Well, everything you've heard is true: Cartoon Network has created a new Thundercats. But here's the good news--it doesn't suck and is in fact awesome and better than the original.
Speaking of the original, I definitely watched it, but there's not a lot I remember about it. Here's all I can piece together from the far reaches of my brain:
A bunch of cat people crash-land on a planet in a spaceship. They are:
Lion-O: steroidal whiny man-child
Cheetara: hot babe
Snarf: MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER IN THE HISTORY OF ANIMATION
Oh, and there's also a bunch of lizards and some creepy blue evil wizard dude. And of course the sword.
My understanding is that the plot of the new series is going to be a bit different (and darker thank goodness). We start in the city of Thundera where the Thundercats have been the ruling species for generations. But the lizards are not happy about this and there are strange rumors about an evil known as Mumm-Ra and "technology". Lion-O is the only one who really believes that these rumors might be true, as the other inhabitants of Thundera are content to be total jerks. Oh, except Cheetarah and this one old cleric dude who encourages Lion-O to believe in himself. I should also mention that Lion-O and Tigra are brothers and both princes of Thundera (as their dad is the King), but Tigra for some reason can't be the heir so Lion-O is the king-in-training. That part is kind of confusing to me.
But, whatever. The plot is not really important here. What is important is that the show has awesome fight and battle scenes (though the premiere draws a bit too heavily from the Lord of the Rings movies) and the quality of the animation and writing is pretty awesome. There's lots to like here and I feel that everything that was great about the original series is even greater and everything that sucked has been improved. Including Snarf. He's gone from the most annoying character in the history of animation to pretty freaking adorable. Mostly because he can't talk.
I'll leave you with a two interesting tidbits about about the new series:
*One of the executive producers was also the producer of Avatar: The Last Airbender
*Larry Kenney (the original voice of Lion-O) is voicing Lion-O and Tigra's father, Claudus. I find that one particularly fun.
Thundercats airs on the Cartoon Network Friday nights at 8:30 EST.