ThunderCats

Common Sense Media says

Appealing '80s remake is darker, more violent than original.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series imparts positive messages about teamwork, triumphing over great odds, and setting aside differences to achieve a common goal. Infighting among the protagonists takes a backseat to their desire to protect people from harm. On the other hand, good and evil aren't always easily distinguished, and the concept of deception and being a traitor plays a role in the plot. Violence is the only means to an end. Occasional bathroom humor like burping.

Positive role models

The ThunderCats risk everything to protect their home and their people, putting themselves in harm's way to defend the innocent. An unwilling hero finds inner strength he didn't know he possessed when fate thrusts him into a new role. Despite the violent exchanges, Lion-O is a free thinker who's known to show compassion to his enemies.

Violence

Knives, swords, whips, staffs, laser guns, bows and arrows, and other weapons are plentiful in combat scenes, and some characters die in the exchanges. Explosions destroy entire sections of towns, and it's presumed that innocent victims are killed as a result. There's some hand-to-hand combat as well, and some violence-laced talk like "I'll gut you like a fish."

Sex

A female character's minimal clothing shows off her curvy physique and ample breasts. The guys' muscular arms, legs, and abs are visible through their bodysuits. Some flirting.

Language

Some name-calling like "stupid" and "filthy beast."

Consumerism

The series is tied to a classic '80s cartoon of the same name, as well as a product line of action figures and accessories.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's a lot of violence in this remake of the classic '80s cartoon of the same name, and it's a bit more intense than the original. Heroes and villains alike use weapons like swords, whips, and knives against each other in tense combat scenes, and some deaths result from the fighting, although there's no blood or gore to speak of. The ThunderCats' efforts to destroy their enemies is the main plotline, but an equally prominent one is Lion-O's personal struggle to cope with the responsibilities of his newfound leadership role and to balance his personal expectations with those thrust upon him. Because of its classic roots, this entertaining action-adventure cartoon has some cross-generational appeal, but its intense content and frightening villains make it a better choice for older tweens than for kids.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When Thundera is invaded by the lizard people and his father is killed, Lion-O (voiced by Will Friedle) is thrust into the role of king of the ThunderCats and charged with protecting his home from the villainous imposters. Though uncertain of his abilities, Lion-O finds strength in his friends Cheetara (Emmanuelle Chriqui), Panthro (Kevin Michael Richardson), WilyKat, and WilyKit, and even his adopted older brother, Tygra (Matthew Mercer), who has his own aspirations toward the Thunderian throne. Armed with Lion-O's Sword of Omens, the ThunderCats embark on a quest for the legendary magic stones and the Book of Omens, whose power will allow them to defeat the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra (Robin Atkin Downes) once and for all.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THUNDERCATS is a reimagining of the '80s cartoon of the same name, and now-adult fans with fond memories of the original will revel in how the new animation revives their favorite characters. The story picks up approximately where the old series left off, taking a few small liberties with characterizations (Tygra is now Lion-O's adopted brother, and Snarf doesn't talk, for instance) to improve on the original, but sticking closely enough to its predecessor to maintain continuity. Good and evil, sibling rivalry, and personal responsibility are major themes in this high-adventure cartoon, which has the potential for cross-generational appeal.

 

Parents' main concern with ThunderCats will be its violent content, since the combat scenes can get intense, and death by explosions, weapons, and hand-to-hand fighting occur on a regular basis. There's no gore, but palpable danger lurks around every corner, and the villains are a pretty scary bunch. For tweens who can handle this level of intensity, though, there are some decent takeaways in Lion-O's commitment to his own value system and the heroes' willingness to set aside their differences, rely on each other's strengths, and work as a team for the common goal of survival.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about heroes. What defines a heroic act? Does heroism always require an element of danger? Who do you consider to be heroes?

  • Are good and evil always clearly defined in this show? What about in real life? How can you tell what someone intends?

  • How does the violence in this show compare to what you've seen in other cartoons? Does violence have less impact when it's in a cartoon rather than a live-action show? Do you think seeing it on TV desensitizes viewers to violence in real life?

TV details

Cast:Emmanuelle Chriqui, Kevin Michael Richardson, Will Friedle
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of ThunderCats was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 9 years old July 31, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

GREAT

it is awesome
What other families should know
Great role models
Adult Written byAllie Pierson March 13, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Nothing like the original.

It's okay, but it's nothing like the original.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written bynarrat0r July 30, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Just be sure - it's not a younger kids show anymore.

This version of Thundercats is, to say it right off the bat, fantastic. I never thought I'd see animation this detailed, fast and realistic on Cartoon Network, let alone this amount of maturity and violence that gives this show a definitive "Teens and up" age grade. Not that it's very violent for younger kids, because it isn't all that much, but id does have some on-screen deaths and the story is pretty deep for them to understand. Also, as some reviewers before me stated, the character Cheetara is clearly made to look sexy and is in a pretty revealing outfit. Of course, pretty much all anime-watching teens love a little bit of fanservice, so there's nothing really wrong with that. Believe me - you won't be disappointed with this show. It's right up there with Avater -The Last Airbender in terms of quality, animation and action. Go watch it! (although there are only 2 episodes out for now...)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action