Karate Kommandos

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Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos
Created by Chuck Norris
Directed by Charles A. Nichols
John Kimball
Starring Chuck Norris as himself
Voices of Sam Fontana
Kathy Garver
Robert Ito
Mona Marshall
Bill Martin
Alan Oppenheimer
Keone Young
Composer(s) Udi Harpaz
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 5
Production
Executive producer(s) Joe Ruby
Ken Spears
Producer(s) Larry Huber
Running time 30 Minutes
Broadcast
Original run September 15 – September 19, 1986

Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos is an American animated television series that originally aired in 1986 as a syndicated five episode mini-series. It was created by and starred Chuck Norris as himself, and produced by Ruby-Spears Productions.[1] Re-runs of the cartoon have occasionally aired on Adult Swim.

Plot[edit]

This fictionalized version of Norris is a United States government operative with a team of "radically diverse" warriors known as the Karate Kommandos. Together, they fight against the organization VULTURE led by The Claw and his right-hand man Super Ninja. (It was never revealed what "VULTURE" was short for, if anything.)

Production[edit]

The series follows the framing device of animated series (also a Ruby-Spears production). At the beginning of each episode, a live action segment with Norris, usually at a gym or martial arts studio, is shown to explain what is going on. At the end of each episode, Norris narrates a moral lesson for the audience to learn. NOTE: The name "Chuck Norris" can be heard spoken nine times during the show's opening credits.

Characters[edit]

Karate Kommandos[edit]

The team includes:

  • Chuck Norris (voiced by himself) - The leader of the Karate Kommandos.
  • Pepper (voiced by Kathy Garver) - A technology expert and mechanic.
  • Reed (voiced by Sam Fontana) - Chuck's young apprentice and Pepper's brother.
  • Kimo (voiced by Keone Young) - A samurai warrior.
  • Tabe (voiced by Robert Ito) - A sumo champion.
  • Too Much (voiced by Mona Marshall) - Chuck's young ward.

VULTURE[edit]

  • Claw (voiced by Bill Martin) - The leader of VULTURE who serves as the primary antagonist of the series. Claw has a metal claw for a right arm.

Episodes[edit]

Title Original air date
1 "Deadly Dolphin" 15 September 1986 (1986-09-15)
Chuck Norris and his comrades are helping a scientist named Dr. Sanford test experimental equipment that would enable people to breathe underwater by converting water into oxygen. The Claw sends Super-Ninja and a female operative named Angelfish to lead his men to kidnap Dr. Sanford and break into Sealab. It's up to Norris' team to defend them both.
2 "Target: Chuck Norris" 16 September 1986 (1986-09-16)
The Claw places a bounty on Chuck Norris' head in order to eliminate him once and for all, and at the same time he steals a computer chip that would permit him to gain control of NATO's defenses. Chuck Norris and his comrades must get the chip back in order to protect the free world. When Super Ninja manages to capture Too-Much, Chuck Norris must rescue his young ward as well.
3 "Terror Train" 17 September 1986 (1986-09-17)
Chuck Norris and his comrades are assigned to guard a robot laser while it is being transported, but The Claw has his eyes on the prize as well so he sends some of his best men to steal it. However, when Super Ninja plants some explosives onto the transport train, Norris must play his cards correctly or risk losing the lives of the passengers on board.
4 "Menace from Space" 18 September 1986 (1986-09-18)
Chuck Norris and his comrades head off to a space shuttle launch site in order to warn a general about The Claw's plans, but they're too late and The Claw manages to get away with the shuttle. To make matters worse, the space shuttle was carrying a fusion cannon that has the power to do unspeakable damage to any city in the world, so Norris decides to use an old space shuttle to go into space and stop Super Ninja before any damage is dealt.
5 "Island of the Walking Dead" 19 September 1986 (1986-09-19)
The Claw is attempting to bring down a United States satellite in order to reprogram it so he can gain control of all the nation's military bases, so the president decides to send Chuck Norris to stop him. However, Super Ninja manages to distract Norris long enough for The Claw's men to succeed. Norris and his comrades head off to Voodoo Island in hope of recovering the satellite, but things take a turn for the worse, and they discover that the island is full of the walking dead.

