ThunderCats (2011) - "Survival of the Fittest" Episode 18 Recap
While Lion-O and Tygra are away, Wilykit and Wilykat begin to complain about the lack of food within the group. The constant whining from the kittens pushes Panthro and Cheetara into an agreement of teaching them how to survive on their own.
Wilykit and Wilykat’s constant whining about food prompts Panthro and Cheetara to teach them how to hunt on their own. As this happens, both kittens begin to reflect on their past. It’s revealed that they were the eldest of four children and their father was a farmer who told tales about the city of treasures. However, their father died from a tornado attack and the kittens decided to their home to find the city and leave their destitute family more to eat. Unfortunately, this path in life ultimately took them into the Thundera slums. Back in the present, both cubs encounter a family of Chib Chibs and save them from a fierce, much larger Comolbur. Wilykit and Wilykat are rewarded with a trove of fruit for their efforts and return to the ThunderCats with proof that they have the potential to survive on their own.
Some may find this episode to be the worst of the worst for this adaption of the ThunderCats. But, I was very fond of episode for not only providing a good cheesy life lesson, but also expanding on the two kittens that have been following Lion-O since the fall of Thundera.¬† Wilykit and WilyKat continue to be my favorite characters; they hold a strong optimistic attitude despite practically any negative situation. I still respect how Wilykit kept faith about Lion-O returning in Trials of Lion-O Part 2, and cubs have the most talented voice work going for them. Madeleine Hall and Eamon Pirruccello make these characters their own by providing actual chidlike realism when it comes to what these little kittens could really sound like.
As I said, the plot was cheesy, but who says that’s a bad thing? I’d argue that animated shows don’t really aim for the sappy life lesson idea as much as we think anymore. So, at this point having Wilykit and WilyKat reflect on their experiences and make a mature decision is a good breath of fresh air. While this story did not advance the plot, it kept me smiling and nodding for granting a greater understanding about its key characters.