Jun 182012
 
tcats logo

The new Thundercats series has been on the air for just about a year now; and it looks like Cartoon Network is already looking to cancel it. This is a shame, not only is Thundercats one of the few shows on CN that is actually a cartoon; but is one of only a handful of quality animated shows at all on the air today.  I’m talking today with Marisha Ray of Save The Thundercats who is spearheading the campaign to save this show and others like it.

Pure Nerd Nip: Marisha; when exactly did it come to light that the network may be canceling T-cats? On the surface everything looks good, new episodes are rolling out regularly and the over-arching story has never been as focused as it is right now; what happened?
Marisha Ray: Basically the show was the victim of “Wrong time, wrong time”. Cartoon Network (For some strangly unknown reason) thought it would be a good idea to air the show on Friday nights at 8:30. A lot of the fans of the show are adults who grew up with it in the 80’s, but what adult in their late 20′s is home on a Friday night? With that, the kids that are in the target age range for the show, are also not watching T.V. at 9 o’clock at night for many apparent reasons. This lead into a chain reaction, involving the toy sales, which pretty much fuels the animation industry. The adults aren’t buying toys, because, I mean, they are adults, and the kids weren’t buying the toys because they were unaware of the show.  Now through all of this, the show was actually getting pretty good ratings considering the unfortunate time slot. And the toys were doing ok, but not good enough. In response to the low toy sales, the retailers and Bandai pulled the toys from the shelf. This happened at almost exactly the same time as when the show got moved to Saturday mornings. After the showed switched time slots to the more obviously appropriate time and day, the ratings soared! But guess what, there are no more toys on the shelf. From there, well, you know what happened next.
So a well written and well received show is ultimately getting canceled because of poor timing and lacking toy sales. That, my friends, is one of the most tragic things I have heard in regards to the history of animated T.V. Nothing is more unfortunate, than hearing about robbing children of great art and story telling, just because some corporate big wig isn’t making as much as he might have liked. To me, it is like a child going up to an adult with a book in hand, and the adult responding with, “Well, are you gonna pay me to read you this book?”

PNN: At San-Diego Comic Con last year me and 1000 other people stood in line just to wind up not seeing the premier; has the fan support for the series not been there or been underwhelming to some people?
MR: It is kind of hard to tell. I don’t really have anything to reference it to, you know? The way I see it at the moment, people are taking time out of their busy schedules to sign our petition, and that is more than I could have ever hoped for. The petition currently has 2000 signatures, and that is awesome! But I know there are a LOT more TCats fans out there, so let’s rally and score one for great television and art!

 

PNN: Beyond the immediacy of keeping Thundercats on the air, what else is the campaign looking to achieve?
MR: Well, I have a bit more of a personal connection with the series because my boyfriend is Matthew Mercer, who is the voice actor who voices Tygra in the new series. With that, we both became very close friends with the rest of the cast and crew. Everyone is so amazingly awesome and talented! When everyone learned of the cancellation, they were crushed. These guys are all working professionals who work on many different shows and projects, and seeing the personal connection they made with their characters and the story line was very compelling. Out of all the shows, they all agreed that Thundercats simply could not end this way. Someone had to save it! Out of there compassion for the show, I knew I had to at least try and do something! I know saving something that you have no control over is difficult, but I knew one thing I could at least do, was raise awareness. Awareness that good art and television is being canceled because of petty decisions based around what is going to make Mr. Money-Bags the quickest buck. Awareness that even concepts as abstract as art and creativity, still have strong corporate fists desperately trying to grab what they can if something is even remotely marketable. Awareness that good all ages programing is getting canceled, and replaced by half-assed concepts that are cheaper to make. These things, are not ok.