DVD release[edit]

On April 1, 2011, Warner Archive released Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection.[2] This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.[3]

Production Credits[edit]

  • Executive Producers: Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
  • Directors: Charles A. Nichols, John Kimball
  • Producer: Larry Huber
  • Story Editor: Dan DiStefano
  • Assistant Story Editor: Ted Field
  • Production Design Supervisor: John Dorman
  • Storyboard Supervisor: Brian Chin
  • Story Direction: Dick Sebast, XAM! Productions, Inc., Jaime Diaz
  • Background Design Supervisor: Tom Minton
  • Background Design Artists: Ted Blackman, Teresa Birch, Leo Swenson
  • Character Design Artists: Tim Burgard, Noreen Beasley, Jaime Diaz
  • Character Design Supervisor: Jim Woodring
  • Main Model Design: Duncan Marjoribanks
  • Vehicle and Prop Design: Steve Swaja
  • Design Coordinators: Sharon McGinnis, Dana Napolitano, Laura Rubenstein
  • Creative Consultants: Doug Wildey, Alfredo Alcala, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane
  • Titles: Bill Hogan
  • Models Supervision: Alan Huck
  • Models: Tom Hickson, Alice Hamm, Julie Zakowski
  • Starring the Voice of: Chuck Norris
  • Featuring the Voices of: Robert Ito, Sam Fontana, Rodney Kageyama, Bill Martin, Bob Ridgely, Michael Chain, Kathy Garver, Mona Marshall, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary, James Avery, Keone Young
  • Voice Director: Michael Hack
  • Background Supervision: Eric Semones
  • Background Artists: Dennis Durrell, James Hegedus, Jim Hickey, Eric Semones
  • Color Key: Dene Ann Ross
  • Graphics: Iraj Paran, Tom Wogatzke
  • Production Supervisor: Loretta High
  • Studio Manager: Jeffrey M. Cooke
  • Assistants to the Executive Producers: Melinda Diner, Jeanne Silveri
  • Production Assistants: Lynne Batchelor, Paul Gorniak, Debby Ruby, Maria-Elena Guereca, Susie Feldstein, Lisa Schneider, Diorena Rock
  • Executive in Charge of Post Production: Chip Yaras
  • Associate Producer: Stacy McLaughlin
  • Music Composed and Conducted by: Udi Harpaz
  • Music Editors: Charles Inouye, Frank Fitzpatrick, Darryl Duran
  • Effects Editors: Willie Allen, Golden Felton, Ralph White, Martina Young
  • Re-Recording Mixer: Sergio Reyes
  • Negative Consultant: Mary Duerrstein
  • (c) 1986 RUBY-SPEARS ENTERPRISES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Comic book[edit]

There was also a comic book series published by Star Comics, an imprint of Marvel Comics which produced comic books aimed at young children. Steve Ditko provided the art.[4] Issue #1 found Too-Much daydreaming in class about being as great a martial artist as Chuck Norris, even taking down the Super Ninja singlehandedly. Without warning, Too-Much's teacher calls on him to give his book report (which, being Too-Much, he hasn't even started) on James Clavell's The Children's Story. Then Too-Much, his classmates, and their teacher taken hostage by the Klaw's ninjas...who demand the Super-cruiser in return for their release. The Super-cruiser, which looks like a U-Haul truck, is a new anti-terrorist weapon created by Norris for the government. Pepper drives the Super-cruiser to the school, where she and her trusty dog take on the ninjas...while Chuck himself barges into the classroom and knocks out more of the ninjas. One of the ninjas tries to shoot Norris, who stops the bullet with a copy of The Children's Story; he then sells Too-Much a bill of goods about what a great book this is, while police haul the ninjas off to jail.

Action figures[edit]

To coincide with the airing of the show, Kenner Products made a set of action figures based on the main characters of the show. Kenner also made many accessories, including weapons and vehicles, to go along with the figurines.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos DVD Review - IGN". Uk.ign.com. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  2. ^ "Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos - The Complete Series : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  3. ^ "Chuck Norris Animation on DVD-on-Demand". Animation Insider. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  4. ^ January 7, 2007 @ 04:56 PM (2007-01-07). "365 Reasons to Love Comics #7 | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources". Goodcomics.comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  5. ^ "Buyers Have an Early Adventure in Toyland : Industry Show Previews Talking Teddy Bears, Cuddly Dolls, More Rambos - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1986-02-21. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 

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