On this page are several frequently asked questions receive over the years and their corresponding answers. Don’t see your question asked? Contact us and we’ll do our best to answer.
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.
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?
After over two decades of cancellation, the Tremblay Bros. in response to growing fan interest coordinated a grassroots driven fundraiser through Kickstarter that raised over $140,000, which was enough money to attract an as-of-yet named studio interested and get early production work in motion – dubbed “SWAT Kats Revolution.” Details are still coming in, but the Tremblays have mentioned an interest in using CGI in conjunction with 2D animation and have revealed that original series writers Glenn Leopold and Lance Falk are invovled along with voice actors Charlie Adler, Barry Gordon and Tress MacNeille. On February 26, 2016, SWAT Kats Revolution in the form of Christian and Yvon Tremblay and Lance Falk appeared at Anime Matsuri in Houston, Texas for two panels and an autograph signing, and conducted exclusive features with the cooperation of swatkats.info, which can be found at: videos.swatkats.info
If these efforts are successful, there may be something as early as 2017.
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 located 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” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
We host several other SWAT Kats-related websites which can be found on the links page.
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?
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:
Was there a SWAT Kats movie released by Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. on June 8, 2011?
No, there wasn’t. Around that time fan art by TheItalianPlumber was being forwarded around. There is no official SWAT Kats movie, nor are there any confirmed plans that one will be made.
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.
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?
Info about the SWAT Kats in general – By Strike circa 1999
“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 – By Strike circa 1999
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 livability 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 merchandise. 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 recommend 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!