Thunderbirds – Stuff You Like

5, 4, 3, 2, 1: THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!
But what makes the live-action movie such a disappointment compared to the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson series in the 1960s?
Which had Supermarionation! Which is to say: PUPPETS!

Short answer: Trying to turn Thunderbirds into a Spy Kids ripoff is a bad idea.

About Sursum Ursa

Ursa presents Stuff You Like, where fangirls + analysis + awesome examples of media = good times for all.


  1. TragicGuineaPig

    I remember an anime version of the show that was actually pretty cool. I think it was called Thunderbirds 2086.

    People don’t need to be dissing Aquaman. Aquaman once CHOPPED HIS OWN HAND OFF WITH A BELT BUCKLE to save his baby! And then REPLACED IT WITH A GIANT HONKING GOLD PIRATE HOOK! And he was sporting long hair and a beard at the time.

  2. I think I remember the live action movie only. I didn’t know it was based off of anything. The original would have freaked me out though. That time of animation/look has always creeped me out.

  3. I agree, “Busted – Thunderbirds Are Go” is a pretty good song… Personally I’m just not a fan of the countdown at the start of the song. Having grown up with the Supermarionation version, it feels… off. And I can’t properly articulate how (something about the pacing, enunciation, and lack of roaring engine and thunderclap before “Thunderbirds are go.”). So I edited the MP3, took out Busted’s intro, and inserted the original intro from the puppet version.

    One thing that /really/ bothered me about the 2004 movie was that one of the main plot points of the original Supermarionation is that the Traceys didn’t want the thunderbirds filmed – to the point where their tech was outfitted with the ability to DETECT someone filming them, and to remotely erase film. Heck, at least one episode had them complete the rescue in the first couple minutes, then they spent the rest of the episode chasing down a guy that managed to record the thunderbirds in action.

    The movie then STARTED with a live news broadcast of the thunderbirds in action. I get that the technology in the 2004 movie was modern, so it would be considerably more difficult to avoid being filmed when every jerkwad and their dog has a cellphone with camera in their pocket (compared to bulky reels of film or Polaroids), but surely you could have some kind of hand-wavy tech solution that would prevent cameras from working properly, and prevent live broadcasting…

    • TragicGuineaPig

      In fact, that should be easier to accomplish, since all they’d have to do is use the internet to trace any video to its source, hack the device, and just delete it. Of course, keep in mind, this was 13 years ago; camera phone were only just starting to become a thing, much less have enough hardware to record any high quality videos of any significant length.

  4. I’m not surprised Lady Penelope is one of the most popular characters on the show. She is basically a lady superspy with an awesome car full of gadgets after all. What’s not to love?

  5. The show made it across to the northern side of the other side of the pond at least. Though I watched it in the 80s.

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