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Western Animation / ThunderCats Roar

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It's time to roar once more!

ThunderCats Roar is an animated television series based on the 1985 ThunderCats cartoon that premieres in February of 2020, though it was first released online on January 10, 2020. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and airing on Cartoon Network, it's a brand new continuity from both the original series and the 2011 cartoon with the same basic premise; the ThunderCats, sole survivors of the destruction of their home planet Thundera, crash land on Third Earth and make a new home there, becoming the protectors of the planet against its evil overlord Mumm-Ra. The twist is that this version of the show, while still containing action, is a fast-paced Affectionate Parody emphasizing some of the absurdities of the original series.

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ThunderCats Roar provides examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: In "Exodus Part 1", Mumm-Ra sends the Mutants flying to the horizon when they were about to blast Lion-O, but it turns out he wasn't aware Lion-O was there and attacked the Mutants because they were trespassing on his property.
  • Accidental Misnaming: When they first meet, Lion-O mishears Mumm-Ra's name as "Bumm-Ra".
  • Adaptational Badass: In previous incarnations, Snarf was the Team Pet who wasn't much use in a fight, though he did have the occasional Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass moments. Here, the "crouching moron" part has been done away with, leaving only the badass — when all the Thundercats are presented via trading cards in "Exodus Part 1", Snarf's card shows him with maxed-out stats and his skill set as "all". The episode later reveals him to be a robot equipped with loads of weaponry.
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  • Adaptational Curves: Inverted, Cheetara is completely flat as opposed to the curvy builds with the 1985 and 2011 cartoons.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Lion-O could certainly be naive and a little stupid in the original incarnations, but he generally knew his way around things and learned fast, plus he had the excuse of still mentally being young and was certainly trying to act his physical age. This Lion-O, by contrast, is an Idiot Hero through and through who still acts like a child and it's honestly impressive he hasn't gotten himself killed during one of his stunts outside of sheer luck and his more competent teammates.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Cheetara's attire is a long tank top with one sleeve and a pair of pants, as opposed to the original's Leotard of Power or the 2011's Bare Your Midriff outfit.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Within the prior two series, Snarf was a Snarf; in Roar he's a robot, though whether he's a Cyborg or just a Ridiculously Human Robot is unclear.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the original series. The story set-up is similar, but the show emphasizes the absurdities of the original cartoon while greatly exaggerating the personalities of the Thundercats for comedic effect.
  • An Aesop: Played with; each episode does have a proper moral, similarly to the 80s series, but Lion-O takes them in a different direction than intended. Lampshaded by Tygra in "Prank Call" where he's glad that Lion-O learned a valuable lesson.
  • Air Vent Escape: In "Warrior Maidens Invasion", the ThunderCats need to escape from the Thunder Brig, but the only way out is a small air vent. The Kittens are the only ones small enough to crawl through the vent, so they make their way to the control room to open the brig from there.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Just as the Mutants are about to blast Lion-O at the end of "Exodus Part 1", they are swatted away by Mumm-Ra.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Warrior Maidens from the original show reappear in "Warrior Maidens Invasion". This show takes the trope Up to Eleven by making them muscular and huge.
  • A Winner Is You: Inverted in the in-universe video game the kids play in "The Legend of Boggy Ben", where dying results in a "YOU ARE DIED." message flashing on Snarf's screen.
  • Brawn Hilda: The Warrior Maidens are depicted as large, musclebound barbarians who mostly grunt.
  • Colony Drop: Panthro threatens to drop the moon on Vultureman just to get him to admit that he stole Pantha's invention in "Panthro Plagiarized".
  • Cue O'Clock: "Cookie O'Clock" in "The Legend of Boggy Ben".
  • Decomposite Character: In the original show, the Nether-Witch was one of Mumm-Ra's disguises. In "Study Time", she shows up as her own character.
