Written by Sandy Fries, Annabelle Gurwitch, Peter Lawrence, William Overgard, Lee Schneider, Leonard Starr, Chris Trengrove, Heather M. Winters, and Ted Wolf
Directed by Katsuhito Akiyama
Starring the Voices of Bob McFadden, Earl Hammond, Larry Kenney, Lynne Lipton, Earle Hyman, and Peter Newman
- “Thundercats Ho! – Creating a Pop-Culture Phenomenon” featurette
Released by: Warner Bros. Home Video
Rating: NR (some mild violence)
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Nope. Just don’t do it.
The Thundercats are a race of humanoid felines from the planet Thundera who managed to escape just before the planet was destroyed. When they finally crash land on Third Earth (which, luckily for them just happened to have the same life-supporting atmosphere as Thundera), they immediately hook up with an arch-enemy and begin the battle of the ages.
Wow, what a crappy show. The animation is second-rate even by mid-80s standards, the background music is horrible, the stories are just stupid with no sense of suspense whatsoever, and the voice acting is the fromage of the highest order. The writing is horrible, too. At the end of every episode, there is one character who typically provides the cheesy pun of the show and then everybody has a good, badly animated laugh and they all go home. We should simply call this “The Superfriends Effect” and be done with it.
I couldn’t get through the featurette without laughing. These people, who happen to be the usual people who talk on these types of things, actually try to talk intelligently about this show. They talk about character the archetypes of hero and villian with straight faces throughout these interviews. Of course, these are the people that work to put this tripe on TV for our kids in the first place, but even they would have to realize that it was absolute shite. I can’t say that I blame them for not just outright admitting it on the DVD set.
There is one thing that boils to the top from this featurette, though. It seems that they brought a psychology expert on board to work on the show. There were parents’ groups that were making a ruckus about the evil programming that was on TV during the mid-80s, so they brought this psych guy in to approve their outlines for the stories before they would be taken to the writers. So, in defense of the people behind the show…that explains the sterile feeling the whole thing seems to have. I just have to bring this up, because it blew my mind: Larry Kenny (the voice-actor who portrayed Lion-O–you know, the lead guy…the hero) actually stated in his interview that he didn’t want to play him as a hero. What? He is the friggin’ hero!
Finally, I have a beef about the way this set is put together. There is only the one special feature listed on the case. I knew that going in. However, every single disc there is a menu item labeled Special Features. When you access this menu, it takes you to a menu page with nothing on it that says, “See Other Discs for Additional Special Features.” Well, first of all, there are no special features on this menu for there to be additional ones on other discs. Secondly, why don’t you just save the time and energy and not put a Special Features menu on every single disc? Still, being a good little critic, I accessed every single one just to make sure. When I finally got to the final disc in the set, I acted surprised just so I wouldn’t have to feel too much like a schmoe for hoping against hope that there was something they didn’t list on the back of the case.
If you’ve never seen the show, don’t start now. If you choose to go rent this (or, God forbid, buy it) you do so at your own peril. You can’t say I didn’t warn you. Our crackpot legal team at Needcoffee.com (who also double as the dudes who find porn) have been alerted.