to make him more interesting and gave him another dimension. But don’t worry — he still has the whip. People were wondering where the whip was at one point, but it’s on his belt.”
For the whole interview, check out MTV and be sure to keep checking Spinoff Online for more as ThunderCats continue to be on the move.
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