|Created by||Tobin Wolf|
|Owner||Warner Bros. (since 1989)|
|Films and television|
ThunderCats is an American franchise featuring a fictional group of cat like humanoid aliens. The characters were created by Tobin "Ted" Wolf and originally featured in an animated television series named ThunderCats, running from 1985 to 1989, which was animated by Japanese studio Pacific Animation Corporation, and co-produced by Rankin-Bass Animated Entertainment.
The original ThunderCats show was animated in Japan while being produced, written and voice acted in the United States. The series was originally distributed by Rankin-Bass Productions' then parent company Telepictures Corporation, which would later merge with Lorimar Productions in 1986.
In January 1989, Lorimar-Telepictures was purchased by and folded into Warner Bros., whose television syndication arm would eventually assume distribution of the show; Warner Bros. has own the rights to the series (and all Lorimar-Telepictures programming) from that point on.
There were also several comic book series produced. A ThunderCats comic book series based on the animated series was originally published by Marvel Comics through its Star Comics imprint in 1985, lasting for three years and twenty four issues. During this time, a new series was published by Marvel UK consisting of 129 issues and was also published for three years.
Beginning in 2002, ThunderCats titles were published by Wildstorm Productions, an imprint of DC Comics (Warner Bros.' corporate sibling), and included five non canon mini series and several one shots. A side scrolling video game based on the series, ThunderCats: The Lost Eye of Thundera, was published in 1987.
Items of clothing featuring the ThunderCats logo, and DVD boxsets of the original series enjoyed a resurgence in the mid to late 2000s, as nostalgia for the former children's favorite grew. It was announced on June 7, 2007, that Aurelio Jaro was producing a CGI animated feature film of ThunderCats, based on a script written by Paul Sopocy.
In October 2007, Variety revealed that Jerry O'Flaherty, veteran video game art director, had signed on to direct. The film was being produced by Spring Creek Productions. It was originally set for release in summer 2010, but it has since been reported that the movie was never greenlit, and as of 2017, has not been made. Concept art for the film has also been leaked online.
On July 29, 2011, a second television series of the same name premiered. It was initially planned to have a 52 episode long first season, but it was shortened down to 26 and cancelled shortly after season one finished airing. It later had reruns on adult swim's Toonami block alongside Sym-Bionic Titan.
On May 18, 2018, it was announced that a third ThunderCats cartoon, ThunderCats Roar, will premiere in 2019. The show's developers are Victor Courtright and Marly Halpern-Graser. Courtright previously worked on Pickle and Peanut as a writer/storyboard artist and created the Cartoon Network Studios digital series Get 'Em Tommy. Halpern-Graser previously worked as a writer for various DC Nation Shorts and was co-creator of Disney XD's show Right Now Kapow. ThunderCats Roar features less realistic, cartoony animation and a more lighthearted, comedic tone than previous Thundercats installments. The show has a premise similar to the original; the ThunderCats escape their dying homeworld Thundera only to crashland on Third World, facing off against various villains including Third World's evil overlord, Mumm-Ra.
The announcement of Thundercats Roar garnered a severe backlash from fans of the original 1980s series and the 2011 series, who have ridiculed the animation style, creators, and shift to comedy. Despite Courtright's reassurance that action would still be an important aspect of the new series, fans against the changes made unfavorable comparisons to Teen Titans Go!.
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