Following up on the last ask, I think the reason why people are so defensive about Thundercats Roar is because some people are using it as a jumping off point to condemn modern animation in general and say stuff like "every modern cartoon looks the same" and "what happened to dark and gritty cartoons?" both of which feel like super broad generalizations. The "calarts style" is a thing, sure, but it's not like Adventure Time and OK KO look the same by any stretch.
I don’t think Thundercats has ever been “dark and gritty.” But there’s this weird notion that kids are only allowed to have cartoons with short, cute character designs because anything more would be TOO SERIOUS for them! Kids are only supposed to have FUN!
Except, like, I grew up in the era of the X-men cartoon, the Spider-man cartoon, the Batman cartoon, the Gargoyles cartoon…
And even now, I think Steven Universe and Adventure Time have gotten way darker than anything Thundercats has ever approached. Steven Universe gestures towards topics of consensual sex and I think there was an Adventure Time arc about substance addiction if I’m remembering right (again: I don’t watch tons of TV).
So it’s like, even with Roar’s art style, it could still be a pretty serious show. There’s nothing stopping them from delivering on what people are actually asking for!
But it is that art style. That art style is the fad right now.
I know there are people out there trying to debunk an image like this by showing how the cartoons in question are slightly different than this template suggests, but that strikes me as nitpicking, because the similarities are still super obvious.
And this is coming from someone who, despite not watching a lot of TV, has willing sought out and watched quite a bit of Gumball because I genuinely love a lot of that show’s later seasons.
It’s just that cramming Thundercats down in to that style doesn’t feel right, given what’s come before it. If Cowboy Bebop came back for a new season and it looked like this
Would people be wrong for having a reaction against it?
Thundercats clearly has fans, and they clearly don’t like this style. Who are we to tell them they’re wrong, that they don’t matter, or whatever other dismissive reasoning we can come up with to invalidate their dissatisfaction? And in favor of what? More of the same?
This stuff doesn’t happen in a vacuum. If you’re going to dig up an old franchise, you’re going to have to deal with its fans, otherwise you shouldn’t even bother. This isn’t an old end table at a flea market you can sand down and repaint.
This is closer to, like… how certain buildings in a city get declared historic landmarks and therefore cannot be torn down or changed. Except they’re tearing it down anyway. And that’s what people are upset about.
1. Ghost-dinosaurs trailing in great invisible swathes behind cars with their tanks of haunted oil products, slowly dissolving in ectoplasmic flame as the final remnants of each in turn are cremated.
2. Dream-dinosaurs lurking in the tiny brains of chickens, almost forgotten on waking.
3. Plastic dinosaurs, stomping across fields of lego blocks without even noticing, intent on filling their mouths with delicious, steaming play dough.
4. Gaunt old vampire dinosaurs who have far outlived the rest of their species, roaming through dark caves, unfond of hot mammal blood but willing to try it if there is no lizard-blood to be had.
5. Pirate dinosaurs, downloaded in defiance of the user agreement and without a product key, speaking only in poorly-translated subtitles; which is a problem, because it makes their demands difficult to understand and they are enforcing those demands with pointy cutlasses.
6. Princess dinosaurs, having spent a few million years in enchanted sleep at the hands of dinosaur witchery, deep in a cave in the caldera of an extinct volcano of a great bed of cycad leaves. They did not wake to save dinosaurkind, in the end. Be sure if you kiss them they will bite your head clean off.
7. Robot dinosaurs from the future; there being a factory fault in a particular batch that led to their temporal direction being reversed. Occasionally they vomit up surprised future humans who were supposed to be being digested for biofuel but have instead been transported into the past.
8. Mermaid dinosuars, half plesiosaur, half triceratops, still hiding in deep-sea trenches against the ancient disapproval of their dinosaur relations.
9. Hacker dinosaurs, having at their disposal only physics to hack; to which end, huddling in shadowed mudholes, they cracked the code of time and ended up a few million years out of place.
10. Human dinosaurs, a little like lizard people but more fossilised, soothing their sore joints in the delicious mud of conspiracy theories.