ThunderCats Roar (occasionally stylised with "ROAR" presented in all-caps) is a 2020 animated television series and the third animated iteration of the ThunderCats franchise. The series differs heavily from the previous two cartoons in tone and style, while still keeping the same plot framework of the originals.
It was initially announced in May of 2018 with a projected release date of September 19th, 2019, though it was ultimately delayed to February of 2020, with the first, two-part episode premiering early online on January 10th 2020, and aired throughout the year until December 5, 2020. The series was helmed by Victor Courtright (a writer, storyboard artist, and character designer on Disney XD's Pickle & Peanut) and by Marly Halpern-Graser (creator of Disney XD's Right Now Kapow). And features an unorthodox voice cast filled with numerous anime regulars such as Max Mittelman, Erica Lindbeck and Patrick Seitz.
The series's first two episodes debuted on the Cartoon Network website as an early premier on January 10th, 2020, before the series made its proper televised debut in February of the same year. The series suffered from an erratic schedule with release skews being kept mostly under wraps.
On November 20th, 2020, showrunner Marly Halpern-Graser announced on Twitter that the series had not been renewed and that Mandora Saves Christmas would be the final episode, effectively confirming the show's cancellation. He did express hope that the show would eventually be renewed for a second season, but no word has come of it since.
Foreign Markets Releases
Story and Setting
The show largely follows the same plot as its predecessors, with Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, WilyKat, WilyKit, and Snarf narrowly avoiding their demise when their home planet, Thundera, is annihilated suddenly, resulting in them crash landing into a planet known as Third Earth, where they are challenged by a variety of oppositions, including the one and only Mumm-Ra. Unlike the previous two shows, the plot is carried in a much more episodic manner, as opposed to having an overarching story told across the course of the show's run. As such, while the show may possess continuity, the episodes themselves will largely be self-contained.
Episodes, Intros and Credits
- Lion-O (Voiced by Max Mittelman)
- Tygra (Voiced by Patrick Seitz)
- Panthro (Voiced by Chris Jai Alex)
- Cheetara (Voiced by Erica Lindbeck)
- WilyKit (Voiced by Erica Lindbeck)
- WilyKat (Voiced by Max Mittelman)
- Jaga (Voiced by Larry Kenney)
- Berbils (Voiced by Dana Snyder)
- Driller (Voiced by Stephen Tobolowshy)
- Gwen (Voiced by Kaitlyn Robrock)
- Mole Master
- Warrior Maidens
- Willa (Voiced by Laila Berzins)
- Nayda (Voiced by Cindy Robinson)
- Trolls (Voiced by Victor Courtright)
- Snowman (Voiced by Dave B. Mitchell)
- JanJan (Voiced by Romi Dames)
- Mumm-Ra (Voiced by Patrick Seitz)
- Living Ooze
- Boggy Ben (Voiced by Patrick Seitz)
- Albino Pusmother
- Giant Spiders
Crossover with Teen Titans Go!
In the Season 5 Teen Titans Go! episode "Teen Titans Roar!" features a plot dealing with criticism the 2020 series has received. It is noted for its controversial stance and imagery. However, crew for ThunderCats Roar did not come up with the story or message, according to show producer Marly Halpern-Graser.
The initial announcement of the series was met with almost universal backlash, with the trailer on Cartoon Network's YouTube channel gaining a 1-to-3 Like-to-Dislike ratio. With numerous fans of both the original 1985 series and the 2011 reboot decrying Roar as an unnecessary and unwanted comedic revival in much the same way as the already-polarizing Teen Titans Go! was. Despite this, critics remained optimistic about seeing the final product, and outcry ultimately died out for a large period of time due to the show's radio silence after the announcement.
Reception to the series was largely mixed-to-negative. Long-time fans lambasted the series as a generic episodic comedy with little substance and obnoxious, unlikable protagonists. The art style received the harshest of these criticisms, with some likening it to the "CalArts Style" controversy which was floating around at the time. Conversely, some aspects were praised, such as the animation, which even detractors admitted could look stunningly fluid at times, and the voice cast.
Critics, on the other hand were more positive-leaning towards the series as a whole, with many of them praising the show's episodic nature and energetic characters, citing it as easily digestible for younger viewers.
Teen Titans Roar! Controversy
As previously stated, Teen Titans Go! released an episode that focused on the backlash directed at ThunderCats Roar. The episode's extremely negative reception resulted in overwhelming backlash being incorrectly aimed at the team behind ThunderCats Roar, who outside of sharing a couple voice actors, had nothing to do with the episode's creation. The harassment reached a point where Marly Halpern-Graser had to clarify the issue on Twitter in order to protect his team from further assault.
- ew.com: New ThunderCats Roar animated series sets premiere on Cartoon Network
- Marly Halpern-Graser on Twitter: "Hi everyone! I didn’t write that Teen Titans GO episode about ThunderCats Roar (no one from the TCR crew worked on it) but I DID write this parody for MAD back in 2011"