PNN: 
You guys have some pretty awesome photography on your site and I noticed on twitter you used the tagline “Kitties w/Titties!” is that the unofficial slogan for the campaign?
MR: HAHAHA! That is not the unofficial slogan, I am jut very aware that if you use the word “titties” in a twitter post, curiosity is going to get the best of them, and people will go click on the link! And is is not false advertising! There are, in fact, eight different breasts on the sight… No duplicates! Sex sells, and you know what, that has been working quite well for the Save Thundercats! Campaign.
The Photography that you see was done by the amazing Greg De Stefano! He new exactly what we were going for, and nailed it right on the head! You can see more of his work at www.gdfoto.com.

PNN: You mentioned that you already have 2000 signatures [At the time of the interview]; is this a number that will really sway WB or just a beginning milestone you had in mind?
MR: Since this has never really been done before, I am not sure how many signatures would be a convincing number. The important part, is to let them know that there are people paying attention, and that what is going on is not acceptable. Also, this petition would help the series potentially get picked up by another network if they knew it was something people were invested in. So, ultimately, the more signatures, the higher the percentage is that they are going to take us seriously!

PNN: Do you feel this is a network programming decision on behalf of Cartoon Networking; or from up on high thru WB wanting to showcase more DC properties off of which they can make more money?
MR: Animation is taking a hit all around. There are several other shows that are on the chopping board; that is why the Save Thundercats movement is for great animated T.V. everywhere, and a push for more, not less of it. Thundercats just happened to be the right show to really grab the attention of the adults that this is a widely unaddressed issue. Ultimately, there were poor decisions made from all parties, and this is not a campaign to chastice those companies, just to let them know that we are paying attention!

 

PNN: As much as I love T-cats; why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your other projects.
MR: Well, to make a long story short, I am an actor, and a host in the geek-centric industry, as well as just an over all nerd. I actually wanted to make sure that all the girls I picked for the shoot, were also nerd girls with a face in the nerd industry. All of us are gamers, comic book readers, and role players!

PNN: I saw the teaser trailer for Batgirl: Spoiled and it looks pretty promising! What are the plans for that?
MR: Yes! That is another project I am heavily involved in. I am a producer and writer on that project, as well as playing Batgirl. The series is going to be 12 episodes long, and should  be launching in late summer. We will be running a kickstarter to raise the funs, so be sure to keep a look out for that! For more info follow us @batgirlspoiled or go to our website www.batgirlthewebseries.com .

PNN: Interesting choice going with Stephanie Brown instead of Babs as Batgirl; a bold move that I applaud! I’ve been a big fan of her character from Spoiler, to the only female Robin, and absolutely loved her run as Batgirl before DC removed her to reintroduce Barbra in the new 52. Why’d you decide to go with her over the OG Batgirl?
MR: Stephanie is essentially the Buffy the Vampire slayer of the DCU. She has always been the unsung hero; never the strongest; didn’t have the most training; but was very compelling as a person, and certainly the most relatable. She didn’t come from wealth, and she has to fight her way to the top. There are many more elements that people can relate to with Steph, then say, Barbra. Along with that, her series was canceled right in the height of her prime in order to make room for the DC52. This caused many fans to crave more Stephanie! Ultimately, we felt she was the most compelling person to tell the story we felt needed to be told.

PNN: Already I’ve noticed some hate on the youtube comments for this choice; How will portraying Steph change the aspirations & intent of your web series?
MR: You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If we went with Barbra, there would be people asking why we didn’t go with Stephanie. Barbra has had her time in the spot light. We wanted to showcase a more real, more relateable Batgirl. Everyone can commiserate with her story. We thought this would be the most interesting story that people could get invested in, and continue to come back and see her transition.

PNN: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us! I urge everyone that is or was a fan of the T-Cats or quality animation to head over to the petition and help save the Thundercats!

And for more of Marisha, check her out on twitter @Marisha_Ray and check out some of her other projects as well!
Super Power Beat Down
The Quasi-Psychologists (Which is a podcast were we answer YOUR Bullshit problems with Bullshit)
The Grind (A video game sketch and news show)

Stay Nerdy My Friends!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  16 Responses to “Save The Thundercats!”

