Tygra's poor characterization

Discussion in 'ThunderCats (1985)' started by Wilycub, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Tygra definitely played the most important part in saving them in "The Wolfrat". He made the formula to neutralise the original shrinking potion. But he didn't get much credit for it at the end. And that is indeed the problem with his episodes. He doesn't get the credit except in "Pumm-Ra".

    Another good Tygra moment, which I bring up on a regular basis, is "Divide And Conquer" - he actually has the most victories in that episode, he defeats the Giantaur single-handedly, and then rescues Cheetara from the giant bee, before they all team up to rescue Panthro. This episode is so often overlooked but to me it's always been a highly praiseworthy one for not just relying on the sword to fix everything. It doesn't have Lion-O using the catchphrase when he's in a jam and the others all suddenly finding the strength from somewhere to overcome obstacles that were impossible a moment before. Some of the characters rescue themselves from their predicaments, others need to be rescued by someone else, and that's like life. Some people can get out of sticky situations on their own, some need a helping hand, it all depends on the situation.
     
    Mark M, Wilycub and Tygra_Rules like this.
  2. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    Yeah, that was part of the problem: when he did good, it was never acknowledged properly by the others, but it was credited as teamwork.

    When he did wrong, on the other hand, he was either thankful to the others for helping him ("Trouble with Time", "Fireballs of Plun-Darr", "Turmagar the Tuska) or sorry for causing trouble and apologises ("Garden of Delights", "Crystal Canyon", "Mossland Monster"). I think this contributed to the image of him as weak or vulnerable (rather than humble and with integrity)

    I think no other TC ever apologised for th troubles caused (maybe Cheetara in Dimenson Doom) or thanked the others for saving him/her, so when Tygra did, his errors got somehow remarked o highlighted to the audience.
     
    Mark M, LiamABC and Wilycub like this.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    That's a good point too. And let's face it - how many apologies and thank-yous did Lion-O owe the others and never give?
     
    Tygra_Rules likes this.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I know we have said this before but a lot of Tygra's poor characterization is down to Peter Lawrence just not liking the character.
    Perhaps the writers originally wanted to do more with him and Peter altered the scripts to put more emphasis on the characters he liked?

    I have said this before and I will say it again. The Thundercats are a team and that is how they should have been instead of Lion-O being the leader, just as good as all the others, with a magic sword that can solve everything.
    The show was Thuindercats not Lion-O or Lion-O and the Thundercats.
    Even in titled shows like He-Man and Bravestarr, they still had a lot of teamwork that did not always rely on the titular hero saving the day.
    To me Thundercats should have been more like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. An equal team with no emphasis on one character more than the others.
    Could you imagine how TMNT would have preformed had Leonardo been given a magic sword while the others had normal weapons.
     
    Tygra_Rules and Wilycub like this.
  5. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Certainly his being abandoned on Third Earth along with Pumyra in season 4 was Peter Lawrence's decision, and a bloody AWFUL decision that was too. There was just no excuse. OK, if you want to leave a couple of cats behind as a guard on Third Earth, make sure everyone gets their turn. The only time we saw any guard rotation was in "The Mossland Monster" and even that made it painfully clear that Tygra was expected to return to Third Earth again quickly.
     
    Mark M and Tygra_Rules like this.
  6. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    Yeah, that didn't help.

    There was nor eason for that. If you didn't like them (Tygra and Pumyra) just take them to New Thundera as well and then send them on special missions or something to write them off of the episiodes, but don't leave them alone in Third Earth. I too was expecting a rotation system.

    The final insult was not having them on the final episode. Was it so hard to drop them in with a single line like "Glad you two could make it to visit us" or ""Nice to have the whole gang again for a while" or something like that at the beginning of the ep and then develop the action?
     
    Mark M and LiamABC like this.
  7. tone

    tone Berbill

    Question: in a theoretical reboot, would you guys want to see the Ho! Thundercats retained, or would you want the focus to remain on the original lineup?
     
