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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally on DVD after a 15 year absence from TV,
Finally, after about a 15 year absence from our TV screens, one of the 80's most iconic cartoon series, Thundercats returns in a six disc DVD boxset. If you were a child of the 80's then it would have been pretty hard to miss this extremely popular saturday morning cartoon. Being a child in the 80's myself I remember that saturday morning was the only morning I wanted to get out of bed so early (whereas the rest of the week who wants to get up for school, hey?) I remember rushing downstairs to put the TV on and watch cartoons while eating my breakfast. Yes those were the good old days when you had zero cares (well except for if Lion-o would defeat Mumm-Ra, the kids would get home in Dungeons and Dragons or if Scrooge McDuck would find the treasure in Ducktales!)
The Thundercats series had a pretty impressive run on TV with various repeat showings as part of Childrens BBC after school and weekend repeats on Going Live! (so like I said above) it would have been hard to miss. When seeing cartoons series would loved as a kid, I see many people sad to see how dated their favourite shows look. Some state that certain cartoons just have not stood the test of time and look out of place set against the more modern shows. However I'd strongly recommend you revisit the Thundercats cartoon series has non of this applies here. It has often been stated by many that the Thundercats series was ahead of it's time in production as well the visual look and animation style used. The anime influence in the Thundercats animation is partly due to the series being animated Taiwan by some of the most skilled animators in the industry. So the look and feel of this cartoon is certainly still relevant in todays society and is indeed a cartoon series that young children could easily enjoy.
As for adults wanting to enjoy and relive something from their childhood, from back when they were in a place free of problems and worry you face as an adult, I definately recommend picking this up. If anything this makes fantastic hangover TV for sunday morning/afternoon after a saturday night out drinking! I definately recommend you try it!
The set boasts a total of 33 episodes from the first series, presented in original broadcast order. This ordering creates certain problems continuity wise sadly. The first instance of this is the episodes Pumm-Ra and Trouble With Time. In Trouble With Time at the very start Lion-o is being impatient and takes the Thundertank for a joy ride before his first driving lesson, but in Pumm-Ra which is placed before this on the DVD set, Lion-o is already compently driving the Thundertank. The ordering also effects the continuity between the episodes Lord of the Snows and Space Beneath the Sands as well. In Spaceship Beneath the Sands the mutants regain access to their spaceship enabling them to salvage equipment from it (like the Thundercats did with theirs) to aide them in battle. This is obviously how they managed to call their mutant armies in, as well as Vultureman from Planet Plundarr. However in the episode Lord of the Snows which is placed before this on the DVD set, Vultureman makes his debut in his Flying Machine! I believe these are the only 2 instances in this set where continuity suffers from the choice of the episodes being presented in broadcast order, rather than production order.
Now let's take a little look at the best episodes from this set and ones I reccommend you definately check out if you have little time to watch the whole set.....
Exodus and The Unholy Alliance
These episodes are a must seeing as these started the series off! We are introduced to the Thundercat nobles just as their home planet, Thundera is destroyed. The Thundercats are looking for a new home while being pursued by their mortal enemies, the Mutants of Planet Plundarr. The Mutants are in pursuit of the Eye of Thundera, which they believe holds magnificent powers they want to use for evil. The Thundercats crash land on Third Earth, where an ancient evil dwells and his awakened by the arrivial of the Eye of Thundera!
These episodes were an excellent pilot and very enjoyable. It's worth noting here that the version of Exodus presented in this boxset is the 'TV' edit version. An extended version of Exodus exists containing extra scenes such as Tygra stating he always thought the Eye of Thundera was a legend or myth, as well as a very emotional Wilykit reluctantly agreeing with Jaga that he should sacrafice himself to pilot the ship to Third Earth to save the Thundercats. Unfortunately it's unlikely this version will be released on DVD anytime soon, but it was released in the late 1980's on VHS video. So if you want to check it out, it's certainly worth looking for it on places like Ebay. As for The Unholy Alliance, the version presented on the DVD is the full uncut version as far as I'm aware. Both episodes get a 9/10.
After their failed seperate attempts in the pilot, this is the first time the Mutants and Mumm-Ra form a plan together to steal the Sword of Omens. From this episode we see that they do not trust each other, but realise if they are to thwart the Thundercats they must work together. This episode is interesting to see how clever Mumm-Ra really is playing on the Thundercats vulnerability after losing their countrymen when Thundera was destroyed that it would be very likely they would jump at the chance of accepting a Thunderian into their home. This is also the first time all the Thundercats meet Mumm-Ra face to face and discover he has been a resident on Third Earth for five thousand years! I'm giving this a 8/10.