  1. i want another season

    • As do I; it’s going to be up to people like you and may thru word of mouth to get as many people signing this petition as possible. It worked for Star Trek and if we’re as serious about saving the show as we say we are then we can too!
      Take to twitter and facebook and spread the word and the love! Thanks for reading!

  2. Reblogged this on The Raptor's Claw and commented:
    I like ThunderCats, both old, and new. See, I have a curse, if I like a TV show, its sure to expire!

  3. I was so excited when the Thundercats reboot first aired. And then, as the episodes progressed, my excitment turned to worry.

    I find that the threat of cancellation looming over Thundercats has very little to do with toy sales and time slots and more to do with an overall lack of quality. Sure, the VA’s do a fantastic job and the animation is great (big shout of thanks to Studio 4C) but great VA’s and animation does not a success make.

    Thundercats lacked many key elements to really push it ahead to make it succeed in an industry that seems to be in decline since the popularity boom of the home gaming console and at times, it seemed as if the Crew just had no clue what they were doing.

    In no particular order, some of the issues that have troubled the show since the get-go are:

    1. Fairness to fans. As many fans watched the episodes progress, they noticed that the crew was showing bias to certain groups of fans and not fans as a whole. Choices and decesions were made that left fans upset and frustrated, feeling like they’d been lied to and cheated. One of the biggest examples of lack of fairness to fans was including a romance where none needed to be. Another example is that since romance was done, the pairings should not have mirrored what was already done in the comic series. To be fair to fans, different pairings should have been established.

    2. Character development…or lack thereof. It took 17 episodes to get a backstory on Tygra. It took 18 episodes to get backstory on the Kittens. Panthro’s has been sporadic at best and those stretchy arms…..UGH. Cheetara……still waiting. All we know about Cheetara is that she was an orphan who wanted to be a cleric, that she became a cleric not on her own like she promised she would but by relying on a young tiger who had just tried to kill his younger brother, and that since being paired with Tygra, her role in the group has been reduced from main female character to Tygra’s cheerleader and armcandy. I mean seriously, outside of the 15 seconds it took to break the crystal in Curse of Ratilla, has Cheetara done ANYTHING along the lines of being a cleric since episode 13? Nope. Then there is Lion-O.. or as the this series has made him known “Tygra’s bootheel.” The OS Thundercats series centered on Lion-O – he was the core of the group. This reboot seems dedicated to showing the fans that Tygra’s line in the pilot about Lion-O being second best to him in everything but the Sword and Crown was 100% true.

    3. Crew comments – hearing Thundercats crew members saying Cheetara was nothing but an “anorexic ho with arthritis and a boob job” discouraged a lot of fans. Hearing Mike Jelenic say he loves to upset fans discouraged many more. Reading Dan Norton’s psychotic and disgusting rants directed at critical fans of the show on Facebook and deviantArt certainly put off a lot of fans as well.

    4. “Misdirection” “misinterpretation,” and “misleading” the fans. Ties in with fan fairness. I can’t think of any cartoon series over the last thirty years that needed to use “misdirection,” “misinterpretation,” and “misleading” as much as this reboot did. According to facebook posts from Dan Norton, misleading the fans was a big part of the show. Seriously, admitting that you enjoy misleading children (since they are the main audience) and that you purposely intend to mislead children is just wrong on so many levels.The OS certainly never needed to use such tactics…

    5. Poorly written episodes that just felt rushed and thrown together last minute. Filler episode after filler episode that had little to nothing to do with the main storyline just about made up episodes 14-26. Thundercats forgot their powers all the *bleeping* time. A poorly done flashback established a rushed pairing that ended up turning away numerous fans. A flower shown in a poorly done flashback being the reason behind a rushed pairing turned away even more fans. Mumm-Ra is supposed to be all powerful in his pyramid but one hit from the Sword of Omens sends him running. A mountain is caving in around Tygra and Cheetara but they don’t even get a speck of dust on them thanks to ‘the power of love” while Lion-O, Panthro, and Pumyra get tossed like a salad amidst debris. Episode 25&26 being nothing more than episodes 12&13 redone, rehashed, and repackaged (I mean c’mon every single element from 12&13 were there, just assigned to different characters and scenes)

