Beloved ’80s cartoon ThunderCats is the latest property making the jump to the big screen. Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard is writing and directing an new animated feature film version of the heroes of Thundera for Warner Bros. Wingard has been a superfan for decades, and even wrote a massive ThunderCats script in high school. Now, he’s bringing a faithful retelling of the saga of the humanoid felines to a new generation.
But aside from the main heroes and villains from the series, who can we expect to see? Obviously, you’ll have the main T-Cats, the evil Mumm-Ra, and his mutant minions. Here’s the thing about the ’80s ThunderCats though. It was really weird. Sure, He-Man is weird too, but ThunderCats has them beat in the strangeness department. They had creepy cyborg teddy bears, a walrus warrior, and more. But the weirdness was part of the charm.
Since Wingard is a fan of the old school series, here’s some of the more oddball characters we’d love to see show up in the big screen version. For the purposes of this article, we are sticking to the original ’80s cartoon series. We know that the 2011 reboot is all kinds of cool, and there’s also ThunderCats Roar now too. But Wingard has said he’s drawing from classic T-Cats primarily for inspiration. So we’re sticking with that one for now too.
Grune the Destroyer
The ThunderCats are the definition of noble warriors who are always on the side of good. But every good weekday afternoon cartoon back in the day had at least one evil version of one of the good guys. For the ThunderCats, that is the humanoid sabretooth named Grune the Destroyer. If Jaga was the Obi-Wan to Lion-O’s Luke Skywalker, then Grune was his Darth Vader (except, you know, not his dad).
Grune was once a a close friend and ally of the wise and ghostly Jaga’s. But decades before, he turned to evil. And the two ThunderCats fought an epic battle that lasted days. Jaga defeats Grune, but the former sabretooth ThunderCat finds himself exiled from Thundera. Of course, he shows up again and makes the ThunderCats’ lives hell on Third Earth. I’d honestly rather have Grune as the big bad than Mumm-Ra. But at least have the one-toothed wonder make a cameo.
Hammerhand and the Berserkers
There’s not much to Captain Hammerhand and his berserkers, aside from being Viking marauders with cyborg parts. But you ask us, that’s cool enough. The “hammerhand” in the good captain’s name is quite literal; he has a honkin’ big metal hand. But who wouldn’t want to see the ThunderCats fight a bunch of cyborg pirates? Even if it’s just for one scene, we’d love to see these guys show and speak in ridiculous pirate talk.
This is one of those characters that is both completely stupid, and also completely adorable. Yes, Mumm-Ra the Ever Living, Lord of Evil, had a pet dog. And not just any dog, but a bulldog with magical powers named Ma-Mutt. Mumm-Ra’s mangy mongrel has the power to fly, and has red energy come out of his eyes. So think of him as an evil version of Superman’s pooch Krypto. If Ma-Mutt shows up in this movie, he’ll easily be one of the most popular characters.
Mandora, the Evil-Chaser
Mandora first shows up in an early ThunderCats episode, the self-titled “Mandora the Evil-Chaser.” And that is exactly what this space cop does – chase evil across the galaxy. Wearing a cool armor that is reminiscent of Boba Fett, she travels the universe in search of wayward criminals. ThunderCats didn’t have nearly enough cool female characters, outside of leads like Cheetara. But Mandora was an early example that if they bothered to set their mind to it, they could create one. And we’d love to see her on the big screen. Maybe even use her ThunderCats Roar! theme song.
Warner Bros. / LJN
The villainous Mongor only appeared in one episode. Fans always remember him though, because he was the only cartoon villain who looks pretty much like Satan. Or the Baphomet deity that is popularized in western culture as the Devil, complete with goat horns and a giant scythe. Mongor is an ancient demon released from his tomb by the ever annoying Thunder kittens. Feeding on their fear, he’s resealed in his tomb and never seen again on the show. But he got a cool action figure, a minor miracle in the “Satanic Panic” of the ’80s.
Snowman of Hook Mountain
Not the most original name, but a kick ass character nevertheless. Snowman (the name Iceman was taken, folks) was the Yeti-like protector of Third Earth’s frozen wasteland. Always referring to himself in the third person, he lives on Hook Mountain. Which is basically a more extreme version of the Matterhorn. He is just as his name suggests, a heroic dude who wields snow weapons and lives in an snow castle. But the best part of Snowman is his loyal stead, a giant white panther with the adorable name of SnowMeow. Just SnowMeow alone makes us want to see Snowman on the big screen.
TV shows and comic books love to give us the evil versions of good characters. (see Grune above). But ThunderCats gave us a good version of a villain once, in Mumm-Rana. The total opposite of the evil Mumm-Ra, this living mummy resides in a white pyramid as opposed to a black one like Mumm-Ra. Where Mumm-Ra taps into the “ancient spirits of evil,” she draws her powers from the ancient spirits of good. For some reason she only shows up once on the show, but it would be wise of any movie version to have another powerful female character. Not to mention one that’s a polar opposite of the series’ main baddie.
Featured Image: Warner Bros.