  • Denser and Wackier: While previous incarnations of the franchise have been fairly serious ordeals, this show is a high-speed, wacky Affectionate Parody of the franchise that doesn't take itself seriously at all.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "Panthro Plagiarized", Panthro is willing to destroy the planet by dropping the moon on it just to get Vultureman to confess to stealing his invention. He even pretends to lose control of the moon just to twist the knife.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Mumm-Ra is the evil overlord of Third Earth, and he is introduced as a giant towering over everyone that can fling the Mutants' ship away with the swipe of his hand. His giantness is the result of his staff, which makes him four times bigger than he usually is; his normal form is a little shorter than Lion-O.
  • Extremely Short Intro Sequence: The normal intro is twenty-six seconds long, which, while longer than the 2011 series, is especially short when compared to the 1985 intro. Taken Up to Eleven in both parts of "Exodus", where the intro is replaced with a simple jingle and title card, lasting only a few seconds.
  • Foreshadowing: When Jaga gets to talking about Snarf, he doesn't actually know how to describe him, while the onscreen trading card shows his stats as maxed out and his skills as "all" with a Arm Cannon next to it. Near the end of "Exodus Part 1", Snarf is revealed to be a robot with tons of tools and weaponry jammed inside him.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Parodied when Mandora calls Lion-O an oaf. He doesn't realize he's being insulted because he thinks oaf stands for "Officially Awesome Friend".
  • Giant Spider: In "The Horror of Hook Mountain", the ThunderCats end up facing five giant spiders that are camouflaged and well adapted to the snow.
  • Good All Along: In "Warrior Maidens Invasion", the Warrior Maidens at first seem to be creating chaos wherever they go, setting fires, attacking the Berbels with locusts and throwing stones at a cute little cottage. Later, WilyKat discovers that the Maidens were actually the planet's defenders and were stopping the fires and locusts; and the cottage was Mumm-Ra's summer house.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Parodied on "Working Grrl". Cheetara goes to work at a company and quickly rises to CEO. It then cuts to the other Thundercats talking about how she just started working three hours ago.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Lion-O goes into an incredibly over-the-top one in "The Legend of Boggy Ben" shortly after he's unable to open the jar of Thunder Snaps.
    • Played straight in "Driller", where after realizing that Driller’s sole, recursive purpose is to drill for diamonds that allow him to keep drilling, Panthro suffers a similar epiphany because he has to fix everything that the other ThunderCats break.
    • Gwen goes through one during the first half of "Secret of the Unicorn", shortly after the Mutants steal the other unicorns.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Exodus Part 2", the Berbils exploit Mumm-Ra's curse on his own name by latching onto his head and saying his name several times. This results in Mumm-Ra repeatedly getting struck by lightning.
  • Honor Before Reason: In "The Legend of Boggy Ben", Lion-O refuses to call the others for help, saying true heroes get things done on their own. His teammates end up teaching him that true heroes work together.
  • Idiot Hero: "Exodus" starts off by showing off the "Stats" of cast. Lion-O has a Strength stat of 20, but a Wisdom stat of 3. Every other character has stats ranging in the teens to indicate more rounded competence. As the "chosen" successor of the Thundercats, his priorities upon landing on Third Earth is to go off and have adventures with complete disregard for his surroundings.
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: Kickstarts the plot in "The Legend of Boggy Ben", where Lion-O is unable to open a jar of Thunder Snaps and goes on a quest to retrieve "jar juice" to open it by himself.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Snarf's stat card at the start of "Exodus" reveals that he's fully proficient in all skills, and has stats maxed out at 20 across the board.
  • Malicious Misnaming: In "Prank Call", Wilykit calls Mumm-Ra "Dumb-Ra".
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Snack time in "The Legend of Boggy Ben" is announced as "Cookie O' Clock!"
  • Mundane Utility: In "Lost Sword", Lion-O uses the Sword of Omens to eat breakfast cereal.
  • Neat Freak: Tygra in "Thunderslobs". He's revealed to be the one who cleans up after the other Thundercats, and after stopping Mumm-Ra's latest plot, he stays behind cleaning up the mess. Mumm-Ra makes him his maid, with Tygra playing along because he doesn't feel appreciated at the base.
  • Never Say "Die": Lampshaded in "The Legend of Boggy Ben", where shortly after a frog tells Lion-O that he's "going to croak out here", a TV-Y7-FV ratings bug appears in the corner of the screen with a hit flash.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In "Prank Call", Lion-O finds a cave with warning signs saying to keep out because something evil is inside. He goes inside when the Thunderkittens dare him to. As a result, he ends up leading Mumm-Ra to a powerful crystal that amplifies his powers.