    6. Using Wildstorm comics for source material and reference when the crew stated that wouldn’t be the case. T/C pairing right out of comics. The flashback establishing T/C is right out of the comic with how WilyKit meets her boyfriend who – like Tygra – is a member of the guard at the time. Pumyra’s first reaction to Lion-O right out of comics with Cheetara’s reaction to Lion-O. Doberlord and Dobo. Ponzi’s cure-all and Mumm-Ra’s potion of Youth from the comics. Rattaro’s mines and the comics slave mines/prisons. Mutant occupation. Grune and Panthro fighting is similar to Grune and Lion-O fighting in comics. I could go on with this but I think the point’s been made.

    7. Pure unoriginality. Tansformer Tygra, Master Chief outfit on Tygra, Teeney Weeny outfit on Ponzi, PokeMothra, Digimon Godzilla, FF7 Cloud outfit on Lion-O, fishy Captain Ahab, reptillian Moby Dick, raccoon Artful Dodger, Skeksis Vultureman, and so on and so on and so on.

    8. Lack of ratings. Based on the released numbers, I have to disagree with Marisha Ray that the Saturday jump caused the ratings to soar. Omens scored a 2.4 which is really great but then the ratings started their fluctuated decline. Since the jump to Saturday, the ratings have been pretty stagnant holding at around 1.4.
    It’s a tad funny when one looks at the ratings and see that episodes 4 and 6 have some of the highest ratings with a 1.8 and 1.6 respectively and episodes 12, 13, and 14 have actually scored some of the lowest ratings of the entire series. It is funny because episodes 4 and 6 feature some of the more blatant signs that Lion-O and Cheetara would be paired together but epiosdes 12, 13, and 14 are the episodes that establish Tygra and Cheetara as a couple. Just off the ratings, it seems that the choice of character pairings contributed to the possible downfall of the show.

    9. Lack of promotion. On this, I agree with Marisha Ray but like I said, I don’t find this to be a major, major factor.

    10. Shifting time slots. Friday at 8:00pm then 8:30pm then Saturday at 9:30. This really did confuse people. It was difficult to know when the show would be one. On this, I will also agree with Marisha Ray but again, i don’t feel it was a major factor like the other 8.

    Personally, I can’t in good faith sign the petition unless I knew it would result in a new writing and production crew (saving the VA’s) taking over ThunderCats from here on out or it would result in an entire new series of Thundercats.
    From start to finish, there was just too much done wrong with this reboot. At best, the vast majority of what has been released already should serve as a lesson in what NOT to do.

    • What the guy above, said and more. I seriously can’t see how the Crew for the new show could fail so readily as they have with this series. I have made it a point and I’m very vocal in my decision in not signing the petition also. Because I haven’t see anything of quality that’s worth praising. The best episodes of the entire show is the pilot. Everything basically goes down hill from there.

    • Anyway the above comment can replace the main article? Nothing against you PureNerd or Marisha Ray but it does a much better job of detailing the various issues that caused the possible downfall of Thundercats instead of just blaming the network and toy company

      I think numbers 2, 5, 6 and 7 really get to the heart of things.

      As an example, for it to take 22 episodes for Lion-O to admit he has tech issues (even though he has been traveleing in a mobile unit consisting entirely of tech and never seemed to have a problem with it) and in the same episode make him come around to once again embrace tech is just a shining example of not only poor character development but bad writing.
      I find that the Kittens have had more character development and growth than Lion-O has.

      I can’t bring myself to sign the petition because when it comes to the Thundercats reboot, the only thing Thundercats about it to me are the names used.

