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What is SWAT Kats?
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is an animated series for television created by Christian and Yvon Tremblay and produced by Hanna-Barbera and Turner Program Services. 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.
The show ran on TBS and the syndication block The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera from 1993 to 1995. There were 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 was based in the fictional metropolis of Megakat City, which is populated entirely by anthropomorphic felines who are just like people, known as “kats”. The show is rerun from time to time on Cartoon Network classic channel Boomerang. More »
Why don’t you bring back SWAT Kats?
We would if we could, but we don’t control that. We’re just a humble fansite trying to keep the show alive in our own way.
Why was the show cancelled?
No official reason has been stated, but Lance Falk, a writer for the series, had this to say in a 2009 interview:
“The way I heard it was that Ted Turner himself simply thought the show was too violent for kids, so it was downplayed to fail. Buried on early Sunday Mornings (a ratings death slot for this kind of show), no decent merchandise to speak of (though it would have been a toy company’s dream). I’m surprised we got to do a second year.”
On November 29, 2012, in an AMA on Reddit, Christian Tremblay had this to say:
“1: 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.
2: Now why the merchandising was out late, is because Ted Turner, announced in congress that waht 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.”
Is the show ever coming back?
As it nears two decades of cancellation, it seems highly unlikely that SWAT Kats will ever make a comeback. However, on August 15, 2009, the Tremblay Brothers made an announcment on the SWAT Kats.us message board:
“We’re planing to develop a 3D CGI animated film, we’ll keep you posted.”
The status of this project remains unknown.
Will the series ever be available on DVD?
Yes. After years of waiting, the show was finally made available on DVD on November 19, 2010 at WBshop.com. They’re made-to-order and have not been remastered, but the quality is still good and beats any bootleg.
Do you have the official promotional booklet?
Yes. It can be found here.
Have there ever been any efforts to bring the show back by the fans?
There have been countless attempts over the years, with a major one coming around every four years or so. This is likely attributable to SWAT Kats getting rerun in syndication, with new fans turning to the internet for more.
To provide some perspective, here’s a mailing list message from 1997:
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 10:29:53 PDT
From: “Jake Clawson”
I got another site for the fan club. I’m going to put a petition, well actually a guestbook, that we can sign, and send a copy of it to Turner, H-B, TCN, and other places. I encourage you to sigh the petition multiple times, using a different name each time. View it first, so that you know if you are going to use a name thats already on there. I got yet another e-mail address (email@example.com) you can send stuff to. Okay, now what else???
As you can see, this discussion isn’t a new one, and several online petitions have been made:
A new attempt, building up for several months in 2011, culminated in a coordinated letter-writing campaign in January of 2012. As of this writing, 83 people said they sent a letter to Warner Bros. To date, no one has received a response. If you wrote a letter and receive any kind of reply from Warner Bros., please share it.
What is swatkats.info?
That is the domain name and URL for The SWAT Kats Encyclopedia, which is a fan site. More information about us here.
We host several other SWAT Kats-related websites which can be found here.
The Episodes page doesn’t show anything related to the openers.
You can view the intros, see screenshots and listen to the audio for both season openers here:
I’m a new fan and want to participate in the community. What should I do?
Writers – If you’re a writer be sure to visit The SWAT Kats Fan Fiction Archive and Fanfiction.net.
Artists – The SWAT Kats Fan Art Archive is a great place to make sure your artwork is archived and SWAT Kats Fanatics on deviantART has really grown in popularity.
You should also make sure to drop by the forums on swatkats.us or the SWAT Kats Livejournal Community and introduce yourself. Both of these places are where fans generally communicate with each other nowadays.
You can also take a look at the SWAT Kats Awards page and see what others have done to gain some fandom notoriety. You can also join the fanlist, which unfortunately is still being manually edited, so additions can take up to a week.
If you like role playing games (RPGs), you can take a look at SWAT Kats Redemption, run by Aerokat, which has real-time IRC and forum-based games.
And, visiting Kristen’s SWAT Kat Gallery is always recommended.
Why doesn’t swatkats.info have a forum?
At this time there’s no plans to setup a forum on swatkats.info, because there’s really no need to. SWAT Kats.us has an active forum that’s been going since 2006, and there’s no reason to try to compete. However, if there’s ever a time in the future when a forum isn’t available anywhere else, we’ll set one up here.
In the meantime, you can comment on almost anything on the Encyclopedia and even signup for a username.
Does swatkats.info still help people build websites and host them?