Trouble With Time
In this episode we discover how important Thundrillium is to the Thundercats, which is their fuel to power their home and vehicles. This is also our introduction to the Warrior Maidens (in particular Queen Willa and her sister Nayda) We also see how value Cheetara is the Thundercats and how dangerous Third Earth can be! Definately a great episode and gets an 8/10.
The Garden of Delights
This episode has to been one of the most strange and fasinating episodes of the entire series! It is very surreal and I think you will really enjoy this episode for it's weirdness. In this episode Tygra gets addicted to a strange fruit given to him by Silky, a strange plant creature who dwells in the Garden of Delights. However Silky is not exactly what she seems! Seeing Tygra high on this fruit (a metaphor for drugs) certainly has a very big moral inside this episode in the fact not to accept food or anything else from strangers and most important not to use drugs. The fruit in this episode is like LSD as Tygra sees things that are not there, thinks he is flying and has a feeling of utter Euphoria. Even if your an old cynic and don't want morals pushed down your throat, still be sure to check this episode out as it is very interesting at best! In my opinion this is the 2nd best episode of the entire boxset and gets a 10/10.
The Ghost Warrior
In this episode we are introduced to a strange being named Grune The Destroyer who turns out to be a very old friend of Jaga's as well as something more! Here we learn more about what happened on Thundera during Jaga's time there. In this episode Jaga states one of the most wise words of wisdom from the whole series "Better an honest enemy, than a false friend" Even though we are talking about a line from a cartoon series here, I believe this holds true in real life and it is indeed better to know that someone is against you rather than them pretend to be on your side while back stabbing you at the same time. I think this scenario is excellently put across in this episode and I'm giving it a 8/10.
Lord of the Snows
In my opinion some of the best episodes feature the Mutants as they are my favourite villians of the series. I've given this episode a nod seeing as Vultureman makes his debut in this episode. We are also introduced to Snowman of Hook Mountain. The episode is cool enough (afterall it features the Mutants) but aside from Lion-o and Snarf, the other Thundercats feature very little in this episode, which is why I'm giving it a 7/10.
The Spaceship Beneath the Sands
I feel this is quite an important episode to see as like I'd mentioned above, the Mutants retrieve the spaceship and the equipment contained within it. This is certainly a turning point in the series seeing as now the Mutants have technology to match (maybe even rival) that of the Thundercats it steps things up a little bit. It also explains how the three Mutant leaders managed to call it Vultureman, their Simian, Jackalmen and Reptillian armies as well as Ratar-o in a 2-part story found later in this DVD set. Definately a cool episode, so it gets 9/10.
The Fireballs of Plundarr
This is a great episode if your a fan of Tygra, as he features heavily in this and this is also the second time out for Queen Willa of the Warrior Maidens. It's also an excellent follow up to The Spaceship Beneath the Sands as we see what the Mutants have managed to create from parts of their spaceship. I'm giving it 8/10.
Very cool episode that doesn't feature the Mutants at all. If you know the LJN toyline from the 80's, then you might have the Mongor action figure as a kid. As this is the only episode to ever feature Mongor it's definately worth checking out (especially if you have that old action figure tucked away in the loft!) Gets a 7/10.
Return to Thundera
This is a good follow up episode to The Time Capsule. We see that Lion-o is still very inquisitive and unfortunately gets transported back in time to Thundera the day before it was destroyed. It's an excellent episode for Lion-o's backstory as we meet his father, Claudus for the first time and learn it was he who helped the Thundercats flee their doomed home planet. This episode also features Vultureman in a brief cameo (when he and Ssslithe) attacked Claudus to retrieve hidden plans he had of the mutants secret weapon. Plans that would aide Lion-o in the future. Great episode and must if you are following the series, so it gets 9/10.
The Astral Prison
In this episode Lion-o is warned by the Eye of Thundera that Jaga being held captive in a prison in the Astral world. He sets out to get to the Astral world to save Jaga with the knowledge that he may never return back to Third Earth. All 4 of the main Mutants also feature in this episode which is always a plus in the series. Again if you had the toys as a kid, this is the only time the Astral Moat Monster appears in the series. An excellent episode all round and definately a 9/10.
