August 23rd, 2006

hoard potato, tv, movies


I've had at least three people on my Friends List whining about the rumors of a new Thundercats series. The phrase "raping my childhood" has come up at least once.

Now, I was 19 when Thundercats originally premiered. I wasn't exactly the target audience. My reaction then, and remains today: "what wonderful animation they've wasted on such terrible, silly writing."

According to the (still-unconfirmed) report, WB animation plans something "along the lines of Teen Titans". The Thundercats will be teenagers, on modern-day Earth, in a rock band.

Lore Sjöberg sums up my first point perfectly: Jeez, what are they thinking? Targeting a kid's show at kids!

As I noted above, I wasn't the target audience for the original series. Wake up, ladies and gents: you're not the target audience for the new one.

My second point: Thunderfans, you should be groveling before your Warner overlords in thanks that they're deigning to give the Teen Titans treatment to your beloved show.

Please note that Teen Titans itself is an adaptation of one of the high points of the comic book superhero genre, the '80s run of The New Teen Titans by Wolfman & Perez. NTT was a sweeping epic that ranged from the grimy streets of New York in one month to distant star-systems a few issues later. It had drama and pathos and tension and profound character development. It was DC importing the classic "Marvel Formula", and doing it even better than Marvel.

As a fan of that series, I was initially taken aback by the cartoon. They'd completely changed the personalities of most of the characters, they were experimenting with a faux-anime style that was initially very distracting, it was campier and sillier than the Adam West Batman...

And then they started adapting storylines from the comic. Broadly, yes, but even more darkly than the originals. Deep, brooding menace -- punctuated by humor, but no less menacing thereby. The faux-anime style was toned down -- not eliminated, but handled more gracefully. The characters were funny, but they weren't jokes.

Teen Titans the cartoon is a very different creature than The New Teen Titans -- but it is in no way inferior.

If the Teen Titans can survive the "Teen Titans Treatment", then I think a property that includes such elements as robotic teddy bears Viagra swords, and Snarf might actually be the better for it.
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