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Thundercats Logo.JPG
ThunderCats logo
Created byTobin Wolf
Owned byWarner Bros. (since 1989)
Print publications
Films and television
Television series
Video game(s)

ThunderCats is an American media 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.[1]


The original ThunderCats show was animated in Japan while being produced, written and voice acted in the United States.[2]

The series was originally distributed by Rankin-Bass Productions' then parent company Telepictures Corporation, which would later merge with Lorimar Productions in February 1986.[3] 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 owned the rights to the series (and all Lorimar Telepictures programming) from that point on.

Later adaptations[edit]


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.[4] During this time, a new series was published by Marvel UK consisting of 129 issues and was also published for three years.[5]

Beginning in 2002, ThunderCats titles were published by Wildstorm Productions, an imprint of DC Comics (Warner Bros. corporate sibling), and included five non canon miniseries and several one shots.[6] On 22 March 2012, Panini Comics began publishing a new series in the United Kingdom to tie in with the television series of 2011, titled ThunderCats Magazine. The first issue featured a strip called Safe Haven which was written by Ferg Handley and drawn by Cosmo White.

Video game[edit]

A side scrolling video game based on the series, ThunderCats: The Lost Eye of Thundera, was published in 1987.

Other merchandise[edit]

Items of clothing featuring the ThunderCats logo were available in the '80s, and DVD boxsets releases of the original series helped new clothing products enjoy a resurgence in the mid to end of the 2000s, as nostalgia for the former children's favourite grew.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed] 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 the summer of 2010,[7] but it has since been reported that the movie was never greenlit,[8] and as of 2020, has yet to be produced. Concept art for the film has also been leaked online.[8] In 2011, test footage in CGI was leaked onto YouTube. In January 2017, while talking about Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Milla Jovovich told We Got This Covered that she would like to portray Cheetara in the film.[9]

Television series[edit]

ThunderCats (2011 TV series)[edit]

On July 29, 2011, a second television series of the same name premiered. It was initially planned to have a fifty-two 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.

ThunderCats Roar[edit]

On May 18, 2018, it was announced that a third ThunderCats cartoon, ThunderCats Roar, will premiere on Cartoon Network 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 the show on Disney XD, Right Now Kapow.

ThunderCats Roar features an explicitly cartoonish art style with a more lighthearted, comedic tone than previous ThunderCats installments. The show's premise is similar to the original; the ThunderCats escape their dying homeworld Thundera, only to crash land on Third Earth, facing off against various villains and their evil overlord, Mumm-Ra.[10]

The announcement of ThunderCats Roar was met with severe backlash, with the announcement trailer receiving negative reviews from fans of the original series of the 1980s and the reboot of 2011, who have criticized the animation style, creators, and shift to comedy. Fans against the changes made unfavorable comparisons to Teen Titans Go!.[11]


  1. ^ "Those Thundercats just keep on coming back". Honolulu Observer. Archived from the original on December 1, 2006. Retrieved 2015-01-26.
  2. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: 'ThunderCats' Producer On Redesigning The Cast, Absent Characters, Tygra's Whip, More..." MTV News.
  3. ^ Boyer, Peter J. (1986-02-03). "TOY-BASED TV: EFFECTS ON CHILDREN DEBATED". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
  4. ^ "ThunderCats Marvel Comics". Retrieved 2015-09-11.
  5. ^ UK Marvel Comics at; Accessed Sept 11, 2015
  6. ^ "ThunderCats revived by Wildstorm Comics". Archived from the original on 2015-03-10. Retrieved 2015-09-11.
  7. ^ Graser, Marc (June 5, 2007). "Warner purrs for ThunderCats". Variety. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  8. ^ a b "Concept Art For Warner Bros.' Thundercats". "ThunderCats.Org".
  9. ^ Cassidy, Mark (January 8, 2017). "Milla Jovovich Wants To Play Cheetara In A ThunderCats Movie". We Got This Covered.
  10. ^ Agard, Chancellor. "Cartoon Network bringing back ThunderCats for new animated series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  11. ^ Barder, Ollie. "'ThunderCats Roar' Looks Very Different To The Original Series And Fans Aren't Happy About That". Forbes. Retrieved 21 May 2018.

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