Snarf Takes Up The Challenge
In my opinion this is the best episode of this boxset. The character of Snarf is always laughed at and criticised in the series, however I believe this episode shows him in a new light. It demonstrates that he is indeed 1/a Thundercat and 2/an integral part of the team. To begin with, I love how this story is told through a series of flashbacks based of second hand information supplied by numerous sources. It also shows how vulnerable the Thundercats can be when caught alone and off guard. When caught it is up to Snarf to rescue them, but what can Snarf achieve against the combined forces of the Mutants and Mumm-Ra? Nothing according to the big headed Mutants calling Snarf 'powerless' and just a Thundercat 'nursemaid' I feel the scenes are Plundarr are excellent and set up the excitement of Snarfs rescue attempt brilliantly. The viewer wants Snarf to succeed here and wipe the smug grins off the Mutants faces. However even though Snarf is a small and weak individual, he soon realises (aided by Ro-Ber-Bill) that he must home in on the talents he has and put them to good use. The talents Snarf has are not strength, speed, agility or skill with weaponary. His talent lies in being able to communicate with the simple and harmless creatures of Third Earth. I feel this power is not contrived in any way at all like something he just picked up that instantanously frees the Thundercats immediatly. On the contrary he uses the combined team work of his creature friends to thwart Mumm-Ra and ultimately free the Thundercats proving he is indeed the 7th Thundercat. The Thundercats sum it up excellently in their dialogue at Mumm-Ra as they get free:
Cheetara: "It was a good plan"
Tygra: "but you made a fatal error"
Panthro: "You underestimated the 7th Thundercat"
Wilykit: "the bravest of us all"
Wilykat: "Thundercat Snarf!"
The beauty of this episode is that it has so many positive morals contained within it, without pushing those said morals down your throat like other series such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe did. We see that no matter how small or weak you are, so long as you put your full talents and effort into it and try your best you never know what might come of it. We also see that working together can also help in many situations. The story of the underdog coming through and being successful is done brilliantly in this episode and is certainly the best episode of the first boxset. A very deserving 10/10.
In this episode we learn more about Cheetara's sixth sense and it also features all 4 main Mutants. Great episode, gets a 9/10.
Another great episode to feature all the Thundercats working as a team with them all getting equal screen time. Also features the 4 main Mutants and Mumm-Ra. Excellent episode, 10/10.
Feliner Parts 1 and 2
This episodes introduces a 5th mutant named Ratar-o and his almighty war machine and spaceship, the Ratstar. Infact these are the only episodes of the entire series to feature all 5 main mutants (Ssslithe, Jackalman, Monkian, Vultureman and Ratar-o) working together! Also in these episodes we learn that Snarfs friends and family survived the destruction of Thundera and are now located on a distant planet. This is also the debut of the Thundercats new spaceship, the Feliner (which like the Ratstar is capable of space travel) Another fantastic set of episodes that are definately unmissable, 10/10 for both parts.
Overall Feature score: 8/10
It's obvious that the episodes have not been cleaned up and likely that the PAL television masters were used as the video source for this DVD set. While watching the episodes you can see some dust particles in places and the episode The Time Capsule has a couple of minor glitches. Overall I was extremely pleased at the quality of the video since the region 1 American released set had a glitch in the episode Exodus and the background music missing from the episode The Unholy Alliance. Thankfully non of these problems exist on the region 2 versions of those episodes. Another problem found with the region 1 set was that the episodes The Unholy Alliance, Berbils, The Thunder-Cutter and Dimension Doom were all missing their title cards. On the region 2 DVD set all episodes are fully complete with their title cards all intact. Another thing that I have been asked about these episodes is if they are uncut like the region 1 release? Well this is a very valid question since these episodes featured many edits when they were broadcast on TV and released to home video in the UK. The answer to this you will be pleased to know is that they are indeed fully uncut with non of the 80's UK edits present. The episodes are presented in Mono 1.0, which isn't too bad. I have the sound going through my Mini Hi-Fi system and they sound clear with no glitches at all. I think we could of surely got the episodes in Stereo 2.0 sound, but overall this isn't much to grumble about. So I'd give:
Video: 7/10 (I would have given it 8 if not for the glitch in The Time Capsule)
Sound: 8/10 (I think it could have been improved with Stereo sound)
The 6 discs are presented within 3 slimlime plastic cases (2 discs in each case) that slide neatly into a cardboard collectors box. The art on the box is the iconic cats head symbol, perhaps not the most original idea of something to put on the front, but I believe it works well enough. It certain enough to get the attention of anyone who remembers Thundercats as a kid. I like that Warner went with the slimline cases as they do save space and I'd sooner have discs packaged in plastic cases rather than a fold out digipak that seems too common these days with cult TV series releases. I believe the art on the front and back of each individual case is the exact same as that found on the region 1 release.
