Composer(s) Randall Crissman
First episode date 11 September 1993
Directed by Robert Alvarez
Country of origin United States
|Created by Christian TremblayYvon Tremblay|
Developed by Glenn LeopoldDavis Doi
Voices of Charlie AdlerLori AlanJim CummingsBarry GordonMark HamillTress MacNeilleCandi MiloGary Owens
Genres Cartoon, Animation, Adventure Film, Science Fiction, Action fiction, Children's television series, Action/Adventure
Cast Barry Gordon, Charlie Adler, Gary Owens, Tress MacNeille, Jim Cummings
Swat kats the radical squadron tv show intro
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is an American animated television series created by Christian Tremblay and Yvon Tremblay and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The series takes place in the fictional metropolis of Megakat City, which is populated entirely by anthropomorphic felines, known as "kats". The titular SWAT Kats are two vigilante pilots who possess a state-of-the-art fighter jet with an array of weaponry. Throughout the series, they face various villains as well competition from Megakat City's militarized police force called the Enforcers.
- Swat kats the radical squadron tv show intro
- Swat kats the radical squadron tv show intro 2
- Reception and cancellation
- International broadcasters
- Home Media releases
- Video game
The show originally premiered and ran on the syndication block The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera, as well as TBS Superstation (as a part of the Sunday Morning In Front Of The TV block) from 1993 to 1995. Every episode of the series was directed by Robert Alvarez. The bulk of the series was written by either Glenn Leopold (13 episodes) or Lance Falk (6 episodes). Jim Stenstrum contributed two episodes, while David Ehrman, Von Williams, Eric Clark (with Lance Falk), Mark Saraceni and Jim Katz all contributed one episode each. A total of twenty-five finished episodes and a special episode, that features a report on the SWAT Kats and of all their missions and gadgets as well as three unfinished episodes and two episodes still in the concept stage.
The show re-aired on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. A revival of the series was funded via Kickstarter, which ended with over $140,000 in funds, guaranteeing new SWAT Kats animation for the first time in over two decades.
Swat kats the radical squadron tv show intro 2
Chance "T-Bone" Furlong and Jake "Razor" Clawson were members of Megakat City's paramilitary law enforcement agency, known as the Enforcers. They were discharged from the Enforcers after disobeying the orders of Commander Feral, which resulted in the destruction of the newly built Enforcer Headquarters. While in pursuit of Dark Kat, one of the main arch-villains of the series, the two rebelled against Enforcer Commander Feral's orders to fall back and leave Dark Kat to him. When they objected, citing their already-acquired target lock, Commander Feral crowded out their jet, clipping their wing and sending Chance and Jake's jet crashing into Enforcer headquarters. The resultant explosion distracted Commander Feral, allowing Dark Kat's escape. The Commander took no responsibility for the incident, and discharged Chance and Jake from the Enforcers and reassigned them to work at the city's military salvage yard to pay for the damage to the Enforcer Headquarters.
Using discarded military parts and weapons from the salvage yard, Chance and Jake built themselves a three-engine jet fighter called the Turbokat, which resembled several different jet fighters, most notably the Grumman F-14 and the Saab Draken, along with a handful of other vehicles such as the Cyclotron (a motorcycle built into the jet's seating, deployed from the bomb bay of the Turbokat like a missile), the TurboMole (a subterranean vehicle used to drill underground), the HoverKat (a militarized hovercraft), and the Thunder Truck (a militarized Jeep modified from their tow truck). All these vehicles were stored, along with a training area and other equipment, in a secret hangar below the yard. T-Bone and Razor now patrol Megakat City as the SWAT Kats, defending it against any kind of menace that threatens the city. Their enemies include the criminal mastermind Dark Kat, the undead sorcerer Pastmaster, the mutant evil genius Doctor Viper, and the robotic gangsters the Metallikats. The SWAT Kats also face many villains-of-the-week, such as Madkat and Volcanus.
The SWAT Kats keep their identities secret from everyone, including their closest ally Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs, who assumes the responsibilities of both her post and of her boss, Mayor Manx, who mainly neglects his political duties in favor of pastimes like golf. Their methods do not endear them to Commander Feral, and the three of them often clash throughout the series. In the second season, Feral's niece Felina (who holds a Lieutenant rank in the Enforcers) becomes another ally of the SWAT Kats.
