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ThunderCats is an American animated series based on a group of cat-like humanoid aliens. The show was created by Tobin "Ted" Wolf and animated by Japanese animation studio, Pacific Animation Corporation. The characters were originally featured in an animated TV series named ThunderCats, running from 1985 to 1989.
The original show was animated in Japan while being produced, written and voice-acted in the United States. Many of the artists went on to be in Studio Ghibli, and worked on Hayao Miyazaki's first film, so "ThunderCats" does have a footprint in Japanese animation. The series was originally distributed by Rankin-Bass Productions' then-parent company Telepictures Corporation, which would later merge with Lorimar Productions in 1986. In 1989, Lorimar-Telepictures was purchased by and folded into Warner Bros., whose television syndication arm would eventually assume distribution of the show; Warner Bros. has had the rights to the series (and all Lorimar-Telepictures programming) from that point on.
There were also several comic book series produced. A ThunderCats comic book series based on the animated series was originally published by Marvel Comics (currently owned by Disney through its Star Comics imprint in 1985, lasting for 3 years and 24 issues. During this time, a new series was published by Marvel UK consisting of 129 issues and was also published for three years. Beginning in 2002 ThunderCats titles were published by Wildstorm Productions, an imprint of DC Comics (Warner Bros.' corporate sibling), and included 5 non-canon mini-series and several one-shots. A side-scrolling video game based on the series, ThunderCats: The Lost Eye of Thundera, was published in 1987.
Items of clothing featuring the ThunderCats logo and DVD boxsets of the original series enjoyed a resurgence in the mid-to-late 2000s as nostalgia for the former children's favorite grew. It was announced on June 7, 2007, that Aurelio Jaro is making a CGI-animated feature film of ThunderCats, based on a script written by Paul Sopocy. In October 2007, Variety magazine revealed that Jerry O'Flaherty, veteran video game art director, had signed on to direct. The film is being produced by Spring Creek Productions. It was originally set for a summer 2010 release, but it has since been reported that the movie is on hold. Concept art for the film has also been leaked online.
A second television series was launched in 2011. Figurines are also back in toy shops.
In the movie "Juno" the eponymous character shouts, "Thundercats are go!" when she realizes she has gone into labor. This has since mistakenly been attributed to the Thundercats television series. In point of fact this was never said in any of the Thundercats episodes. The original quote came from the children's television show of the 1960s entitled "Thunderbirds," in which the exclamation, "Thunderbirds are go!" was uttered whenever departure for a rescue mission by the Tracy family had been authorized.