Hear The Roar!
by David Crichton
Telos Publishing, 2011
Go behind the scenes of the ThunderCats with author David Crichton in Hear The Roar!, a massive 500-page book detailing the history, development, and individual episodes of the iconic 1980s cartoon. Interviews with people intimately involved abound in this volume, giving the reader an in-depth look at what goes on before the show ever airs. The reader is treated with pre-development pitches and even an article by psychological consultant Dr. Robert Kuisis entitled, “The Role of ThunderCats as a Pro-Social Programme.” The grind of producing a 65-episode season is explained by supervising producer Lee Dannacher and script editor Peter Lawrence. Leonard Starr’s storytelling objectives are reproduced, as well as the “Achilles heels” for each of the characters.
A large portion of the book is devoted to profiles of the scriptwriters, from the most prolific (Starr and Lawrence) to those who had only one script. The writers’ episodes are listed, and memories of their time with Rankin-Bass are recorded. In addition to the writing, the artwork, music, and voiceover work of the series is documented in Hear The Roar!
In part two, Crichton presents an episode guide complete with US and UK broadcast dates, writer’s commentary, and a rating on a 5-star scale for each individual episode. Part three presents biographical sketches of each character appearing in the series, from the ThunderCats to the Forces for Good and Forces for Evil, and explores the settings where their adventures took place. Part four gives the details of the merchandise, specifically the toyline produced by LJN.
Closely related to ThunderCats was SilverHawks, and Crichton touches on that series as well in part five of Hear The Roar!, touching on many of the same topics, though not as deeply. For instance, rather than a synopsis and commentary on each episode, there is simply a list of the 65 titles and airdates. Crichton closes his book writing about the legacy of the ThunderCats franchise, and how it has endured and its popularity continues now in the 21st century, and the return of the characters in a new series developed by Warner Brothers.
For die-hard fans of the ThunderCats, Hear The Roar! is a must-have volume contains a wealth of information and should be placed on the shelf right next to the DVD collection.