If you have an idea for a SWAT Kats page/site and can supply some neat content for it, we’ll see if we can build a website and host it on a sub-domain. Not everything gets this treatment, and it’s usually at the discretion of the host depending on if he or she has time and what the scale of the project is. It’s always worth asking about, though.
Where can I get the SWAT Kats logo?
There have been no official releases of the show’s logo, but you can download a fan-made version. It’s available in vector and raster formats in this package:
Download (3mb) »
Was there a SWAT Kats movie released by Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. on June 8, 2011?
No, there wasn’t. Around that time this image was floating around that got a lot of attention from fans:
This is fan art by TheItalianPlumber. You can view his deviantART page here »
Does The SWAT Kats Encyclopedia have a Facebook or Twitter?
Yes, though at this time there’s not much there. If you’re interested you can check them out:
Didn’t there used to be a big open directory of stuff on the internet?
Many years ago there was an open directory run by Cassandro that had lots of stuff in it (images, text, etc.). It went away, but it’s been archived here.
We’ve also have an archive of the SWAT Kats mailing list that coves the late nineties, and is full of interesting fandom history.
Where can I find a role playing game?
If you like role playing games (RPGs), you can take a look at SWAT Kats Redemption, run by Aerokat, which has real-time IRC and forum-based games.
What is swatkats.us?
SWAT Kats.us is a separate website that is not a part of The SWAT Kats Encyclopedia. It was setup by Clint in 2006 after swatkats.com went away. It currently has the largest SWAT Kats forum on the internet, and is definitely worth checking out.
What is SWAT Kats Revival?
SWAT Kats Revival is a project started by Rusakov in 2011, the sole purpose of which is to bring back SWAT Kats. It was responsible for starting the letter-writing campaign along with other side efforts. It’s still being updated here.
Is it true that there’s a SWAT Kats rap song?
Yes. You can watch the music video for it here.
Strike's FAQ - Last Updated 2001
It always seems like I get lots of questions from people about my site. So hopefully this page will cut down on some of my “I have a question…” e-mails. (Plus give information to needy SK fans!)
Sorry that this page looks kind of dry, but when you have a lot of information to convey….
So before you e-mail…. read this page! This page includes:
Info about the SWAT Kats in general
- “What is SWAT Kats?” — SWAT Kats is a cartoon show made by Hanna-Barbera from 1993-1995. It was cancelled, likely due to some bad treatment (impossible airtimes and crappy merchandise.) It was about two humanoid cats (called “kats”) who fly around in a jet (the Turbokat) and fight supervillains. Also featured in the series are a police/military force called the Enforcers, headed by Commander Feral, and a gutsy Deputy Mayor, Callico Briggs.
- “When will there be new episodes?” — General opinion is that the show ‘s premise was not of extremely high quality- or popularity- and thusly has an infinitesimally small chance of being revived. So for those of you wanting to know when new episodes of SK are coming out… they aren’t and probably never will. Sorry.
- “Where can I find more info about the SWAT Kats?” — There are a huge number of SWAT Kats websites out there (probably due to the fact that SK was a likeable if shallow cartoon) and almost all of them have some info about the show. Your best bets for general SWAT Kats information are the SK Xtreme site and Klawz’s SWAT Kats Devotional. To find files and other “computer stuff” about SWAT Kats, there is a large amount of hard-to-find files here on Strike’s SK Zone. Other good sites for this sort of thing all depend on what sort of files you are looking for – most SK sites are specialized. See the SK Links page to narrow down your choices.
- “When does SWAT Kats come on?” Cartoon Network shifts their schedules around a lot, but SWAT Kats has stayed on a basic routine schedule for the past three years or so. I feel pretty safe posting this- CTN will probably do just as it always has regarding airtimes and dates.
- Most of the year, they show SWAT Kats on a Saturday afternoon. The specific time switches from year to year, but it’s usually around 2 to 4 pm EST. They once tried shifting it to a Sunday morning, but I guess that didn’t work too well because they never did it again.
- Around the end of March/beginning of April, they show a SuperChunk (3-hour block, Saturday afternoon) of SWAT Kats. Sometimes they show another one in October or November.
- CTN begins showing SWAT Kats regularly during the summer, after June Bugs programming is over. It is usually on weekdays, early in the afternoon- before Toonami. (It is usually the show just before. It actually used to be a Toonami show, but they shoved it out in favor of Thundercats, when they got that show.) They usually stick with the Saturday afternoon episode, too. They generally show the episodes in order- excluding the Sat. afternoon one.
