ThunderCats Episode #03 – Ramlak Rising Review

ThunderCats Episode #03 – Ramlak Rising Review They’re going to need a bigger boat.

What They Say:
Ramlak Rising

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the destruction of the capitol city and the return of Mumm-ra to the world in a very public fashion, Lion-O and the others have significant challenges ahead of them. The loss of his father by treason of a trusted friend has hit deep but Lion-O has to be proactive at this point by dealing with Mumm-ra. His age definitely shows as he intends to go after him first and foremost rather than going after the Book of Omens as recommended. Nobody else is keen on the idea, but they’ve sworn their loyalty to the king and that’s what he is now. A king of little to nothing though, as the capitol is in ruins and hardly any of the citizens remain. The scale of destruction is significant, but it’s also being made very clear just how far gone Lion-O is as he’s even ignoring a pair of young kids that they come across that end up following along.

The journey itself is really well done even if it is just a series of shots of various locales along the way. There’s a lot revealed about the landscape of the world and there’s really good sense of detail and scale involved while fleshing things out just a little. What they run into though, at a time when supplies are low, is a Moby Dick style story that has a flying ship over the desert capture them that’s intent on dealing with a massive, tentacled creature called the Ramlak that dwells below the sand. The sea-like creatures that run the ship are interesting in design, and I liked that going below decks has them entering a zone of the ship filled with water rather than being just like above. They play up sailing types in true stereotypical fashion, but it works well enough while not really staking out any new ground.

There’s an obvious bonding that goes on here as the captain is completely filled with hate and thoughts of revenge that mirrors Lion-O’s own. While it most definitely makes sense for him to feel this way with what he’s been through with his age, they could have definitely done it in a bet-ter manner. While the show is aimed at younger audiences than myself, it’s still kind of simplistic in a way that I had hoped the series would avoid a bit more considering how good the first two episodes were. Seeing Lion-O go over the edge for the most part, thrilled with the events that are unfolding that gives him a chance to cut loose, is definitely a good piece though since it can be a cathartic element for him in the end.

In Summary:
What helps save the episode overall is that if this had been done back in the 80′s, it would have been even more of a moral of the week kind of story. Here, we do get to let Lion-O get violent and act out with his emotions and we don’t have Tigra and Cheetara trying to sway him off of that path constantly with pithy words. They’re concerned, but they’re bound by duty and suffer through it. The show also works well to introduce the two younger characters, ones that I positively disliked in the previous incarnation, and they come across well here as petty thieves of sorts, though mostly just younglings trying to survive after everything went to hell. Those pieces, combined with very good animation that shows you what a TV show should be like when it comes to this part of it, lets it work better than it should, though it still can’t escape its Moby Dick origins.

Grade: B-

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