  • Noodle Incident: "Prank Call" includes a bit where Lion-O is explaining to WilyKit and WilyKat that he acquired a time machine from a caveman.
  • No-Sell:
    • In "Prank Call", after Mumm-Ra powers up on a crystal, the Sword of Omens' blade bounces off his chest.
    • Tygra's bolo is ineffective in combat more often than not, leading to him being used as a paddleball by Boggy Ben and getting caught up in Driller's drill.
  • Not So Different: At the end of "Driller", Panthro and Driller both realize that while their jobs might be repetitive and recursive, its what they need to do to live and they can't ignore them.
  • Only Sane Man: In the first couple of episodes, Tygra seems to be the only one with his head on completely straight among the ThunderCats, trying to reel in the others when they get a little too off track from their personal quirks. Later episodes show that he's Not So Above It All, it's just that's he's a Comically Serious Control Freak whose quirks tend to be less destructive.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: "Panthro Plagiarized" is all about Vultureman stealing Panthro's latest invention, the gravity fork, and passing it off as his own.
  • Power Nullifier: In "Warrior Maidens Invasion", the ThunderCats are placed in the Thunder Brig, which was designed to disable their technology and powers. When Tygra is questioned about why he had it built in the first place, he simply says "It seemed like a good idea at the time."
  • Rattling Off Legal: The ad for Thunder Snaps in "The Legend of Boggy Ben" ends with an announcer saying that they're "not available on this planet".
  • Read the Fine Print: In "Working Grrl", Cheetara tricks Monkian into signing a contract that she claims will make him declared "cool", but really gives her his property and legally changes his name to "Stinko".
  • Read the Freaking Manual: In "Prank Call", the TV is not working, and while Lion-O tries to use Percussive Maintenance, Tigra keeps insisting they use the manual. Later, when Lion-O, the kittens and Snarf are trapped by Mumm-Ra's crystal, they find the crystal's manual and use it to escape and disable all evil functionalities on Mumm-Ra's crystal.
  • Real After All:
    • In "The Legend of Boggy Ben", Cheetara and Tygra make up a monster called Boggy Ben and Lion-O goes on a quest to face it. The Boggy Ben he faces turns out to be Tygra in a costume, as they were trying to teach Lion-O a lesson. Just as they explain this, the real Boggy Ben shows up and attacks them.
    • In "The Horror of Hook Mountain", Snowman rants about a monster called the Sparklemaw, but Tygra thinks he's making it up. It shows up at the end.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: In "Study Time", they meet Jaga's ghost who offers to train Lion-O, but Tygra is disappointed when Jaga just teaches Lion-O to have fun and dance instead of study like he did with him. Eventually, Jaga explains to Tygra that no two students are alike and Lion-O learns things differently. The dances turn out to help Lion-O control the Sword of Omens better.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Roar's background music mostly consists of songs ripped directly from the original 1985 series.
  • Robot Buddy: Surprisingly, Snarf is revealed to be a Do-Anything Robot in "Exodus Part 1". Lion-O didn't see it coming either.
    "Wow, Snarf! It looks like you're a robot!"
  • Robotic Reveal: When the Mutants have Lion-O cornered in "Exodus Part 1", Snarf suddenly produces a plasma cannon from his back, revealing to the audience — and Lion-O, apparently — that he's a robot.
  • Running Gag: One appears in almost every episode, occasionally serving as a Chekhov's Gun.
    • "Exodus Part 2": characters being struck by lightning every time they say Mumm-Ra's name.
    • "Prank Call": everything having a manual, from Tygra’s TV at the start to Mumm-Ra's evil crystal within a crystal.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Certain sound effects are replaced with an intentionally cheesy recording of somebody saying them; for example, the Audible Gleam Panthro's spikes make in one scene of "The Legend of Boggy Ben" is obviously somebody saying "pwing".
