8 things we know about the new Thundercats TV show

Hey, is it still 2010? Because it's starting to feel like 1985 again. Transformers and G.I. Joe are back, but on the big screen now. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is coming back, thanks to Michael Bay. And now Cartoon Network is developing a new Thundercats animated series, according to a press release sent out today.

The Thundercats were aliens from the planet Thundera who just happened to look like beefcake heroes with whiskers and paws. You might remember their catch phrase, "Thundercats ho!" Lion-O led Cheetara, Panthro, Tygra, WilyKit and Snarf. They battled Mumm-Ra on Third Earth with both magical and futuristic weapons. And they all learned something each week.

Here's what we know so far about the new Thundercats, coming to Cartoon Network in 2011.


The kittens are all grown up

The idea is a more 21st-century-style look to the Thundercats. Check out the first image of Lion-O, dark and flexing his sword for the kill shot. It's still animated, but more of a gritty adaptation of anime than the basic colors of an '80s afternoon cartoon show.


It will reveal the origins of Lion-O

The press release promises the new series will tell the origin story of Prince Lion-O's ascension to the throne, and his battles with the forces of evil for the Stones of Power. The release calls it "a sweeping tale combining swords and science boasting ferocious battles with the highest stakes."


They'll still be good role models

The press release also assures us that the Thundercats will still learn something each week. "Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons about loyalty, honor and morality in every episode," the press release says.


They're more feline than ever

The press release promises more realistic cat characteristics than ever before. Not sure how those rippling biceps fit in, but "Lion-O, Mumm-Ra, Panthro, Cheetara and others will spring off the screen with realistic cat-like characteristics inconceivable in previous incarnations," it says.


It'll kick ass!

Executive producer Sam Register promises epic action in the new series. "ThunderCats marks our most ambitious foray yet into fantasy," Register says in the press release. "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."


Like the new Batman cartoons? Then you'll love the new Thundercats

Warner Brothers Animation, producers of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, are spearheading the new Thundercats. They're employing Studio 4°C, animators of Gotham Knights, so this version has all the makings of a dark, grown-up action epic. Producer Michael Jelenic and executive producer Register also have credits on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.


If you loved it before, you'll love it again

The mission statement of the press release emphasizes that "the new Thundercats will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise."


A new generation will chant "Thundercats ho!"

Warners isn't looking only to win back old fans. It has its sights on your kids, too. "This collaboration combines the strengths of our two companies," Studio 4°C president and CEO Erik Tanaka said in the press release. "High production values and great storytelling, toward reintroducing this classic fan-favorite to a new audience."

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