Just days after police officially declared the disappearance of ThunderCats writer Stephen Perry a homicide, Warner Bros. Animation has put out a chipper press release announcing the production of a new anime-style ThunderCats relaunch, complete with flashy promotional posters.
Normally, we’d be excited about the prospect of a relaunch: In 2007, there were rumblings about a CGI ThunderCats movie, but as yet they haven’t come to fruition, and the last new episode of the original series went on air in 1990. But it seems rather poor timing to put out a release when ThunderCats have just been reappearing in the headlines in connection with the grisly murder of one of the series’ original writers.
From the release:
“In addition to being Warner Bros. Animation’s first anime series, ‘ThunderCats’ marks our most ambitious foray yet into fantasy,” said Register. “The realism and dynamic visual style we’ve achieved are sure to thrill viewers, and the cool weapons, vehicles and technology should help the show appeal to a diverse audience.”
Roaring to life through WBA and Studio4°C’s use of the Japanese animated artistry of anime, “ThunderCats” characters Lion-O, Mumm-Ra, Panthro, Cheetara and others will spring off the screen with realistic cat-like characteristics inconceivable in previous incarnations.
The new “ThunderCats” will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise. A sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes, the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne – and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost – takes on epic dimensions in this sharp new telling. As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode.
This isn’t to trash the series or the people behind it. The show will be executive produced by Sam Register and will be the product of a collaboration between Warner Bros. Animations and Studio4°C, of “Animatrix” fame – all talented people in the animation world. Still, we can’t help feeling a bit put off by this, especially in light of the fact that aside from announcing the cast of people who are to be behind the show and the news that it is to be produced at all, there’s little in the release to justify the rush when Stephen Perry’s death is still fresh in people’s minds.