TMP Reviews – Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron Complete Series DVD

Swat Kats


What’s It About?


Swat Kats The Radical Squadron was a cartoon show that debuted back in 1993.  The premise was somewhat far-fetched, but considering the other cartoons of the time, made absolute sense.  Here’s the official description:


Deadly bacteria! Doomsday devices! Robotic spiders! Sound like a big budget sci-fi thriller? Nope. Even better. It’s the 5-Disc, 26-Episode Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron Complete Series Collection. Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson appear to be ordinary junkyard auto mechanics until trouble occurs in Megakat City. In a flash they fly their high-tech Turbokat toward danger as T-Bone and Razor: the Swat Kats. The city is run by the power-hungry Commander Feral and his militant team of Megakat Enforcers. Jake and Chance were once Enforcers but Feral demoted them to working in the scrap yard, where the Swat Kats were born. They take on any kind of menace from the undead sorcerer Pastmaster to lobster-like alien warlord Mutilor. The hardware-heavy action never stops in this animated fan-favorite from Hanna-Barbera Studios that’s fur-flying fun!


Sure it sounds kind of ridiculous, but that was part of the fun of this series.  While it ran for a couple seasons, and garnered some critical success and accolades, it was inexplicably canceled in 1995.  With only 26 episodes aired, the series seems short (honestly, I thought there were more episodes than that when I was a kid).


Swat Kats DVD


The Good


It’s the same old zany cartoon action that I remember.  It’s over the top, and filled with some fun and surprisingly intense action sequences.  The picture quality here is pretty darn good too.  It hasn’t been remastered for this released or touched up in anyway, but they used the original master copies from the series in order to produce this set at the highest quality they could.  All-in-all it looks good.


The story is still fun in a lot of ways, and even though I’m an adult now, I find myself becoming engaged in these episodes, and rekindling that child inside myself as I watch them.  The best comparison I can make, is the feeling you get when you’re watching the original Ninja Turtles cartoon.  Sure it’s not perfect, but it’s so much fun you don’t care.



The Bad


It’s the same old zany cartoon action I remember.  While this is a very good thing as well, it’s easy to see that some of these older cartoons weren’t exactly meant to stand up to the test of time.  Let’s face it, these are designed for kids.  When you’re that age, big gaping plot holes are easy to miss, and things that made perfect sense back then, are somewhat laughable now (like how they miraculously have a new missile that is perfect to handle the new problem every episode).


While the DVD set includes the series in its entirety , that’s about all you get.  For fans of the series and those who’ve been eagerly awaiting this release, it’s kind of a let down.  With 3 episodes that have never been aired before, because they didn’t get the chance, it would have been nice to see those on this set (or even some old concept art, or something).


Swat Kats


Overall Impresssions


For fans, this Swat Kats the complete series on DVD is a must-have.  While the show hasn’t exactly aged gracefully, it’s done far better than many cartoons from the same time period.  Nostalgia can keep this one going, and many have been demanding it’s release for quite some time.  These episodes are still fun to watch, and for people like me, it’s even better to be able to sit down and enjoy them with my kid.  Now my son can enjoy the same cartoons I did (which is great, because some of the cartoons they have on now are so awful).


It’s a definite BUY.  Fun for the family, good for the nostalgic, and there’s very little ways you could go wrong in owning this one.  Warner Bros is releasing this as a made-to-order set, which means you won’t be seeing it in stores.  However you can visit their online store to purchase your copy of Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron.