I am the Nightrider

Heard of any new cartoons lately? The newest reboot of reboot town, “Thundercats Roar,” is on the receiving end of heavy criticism for its visuals and its comedic aesthetic that diverges from its action-drama roots. As a kid, I was enthralled by the visuals and the conflicts from the original incarnation back in the 80’s. The first reboot in 2011 left me unsure if it would match the content and story from the original. However, it lived up to the hype, and I watched the series until its subsequent cancellation.

But with the newest incarnation of the “Thundercats,” many critics cite that it uses the dreaded “CalArts Style” that so many modern animated shows are presented. Here is a link to see the Official Announcement of the new Thundercats

So what’s the deal with the hate? Many new fans of animation would say “Give it a chance! It’s emerging art that expresses new creative elements.” However, older fans of animation would argue against this “emerging art” notion with either classic or notable examples that disprove the new aesthetic. Let’s take a brief look from both sides.

For the new fans of cartoon shows like “Steven Universe” and “Adventure Time,” this incarnation of Lion-O and the gang shows a potential of being a popular hit. It’s targeting the new generation of kids and teens with humor. The animation style looks similar to other popular shows so that the viewer’s eyes are seeing what they consider as a unique take on a classic series. One might even argue that maybe older fans of animation should just let the young ones enjoy these programs and leave creativity to their own devices.

However, for those that grew up watching the original “Thundercats” (as well as the 2011 reboot), many argue that the source material has been tainted with unnecessary simplicity. They would also argue that the animation quality itself is an issue because “CalArts Style” is watering down the quality of animation. A classic example one would use against the new aesthetic of today’s animation is the praise of the artists Renaissance and Neo-Classical periods and the abhorrent displeasure of Modern Art. How can you consider seeing a giant bobby pin as art as opposed to “The Death of Murat” by Jacques-Louis David?

There are many arguments from both sides formulating right now since “Thundercats Roar” will premiere next year. I won’t pick any teams yet because we all have to wait for the finished product. Judgments will be withheld until then.