  • The Scottish Trope: In "Exodus Part 2", Mumm-Ra cursed his own name so anyone except himself who says it gets struck by lightning. The curse seems to have been lifted in future episodes, perhaps after the Berbils exploited it to force the lightning to strike Mumm-Ra's head before it could strike the Berbils themselves.
  • Selfless Wish: In "Secret of the Unicorn", the unicorns offer to grant Lion-O one wish. Lion-O decides to wish for Tygra to have earmuffs so everybody can party without disturbing him, which makes everybody happy.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • In "Driller", Lion-O has no reaction to learning that the base's power core could explode and destroy everything until he realizes that would include all his stuff.
    • In "Panthro Plagiarized", Panthro is more upset about Vultureman stealing his idea for a gravity fork than with the fact that he's going to use it to take over Third Earth.
  • Stacked Characters Poster: The show's poster has everyone is stacked on top of each other in a big tower of violence, with Lion-O at the top holding the Sword of Omens.
  • Sudden Video-Game Moment: As Lion-O crosses the bog in "The Legend of Boggy Ben", the scene cuts to an eight-bit video game display, which suddenly glitches and Lion-O falls down a pit. It's then revealed to be the video game WilyKat and WilyKit are playing.
  • Taken for Granite: In "Prank Call", Mumm-Ra uses his new crystal to turn Panthro, Tygra, and Cheetara to stone. Lion-O reverses it once he reads the crystal's manual.
  • Take That!: In "Prank Call", the ThunderCats watch TV and see a show that is clearly based on SilverHawks. They call it lame and bail.
  • Tempting Fate: "Secret of the Unicorn" opens with Tygra reading books in his room, making several remarks about how nothing has interrupted his studies. Cue Lion-O running in and having an impromptu dance party.
  • That's No Moon!: In "The Horror of Hook Mountain", the Sparklemaw that Snowman rants about turns out to be a giant mouth in the mountain itself, which swallows our heroes at the end.
  • Theme Naming: Everything in ThunderCats HQ has "Thunder" before the name of the object.
  • Trash of the Titans: The Thundercats are very messy in the episode "Thunderslobs". After Tygra is left behind at Mumm-Ra's lair, they wake up to find a huge mess and assume someone came to the base and attacked. It's only when they look at the surveillance footage that they realize they made the mess and Tygra was responsible for cleaning up after them.
  • Trust-Building Blunder: In "The Horror of Hook Mountain", Tygra puts Lion-O through some trust exercises, starting with the trust fall. Lion-O overdoes it by falling from a high cliff.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Thundera explodes during the first minute of "Exodus Part 1", almost immediately after it's introduction. Rather than showing sorrow over his planet's destruction, Jaga simply states that "everything 'splodes someday!".
    • Lion-O’s initial reaction to seeing Driller in his eponymous episode is an understated "who dat?"
  • [Verb] This!: In "Panthro Plagiarized", when Vultureman steals Panthro's invention and accuses Panthro of being the one copying him, Panthro says, "Copy this!" before attacking him.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: In "Exodus Part 2", when Mumm-Ra is defeated and the ThunderCats are mocking his puny true body, Mumm-Ra swears revenge and teleports away. Panthro comments that they probably should have grabbed him while they had the chance.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • Lion-O has childish features despite his general muscled build, but has a deep, heroic-sounding voice.
    • WilyKat is a child, but sounds like a teenager.
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: After venturing into Third Earth by himself in "Exodus Part 1", Lion-O swings on a vine and slams right into a tree.
  • Wrecked Weapon:
    • In "Exodus Part 2", Lion-O uses the Sword of Omens to shatter Mumm-Ra's staff, depowering him.
    • In "Lost Sword", Mumm-Ra rips the Eye of Thundera out of the Sword of Omens, crushes it into powder, and absorbs its magic to power himself up. Eventually, Lion-O uses the Sword of Omens to absorb the power Mumm-Ra took, which regenerates the Eye of Thundera.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Mumm-Ra states that his staff makes him four times bigger. His normal form is slightly shorter than Lion-O, meaning he should be around four times his height. Giant Mumm-Ra in actuality is large enough to use ThunderCats HQ as a chair; a more accurate comparison would be forty times bigger, not four.


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