ThunderCats

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
ThunderCats TV Poster Image
Appealing '80s remake is darker, more violent than original.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAllie Pierson March 13, 2013

Nothing like the original.

It's okay, but it's nothing like the original.
Parent of a 16 and 17-year-old Written byHaimericus November 26, 2011

Action-adventure with a side of complex moral questions

For kids old enough to analyze these things, there is a lot to talk about in the backstory established in the pilot. Do the cats rule at the expense of other sp... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old February 2, 2015

Ughhh, Why did you cancel this show in 1989?

Adult Swim,
How dare you cancel this show only in 1989? I was born in 2006! Please put this show back on, I like it!
Kid, 9 years old September 10, 2012

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love action

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