Reception and cancellation
SWAT Kats became the number one syndicated animated show of 1994, according to Nielsen Television Index (NTI) and Nielsen Syndication Service (NSS). Hanna Barbera Productions also stated this in a SWAT Kats Poster ad that they were going to release new episodes, posters, and other works in 1995. Toon Magazine also published a section about the success of SWAT Kats in Fall 1994 issue. Modelsheets of characters were also released in the same issue. The show was canceled with three unfinished episodes.
Ted Turner, owner of Turner Entertainment which produced and aired the show, was reportedly displeased with the level of violence in the cartoon, leading to the delay of its merchandising and its eventual cancellation. Turner went on record in front of Congress and in an early 1995 interview after the show's cancellation, saying "We have more cartoons than anybody: The Flintstones, The Jetsons, the Smurfs, Scooby-Doo. They're nonviolent. We don't have to worry that we're encouraging kids to kill each other - like SOME of the other cartoon programs do."
Other countries have aired this series around the world.
Home Media releases
In July 1995, Hanna-Barbera (through Turner Home Entertainment) released three VHS collections with two select episodes on each. These releases also included some of the "Secret Files of SWAT Kats" clips that ended each episode in original airings. The VHS releases were titled:
"Deadly Dr. Viper" - featuring "Destructive Nature" and "Katastrophe".
"Strike of Dark Kat" - featuring "The Wrath of Dark Kat" and "Night of Dark Kat".
"Metallikats Attack" - featuring "The Metallikats" and "Metal Urgency".
On December 14, 2010, Warner Archive released SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron- The Complete Series Collection on DVD in region 1, as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.
It should be noted though, that the episodes themselves aren't remastered, but are from the best quality master tapes available and contain no extras or bonus features aside from the episodes themselves. Three scenes that were originally cut from the show were released on DVD. They are the title card of the episode "The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice", the Farmer Scene from the episode "The Giant Bacteria" and the Guidance System scene from the episode "Chaos in Crystal"; the "Today on SWAT Kats" and the "Secret Files of SWAT Kats" segments are not available on the DVD set.
Most episodes of the series were originally preceded by a short prologue in which Razor would say, "Today on SWAT Kats...," with a brief action scene from the episode. After most episodes, there was a small clip called "Secret Files of SWAT Kats" which gave information about the heroes, villains and tech from the show. Another issue with the DVD was the end credits of the show. Warner Bros put the end credits for the episodes in the wrong order, meaning voice actors either weren't credited for episodes they were in, or were credited for ones they weren’t. Only a few episodes had their proper end credits intact.
On March 3, 2011, Warner Bros removed SWAT Kats from its DVD page, most likely to correct the errors, then on January 19, 2012, Warner Archive re-released the SWAT Kats set with the end credits corrected, but still without the "Today on SWAT Kats" or the "Secret Files of SWAT Kats" segments.
The game SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron developed by AIM was released by Hudson Soft on June 9, 1995 for Japan and August 21, 1995 in North America for the SNES. It is a 2-D Action Platformer with RPG elements in which you can play as either T-Bone or Razor. It features a password system and third-person flying sequences in the Turbokat Fighter. It is based on various episodes of the show and features a different boss for each world, with Dark Kat as the final boss. All worlds contain an urgent message from Mayor Manx prior to the start of each world.
On July 23, 2015, Christian and Yvon Tremblay announced a Kickstarter campaign to revive SWAT Kats, seeking to produce a new series, and if possible, a 70-minute film. On July 24, one day after the campaign began, the Kickstarter successfully reached its first funding goal of $50,000, needed for production of concept art and promotional material, which the pair had aimed to use to help them find an investor who would be interested in helping with the revival.
A more major goal of $200,000 would allow the pair to produce a 22-minute episode, while a pledge total of $1,000,000 would allow them to do a mini-series of five episodes. Their highest pledge, $1.5 million or more, would help them to make a film of the SWAT Kats. The campaign ended on August 22, 2015 with $141,500 pledged, and already passing another goal of $100,000 will help to create a 2-minute-long trailer of how the series should look.
On February 17, 2016, the Tremblay Brothers confirmed they had started development on the trailer, which they will show to a TV company in order to have the green light for production on SWAT Kats Revolution.
Christian Tremblay, along with Warner Animation, have managed to convince Warner Bros into bringing back SWAT Kats on Boomerang Channel / Cartoon Network, but were unable to convince the parent network to commit for a new series, and thus passed on the project. However, Tremblay is currently working with investors to create independent episodes of SWAT Kats that will be available online for streaming. Tremblay is also talking to VOD, looking at all the possibilities to accomplish the goal of producing new episodes.