      • Nope, it can not. The purpose of the article was not to chronicle the downfall of the show; but rather to raise awareness in an attempt to try and save it by focusing on the individual who is currently doing the most to try and do so. It’s a television show; if you like it, you like it, if you don’t, you don’t. I for one do like it for the various reasons i’ve detailed in other comments here. However I realize that not everyone is going to have the same opinion; and it saddens me that not everyone who was a fan of the original either doesn’t like it or actually offended by it.

        While KaijuCeaser’s reply and opinion was certainly very well constructed and extremely detailed and informative, my purpose here was to reach the almost 1.4 million people that still have Thundercats liked on facebook; because if their only source for news is coming thru official channels than they won’t know that perhaps their favorite show is no longer on the air until it’s already too late. As I said before it’s not only a well reasoned and intelligent opinion but one he has every right to. If you would like to see a post like that I would urge you to encourage him to start his own blog; I personally try not to write about things I don’t like on this site, as I find it to only be giving press and credence to those things; not to mention just extra anger and headache for me.

        Thank you though for reading and taking the time to comment; every opinion is valid, even the one’s I don’t agree with.

      • Harsh dude. The article was really good. I liked it. Hats off to PureNerd for the great job!! Everyone seriously give a digital round of applause and PureNerd, take a digital bow.

        I didn’t see the article as blaming anyone; they just discussed possible things that might have come into play.

        Yeah, that KaijuCeaser did a bang up job pointing out of pointing out what did go wrong but I don’t think the purpose of the article was to detail that. Maybe PureNerd might do an article about that later, maybe not.

        Since they both did such good jobs presenting their sides, I’m standing with both PureNerd and KaijuCeaser on this one.

        • Thanks man! It’s easy to tear down, harder to be a fan, and harder still to create something.
          Let’s also give some love to Marisha as without her efforts this would be a non-issue; the show would probably just go away completely after CN would have already filled the timeslot & have it be already too late to do anything about it.

  4. While I agree there are some shortcomings with the show (as there are with all things), namely an unnecessary love story and more than a fair share of filler episodes; I feel the art, writing, and overall story are certainly worth saving. I like having something I can watch with my son that we both enjoy. I like that he gets a chance to grow up loving the same things as I did and that it would be something we could bond over as he grows up. I like watching it for the art and action alone, it’s entertaining!

    That being said the creator/crew comments are not at all appropriate. This is why I tend to not seek out things outside of the show; not that it’s not something worth knowing but it seriously taints ones perspective and as a fan just does more harm than good. It’s very easy to get jaded working in television (hell it’s the whole reason this site exists) and everyone that works on the show is human; I’m not going to let one person having a bad day ruin my entire enjoyment of a show.

    As for Lion-O’s character I love how flawed he is starting this new series. He’s not all knowing and all powerful finding out what new monster we can save Snarf from this week. He’s imperfect, he has room to grow; and that makes him relatable!

    • It’s one thing to have a flawed and imperfect main character but when that character is pretty much kept flawed and imperfect throughout the series and really doesn’t grow much at all, that is counter-productive to success and does not make the character relatable at all.
      Me personally, I never found the life of a punching bag to be all that relatable to.

      (LOL) If the crew was going for flawed and imperfect but relatable for their main hero, they should have read some Spider-Man comics for inspiration first. :)

  5. Os novos Thuncercats são maravilhosos!!! E daí que tem erros??? Eles não podem acabar com a série assim do nada, só porque não rende??? Fala sério quanto capitalismo….querem destruir nossos sonhos cada vez mais!

    Kisses from Brazil

    • Holy crap, our first international comment!
      Thanks for reading, and I’m sorry if google translator messes this up but:

      Muito obrigado pela leitura. Concordo os novos Thundercats são maravilhosos! Devemos fazer tudo que podemos para salvar o show escreva para Cartoon Network para ajudar!

  6. I’m a bit surprised they ended the show like that!! I’d really like to see how they were going to redeem Pumyra, if they were at all. And always more Lion-o growing into his role of king.

  7. [...] Thundercats has started, gathering over 7500 signatures to date; and earlier this year we did an interview with Marisha Ray; the petition’s [...]

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>