Thundercats: Season Two, Volume One (DVD) (Discs 1-6) (3-Pack)
The epic Thundercats
saga comes to a close with volume 1 of the top-rated Rankin-Bass animated series' second and final season. As with the premier season, the storylines in season 2 are nothing short of epic and filled with momentous changes, most immediate and notable being the decision to deliver the season in several multi-part episodes. First up is the five-parter "Thundercats Ho!" which brings aboard three new Thunderians who also survived the destruction of the T-cats' home planet and landed on Third Earth; Lion-O and the others battle the evil Mumm-Ra to save their companions, and the struggle ends with what appears to be the destruction of Mumm-Ra. But of course, the villain persists, and with the help of his henchman Ma-Mutt, revives for a second five-parter (titled, appropriately enough, "Mumm-Ra Lives!"), and unleashes a new horde of sinister monsters--the Luna-tacks--who prove more formidable than any of Mumm-ra's previous mutant armies (so powerful, in fact, that one damages the Sword of Omens). "Mumm-Ra Lives!" also serves as an introduction to another new face in the Thundercats family: Snarfer, nephew to longtime comic relief Snarf. Fifteen stand-alone adventures follow before the last of the multi-parters for the set, "Thundercubs," in which several of the heroes are turned into youthful versions of themselves.
Four more individual episodes round out the set, but an additional 30 were produced before the series came to a close in 1986. Quality-wise, the episodes are full-frame and presented in Dolby Digital mono, but lack the remastering that some fans may have hoped for. Extras are somewhat more irreverent this time around: there's a nine-minute featurette on the series' composer, Bernie Hoffner, who is interviewed along with several producers, as well as the pop band the Rembrandts (best known for performing the theme for Friends), who are also seen banging out a power-pop version of the Thundercats theme. Hoffner also gets his own "video," in which he provides a solo take on the song. --Paul Gaita