Box: 9/10 (Cool enough, but I feel that the presence of Lion-o or at least the Sword of Omens on it's own would have improved this cover)
Disc packaging: 10/10
Unfortunately the extra on this set is a set of interviews with a couple of fans and Wil Wheaton (from the Star Trek TV series) For the most part what the fans have to say is very valid and comes off quite well. However there are instances where the segment becomes a little cringe worthy, especially when they start to sing the Thundercats theme. I think the major downside to this segment is that it was far too short and vague not really bothering to delve into the stories of the series. I personally would have preferred a couple of fan commentaries instead of this as I think they would have worked better. This set could have been a barebones release with the episodes alone, so I guess it's better than nothing. I give this just 6/10 (with 5 points going to Celesta Krantz) who was basically the only person on this segment worth listening to and the only person to make any relevant points in the feature and the 6th point for simply including it on the DVD set.
So the final conclusion is this set is a really excellent buy considering just how many episodes you are getting in this set for just slightly over the price you would pay for some singular cult cartoon volume releases out there containing a measily 6-8 episodes!
My final overall score for the whole set is 8/10.
The episodes are fantastic and the presentation is very pleasing as well. So if whether your a curious brand new fan or an old fan wishing to relive some of the classic moments in this series, then don't hesitate to pick it up. I assure you it's well worth it!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
This review is from: Thundercats: Season One, Volume 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
You must buy this without any doubts. It was my most favourate cartoon of all time (aswell Teenage mutant hero turtles). I have shown all my friends (my girlfriend laughed) my special buy and they are all as excited as I was. Sad as it may sound, buy it and u will truly see how blessed we were to have grown up in the 80's watching THUNDERCATS and now it's here for all to own and see for your self.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past,
The Thundercats were a huge phenomenon during the 80s and early 90s and still hold its cult status today. While the animation leaves much to be desired by todays standards, the over the top voices and inventive ideas more than make up for it.
During the opening episodes we see the new life of the Thundercats begin and through the series we see more and more excellent characters, both good and evil, develop and influence the future of the series.
It is clear throughout that Lion-O is a boy trapped in a man's body and this is shown well through the trouble he gets in; he more than makes up for this when he ends up saving everyone.
Even today there are still debates about the Thundercats - namely is Third Earth really our own Planet Earth in the future?
Whatever you think of the Thundercats you have to admit that the best line of the series still holds power today. So for all kids and adults alike...
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thndercats - Ho!!!,
"Feel the Magic, Hear the Roar..."
Thundercats return to our screens in this first box set of season one - volume one, containing the first 33 episodes of this classic 80`s/90`s TV animation for children.
With the destruction of their home planet Thundera pending the Thundercats depart in several ships bound for a new home in a distant galaxy on a far away planet.
However, when the mutants attack the Thundercat fleet and destroy all but the flag ship the Thundercats are forced to change their destination due to the navigational computer being damaged in the attack.
To sustain them the Thundercats go into suspended animation to slow down the aging process during the long voyage to their new destination.
When the ship finally reaches it`s destination, Third Earth, the ship crashes and the young Lord Lion-O (the Thundercat leader) who was but 12 years old when leaving Thundera is now a full grown man.
And now they face the challenge of surviving this new planet, the mutants who followed them and a host of other bad guys.
Amoungst these new enemies is Mumm-Ra, The Ever Living, who is intent on ruling Third Earth and the rest of the galaxy.
So now the Thundercats must make new alliences and strive to defeat countless enemies.
This is without doubt one of the best animated series of the 80`s & 90`s with it`s characteristic 80`s/90`s animation, lovable heros and enjoyable villians - and of course the evil Mumm-Ra, an unusually evil character for an animated series in any era.
A truely awesome animated series and one I`m very pleased has now made it on DVD to be enjoyed time and time again.
So join Lion-O & the Tundercats on their adventures and relive the magic that was the Thundercat Phenomenon.
