The ThunderCats action figure line was created by LJN and ran from 1984-1987. The toys were based on the ThunderCat animated series and the cat-like humanoid heroes.
The ThunderCats should follow in the film footsteps of other toys based on cartoon shows of the 1980’s like the before mentioned “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “G.I. Joe”, and “Transformers”. The ThunderCats have a one of a kind story and design concept that would translate well into an action movie. Hollywood is always looking for the next big action hero or group to push onto the public. The ThunderCats would fit that mold splendidly.
The inclusion of the ThunderCats on this list is admittedly somewhat of a technicality. In 2008 Warner Brother’s was said to be in the process of creating an animated film based on the feline heroes. However the movie has since been put on indefinite hold. With that said they still qualify for this list as the movie based on the ThunderCats should not be an animated one. It should be a live action movie. The live action movie retelling of any 1980’s toy or cartoon typically tends to do better than their animated counterparts. This is because the technology is available to make them believable and realistic as live action heroes, which in turns opens up the market to a wider audience.
The biggest question regarding the creation of a live action ThunderCats movie is where to begin the story. Should it follow the blueprint of the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” and “Transformer” films and begin the movie with the characters already established in the current world while at some point during the movie reveal their backstory? Or is it worth it to start from the very beginning and tell the complete origin story? Since the main story of the ThunderCats begins when they wake up from their suspended animation and arrive on Third Earth, the best way to approach the movie would be to shortly touch on the backstory while spending most of the film with the ongoing story of the ThunderCats.
The film would begin with the mutants of Plun-Dar pursuing the ThunderCats while they are leaving their dying home planet of Thundera. The Mutants are seeking to steal the powerful Sword of Omens from the ThunderCats. During a space battle the ThunderCats ship is damaged and forces them to deviate from their original destination and instead head towards Third Earth. Since this new destination is very far away, the ThunderCats decide to enter into sleep time capsules to stop their aging process until they arrive on Third Earth.
Years pass and finally the ThunderCats arrive at Third Earth. Not too long after however the Mutants are able to track them down. While doing so, they encounter the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra. He recruits the Mutants to aid him in his new quest to destroy the Thundercats and take possession of the Eye of Thundera, which is located in the Sword of Omens and is what gives the ThunderCats their power. He wants this power to ensure he can rule over Third Earth.
Several battles would ensue, with the ThunderCats being pushed closer and closer to defeat. Then their leader Lion-O would complete the hero’s journey and become the true leader the ThunderCats need, since due to his sleep time capsule mistakenly only slowing his aging instead of stopping it completely he is a child stuck in an adult’s body. Lion-O and his fellow ThunderCats would finally defeat Mumm-Ra and his mutant army. ThunderCats-Ho!
This article was first posted on September 24, 2012