  8. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    I would like to see Lynx-O's crew retained in a theoretical ThunderCats, Ho! reboot without sidelining Lion-O's crew, plus have Tygra be the ThunderCats' acting lord in a dire situation.
     
  9. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    With the Tygra and Pumyra situation they could have done something like they did with Transformrs and G.I. Joe.
    In both Transformers and G.I. Joe they did not stick to always having the same cast in the episodes.
    G.I. Joe would usually differ between missions led by Duke and Flint and sometimes whoever was best suited for the mission.
    Following the Transformers movie most episode differed with missions on earth and Cybertron and space.
    Thundercats should have done episodes still set on Third Earth. Tygra could have been in charge of a team of himself, Pumyra, Turmagar, Snowman and some Berbils etc.
    Lion-O could even have been with them on some missions.
    But they shouldn't have had to rely on shoe horning Lion-O into every episode and sorting everything out with the sword.
    In G.I. Joe and Transformers there are episodes where the leaders don't appear at all or have little to no involvement at all in the missions.
    They should have presented Tygra and Pumyra as fully competent warriors able to deal with any situation on Third Earth.
    It would also have bene nice seeing some of the other Thundercats show up on Third Earth as well as Tygra and Pumyra on New Thundera.
     
    Tygra_Rules likes this.
  10. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    For the whole Tygra and Pumyra staying on Third Earth thing, there were much many and better ways to handle it:
    • The already mentioned rotation system.
    • Maybe it wouldn't have been so dissonant if the three new TCs remained in Third Earth while all the noble went to Thundera or vice-versa. That is, don't dismantle the Noble core group, it had no sense at all.
    • Have the ones in Third Earth visiting New Thundera more often.
    • Have more episodes centered on Third Earth so the remaining ones have some action. Maybe Lion-O sees somethig with SBS and the TCs in New Thundera had to travel to Third Earth, or tehy were just visiting there when something happened.
    • I like the idea of a Council of Good (like in 2002's MOTU): Tygra + Pumyra (or whatever other TC in turn) + Willa and Nayda + Turgamar + Mandora, etc- I mean, after all, that was Lion-O's idea when they left, wasn't it? It's like saying "We trust you" and then not doing it at all.
     
    Mark M and LiamABC like this.
  11. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I'll bet Peter Lawrence would have killed Tygra off if he'd been allowed to. But they knew they'd never get away with it.

    When pitching the idea for the GI Joe movie, they wanted to kill off Duke. The network said sure, and let's kill off Optimus Prime in the Transformers movie too! The Transformers movie got aired first, and the backlash was predictable, the kids were distraught. The makers knew that they had to save Duke, because if they did this to the kids a second time, they'd get lynched. So they changed it to saying he'd gone into a coma, and added some dialogue at the end of the film saying he'd recovered. Although you can tell it was a quick fix. You look at the animation when Duke goes down, they're crying, not gasping. They're not worried that he might die, they're sad that he has died. And Falcon's line at the end "thanks big brother" makes more sense when it's directed at a dead man. And then of course Transformers managed to bring back Optimus Prime . . .
     
  12. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Leonard Starr wanted to kill off Mumm-Ra and that idea was shot down immediately. Who knows what he had in mind.
    I would like to think it wasn't replacing him with the Lunatacks.
    Maybe the Lunatacks were stars revenge...or maybe the Lunatacks are the result of Lawrence butchering Starr's script?

    In fairness though. Tygra was always seen as Lion-O's second in command and head of the Thundercats council. In a way I suppose it did make sense for him to be the one to stay behind and look after matters on Third Earth. He definitely seemed the most qualified compared tot he others.
     
  13. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I guess - although in season 2 that role seemed to be taken more actively by Panthro.

