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Thundercats: Song of the Petalars


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#1 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 08:04 PM

Awesome episode. Wow. I wasn't holding out much hope, after last weeks poor episode. But this episode just rocked. on all fronts. I couldn't help but wonder "What good is that going to do you?" when Lion-O did the whole "Thundercats HO!" and the cat symbol appeared in the air...But then, at the last second, Panthro and the thunder tank...that was just sweet!

I am curious about the thunder tank...cause I was under the impression that in this version, the cats don't use technology. And it still irritates me that they only have the red circle, but no cat symbol in it, on their uniforms.
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#2 Christopher

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 08:46 PM

I feared this was going to be a ridiculous and fluffy episode when we saw the Seussian flower people singing their Whoville song, but it turned out to be surprisingly poignant and kinda dark.  I still don't know what to make of this show.  So much about it is ridiculously cartoony and '80s-toyetic -- the character designs, the character names, the world populated by anthropomorphic animals and plants of all sorts.  But they're taking a more serious approach to the storytelling, and there's some worthwhile stuff going on.  So I'm torn.

Another thing I'm torn on is Cheetara.  Yes, she's really hot, but I'm uncomfortable with how blatantly sexualized she is.  What advantage is there for her, as a warrior, in wearing pants so low-slung that it seems impossible for them to stay on (even without the cutout in front dipping most of the way to her crotch)?  She could be more practically attired, less blatantly put on display for the male gaze, and still be sexy.  As it is, her wardrobe clashes with her personality and priorities, and that's poor design.
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#3 NexusNine

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:51 PM

View PostChristopher, on 12 August 2011 - 08:46 PM, said:

I feared this was going to be a ridiculous and fluffy episode when we saw the Seussian flower people singing their Whoville song, but it turned out to be surprisingly poignant and kinda dark.  I still don't know what to make of this show.  So much about it is ridiculously cartoony and '80s-toyetic -- the character designs, the character names, the world populated by anthropomorphic animals and plants of all sorts.  But they're taking a more serious approach to the storytelling, and there's some worthwhile stuff going on.  So I'm torn.
  

This episode, the the plant life and the focus on nature, was very Hayao Miyazaki-like.  The plant people at the beginning, singing, for example, were about as Miyazaki-esque as you can get.  In fact, this series is about as Anime-esque I've seen of an American series.  The look, the design, the focus of the show... in fact, Chris, it's very Anime-like to make a series based around a toy line.  And while that's stamped here (there isn't that many toys for the series out yet, by the way), there's a serious attempt at serious, dramatic storytelling here.  And so far I think it's working well.
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#4 RommieSG

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 11:15 PM

I loved this episode. The storyline with the Petalars was very sad, and it made you actually feel for them. I was on the verge of tears when Emeric passed.

And then at the end, I was absolutely blown away. I knew it was the 'Thunder Tank' as soon as it came into shot, and I knew who was going to be driving it...PANTHRO!! One of my favorite characters from the original series. I knew he wasn't dead. I can't wait for next week now, to see how he plays into the mix. ^_^
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#5 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 11:20 PM

View PostRommieSG, on 12 August 2011 - 11:15 PM, said:


And then at the end, I was absolutely blown away. I knew it was the 'Thunder Tank' as soon as it came into shot, and I knew who was going to be driving it...PANTHRO!! One of my favorite characters from the original series. I knew he wasn't dead. I can't wait for next week now, to see how he plays into the mix. ^_^

You weren't the only one blown away by that. Not only did I have a huge grin on my face, but found myself saying: "Thundercats are on the MOVE, thundercats are LOOSE!" LOL.
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#6 Christopher

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 07:58 AM

Among my vague recollections of the original series is an impression that I did like Panthro more than the other characters (heck, he's one of the few characters I even remembered before this show reminded me of them), and of course a Kevin Michael Richardson character is always cool to listen to.  But the tank just feels like one more intrusive reminder of the toy-commercial mentality of 1980s cartoons. And having it and Panthro just pop up in the last minute of a story that was about something else was structurally awkward.
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#7 Youkai

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 12:11 PM

Well, Claudus sent out Grune and Panthro to find the Book of Omens, and we do know they got separated somehow.

My guess is Panthro, probably left for dead from betrayal, scavenged a bunch of parts in the wasteland and cobbled together the ThunderTank.  It'd be in keeping with his 80s incarnation (i.e. being tech-savvy), but I bet we'll learn his story in the next episode.

Anyways, loved the episode and love what the writers and producers are trying to do because it shows.  It really does.

Edited by Youkai, 13 August 2011 - 12:14 PM.


