SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron

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SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron
SWAT Kats season 2 title card, featuring Razor, T-Bone, and the Turbokat.
Created byChristian Tremblay
Yvon Tremblay
Developed byGlenn Leopold
Davis Doi
Directed byRobert Alvarez
Voices ofBarry Gordon
Charlie Adler
Tress MacNeille
Jim Cummings
Gary Owens
Candi Milo
Mark Hamill
Lori Alan
Composer(s)Randall Crissman
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes30 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Buzz Potamkin
Producer(s)Davis Doi (1993–1994)
Running time22–26 minutes
Production company(s)Hanna-Barbera Productions
DistributorTurner Entertainment
Turner Program Services
Original networkTBS
Picture format480i 480p SDTV 720p 1080i 1080p HDTV
Audio formatDolby SR
Original releaseSeptember 11, 1993 (1993-09-11) –
January 13, 1995 (1995-01-13)

SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is an American animated television series created by Christian and Yvon Tremblay and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions.[1] 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.

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 (15 episodes) or Lance Falk (9 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.

There exist:

  • a total of twenty-six finished episodes (two were cut into two segments, making twenty-five when counted individually),
  • two special episodes that feature a report on the SWAT Kats and of all their missions and gadgets, and a bonus episode with a romantic team,
  • three unfinished episodes,
  • and two episodes still in the concept stage.[2]

The show re-aired on Cartoon Network throughout the 1990s, and later on Boomerang until 2013. A revival of the series was funded via Kickstarter,[3] which ended with over $140,000 in funds, guaranteeing new SWAT Kats animation for the first time in over two decades. However, the series had no further announcements after the Kickstarter and has yet to be picked up by Cartoon Network.


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, 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.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113September 11, 1993 (1993-09-11)December 4, 1993 (1993-12-04)
212September 10, 1994 (1994-09-10)December 24, 1994 (1994-12-24)
Special1January 6, 1995 (1995-01-06)January 13, 1995 (1995-01-13)


International broadcasters[edit]

Other countries have aired this series around the world.

Home media[edit]

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 October 27, 1998, Hanna-Barbera (through Warner Home Video) released a VHS with eight selected episodes on each. The VHS released was 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 October 27, 1998 VHS:

"The Kat Chronicles" - featuring "Bride of the Pastmaster", "The Ci-Kat-A", "A Bright and Shiny Future", "Mutation City", "When Strikes Mutilor", "Caverns Of Horror", "The Dark Side Of The SWAT Kats" and "Unlikely Alloys". Plus a bonus music video "Eye Of The Tiger" by Survivor at the end of the video.

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.[4]

The episodes themselves are not 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 were not credited for episodes they were in, or were credited for ones where they did not appear. 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 cancellation[edit]

SWAT Kats became the number one syndicated animated show of 1994, according to Nielsen Television Index (NTI) and Nielsen Syndication Service (NSS).[5] Toon Magazine documented the success of SWAT Kats in its Fall 1994 issue.[6] Due to the program's success, Hanna Barbera Productions planned to release new episodes, posters, and other works in 1995.[5] However, the show was ultimately canceled with three unfinished episodes.[2]

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.[7] 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."[8]


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.[9] 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.[10]

In other media[edit]


Remco produced a line of action figures in 1994 which included Razor, T-Bone, Dr. Viper and Dark Kat.[11] Both White Castle and Carl's Jr. have offered SWAT Kats toys in their kids' meals in the 1990s.

Video game[edit]

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 Super NES.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Swat Kats: The Complete Series : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "About SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron". Swatkats.info. Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
  3. ^ "Swat-Kats Revolution By Tremblay Bros Studios". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". Animation Magazine (October/November). 1994.
  6. ^ 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).
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Albert Kim (April 21, 1995), "Ted's Excellent Speaking Engagement", Entertainment Weekly, retrieved August 27, 2016
  9. ^ "Swat-Kats Revolution By Tremblay Bros Studios — Kickstarter". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Swat-Kats Revolution By Tremblay Bros Studios — Kickstarter Update". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "SWAT Kats Toys at Virtual Toychest". Virtualtoychest.com. Retrieved June 18, 2008.

External links[edit]