Sunday, January 15, 2012

The New ThunderCats and 80's Cartoons...

I was with some friends Friday night and we got on the topic of 80's cartoon cosplay which lead us into discussing the shows we loved as kids and myself bringing up how some of them have been revamped and are now on the air again whether it is online or on TV Networks.  This is when I posed the question of "where is the new ThunderCats airing" on my facebook page.

80's Ticked Pink
Because of this conversation my girl friend really wants me to cosplay Ticked Pink from Rainbow Brite.  I can't say I hate the idea, but it's a character that would involve a group as she is a supporting character and not the lead.  I think if you read my previous post you know just how easy it is for people to commit to a group cosplay with me.  In other words, it doesn't happen often.  Maybe in the future if I don't throw the towel in after this year.  Though I think the 2009 version is more feasible then the 80's.

The morning after our conversation (yesterday) I went to the laundromat.  In-between washing and drying I always go to the store because it's better then laying around for an hour at a time watching clothes spin around.  I also had a wicked headache so reading was out of the question.  I went to my local Wal-Mart and picked up the new ThunderCats DVD.  Impulse purchase by far but I was intrigued.

So I just finished watching the new ThunderCats season one book one which only includes up to episode 8.  I just took a look at IMDB to find that season one actually has 17 episodes with some being two parts, not 13 like so many have told me.  When I initially looked at the DVD and saw only 8 episodes I thought "well that's silly, where are the other five?"  I don't think five episodes would make for an additional DVD purchase, but it turns out season one book two should be nine episodes which makes a lot more sense.

Two months ago there was a post on about why Hasbro will not be releasing Friendship is Magic on a complete season one DVD and I think their explanation fits for this show as well, even though differently.  I would have been happier to pick up the entire season one of ThunderCats and not just half but the reality is the show is meant for children.  Companies tend to release these shows as single discs with only a few episodes so they can bring the price down and raise the chances of a parent buying a cheaper DVD for a child.  This way the purchase itself is smaller and the risk of the item being destroyed verses the cost of the item is less so.  This is why MLP is released with two episodes on each DVD as opposed to a season.  I think this is also why ThunderCats is broken into two sets as opposed to one complete set.  The older 80's versions of these are in complete sets because they are meant for adult purchases, since it's adults that used to watch the shows as kids.  It's still odd to think of shows this way.

Anyway, as I started watching the episodes I will admit I was not all into it.  It seems to me that the hype surrounding the new ThunderCats far outweighs what it actually is.  It's not a bad show, but it's not an amazing one either.  I don't hate it, but I don't love it.  The first episode was okay and then the next three just seemed like they were dragging.  I was bored.  However, once I got to disc two, which I somewhat reluctantly popped in, I started to like it a lot more.

I don't remember the 80's ThunderCats very well.  But what I do remember is it being action packed and each episode holding its own as a story rather then being continuous throughout the season.  I like that about 80's shows.  Each episode had pretty much the same plot with the same characters but the story was always different enough to keep interest and with some shows they did have larger stories that tied the episodes together like She-Ra "Anchors Aloft" which was only a two parter but you get the idea.

I started liking the new ThunderCats more by episode 5 when the original storyline starts to come to it's climax.  This is when it started having some more similarities to what I had hoped to see more of from the original.  Past this I started to see more individual stories inside the larger plot.  This is what I was missing.  So for the first half of this set I personally think the individuality of each episode is missing but they redeemed themselves with the second half.

I wish I could bring in the original mlp as reference but to be honest the original mlp was awful.  From the high pitched voices to the poor stories and bad songs, it's no wonder why my parents refused to tape it.  However, I still remember loving it regardless.  MLP is the easiest example of how 80's cartoons were simply just marketing tools to sell toys.  There was no plot to mlp.  None.  Each show was it's own and it centered around what ever "toys" were on sale at the time.  Why was Firefly in the original and then missing throughout the rest of the episodes?  Because she was no longer part of the current product line.  Later on in the series they actually had first tooth ponies, princess ponies, fancy ponies, etc... they abandoned characters left and right to promote sales killing any chances at continuity.  Without bringing in the new version on MLP, it's interesting to me how now it appears to be opposite.  The toys exist to enhance the shows with less obvious marketing ploys.  The idea is still to sell toys and DVD's but it's done in a less blatant manner.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I am still undecided about the new ThunderCats.  I think it's going to take watching the second half of season one to make a real decision.  As of now, I like it but I am not gun-ho about it yet.  However, I do like the idea of cosplaying the new Cheetara... I also think she is a character that can stand her own without being in a group because that's just how it is... hrm...

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