#8 Captain Jack

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 05:38 AM

View PostRommieSG, on 12 August 2011 - 11:15 PM, said:

I loved this episode. The storyline with the Petalars was very sad, and it made you actually feel for them. I was on the verge of tears when Emeric passed.

And then at the end, I was absolutely blown away. I knew it was the 'Thunder Tank' as soon as it came into shot, and I knew who was going to be driving it...PANTHRO!! One of my favorite characters from the original series. I knew he wasn't dead. I can't wait for next week now, to see how he plays into the mix. ^_^

I did not find the story for the Petalars to be all that sad, actually.  They are delicate creatures who have a deep understanding and appreciation for life.  They see it as a gift and they don't measure its value with how long a being lives, rather, they value what one does with their lives above all else. That was a deep lesson Lion-O learned from his little friend. What was just another day for the Thundercats and most other life forms on their world, was an entire lifetime for the little Petalars. Emeric grew up to become a noble, kind, strong, wise, and faithful friend.  Even though he died, and yes I felt like crying when he died as well, it was he who left a lasting impression on Lion-O. In a sense, Emeric still lives through Lion-O in memory and in lessons learned. For me, this was very philosophically powerful and wonderfully done! It's been a long time since I have seen a cartoon series go that deep in teaching valuable lessons to its viewers. My appreciation for this series has since skyrocketed.

Of course Panthro wasn't dead.  There are action figures of him in the toy aisles now. :) The Thundertank will also have "pods" for other Thundercats to ride in that are launched from within the front paws if I understand correctly.  We shall see.  Panthro was left for dead and somehow discovered technology on his own.  Thundercats seem to learn quick so it would not surprise me for Panthro to modify or create a tank of that nature. I am sure we will get plenty of answers in the next episode.

Cheetara is pure eye-candy, and I would not have it any other way.  Her pants may ride a bit low, but so what?  Maybe she has one heck of a good belt hidden in there?  She is easily one of my favorite characters because she can take care of herself, is a loyal friend, and has more brains than Tigra and Lion-O.  We saw an example of that when she was the first to figure out that the Petalars live for only a short time and age faster.

I love the look of the characters, and I am very pleased with the animation quality.  As much as it pains me to say it, but it blows the new Voltron Force series away! The characters are drawn better, and the stories are more interesting.  This is just my own opinion and I am not saying "Voltron Force" is a bad series.  I do enjoy it and I like how some of the animation is done such as Voltron itself. But there is no denying that Thundercats has it beat.  I hope both become and remain successful series.

Probably the only other series that comes up to par with the Thundercats is Transformers Prime. There have been a few excellent episodes that go pretty deep similar to episode 4 of the Thundercats. Even that I have to say that Ep 4 did a nicer job all-around.  It is good to see at least a couple very good animated series on television today.  I am so tired of the mindless drivel like Sponge Bob, Adventure Time, Chum-Chum, and Yu-Ghi-Oh knock-offs.
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#9 Christopher

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 08:31 AM

View PostCaptain Jack, on 14 August 2011 - 05:38 AM, said:

Cheetara is pure eye-candy, and I would not have it any other way.  Her pants may ride a bit low, but so what?  Maybe she has one heck of a good belt hidden in there?  She is easily one of my favorite characters because she can take care of herself, is a loyal friend, and has more brains than Tigra and Lion-O.  We saw an example of that when she was the first to figure out that the Petalars live for only a short time and age faster.

"So what" is that if she's really an intelligent and capable warrior struggling to survive, she wouldn't dress in such a sexually objectifying and impractical way.  Like I said, she could be more practically clothed and still be just as sexy -- even more so, because then it would feel like the intelligent choice of a strong, independent, and capable woman rather than a stupidly stripperific outfit forced on the character in order to pander to the lusts of the male audience.  The costume is at odds with the rest of her characterization, and like I said, that's bad design.  Good character design means giving a character a look that emphasizes and reinforces who she is rather than undermining it.  If she's supposed to be a smart and practical character, then her clothes should be smart and practical.  If she's meant to be a friend to the other characters, then she shouldn't be dressed like she's trying to seduce them.  It's a sexist design and it undermines what is otherwise, as you say, a good and worthwhile character.
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#10 Youkai

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 04:07 PM

It'd be cool if she had armor like the guys, but that could affect her agility.  Plus in that get-up, you'd never have suspected her of being a cleric so maybe it was part of her disguise.

Anyways, she's 19.  As far as I'm concerned, she's old enough to dress how she wants. :)

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Edited by Youkai, 14 August 2011 - 04:08 PM.


