Episodic Review: Thundercats (2011) 06

I was gonna combine episode 6 and 7’s reviews, but going through the nonsense that happened last week’s episode, I couldn’t help but give it its own post. So here’s basically what went down at the start of the episode:

And with even Cheetara’s erm… “influence” not getting Lion-O’s “sword to work,” it looks like it’s time for another character-building adventure.

Normally I’d nitpick at just how easily the gang was able to find the entrance to the Tower of Omens, but believe me when I say that there is just so much more to nitpick this episode that I’m gonna let this one bit slide.

First time I watched the episode, I could have sworn that they re-used the same frames for Tygra and Lion-O, but a second time through, they’re clearly different. Still, I’m no animation major, but the fact that it even crossed my mind couldn’t be a good thing. I mean, it’s not like pointing up or giving a thumbs up is Tygra’s thing—he just does it these episodes and it comes off as just plain weird.

Still not as weird as Mumm-Ra’s coffin being able to morph into a fully-functional land vehicle. Growing up, there were plenty of series out there with according toys that would have the most bizarre capabilities. In particular, I remember having a Power Rangers figure of the White Ranger that came with a sword that could shift into a car. Yeah, never in the series did that happen, as bizarre as the series itself was. So to have Mumm-Ra’s coffin also act as his means of transportation just screamed “available at a Toys R Us near you” even moreso than it should have.

Next up is Panthro’s complete pussification. I get that given his bad-ass re-introduction, it only made sense for the writers or whoever to tone down is bad-assity for the sake of giving the rest of the cast their time to shine, but to think that the head of the Thunderian army rushed in headfirst into such an obvious setup to a classic Indie-style trap. I can forgive that he can’t swim (given that he was awesome enough to hold his own breath for that long, he kinda redeems himself), but walking square into a trap like that… unforgivable.

Even if you were to accept all the previous stuff that’s happened this episode so far, I can’t help but think that everyone had to have realized just how awkward and old-school Scooby-Doo the animation got when Panthro lifted up the cage to free the rest of the gang. I mean… they were all just there like they were posing for a family portrait or something—no signs of fatigue, or even struggling to get out of the flooded room into the dry one, just lazy all-around.

Then there’s the fight against Mumm-Ra itself. You’d think something like this would have been used as a mid-season finale kind of dealie, but no… episode six. You barely have any of the characters that well established and yet you move right into a fight with the final level boss already? Iunno, additional weird.

And to top it off, the episode literally went from this shot:

to this one:

Seriously, who the hell was the intern that storyboarded this episode? If it’s not one thing that’s taking me out of the action, it’s something else. And considering that I’m already suspending enough of my disbelief with the whole anthropomorphic cats having the most pun-tastic names available… just… just, no.

btw, awkwardly long shot of Cheetara holding a lantern is awkwardly long. And if that wasn’t enough…

I get how in cheap animation back in the day, things like opening up books right square in the middle and somehow being able to read page 1 of the book was a thing, but in 2011… really? Okay, so the twist here, is that the animation did get things right and have Lion-O open up to the first page of the Book of Omens, but then for him to assume that there was nothing in the rest of the book just because there was nothing on the first book is just absurd; surely, not every book he’s opened in his life didn’t start with the meat and potatoes of things. If anything, he should find it typical for the first page to be empty (it’s one of those things I never really understood, especially in our current “go green; don’t waste paper” age).

Iunno, this episode was just plain weird. Weird and sloppy.

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About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

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