The internet has been on fire the last few days with the announcement that there will be a new ThunderCats reboot, ‘ThunderCats Roar’. With it being one of the most iconic cartoons of all time, there was no surprise that there would be groups against a reboot.
The comments and dislikes do not paint a well received reception.
One of the biggest criticisms of ThunderCats Roar is the art style.
Nicknamed derogatorily by some as “Cal-Arts” is style of animation has been criticized as being too simplistic. I’ve even seen it called the bean-face style after the shape of the characters faces.
Some of the most popular shows out right now use this style. If we take a look a the most popular shows on cartoon network, (from an non-artistic viewpoint) they all look in a way very similar.
With this art style also usually comes a more comedic and outlandish take on the cartoon as well. This is a big departure from the 1985 and 2011 versions of the show and some have criticized this as too “childish.”
Comparisons to the 2011 Reboot
The 2011 ThunderCats show was one of the best things I’ve ever seen rebooted. The characters grew, developed and learned so much about themselves and their new home. The animation style was so detailed and realistic and as always, the voice acting cast was great.
Why not make a season 2 instead of a whole new reboot? Well despite a run on Adult Swim/Toonami, the show didn’t make the money/get the views that cartoon network wanted. Creative director of Adult Swim On-Air Jason Demarco had this to say about the controversy.
A Push For A Younger Audience
The major market for Cartoon Network is kids. Kids watch the shows, and make their parents buy the merchandise. Another reason why the 2011 reboot was cancelled is that their merchandise wasn’t selling. Even if the shows were getting the views (at times from older crowds) that just wasn’t enough. Kids also love this animation style! The characters are easy going, fun and they have a sense of humor. A departure from the last decade of Dark Knight inspired heroes in every aspect of pop culture.
I will admit the first time seeing the poster I did cringe. To me they were making it look like every single thing else on TV, cheapening it. But that’s not definitely not the intent of the animators or the creators. We have a generation coming up that has no idea who the ThunderCats are and what Cartoon Network is trying to do is introduce these iconic characters to this generation in a way that works for them. As much as older fans may hate it, this style works.
The lighter side to this controversy is that if ThunderCats Roar is a terrible show, we all know Cartoon Network won’t hesitate to get rid of it immediately. (RIP Young Justice).
Then we can all go back to complaining about Teen Titans Go.