#11 Christopher

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 04:47 PM

She's not dressing how she wants, because she doesn't exist.  She's dressing how the (presumably male) character designers for the show want, and how they expect the male target audience wants.  That's the problem.
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#12 Captain Jack

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 06:25 PM

View PostYoukai, on 14 August 2011 - 04:07 PM, said:

It'd be cool if she had armor like the guys, but that could affect her agility.  Plus in that get-up, you'd never have suspected her of being a cleric so maybe it was part of her disguise.

Anyways, she's 19.  As far as I'm concerned, she's old enough to dress how she wants. :)

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Well said!  For her to run and be as agile as she is, armor or even heavy clothing can pose issues.  She was dressed in a more concealing but very loose garb when she was part of the elite team that were protecting the King and the front gates of the kingdom in the first episode. I really don't see anything wrong with how she is dressed.  In ancient human history, Egyptians often wore very little in battle, and Greek Spartans prefered to fight naked.   Why wouldn't an intelligent and capable warrior woman wear what she feels works best for her? She's not in any way "trampy".  Ever go to the gym?  I've seen some chicks wear get-ups that show their mid-sections and some of their cleavage on a regular basis.  Does that mean they are not intelligent?  I can't say, I don't ask them such questions, but some are nurses that I know of, so I guess that does make them relatively smart.

Panthro isn't wearing a shirt at all.  He has spikes on what he does have for clothing.  Does than make him a thug?  Prince Adam wore purple tights in the 1980's He-Man cartoon, does that automatically make him gay? It's a different world with different ideas of how they should dress.  Sure, the designer of the Chetara character made her visually appealing, why not?  Would you prefer a hag instead?  Intelligent women can't be pretty too?  She was always the sexy one.  Nothing is hanging out anyway that should not be.

I haven't heard any complaints of Arcee from Transformers Prime having fembot "boobs", or that her mid-sections is also "exposed".  Even in the most recent TMNT cartoon, April O'Niel wore a top that exposed her mid-section and low-cut pants.  All of the characters are well done and have a lot of character development which is good enogh for me.  There's no nudity or sexual advancements that are inappropriate in a children's cartoon.

To each their own I suppose...  :whatsthat:
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#13 Christopher

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 06:50 PM

View PostCaptain Jack, on 14 August 2011 - 06:25 PM, said:

Well said!  For her to run and be as agile as she is, armor or even heavy clothing can pose issues.

Yes, and so can pants so low-slung that they would slide down her thighs if she tried to exert herself physically!  That's what I'm talking about as an impractical design.  I didn't say one damn word about armor.  I just think it's stupid to put her in pants that are so ridiculously low they couldn't even stay on.


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I really don't see anything wrong with how she is dressed.  In ancient human history, Egyptians often wore very little in battle, and Greek Spartans prefered to fight naked.

Yes, but even when they wore loincloths, they were sufficiently secured about their waists that they wouldn't fall down and trip them up if they tried to move.  My objection is not to the amount of clothing she has on, but to the gross impracticality of its design.  If the character designer had chosen to put Cheetara in something skimpy but still practical and functional -- like, say, the bathing suit of the original Cheetara (although I can't tell if she's meant to have sleeves and leggings on as well) -- I'd have no problem with it.  (Heck, it's better than Wonder Woman's costume, since at least it has shoulder straps and she wouldn't have to worry about body parts slipping out when she ran.)  But this costume is skimpy in a way that's completely impractical and serves no purpose except to sexualize her.


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Why wouldn't an intelligent and capable warrior woman wear what she feels works best for her?

That is exactly my point!!!!  The design, as shown, could not work for a physically active woman.  I explained this in my very first post on the subject.


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I've seen some chicks wear get-ups that show their mid-sections and some of their cleavage on a regular basis.  Does that mean they are not intelligent?

What the hell are you even talking about? Where did I say one word about intelligence?  I'm talking about the functionality of clothing.  Yes, women can be physically active in hip-huggers, but not when they are that low!  This design exaggerates the low-slung aspect of her pants to such a degree that it becomes structurally unsound.


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Panthro isn't wearing a shirt at all.  He has spikes on what he does have for clothing.  Does than make him a thug?

No, but it makes him someone whose clothes are designed in such a way that they could actually stay on if he exerted himself.  They are thus functional enough not to seem like he's being gratuitously sexualized by his character designer


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  Prince Adam wore purple tights in the 1980's He-Man cartoon, does that automatically make him gay?

What are you TALKING about?  Where did that even come from?  I don't understand what you think this conversation is about.  It's worlds away from what I'm discussing.