    The problem was definitely more the complete sidelining of Tygra as a character than anything else. If they'd had episodes where they'd gone back to Third Earth and Tygra had been heavily involved, that would have been fine. But of course New Thundera . . . that's the biggest problem with the series. The whole planet re-forming is dodgy enough to start with, but then factor in all this stuff about the Treasure Of Thundera, devoting a whole season to finding random bits of the treasure is just insane, and then have them suddenly decide to decamp to there permanently after they have made a new home for themselves on Third Earth - hell, there's a reason Snarf stayed with the Thundercats at the end of "Feliner" FFS!
     
  14. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I think Tygra's characterisation is proof there was a problem with the calibre of writers working on Thundercats.
    They had a problem with one of the main cast because Lawrence found him boring.
    Yet Lawrence had no problem reforming planets and adding new mythical artifacts or fixing scripts with breathing in space and guest characters that were more interesting than the main cast.
     
    LiamABC likes this.
  15. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    A lot of people say 80's cartoons were all about marketing toys.
    I think that is the real area Rankin Bass and LJN really failed at compared to the other cartoon and toy lines.
    Just look at Tygra's action figures.
    They were awesome! In the cartoon he had a great look, a cool weapon, could turn invisible and mind powers. Yet he was considered boring and never given a real chance to be considered the star in any episode.
    [​IMG]
    This is Kup. One of the worst G1 Transformers toys. Looked little like his animation model. Barely moved with the exception of his arms at the shoulders. His elbows could move due to the transformation method. Hi alternate mode didn't even look like anything, a futuristic pick up truck.
    Yet the writers of Transformers had no problem making his character interesting and funny, being in the majority of season three episodes and a starring role in the movie and episodes.
    [​IMG]
    Ironically Tygra and Kup both have a lot of turquoise. Kup's animation model even more.

    Most of the Transformers season 3 toys that were introduced in the movie were pretty crap. Yet Hasbro made the writers showcase each character regardless of how good or bad the toy was so that it would sell. Even the star of the Movie and season 3 Rodimus Prime was an even worse toy than Kup!
    Honestly google most of the toys of the movie and season 3 characters toys and be prepared to be disappointed. I remember around 2002 when I first started using the internet and looked up the G1 toys and being shocked at how awful the toys were compared to what I thought they would look like.

    Okay Transformers the movie might not be the best example since they killed off the majority of the season 1 and 2 characters to make way on the toy shelves for the new merchandise. ;) But my point is they were not killed off just because the writing team found them boring and couldn't do anything with them.
    Allegedly and I could be wrong on this but the slew of new merchandise for the movie and season 3 were all Hasbro's own original creations, with the exception of Ultra Magnus, whilst the season 1 and 2 character toys were all older toy moulds from Diaclone, Kronoform and Microman that they had licenced from Takara and other companies so it was a financial marketing tactic.

    Rankin Bass wouldn't let Leonard Starr kill off Mumm-Ra due to toy sales.
    Yet they let Peter Lawrence get rid of Tygra and Pumyra because he thought they were boring.
    There is definitely a problem with that logic.
    Rankin Bass really should have made it a point to get the writers to showcase each character more instead of focussing on formulaic episodes of Lion-O saving the day with his sword and catchphrase.
    If only they had hired the likes of Buzz Dixon, Paul Dini, Flint Dille, David Wise, Michael Reaves, Christy Marxs, Donald F. Glut etc.
    If they had done that there would have surely been better toy sales and who knows maybe today Thundercats would be in a similar situation like some of it's 80's contemporaries enjoying various reboot cartoons, toy lines, movies, comics and video games etc.



     
    LiamABC likes this.
  16. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    If you want to sell the action figures, make the kids like the characters. Simple rule.
     
  17. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    I've seen a classic promo for ThunderCats on YouTube that showcased Tygra. That promo treated him better than the show ever did and remains fresh in my mind. Unfortunately, it has been removed from YouTube.
     
    LiamABC likes this.

Share This Page