ARTICLES & FEATURES
When ThunderCats was first broadcast in the mid-1980s, many people’s introduction to the show would have been the series pilot. The pilot, which ran an hour in length (including commercials), showcased the ThunderCats’ origins, their conflict with the Mutants, their arrival on Third Earth, and Lion-O’s first meeting with Mumm-Ra. This pilot consisted of the first two episodes of the ThunderCats series edited together: “Exodus” and “The Unholy Alliance”. Stand-alone versions of these episodes would later air separately in syndication.
Whilst “The Unholy Alliance”‘s portion of the pilot contains no additional footage as compared to the stand-alone version, “Exodus”‘s portion of the pilot features a number of scenes and portions of scenes that were actually cut from the stand-alone version of the episode! These “deleted scenes” have become prized by ThunderCats fans, as many have vivid childhood memories of viewing them, either as part of that original pilot broadcast, or as part of the home video releases of “Exodus” around the world. Understandably, some fans who never saw the stand-alone version of “Exodus” were surprised to find these scenes missing when ThunderCats was released on DVD.
Some of the scenes cut from “Exodus” are among the episodes’s most memorable, adding depth and emotion to the storyline, and it’s a shame that they needed to be cut. Unfortunately, leaving these scenes intact in the stand-alone version of “Exodus” would have rendered the episode too long for syndication.
Here at ThunderCats.org, we are proud to present an in-depth exploration of these “deleted scenes”, complete with video and audio clips, which we hope you will all enjoy!
THE LOST INTRO
Featuring several unique sequences of animation and narrated by Earl Hammond, this special sequence precedes the typical opening sequence and introduces the audience to the series’ main characters. You can read a more in-depth analysis of The Lost Intro here.
DELETED SCENE #1
This extended version of the opening scene shows WilyKat and Panthro engaging in some good-natured verbal sparring, helping to establish the relaxed familiarity that exists between the characters, as well as the reverence that they all show toward Jaga, which heightens the emotional impact of his sacrifice later in the episode.
DELETED SCENE #2
In this scene, we learn that the other ThunderCats were unaware of the Eye of Thundera’s existence, revealing that most Thunderians appeared to regard it as a myth. Jaga tells the other ThunderCats that the Eye will serve Lion-O, and, through him, serve them as well. It transitions smoothly into the sequence in which Jaga gives the ThunderCats their “raiments and weapons”.
DELETED SCENE #3
This scene provides some fascinating background info on the Mutants, with Tygra’s surprised exclamation that the Mutant factions are fighting together as allies. This helps explain the uneasiness of their alliance and their lack of loyalty to one another when working together on Third Earth. We also see S-S-Slithe explain how the Mutants knew that the Thunderian fleet would be so easy to defeat, adding a sense of murderous ruthlessness to the Reptilian’s character.
DELETED SCENE #4
This beautifully-animated cut scene further explores the relationship between the Mutants and how much mistrust there is between the three Mutant leaders.
DELETED SCENE #5
This short deleted scene shows an extended version of the ThunderKittens’ combat with the Reptilians, as well as Jaga demanding of another group of Reptilians the location of their leader, S-S-Slithe. One of the most interesting little touches about this latter sequence is how intimidated the Reptilians are simply by an unarmed Jaga, perhaps inferring that his reputation as a skilled defender of Thundera precedes him, and also shows that the ThunderCats are well aware of S-S-Slithe’s existence as well.
DELETED SCENE #6
The first part of this scene actually features just one very small cut: a short line of dialogue from S-S-Slithe in response to Lion-O’s “You shall not have it while I live!” S-S-Slithe’s cold-blooded response again adds an almost murderous evil to the Reptilain leader’s personality. The second cut sequence shows Jaga asking the other ThunderCats if they are hurt, with Cheetara anxiously asking where Lion-O is.
DELETED SCENE #7
The longest sequence showcased here, much of this scene actually did make it to the final episode, but quite a bit of it also ended up being cut out. Absent from the stand-alone version of the episode are WilyKit’s surprise that Panthro couldn’t find a better planet in the whole universe, as well as Panthro’s response; Snarf’s skepticism of Suspension Capsules; WilyKat trapping his sister inside her Suspension Capsule; Jaga asking Panthro what other options they have, and Panthro’s morbid answer; Jaga’s line “so let’s not have any more talk”; WilyKit’s emotional line telling Jaga that he is always right, which recalls WilyKat’s deleted line in the opening scene; and Jaga’s salute to the ThunderCats in their Capsules. Whilst these may seem like minor edits, when viewed in context with the rest of the scene they add a great deal of emotional weight to Jaga’s impending death.
DELETED SCENE #8
This scene further showcases how muddled Lion-O’s memory was immediately upon emerging from his Suspension Capsule, as he fails to remember that the Capsules contain the other ThunderCats until the Sword of Omens reminds him. It also shows some dramatic animation, again cut from the stand-alone episode, showing the ThunderCats bursting free of their Capsules ready to fight the Mutants.
DELETED SCENE #9
This small scene again shows an extended fight scene involving the ThunderKittens, with WilyKit declaring how being smaller can be an advantage!
ADDITIONAL DELETED DIALOGUE #1
Yes, believe it or not, there are deleted scenes from within the deleted scenes! To tie in with the popularity of the ThunderCats series, several read-along book-and-cassette packs were released by Peter Pan Industries of Newark, New Jersey, featuring adaptations of several ThunderCats TV episodes, including “Exodus”. The corresponding audio tapes for these books, whereby young readers could read along with the story being told on the cassette, featured dialogue taken straight from the episodes themselves. Interestingly, a couple of small lines that were actually cut from both the pilot and the stand-alone version of the episode made it onto the audio tape!
In this first sequence, WilyKat and WilyKit reveal that the Reptilians, Jackalmen and Monkians have always been at war amongst themselves, with Jaga speculating that their alliance must be a last attempt to seize the Eye of Thundera.
ADDITIONAL DELETED DIALOGUE #2
In this second tiny sequence taken from the audio tape, after Snarf has been captured in Jackalman’s net in an attempt to protect the young Lion-O, he cries out “Let me at ’em! All of them!” The line “All of them!” was cut from both the pilot and stand-alone episode.
1 ^ The stand-alone version of “The Unholy Alliance” actually features a few lines of dialogue that were cut in the pilot version: the Mutants’ banter comparing the terrain of Third Earth to that of their beloved Plun-Darr.