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Sure, the designer of the Chetara character made her visually appealing, why not?  Would you prefer a hag instead?  Intelligent women can't be pretty too?


You are imagining me saying things that have nothing whatsoever to do with what I have actually said.  I have made it clear already that I have no problem with a strong female character being sexy.  Go back and read what I actually wrote and you'll see that.  But a sexy character can be attired in a way that makes sense for her to wear while still allowing her to be sexy, or she can be attired in a way that is structurally and functionally ridiculous and serves only to titillate at the expense of credibility.  All too often these days, comics and animation tend toward the latter.  Cheetara's costume is nowhere near as awful in that regard as, say, what Star Sapphire is wearing these days in the comics, or what Starfire or Vampirella have always worn, but it's definitely part of the trend.
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#14 Captain Jack

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 07:31 PM

Some examples of where I am coming from...

April O'Niel:
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Is this the look of a field reporter?

Arcee:
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Fem-bot or not, she's a hot ride, yet is one heck of a fighter and very intelligent character.

Daphne Blake:
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From "What's New Scooby-Doo", she was quite resourceful in the group, and yet she sported a two-piece bikini in an episode or two.

Big Barda and Wonder Woman:
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Two very sexy warriors who also have brains to compliment their looks.

Lara Croft:
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Another intelligent warrior-type woman.

Teela:
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-From modern comics (~2002)

Cheetara:
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See why I don't see a problem with it? I don't see it as demeaning either.

Christopher, it's just a damned cartoon, get over it. I'll write a letter to the designers to give Cheetara a big belt and Mumm-Ra's cloak.

Edited by Captain Jack, 14 August 2011 - 07:40 PM.

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#15 Christopher

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 07:56 PM

You're not listening to a damn word I'm saying.  You've got this totally wrong assumption in your head about what you think I'm saying, and it's blinding you to my actual point.  You and I are not even having the same conversation.  So I'm done wasting my time trying to get you to listen.
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#16 RommieSG

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 08:00 PM

Cheetara is sexy. That applies to both old and new Cheetara.

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The new outfit looks a lot more realistic than the...*ahem*...'catsuit' that 85' Cheetara wears, and gives her a level of sophistication. It shows that there's a lot more to her, not just in her outfit, but as a person and her capabilities as well. I love the new look. My only query is the strap from the bottoms to the feet, as to whether it's necessary or not.
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#17 Christopher

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 09:02 PM

Whether Cheetara should be sexy is not even on the table.  I said up front that I have no problem with that; I don't understand why nobody is listening to what I'm actually saying here.  It's damned frustrating to be trying to make a simple, straightforward point and have everybody think you're saying something completely different.  My objection is to the tendency in cartoons and animation to subordinate the credibility and practicality of female costume design to an exaggerated and objectifying sexualization.

Cheetara's outfit is not realistic, because the waistline of the pants is too low to STAY ON HER BODY.  Why is that so hard to understand?  It's a very simple and straightforward point, and everyone is ignoring it, twisting my words and thinking I'm objecting to her being sexy.  I'm not saying that!  Nobody is listening to me, and that hurts!
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#18 NexusNine

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 09:17 PM

Captain Jack. Chris isn't talking strictly about the sexualization of the character (though, Chris, you did at least in part make it about that when you brought it up in any capacity).  Chris thinks the costume is impractical in design.  

Chris, we're talking about an anatomically exaggerated, anthropomorphic cat.  Is there really room to worry about the costume being exaggerated and impractical at this point?  It's an animated series, one based artistically on Anime.  The point, I'm sure, isn't to make the costumes realistic to real world physics.  That's the entire beauty of animation.

Edited by NexusNine, 14 August 2011 - 09:18 PM.

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#19 RommieSG

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 09:19 PM

The waistline of many rappers today is way too low to stay on their body, yet somehow they defy gravity and physics and keep from dropping around their ankles.

But like CJ said...this is a cartoon. If you want real-world physics to apply, then we should make everyone human while we're at it. Since whoever heard of a talking cat?
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#20 Christopher

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 09:34 PM

It's not about physics.  As you say, this is a cartoon.  These are drawings.  But they reflect the intentions of the people designing them, and in this case those intentions come off to me as sexist, for reasons that I've tried to explain and that nobody has made the slightest effort to understand.  There's a fine line between a sexy portrayal of a woman and an objectifying portrayal, and to me this is just on the wrong side of that line.  Although evidently I'm not talking to an audience able to understand that.  Are there any women reading this thread at all?  Are there any women even watching this show?  If not, then that's exactly what I'm concerned about.
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