This article is about the television series. For the character, see Thundarr.
Thundarr the Barbarian 1980's Saturday morning animated television series, created by Stever Gerber and produced by Ruby-Spears Production. The series lasted for 2 seasons, 1980-1982.
Directly inspired by comic books, with the likes of R.E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian and Flash Gordon, Thundarr the Barbarian is set in a future (3994 AD) post-apocalyptic wasteland divided into kingdoms or territories — the majority of which are ruled by wizards — and whose ruins typically feature recognizable geographical features from the United States, starting in New York City and working itself to Mount Rushmore, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Other episodes with recognizable settings are located in Central America, Mexico and one in London. Another notable feature of this future Earth is that the Moon was broken in two pieces, but the gravity of the pieces drew them back together, orbiting at roughly the same height as the intact Moon once did. The shattered moon and the ruins of the former human civilization were caused by the passage of a runaway planet (more resembling a comet) between the Earth and the Moon in 1994, which, from scenes shown in the opening sequence, caused radical changes in the Earth's climate, geography and tidal effects. This was also called the Great Cataclysm. However, by the time period in which the series is set (2,000 years later), the Earth and Moon seem to have settled into a new balance. Earth is reborn in a world of savagery, super-science, and sorcery.
The hero Thundarr (voiced by Robert Ridgely), a muscular warrior, was meant to be strongly akin to the comic book characters Thor the God of Thunder and Conan The Barbarian. In this setting, Thundarr and his companions Princess Ariel, a formidable young sorceress, and the Wookiee-like Ookla the Mok traveled the world on horseback, battling evil wizards who combine magical spells with technologies from the pre-catastrophe world.
The year: 1994. From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction! Man's civilization is cast in ruin! Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn. A strange new world rises from the old: a world of savagery, super science and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice! With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil. He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!
- Thundarr (voiced by Robert Ridgely) – The main protagonist of the series. He is a barbarian that was once a slave to Sabian until he was freed by Princess Ariel and given the Sunsword which he uses as a weapon in his fight against evil wizards and other villains. Further Star Wars influences can be seen in Thundarr's weapon of choice, the Sunsword, which projects a blade-like beam of energy when activated, and can be deactivated so that it is only a hilt. The Sunsword's energy blade can deflect other energy attacks as well as magical ones, can cut through nearly anything, and can disrupt magical spells and effects. The Sunsword is magically linked to Thundarr and as such, only he can use it; however, this link can be disrupted. Thundarr was frequently uttering such pronouncements as "Demon dogs!", "Lords of Light!", and the Thundarr war-cry "Aaaaahh-ee!".
- Ookla the Mok (voiced by Henry Corden) – Ookla is a member of the Mok species, a leonine humanoid with fangs and yellow eyes. In Thundarr the Barbarian's back-story, Ookla and Thundarr were enslaved in the court of the wizard Sabian until Sabian's stepdaughter Princess Ariel helped them escape. As a Mok, Ookla has great strength, usually fighting by ripping up a nearby sapling or piece of wreckage to club his enemies. On a few occasions he is shown to use a longbow that fires a type of paralyzing arrow. However, he is also the most likely of the heroes to charge right into an enemy attack or to be enraged by unusual nuisances or threats. Moks dwell in their own territory, ruled by a king; they fear and hate water, preferring to face overwhelming odds in battle rather than wade through a stream to escape. Both Thundarr and Ariel generally understand the howls that make up Ookla's speech, but Thundarr seems to know more about Mok culture than Ariel, perhaps because he and Ookla met and worked together as slaves before either met Ariel. Whereas Thundarr and Ariel ride horses for transport, Ookla's steed is another quadrupedal species called an equort.
- Princess Ariel (voiced by Nellie Bellflower) – Ariel is a beautiful and powerful sorceress. Not much was revealed about her past before she met Thundarr except that she was the stepdaughter of an evil wizard named Sabian. She learned of Earth's history from his library. In the episode "Battle of The Barbarians", Thundarr was once a slave of the evil wizard Sabian before being freed by Princess Ariel. It is also thought that she gave Thundarr his principal weapon, the Sunsword. It was never revealed exactly where she was a princess. Her most common feats of sorcery involved creating light constructs, ranging from throwing exploding spheres to levitating weights to summoning nets, shields, or bridges over chasms. She could also produce powerful energy blasts, blinding light and magically reanimate machines. At times she shows romantic feelings toward Thundarr. Though he never outwardly returns them, it is clear that he does care for her.
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