52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Feel the magic, hear the roar! All over again!,
This review is from: Thundercats: The Complete Collection [DVD]  (DVD)The eighties and nineties were the BEST time to be a child. Of course, I WOULD say that, because of all the great cartoons that made my childhood such an imaginative and colourful one; Transformers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, M.A.S.K., Bravestarr, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, and of course...THIS.
Thundercats was essential children's television for so many reason. The animation (for its time) was groundbreaking, it possessed an unforgettably good soundtrack, iconic characters, a superb background and stories, and of course, it successfully blended science-fiction and fantasy into a spectacular setting.
For today's children who're probably wondering what all the fuss is about, Thundercats are a race of cat-like humanoids (called Thundereans). The species becomes endangered, however, after a fierce war with the mutants of Plun-Darr results in the destruction of their homeworld of Thundera, and forces the surviving Thundercats to seek refuge on Third Earth, with the mutants right behind them...and an even deadlier power on this brave, new world.
Immediately, we must thank Warner Bros. for releasing this children's classic of a show on DVD. And for doing a good job on the restorations. The quality of the episodes is superb after all this time, in both picture and sound. So loyal fans will be most pleased that they can sit down and watch a great transfer of the episodes they remember so fondly.
The Complete Collection - contrary to the title - does NOT contain Seasons 1 & 2 of the show. It actually contains Seasons 1, 2, 3 AND 4. Although the volumes here have been labelled as only two seasons, the original series was actually spread across FOUR. One can only assume that the remaining three seasons were grouped into one so as to help the WB's marketing department better group the episodes for DVD release. Hmm...
In any event, fans need not worry. ALL 130(!) episodes are collected in this mammoth boxset, which essentially just gathers the four individual box-sets released in 2008 (six discs in each volume, making a whopping TWENTY-FOUR overall). And the packaging and artwork for the slipcases and slim-line DVD cases are gorgeous to behold. The red box itself to fit all the volumes in is also a thing of beauty, and nicer and longer-lasting than various collector's tins for box-sets i.e. Transformers.
As for the actual content, Thundercats remains just as excellent as I remember, boasting quality production values, so many excellent characters, themes and premises, and a strong continuity for the series overall. The Thundercats themselves - Lion-O, Panthro, Cheetara, the Thunderkittens (WilyKat and WilyKit) and Tygra - are such deep, distinctive characters, each sporting such great character designs, fighting skills and bold personalities. The mutants of Plun-Darr (Slithe, Monkian, Jackalman and Vultureman) make for great antagonists (until losing their notoriety in later seasons), but none make for the ultimate nemesis of the series like the devil priest Mumm-Ra, who is an awesomely nightmarish villain.
Each episode is roughly twenty-minutes long, and the whole saga focuses on so many different things, such as the destruction of Thundera, the war with the mutants, Lion-O's initial challenges of leadership and maturity, the dark machinations of Mumm-Ra and many self-contained exploits. Plus, there's some really cool weapons, vehicles and places that the series showed-off, such as the Sword of Omens, the Thundertank, Nosediver & Skycutters, Cat's Lair, the Black Pyramid, Castle Plun-Darr and Sky Tomb.
But what makes the experience so special is the show's revolutionary gift for story-arcs and development. Many events happen along the way which shape the course of the series and change the status quo; resulting in some fantastic new additions to the main cast appearing later on, like the New Thundercats (Pumyra, Bengali and Lynx-O) and the radical, but inspiring rogues known as the Lunataks.
Like many eighties shows of its ilk, Thundercats DOES suffer from some cringingly bad episodes, acquired tastes/hit-and-miss concepts (i.e. Snarf and Ma-Mutt) and the absolutely unbearable (SNARFER!). But on the whole, it's mostly excellent, with episodes having so much action and excitement. The pilot-episodes like "Exodus" and "The Unholy Alliance" set the scene and establish the players in beautiful fashion, and there's many stand-out self-contained episodes to really enjoy, such as "The Slaves of Castle Plun-Darr", the two-parter "Feliner", "Fond Memories", "Catfight", "The Last Day" (a must-see classic) & "The Book of Omens" (a legitimate finale to the series).
There're many more single gems to be found, but the real triumphs are the multi-part sagas that continually change the landscape, namely "Lion-O's Anointment", a five-part saga that sees Lion-O face the trials of his fellow Thundercats in order to finally prove himself as their leader, and achieve maturity and wisdom. It's the true highlight of the whole set with the show's writing and animation at its peak (yet the Anointment episodes strangely don't follow on from each other here). Other life-changing sagas like `Thundercats - Ho!" - The TV Movie (split here into five episodes), "Mumm-Ra Lives!" and "Return to Thundera!" are rollercoaster epics, full of excitement and high-stakes, and featuring some of the best writing and animation the show had to give.
Special features are few, I must confess. They're spread throughout the individual volumes (usually located on the sixth disc on each set), and consist of a quality trailer for the series' DVD release, a good music video from The Rembrandts, documentaries focusing on the show's conception/production and music, and featuring interviews with the original cast and crew and grown-up fans of the show. Although there should be more goodies (would've loved to hear some commentaries), the extras here are rather good indeed, giving the whole package a nice extra touch.
Conclusion? Over forty-seven hours of a childhood classic for over twenty quid? It's a no-brainer. Thundercats: The Complete Collection is worth every penny. For fans, it's just as good as you remember. For kids today who've missed out...and are curious about the impending 2011 series...get it now, and discover yet another diamond from the Golden Age of cartoons.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Nov 2011 18:57:32 GMT
Mr. Antony Catton says:
having just ordered this box set on the strenght of your review i was just wondering if the movie thundercats ho! is also included?any help would be most greatful.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2011 18:36:53 GMT
Nothing to worry about, mate. Thundercats - HO! The Movie is DEFINITELY here! Split across five episodes on this set, and introducing Pumyra, Bengali and Lynx-O.
Posted on 20 Feb 2012 04:02:04 GMT
Mr. R. N. Brown says:
Was born in 1992 so actually missed out on Thundercats, from various references in other shows and just general pop-culture knowledge though I know of the show and stuff of course.
Great review, appreciate you writing it, I'm on a rampage of buying cartoons at the moment so your review definitely helped describe what the boxset was like better and will definitely get it next payday.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Feb 2012 18:52:04 GMT
Thank you, sir. Glad you found the review helpful. Needless to say, the series is an all-time classic that I would recommend.
Posted on 11 Nov 2012 07:54:55 GMT
Vicky H. says:
Very nicely reviewed...now I want to get it! Could you please tell me if there are any subtitles?
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Nov 2012 12:16:28 GMT
No worries. Subtitles are definitely an available option on this set.
Posted on 30 Apr 2013 13:51:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 May 2013 13:57:31 BDT
Man of the Third Eye says:
One of the best reviews for one of the best cartoons of the 1980's. I share your appreciation in both Thundercats and all the other cartoons you mentioned at the start of your review with the inclusion of The Raccoons. It's amazing how much these stories and characters have stayed with our age group, just goes to show the strength of the series! I've yet to meet someone who didn't like Thundercats, even if it wasn't their favourite show. There was also a good moral backbone to alot of these ace cartoons. Certainly The Raccoons had an affect on my outlook on life in many ways.
Once again, a brilliant review and like you say at just under thirty quid a no-brainer purchase!
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 14:40:38 BDT
Thank you, sir. Glad you found the review helpful. And I agree, the Raccoons was another classic cartoon from that era.
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