SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron
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|SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron|
SWAT Kats Season 2 title card, featuring T-Bone, Razor, and the Turbokat.
|Created by||Christian Tremblay
|Developed by||Davis Doi|
|Directed by||Robert Alvarez|
|Voices of||Charlie Adler
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||23 (regular)
6 (cancelled) (list of episodes)
|Executive producer(s)||Buzz Potamkin|
|Running time||22-26 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||TBS (1993−1994)|
|Picture format||480i 480p SDTV 720p 1080i 1080p HDTV|
|Audio format||Dolby SR|
|Original release||September 11, 1993– January 6, 1995|
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is an 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 as Megakat City's militarized police force, the Enforcers.
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.
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 past times like golf. Their methods do not endear them to Commander Feral, and the three of them often clash throughout the series. In the second (and final) 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. Hanna-Barbera ended their syndication block The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera to focus mostly on producing original content for Cartoon Network.
Other countries have aired this series around the world.
|Country / Region||Network(s)||Broadcast run||Title||Language (original or dubbed)||Notes|
|Arab League||Unknown channel||سوات كاتس: الأسطول الرائع||Arabic|
|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||January 4, 1999 – 2000||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|
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.
Remco produced a line of action figures in 1994 which included T-Bone, Razor, Dr. Viper and Dark Kat. Both White Castle and Carl's Jr. have offered SWAT Kats toys in their kids' meals in the 1990s.
The game SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron developed by AIM was released by Hudson Soft in 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.
- "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. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
- "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).
- "Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron - 'The Complete Series Collection' DVDs are Available Once More! ***UPDATED***". Tvshowsondvd.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "SWAT Kats Toys at Virtual Toychest". Virtualtoychest.com. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
- "Swat-Kats Revolution By Tremblay Bros Studios — Kickstarter". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
- SWAT Kats - Cartoon Network Department of Cartoons (Archive)
- SWAT Kats Schedule
- SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron at the Internet Movie Database
- SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron (1993) at TV.com
- SWAT Kats.us
- The SWAT Kats Encyclopedia
- swatkats.info, (Photo # 4)
- A revival project for the show