Battle Cat

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Battle Cat
Masters of the Universe character
Cringer BattleCat.jpg
Cringer (top) and Battle Cat (bottom) in their original 1983 incarnations.
Created byMattel
Voiced by
In-universe information
AliasCringer[1]
SpeciesTiger
GenderMale

Cringer is a fictional large cat in the Masters of the Universe franchise. He has green and orange striped fur, similar to that of a tiger (although his species is not truly known), and is Prince Adam’s feline companion. Whenever Adam transforms into He-Man, he uses his Power Sword to transform Cringer into the much larger and mightier Battle Cat to serve primarily as his riding mount.[2][3][4]

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-1985)[edit]

Cringer, despite being a large cat, displays characteristics more consistent with a domestic house cat. He sleeps most of the day, overeats, and gets scared very easily. He can talk, although no reason is ever given for this ability.

He has the appearance of a green and yellow-striped tiger. In the episode "Teela's Quest", Queen Marlena says to Adam in regards to the planet Earth, "There are no talking green tigers on Earth." It is not known if her referring to Cringer as a tiger means he is called a tiger on Eternia, or if she is simply using it as a comparison, but in the episode "A Beastly Sideshow", Evil-Lyn also refers to Cringer as a tiger, and in the episode "House of Shokoti", a boy is surprised that he is "a talking tiger". It is unclear how many others are like him.

When Prince Adam transforms into He-Man, he uses the Power Sword to shoot an energy beam at Cringer so he can become Battle Cat. Cringer hates the transformation, but he goes along with it out of loyalty to Adam.

Battle Cat is Cringer’s polar opposite. He is twice the size of Cringer, speaks with a growl, and has a mighty roar that can be heard from afar. He also gains a suit of red armor, which includes a saddle for He-Man to ride on. He largely serves as a mount for He-Man, but is known for fighting with villains as well. Battle Cat also has a love interest in the episode "The Cat And The Spider": Kittrina, a warrior of the cat-people.

Cringer as an abandoned kitten in the episode "Battle Cat", which narrated his back story and how he was eventually adopted by Prince Adam.

The story of Cringer/Battle Cat's past is covered in the episode "Battle Cat". The episode recounts that Adam, while on a few days exploring the jungle as a boy, heard a kitten whining in a bush and a sabrecat approaching. Concerned that the sabrecat might attack the smaller cat, Adam was able to scare the sabrecat away by using a manticore call and headed to the bush where he discovered a small green tiger cub who had been abandoned. Adam took the kitten back to the palace where it was tended to by Man-At-Arms. After it became well, Adam adopted the kitten as his pet. However the kitten was scared easily, and he and Adam were often teased by Teela and the other children in Eternia, who took to calling him a "cringer" because of his fear causing him to cringe at everything he saw. Although Adam defended his pet, he agreed with calling him Cringer because it was appropriate for the little cat as he was afraid of his own shadow. The Sorceress appeared and told Adam that Cringer might bring him embarrassment now, but in the future he would be useful.[5]

Years passed, and after Adam was given the ability to become He-Man, he usually performed the transformation out of sight of Cringer who, even though he had grown to normal tiger size, was still afraid of just about everything. This all changed at an archaeological dig that Adam and Teela went on with Man-At-Arms, with Cringer in tow because he did not want to leave Adam's side. They inadvertently broke open a door releasing a monster, and to attempt to stop the monster Adam transformed into He-Man. Unbeknownst to him, Cringer was watching the entire transformation and ran away to hide. A now-transformed He-Man tried to reassure Cringer that he was still the same person, just with superpowers. However, as he was doing so he accidentally pointed the sword at Cringer, who cowered in fear as Adam's sword was still energized. A beam shot from the sword and struck Cringer, which made him grow in size and don his red armor for the first time. He-Man was surprised to see the change in the usually timid cat, but remembered the Sorceress' words from when he was a child; he then received another message, telling him Battle Cat was now his partner. Using Battle Cat, he was able to confine the beast and save the endangered team. This version of Battle Cat can be seen with He-Man in a MetLife commercial that aired in 2012.

Masters of the Universe vs. The Snakemen (2002)[edit]

Cringer (left) and Battle Cat (right) in the 2002 remake of the series.

Cringer is somewhat of a pet to Adam. Although it seems clear that he can understand what is said to him, he cannot speak and sounds like a typical house cat. He is cowardly, although this does not come up as much as in the original series, but more than once he has shown some bravery in order to help Adam. As Battle Cat, he is most often seen merely transporting He-Man and roaring loudly. However, while in the first season he only has a few moments where he fights, in season 2 the writers gave him a more active role; he often fights against the Snake Men and Skeletor's forces. Since he never speaks, there seems to be an effort to portray his relationship with Adam/He-Man as more than master/pet, most often through either Battle Cat or Cringer being badly injured and He-Man entering a rage, or by He-Man explaining things to him.

He is twice seen without his battle helmet, revealing a rather fiercer and saber-toothed version of Cringer's face beneath. In the episode "The Power of Grayskull", King Grayskull was shown to have his own mount, albeit more lion-like and with a mane, who stayed by his side until his death.[6]

Origin[edit]

In The Toys That Made Us, then-marketing VP of Mattel Paul Cleveland recounts the story that while the decision was made for He-Man to have some sort of vehicle, they no longer had the budget to be able to produce one; the decision was then made to repurpose a tiger from the Big Jim toy line.[7] The tiger was, however, not the same scale as the He-Man figure, and compared to He-Man, was about the size of a horse. Cleveland, however, insisted it to be used, even after artist Tony Guerrero made a green version in an attempt to discourage Cleveland, who instead approved of the color change and suggested putting a saddle on it, which resulted in Battle Cat's final design.[8]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Cringer is strong enough to carry Adam on his back if Adam is unable to walk on his own or unconscious, and will not hesitate to defend Adam with his life if Adam is in danger. When he transforms into Battle Cat, these qualities are amplified.

Sculpture[edit]

A life-size model of Battle Cat was part of the 2012 Go Safari exhibition,[9] in Northampton, and titled Taxi for Adam (a reference to He-Man's alter ego, Prince Adam). The figure was sculptured by Rory Davis and painted by Ross White. The sculpture was the sixth in the series of "Go Safari" animals and was initially placed in Wood Hill (near County Hall). Following some naked revelers sitting on the sculpture,[10] and minor vandalism,[11] it was moved to the courtyard of the Northampton Guildhall. The sculpture was removed at the end of the public art project on 2 September 2012. He was then owned by Mike Hatherall from South Wales before selling him on to be displayed in Camden at the famous Monkey's Emporium

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Review: SDCC Exclusive MOTUC Queen Marlena w/ Cringer". MTV. 2011-07-19. Archived from the original on 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  2. ^ "Battle Cat – Fighting Tiger (1982) | Battle Ram". Battleram.wordpress.com. 2015-09-10. Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  3. ^ "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Season One, Volume One". IGN. 2005-10-19. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  4. ^ "By The Power of Grayskull: HE-MAN ART Show!". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  5. ^ "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Season 2, Vol. 1". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  6. ^ "Masters of the Universe 2002": The Power Returns, In Style". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  7. ^ "He-Man's Battle Cat Had a BIZARRE Origin". 26 June 2021.
  8. ^ The Toys That Made Us; Episode 3
  9. ^ "Go Safari Main Website". Gosafarinorthampton.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2012-09-15.
  10. ^ "'He-Man' left red-faced by naked Battle Cat stunt". Gosafarinorthampton.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-15.
  11. ^ "Battle Cat temporarily defeated by Northampton vandals". Gosafarinorthampton.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-15.