ThunderCats is an American animated television series that was produced by Rankin/Bass Productions (the same that created the SilverHawks, TigerSharks, and The Comic Strip) debuting in 1985, based on the characters created by Tobin "Ted" Wolf. The series follows the adventures of a group of cat-like humanoid aliens. The animation was provided by Pacific Animation Corporation. Season 1 of the show aired in 1985 (65 episodes), followed by a TV movie entitled ThunderCats - HO! in 1986. Seasons 2, 3, and 4 followed a new format of twenty episodes each, starting with a five part story; these aired from 1987 to to 1988, 1988 to 1989, and 1989 to 1990, respectively.
The series was originally distributed by Rankin-Bass Productions' then-parent company Telepictures Corporation, which would later merge with Lorimar Productions. Near the end of 1988, Lorimar-Telepictures was purchased by and folded into Warner Bros., whose television syndication arm would eventually assume distribution of the show; Warner Bros. have had the rights to the series (and all Lorimar-Telepictures programming) from that point on.
There were also several comic book series produced: Marvel Comics' version, 1985 to 1988; and five series by Wildstorm, an imprint of DC Comics (Warner Bros.' corporate sibling), beginning in 2003. Items of clothing featuring the ThunderCats logo and DVD boxsets of the original series have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as nostalgia for the former children's favorite has grown.
It was announced on June 5, 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 been reported that the movie is on hold. Concept art for the film has also been leaked online.
In May 2009, the first new merchandise related to the ThunderCats property was announced by Hard Hero, a company specializing in highly detailed fantasy statues. The first statue was released in early 2010.
In June 2010, a Warner Bros press release revealed that a new animated series was in production for Cartoon Network. The series will be co-produced by Japan's Studio 4°C.