SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron
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SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is an American animated television series created by Christian and Yvon Tremblay and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The series takes place in the fictional metropolis of Megakat City, which is populated 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 as competition from Megakat City's militarized police force called the Enforcers.
|SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron|
SWAT Kats season 2 title card, featuring Razor, T-Bone, and the Turbokat.
|Created by||Christian Tremblay|
|Developed by||Glenn Leopold|
|Directed by||Robert Alvarez|
|Voices of||Charlie Adler|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||23 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Buzz Potamkin|
|Producer(s)||Davis Doi (1993–1994)|
|Running time||22–26 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Distributor||Turner Program Services (former)|
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (through Warner Bros. Family Entertainment and Turner Entertainment) (currently)
|Original network||TBS (1993−1995)|
|Picture format||480i 480p SDTV 720p 1080i 1080p HDTV|
|Audio format||Dolby SR|
|Original release||September 11, 1993 –|
January 6, 1995
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 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-three finished episodes (two were cut into two segments, making twenty-five when counted individually),
- one special episode that features a report on the SWAT Kats and of all their missions and gadgets,
- 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.
Jake "Razor" Clawson and Chance "T-Bone" Furlong 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 Jake and Chance'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 Jake and Chance from the Enforcers and reassigned them to work at the city's military salvage yard to pay for the damage to the Enforcer Headquarters which Feral caused.
Using discarded military parts and weapons from the salvage yard, Jake and Chance 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. Razor and T-Bone 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.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||September 11, 1993||December 4, 1993|
|2||10||September 10, 1994||December 24, 1994|
|Special||1||January 6, 1995|
Other countries have aired this series around the world.
|Country / Region||Network(s)||Broadcast run||Title||Language (original or dubbed)||Notes|
|Arab League||Several Arab Television stations||سوات كاتس: الأسطول الرائع||Arabic||Dubbed by Venus Centre in Syria.|
|Australia||Cartoon Network||October 31, 1995||SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron||English (original)||Re-runs of the cartoon has aired around 2001.|
Central Nacional de Televisão
|April 11, 1994||SWAT Kats||Brazilian Portuguese|
|Canada||Teletoon||1997||SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron||English (original)|
|China||Dragon Club||霹雳特警猫||Mandarin Chinese (China)|
|France||Cartoon Network||SWAT Kats||European French|
|Hong Kong||TVB Jade||霹靂特警貓||Cantonese Chinese|
|Hungary||Cartoon Network||Kandúr kommandó||Hungarian|
|India||Cartoon Network||1996 (English version)
January 4, 1999 – 2000 (Hindi version)
|SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron (English)
स्वैट कैट्स: द रैडिकल स्क्वाड्रन (Hindi)
|Hindi Dub made by Sound & Vision India for Cartoon Network.|
|Italy||Rai 2||1996||Swat Kats (original title)
Gatti Volanti (broadcasting name)
|Japan||TBS||October 7, 1994 – March 17, 1995||スワットカッツ||Japanese|
|Netherlands||Cartoon Network||July 12, 1997||SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron||Dutch
|Aired on launch day with both the original English audio and with a Dutch dub.|
|New Zealand||Cartoon Network||October 31, 1995||SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron||English (original)||Re-runs of the cartoon has aired around 2001.|
|Poland||TVP2||?||SWAT Kats: Radykalny szwadron||?|
|Portugal||SIC||1995||SWAT Kats||Brazilian Portuguese (imported)||No European Portuguese dub was actually produced locally. SIC decided to import and broadcast the Brazilian Portuguese dub instead.|
|Romania||Cartoon Network||SWAT Kats||Romanian|
|Russia||Unknown channel||Коты быстрого реагирования||Russian|
|Serbia||Unknown channel||СВОТ мачке||Serbian|
|South Korea||KBS||1996-1997||스와트 캣츠||Korean|
|Spain||La 1||SWAT Kats: El Escuadrón Radical||European Spanish|
|Sweden||Cartoon Network||SWAT Kats||Swedish|
|Taiwan||Cartoon Network||1996||霹靂特警貓||Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan)|
|United Kingdom||Cartoon Network
|1993-1995||SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron||English (original)||Aired as part of the European feed, before the UK and Ireland had their own separate feed.|
|September 11, 1993 – January 6, 1995||SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron||English (original)
|This country is where the series originated from. A Latin Spanish dub has also been produced in the Los Angeles state.|
|Vietnam||Not aired yet||Not aired yet||SWAT Kats: Các cấp tiến hải đội||Vietnamese|
|Mexico||Cartoon Network, Televisa Canal 5||1995 – 1998||SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron (Spanish)
Swat Kats:Escuadron Radical (Hindi)
|Latin American Dubbing made in Los Angeles Was used for Cartoon Network Latin America and Local television broadcasters.|
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. In Fall 1999, Hanna-Barbera (through Warner Home Video) released five VHS collections with two selected episodes on each. 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".