- They stop airing SK on weekdays in October or November. (Since there are only 24 episodes, they rerun them all through three or four times.) They usually keep the Saturday afternoon episode, but sometimes they’ll drop it for a couple of months and put it back later.
Info about SWAT Kats stuff
- Posters. By far the hardest SK item to find. Sold for a short time in California K-Marts. I believe there are two posters, however, I might be wrong- there might only be one. The Tremblays (the brothers who originally thought up SWAT Kats, and sold the idea to Hanna-Barbera) were, at one point, offering an original SK animation cel, in return for an SK poster… if anyone could find one.
- Action Figures. One of the easier items, but it gets harder to find them the longer you wait to look. Four figures: T-Bone, Razor, Dr. Viper, and Dark Kat. Sold through Toys R’ Us and Kay-Bee Toys (Kay-Bee is now out of business.) I doubt they have them on display shelves any longer, but you might get lucky. Try looking in bargain bins. If you’re desperate, try looking on toy resale sites, or toy newsgroups.
- Videos. There are 3 tapes, each featuring two first-season episodes. I have no idea what their specific names are, but if you go to Blockbuster or Hastings, you may luck out. (If they search their databases, they should be listed under “SWAT Kats.”) They will probably not have any copies on hand, but more likely than not will be able to order them from their suppliers. However, animation companies tend to put their videos on “moratorium” – making the video completely unavailable for a long period of time. (Disney, the most notorious offender, keeps their videos on moratorium for 8 years.)
- Video Game. Probably the easiest thing to find. The video game was made for Super Nintendo (yeah, that old thing!), and actually came out AFTER the show had been cancelled. Thus it didn’t sell too well, and there are plenty of copies still lying around. Mostly they were sold through Toys R’ Us, but I doubt you’ll find a copy there. The most likely place you’re going to find them will be at video game resale businesses like FunCoLand or Video Game Trading Post. Even pawn shops will deal in video games, sometimes. You may not get the box or the instruction book, but most of the moves can be figured out. (It’s not a very complicated game.) If you’re looking to rent, Hastings and Blockbuster (and other movie rental places) sometimes keep a few SNES games around, until they break or get lost. They also usually keep a bargain bin of previously-played games. Sometimes if you find a rental copy, the manager of that outlet will be willing to sell you the game at a previously-played price. (They’re out to make money, remember.)
- Books or Comics. There are no SK books or comics. The rumor that the TV show was based on a comic book is wrong. The original drawings (by Christian and Yvon Tremblay) have a comic-book style, but that’s it.
- Miscellaneous junk. The hardest stuff to find (aside from posters) and will probably be the most valuable. (However small that value may turn out to be- SK was not a very popular show when it was new.) Restaurant “happy meal” giveaways such as whistles shaped like the Turbokat. Toy “SWAT Kats” handcuffs. Stuff like that.
- Animation Cels/Lithographs. I was wrong, THESE are the most valuable. These are extremely hard to find and are generally very expensive. (I found one a few years ago, at it was priced at almost $400.00) The only place that would carry these are the Warner-Brother’s stores. (WB owns H-B.) Usually they don’t sell them, though, since cels from shows like the Jetsons, Flintstones, and Scooby Doo have a much greater chance of being bought. So your best bet would be to look in large stores (the one I found was in the Washington DC area, in the Tyson’s Corner mall. I don’t believe that the store is there any longer) and cross your fingers. Occasionally the stores can order cels. However, the availabilty of special-ordering depends entirely on the corporation’s whim, and if they say “maybe we can get it” it is almost certainly a “no.” A better place to look would be an animation cel newsgroup, or auction want ads like e-bay.
- You will almost always have better luck using online companies to find your SWAT Kats merchanidise. Auction sites such as E-Bay and Yahoo! Auctions will often have someone trying to sell an SK video or action figure. They may be used, and not in the packaging, but the price is usually right (and who wants to keep action figures in the packaging, anyway?) Other places like specialized newsgroups (for toy buyers, cel buyers, etc) are generally a good place to look, also. Online movie merchants (Reel.com is a good one) can sell you the SK videos….
- Lastly- I reccommend that if you DO find any of this stuff, BUY it (with the exception of the cels.). There are tons of SK fans on the internet who have been trying to find some of this stuff for years. If you find two T-Bone action figures, and post a notice to the newsgroup or mailing list, you will get offers from people to buy them from you. You might even make a profit!
Info about the Fan Art Page
Info on the SWAT Kats RPG
- The SK RPG is no longer hosted with the SK Zone and is now defunct.