ThunderCats (2011) - "The Sword of Omens - Part 1" Recap
“For Generations, the Thunderians have lived in the Kingdom of Thundera where they thrived. However, one day the kingdom was attacked by the lizard army, which is led by the evil sorcerer demon like creature named Mumm-Ra. Mumm-Ra was defeated by a group called “The ThunderCats” with use of legendary items called “technology”. Now years later, a prince named Lion-O will soon rise up against Mumm-Ra who has returned for revenge with the use of “The Sword of Omens” and the help of allies he will meet on his journey”
The episode begins with our main character, Lion-O in a low down part of Thundera with his adorable partner Snarf who are investigating different things about the legendary “technology” that was said to once exist in the past. After certain events of causing trouble in the lower area of the town, he meets a mysterious cat women who takes a curiosity in him and helps him take down some thugs. However, after Lion-O somewhat befriending and explaining to her about his one day hoping of finding said technology and believing it exists, he realizes he is late for a very important event. Lion-O who is the prince of Thundera is being given the ritual of being handed ” The Sword of Omens” which is a magical sword that is given only to the successor of the Kingdom aka the Prince. However, after grasping the sword, Lion-O ends up seeing a vision of some sort of chaos in the future. His father, the King is interested of what he saw however he lies to his father and says instead that he simply saw some girls outside the window and thus making his father thinking he is in fact not ready for the sword. Even Lion-O’s own brother “Tygra” believes he himself would be a much stronger king than anything Lion-O could possibly be causing a rival conflict between the two brothers.
A bit later on, one of the King’s friends named “Grune” returns with a massive present for the Kingdom and gives news about how “Panthro” one of the King’s other allies/friends has fallen. The King decides to hold a major celebration in the memory of fallen Panthro where yet again Lion-O and Tygra are at it about “who is better and strong enough to be King”. Lion-O goes up against Tygra in a challenge game however, Lion-O easily falls to Tygra with a regret of being so weak. Later on, Lion-O notices two lizard creatures being forced down and tortured by the citizens of the kingdom. Lion-O defends them, however the citizens don’t take kindly to his actions due to the lizard creatures being horrible to them in the past and once being servants of “Mumm-Ra”. But due to Lion-O’s somewhat strong spirit of belief, he defends them believing that acting like what the lizards did in the past to them makes themselves no better. Lion-O’s Father decides to actually side with his son’s actions and allows the lizards to leave the kingdom as an act of “peace” between the two. The episode ends with Lion-O looking out from a high part of the Kingdom only to re meet the mysterious cat women who admits in her curiosity about him.
So, I’ve never been a huge fan of the ThunderCats nor have I really watched the classic show to really review this hardly for not being as similar. So as a new watcher however, I do admit I was actually pretty entertained throughout the episode at the very least. Lion-O to me anyways, is kind of your typical male main character who has all these strong beliefs about peace and you can tell just by his struggles with his brother, he does in fact want to become stronger. I thought one of the pros about this first episode was that it really gave this “anything can happen from here” feeling which made me actually really want to see the second episode just so to see how writers handle what is coming next in their bucket of ideas. One of the other things I really, really liked was how they characterized Lion-O’s father. When he first came on screen and started scolding Lion-O about the sword I was thinking “Oh here it comes…your typical angry dad who wishes his son could be so much more and is just a disgrace for liking technology and other things that don’t relate to being royal”. But, instead Lion-O’s father even though he is shown to be kind of a grump to his son, he also has a very strong belief in Lion-O at the same time and even releasing the kingdom’s “mortal enemies” as showing his belief that Lion-O can be a great king.
So to sum my pros up, I really liked the characterization that has so far been introduced. However, what I really didn’t like was the lack of knowledge the series gives us about our current setting and the world we are seeing. I mean they give us the beginning about the legend for about ten seconds, and they describe the legend of technology and etc. However, it would of been nice just to maybe have a narrator explain the world a bit better. If it wasn’t for the fact I was so familiar with the series, I probably would of been a bit more lost on some of the aspects, some of the characters, and just details. The voice acting overall is enjoyable and I have to say what won me over to give this episode more points is Snarf(Lion-O’s adorable little red cat sidekick). He doesn’t talk like in the classic series, yet for some reason any time he would appear on screen I would either be thinking how adorable the little guy was or just laugh at some of the stuff he was doing on screen. Overall, it’s a very decent start for what it seems could be a great series but only if the writers know how to flow the plot. From episode 2 and onward will be the real test to see if this series can progress well.