In Fall 1999 VHS:
"Razor and T-Bone, Ready for Action!" - featuring "Bride of the Pastmaster" and "The Ci-Kat-A".
"A Bad Kat-titude!" - featuring "Razor's Edge" and "Mutation City".
"The Pastmaster Peril" - featuring "A Bright and Shiny Future" and "The Deadly Pyramid".
"Go Felina Feral! Go!" - featuring "When Strikes Mutilor" and "Caverns Of Horror".
"The Final Showdown" - featuring "The Dark Side Of SWAT Kats" and "Unlikely Alloys". with a bonus music video "Eye Of The Tiger" by Survivor.
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.
The episodes themselves aren't remastered, and the DVDs contain no extras or bonus features, although three scenes that were originally cut from the show were restored for the DVD. However, 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. On January 19, 2012, Warner Archive re-released the SWAT Kats set with the end credits corrected.
Reception and cancellationEdit
SWAT Kats became the number one syndicated animated show of 1994, according to Nielsen Television Index (NTI) and Nielsen Syndication Service (NSS). Toon Magazine documented the success of SWAT Kats in its Fall 1994 issue. Due to the program's success, Hanna Barbera Productions planned to release new episodes, posters, and other works in 1995. However, the show was ultimately 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, stated that "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."
On July 23, 2015, creators 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, convinced Warner Bros. to bring back SWAT Kats on Boomerang Channel / Cartoon Network, but were unable to convince the parent network to commit for a new series, and thus they 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.
In other mediaEdit
Remco produced a line of action figures in 1994 which included Razor, T-Bone, Dr. Viper and Dark Kat. Both White Castle and Carl's Jr. have offered SWAT Kats toys in their kids' meals in the 1990s.
- "Swat Kats: The Complete Series : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "About SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron". Swatkats.info. Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
- "Swat-Kats Revolution By Tremblay Bros Studios". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
- "Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron - 'The Complete Series Collection' DVDs are Available Once More! ***UPDATED***". Tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- "Nielsen ratings". Animation Magazine (October/November). 1994.
- Swanigan, Michael (1994). "Hanna-Barbera's SWAT Kats: The Best New Action- Adventure Series To Come From Hanna-Barbera In Years!". Toon Magazine. 1 (5).
- Christian Tremblay (November 30, 2012). "SWAT Kats The Animated Series Tlak to the Co-Creator Christian Tremblay". reddit. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
The OFFICIAL reasons the show was cancel is that the timing between the merchandising being out late, affected the bottom line of the financial, i.e. the money HB was making. Remenber that the series cost many, many, many million $$ to produce, all financed by HB. Now why the merchandising was out late, is because Ted Turner, announced in congress that what his tv station are producing, there won't be any violence ( this is in 1994 about, in a time where all the broadcaster were pointed about violence on TV.) At the same, here we were producing SK with helicopters crashing into walls exploding....! So the show, before it aired was some kind of a hot and sensible issue the executive had to navigate with.......which at the end result in being late in the coordination of the series coming out and the toys following way late after that.
- Albert Kim (April 21, 1995), "Ted's Excellent Speaking Engagement", Entertainment Weekly, retrieved August 27, 2016
- "Swat-Kats Revolution By Tremblay Bros Studios — Kickstarter". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
- "Swat-Kats Revolution By Tremblay Bros Studios — Kickstarter Update". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- "SWAT Kats Toys at Virtual Toychest". Virtualtoychest.com. Retrieved 2008-06-18.