And for all those Thundercat fans young and old I can only say one thing:
Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats - HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel the magic, hear the roar,
Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing, it can ruin lives. I look at all my childhood figurines - Thundercats, Star Wars, MASK, Action Force, He-Man, etc. - and I now realise how awfully cynical such things were. I was told for many years by peers that Thundercats was one such example of something no longer being any good, and I believed that to be true, not bothering to trawl through ebay for pirate DVDs. But now I've taken the plunge and bought this DVD, and all I have to say to those who have lost faith is... THUNDER... THUNDER... THUNDER... THUNDERCATS - HOOOOOOOOOOO!
Yes, much to the relief of my brain's serotonin levels, Thundercats still has it. Maybe Lion-O is a little too earnest, and maybe Tygra is still an old bore, and maybe the comedy sidekick character Snarf doesn't actually make any sense in the Thundercats universe when you think about it, but the rest is still glorious. Panthro is still a nunchuck-wielding badass (and should be played by Ving Rhames if that proposed live action movie ever turns to reality), Mumm-Ra is still an awesome nemesis, and the Jerry Springfield-style morality speech at the end of each episode goes to show this was a cartoon with a heart. The variety in each episode is also commendable. There's none of that cynical plot/scenario rehashing to be found here, the series revolves around a core narrative.
The artwork is still highly impressive, in a way ahead of its time, pre-dating the West's love affair with anime, but the transfers on this package aren't as good as I'm sure they could have been. Similarly, the lack of bonus material is disappointing. And of course, the biggest downer is that this isn't the entire series and we still have the masterpieces of Lion-O's Anointment Trials to come in subsequent box sets. But overall, it's one trip down Memory Lane that won't end up with a mugging.
4.0 out of 5 stars You had me at Thunder..............,
Lets face it, if your looking for a cartoon that will give you belly laugh upon belly laugh this isn't it, its one of those lets teach the kids a lesion cartoons that dominated the 80's but don't get me wrong this is pure genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Granted at first you will be constantly questioning why is Lion-O the only Thundercat to show any signs of aging during the journey, and why did Wilykit and Wilykat not age any, you will also be racking your brain trying to recognize the voice of Lion-O before it dawns on you its Fred off of Scooby-Doo.
But put all this to one side and you truly do have an enjoyable box set, granted the mutants run off after a couple of seconds of fighting and Lion-O does come across as a bit of a jerk, but you wont have bought this for the intellectual content, have you!
As a kid I always remember Panthro as my favorite, he's hard he can make anything you want from a scrap piece of metal and a have eaten cheese and pickle sandwich, but I must admit Tygra is the legend of the show. He is soooo laid back you start to wonder what he has been smoking, if any thing goes wrong or if anyone goes missing, he can be heard uttering "it will be ok, just leave it" its as if he really doesn't give a crap. Its great.
I must admit don't get this if you have never seen it before, but if you fancy a trip down memory lane, and you have like minded mates who wouldn't mind watching this over a few beers then go for it, what are you waiting for.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars they dont make them like this anymore,
This review is from: Thundercats: Season One, Volume 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
this has to be the ultimate cartoon series. although taking nothing away from things such as he man or mask ect. anyone around in the 80s or early nineties will agree that childrens programmes were so much better. thundercats is genius and should be watched by new and old fans alike. the themes and animation are still impressive today and the cast list alone makes it one of the most thought out and best cartoons to date. although would be great to see bravestaar on dvd too
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THUNDER CATS: series 1 volume 1,
the dvd box set of the thunder cats series 1 volume 1. was great, just as i remember it as a child. it brought back lots of memories. the quality of the cartoons were outstanding.
5.0 out of 5 stars Feels like old times,
This is a fantastic product for the cost. Over 30 episodes. If you grew up during this era, this is a must have. It will make you feel like a kid again, watching after school cartoons before going out to play with friends. I loved ThunderCats as a kid, and just as much now as an adult. This is nostalgia at its finest. They just dont make em like this anymore, including the remake of this show. But thankfully, we have these DVD's to save us! A must buy for any `80's child!
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC 80s cartoon,
This is a fantastic 80s cartoon of which I adored and enjoyed watching on BBC1 weekdays and on a Saturday morning. I will be buying this box set believe me! This is up there with 'Masters Of The Universe' of which I also enjoyed. The animation is fantastic.
I just want to know why are we getting less minutes on our Region 2 release and the Region 1 release has more. 725mins as opposed to Region 1's 759 mins. Are we missing out on something here??
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Thundercats: Season One, Volume 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] by Katsuhito Akiyama (DVD - 2005)