Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Impressions: Thundercats Are Loose!

It's League of Extraordinary Bloggers' Time once again kids!!! And this one was a real head-scratcher for me at first... but all of a sudden it clicked for me. What's the topic?

It really did take me a while to come up with a good answer to this question. I couldn't think of a thing. I know of a lot of pop-culture THINGS that I love... but what specific FIRST impression did I love? 

And then it hit me: THUNDERCATS!!! Why? Just watch:

When I was about 10 years old (everything happened "about" this age if I was a kid... just fair warning) I first saw the Thundercats on cable. It was an afternoon show at this point, and it had come on after some other show I had tuned in to see, like G.I. Joe or something like that. The intro came on and I was instantly hooked. Some of the show itself was cheesy, for SURE... but that opening sequence was enough pure bad-ass awesomery to make me simultaneously wet my pants and go hysterically blind while screaming like a cross between a teenaged Beatles fan and that bird on the Flintstones that let's Fred know it's quitting time. 

All right. Let's break it down:

Let's start with that opening to the song. The trumpets and roaring lions that leads right into Lion-O's Sight Beyond Sight and then him shouting "Thunder! Thunder! Thunder! Thundercats HOOOOO!" While thrusting his growing sword right in your FACE!

Bam. Money shot.
Here's Omens in yer eye.
We are treated to a sequence where the team-members all look up and see the Thundercats signal emblazoned across the sky. Then Tygra appears, brandishing something that appears to be out of a dirty catalogue...
Whuuuh...cha got there Tygra?
And then it turns out to be a whip (so pretty much right on the first try) and he just starts whipping the HOLY HELL out of your FACE!!!

Then he turns invisible.
Just to f*ck with you.
We get a massive, earth-shattering shot of the Thunder-Tank smashing sh*t up... and then we get a brief shot of barely dressed, super aggro-agile Panthro jumping up into the air (am I just reading sexual subtext into all this on my own? Is it just me? I didn't mean to write it this way, I swear).

Spikes? Chains?
Then he flips his sh*t and kicks us in the FACE!!!

Booyakasha indeed.
AND THEN. It... it happens. It leaves you breathless. After getting stabbed and whipped and kicked in the FACE... We have our breath taken away. Whipping through a crowd of the Thundercat's enemies comes a yellow blur of pure... stunning... beauty. 

Atta girl.
Cheetara comes streaking (not literally... but man) into view. We see her run, jump, do some flips, smile winningly at the audience, and finish it off with a manic twirl of her bo-staff... in your FACE. 

Then we get some shots of Wilykat and Wilykit throwing bombs at some bad guys in your... face. It's kind of bad-ass too.

NOT from the intro.
Just couldn't find screen-shots from that part.
Then we get a shot of the whole group with Jaga's ghost looking over them all as they pose in front of the Cats Lair. 

Let the Bad-assery continue.
That's it right? We got a shot of the heroes, as a team, with their guardian spirit watching over them, in front of their base... and they all got to do things to your FACE. 

But WAIT! There's more! This intro is not done with you! Here comes Mumm-Ra... and he's going to scream his FACE off... IN YOUR FACE!!! Even his allies are terrified of him!

That is one scary upskirt shot.
Man let me tell you. All kidding aside. Just the intro to this show was an ADHD cocaine fix with it's finger in a light-socket filled with caffeine and angry bees. When I first saw it I was as immediately addicted to it. The show itself may have been silly or ponderous or nonsensical at times... (while at other times incredibly smart, imaginative, fast-paced, and action-packed) but you never didn't have fun watching that intro. It sold you on the show no matter what came after in a way very few other shows actually did (The original TMNT intro definitely did it very well, but that came into my life later). 

And I have been joking throughout... but there's really a lot of subtext it feels like. There's a lot of sex selling here honestly, intended or not. I don't feel like I'm reading into that. I mean... the first episode had this in it:

No... no funny jokes... to make on this one.
It didn't have an expository narrator... it didn't have a 30 second dance number to kick it off... It was absolute jam-packed with mind-melting, balls-to-the-wall action that didn't let up until the Thundercats logo popped up behind the sword of Omens that had literally been belching rage and fire at Mumm-Ra (and the audience) up to that point.

That's it guys. The Thundercats intro made one hell of a first impression on me. 

Let's see what other impressionable League Members thought... of things... at first.

- Jathniel at Space For Rent talks about his first impression of the Superman film. 

- Big J at Nerd Rage Against the Machine talks about his first impression of New Who. 

- Chris Mapp at Stunt Zombie talks about his first impression of Doomsday.

- LeAnn at Retro Toy Safari talks about first impressions of a galaxy far far away. 

- Lee and Linz at Pop Rewind talk about their first impressions of part 2 or even part 3 movie sequels. 

- Miss M at Diary of a Dorkette talks about her first impression of a particular Princess of Power. 

I'll be back soon with more Geeky Goodwill Goodness! Happy Hunting! 


  1. Yeah that intro is one of the most rocking ones for a cartoon ever it really gets you pumped up. I imagine it alone sold more TC toys back in the day then the actual episodes themselves.

  2. Your post is awesome! I have never been a fan of the Thundercats, but after watching the intro and the scene by scene commentary, I may have to go back and watch some of the episodes. 80s cartoons had great intros and theme songs

  3. You picked one of my favorite cartoon intros ever. I wish someone would take the instrumental from this, and turn it into a full length track. I'd probably put it on repeat and never listen to anything else.

    Also, Cheetara was my first crush. I didn't quite know what sex was when I saw this show, but I knew I wanted to do more than hold hands with her.

  4. lol! I really enjoyed reading this. The ThunderCats opening was really good. It was catchy, you could hum along to it, while also trying to move super fast like Cheetara. I always wanted to move really fast like her. The animation was really good. It is in my top 5 favorite cartoon openings for sure.

    You also had me cracking up with the part about Mumm-Ra! "Just the intro to this show was an ADHD cocaine fix with it's finger in a light-socket filled with caffeine and angry bees." That part was so spot-on funny!

  5. My favorite Thundercat was Tygra (known as "Tigro" in Latin América). its animation was so great that I ended up reading the final credits and, what did I find? Original Thundercats is a mix of Japanese and USA animation!

    1. What's funny is Thundercats was done by Rankin and Bass (The Rudolph guys)! They had a Japanese animation company that did a ton of their animating, like the Last Unicorn, The Hobbit, the Return of the King, and Frosty The Snowman. If you watch the Last Unicorn especially you see a TON of similarities in the animation style.


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