SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron

 
(i)

 

Kid-friendly action 'toon has cat cops, cool jets.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While violent and careless, the heroes are proud to defend their city and have strong relationships with each other and other characters. Female characters are less stereotyped than in many action cartoons.

Violence & scariness

Plenty of action cartoon violence, with laser weapons, fighter jets, attack helicopters, and everything a SWAT team could need to defend a besieged city. Both villains and heroes are rather careless of the lives of extras, although their deaths are never explicitly shown.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an action cartoon with lots of violence, explosions, and high-tech weaponry -- so it's not for really young kids. That said, it has a number of strengths. The characters are relatively well developed, with relationships and backstories. And even though the female characters aren't the heroes themselves, they hold powerful roles in the city and aren't portrayed with the typical wasp waists and big breasts that populate many action cartoons.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

SWAT KATS, which originally ran on TBS for two years in the early 1990s, is the ongoing saga of two heroic felines in a city populated entirely by cats. Former officers in a glamorous high-tech police squad known as The Enforcers, Chance "T-Bone" Furlong (voiced by Charles Adler) and Jake "Razor" Clawson (Barry Gordon) are now reduced to city salvage workers who must protect their city undercover (a task that requires jet fighting, laser guns, and the ability to deal with everything from alien cicadas to alternate universes). Working in cooperation with the police and the mayor, they keep their true identities secret and are invariably good -- if rogue -- citizens.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For an action cartoon, SWAT Kats has several things going for it. Female characters are strong and fearless. And the heroes, even while operating undercover, cooperate with the police, who aren't portrayed as either corrupt or foolish. Instead, although they're good, the official police just aren't as willing or able as the SWAT Kats to do whatever it takes to get the job done. The buddy relationship between the two main characters is also nice -- they may be undercover crime fighters, but they're never alone. Both guys seem to feel like they have friends in the city, and they seem pretty happy with what they're doing.

Compared to the many angst-ridden cartoon takes on Spider-Man and Batman, SWAT Kats is both a lighthearted relief and a good option for young viewers who aren't quite ready to consider the moral and ethical implications of superhero status.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the role of the media within the show. One main character is a reporter who often finds trouble but is invariably brave (and reckless) in going after the story. Is that what you think journalists are like in real life? What's good about how she does her job, and what's not? Families can also discuss how this show is similar to and different from other action cartoons.

TV details

Cast:Barry Gordon, Candi Milo, Charles Adler
Network:Boomerang
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV
Available on:Streaming

This review of SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written by11SecondsAtMach5 March 19, 2014
 

SWAT Kats: a stylistic, action-heavy cartoon with a lot of heart. And missiles. Lots of missiles.

SWAT Kats is one of my favourite cartoons from the 90s. Believe it or not, this was the No.1 syndicated cartoon in 1994, but it was cancelled shortly after. :( The cartoon is about two ex-Enforcers (essentially cops) named Chance and Jake. As enforcers, they were a pilot/co-pilot team, but after causing a hell of a lot of damage to the city in pursuit of notorious criminal Dark Kat, they are kicked off the force. The kats are forced to work in a junkyard to repay their debt. However, realizing how much military junk is readily available to them, they decide to build their own plane and become high-flying vigilantes against the forces of evil plaguing their city: The SWAT Kats! SWAT Kats is a brilliant 90's action cartoon with a rockin' metal soundtrack and a great visual style: the matte blacks used for shading make it look like a moving comic book. Chance and Jake are superbly designed characters (both aesthetically and in their personalities) and their supporting cast of allies and enemies are also very well done. Each episode drives our heroes to the brink, with multiple "how will they turn this around?" moments in a single episode, thanks to the usually superb writing. Kids loved this show, as well as adults. I'm 17 and only just started watching it: it's a radical show that I'd recommend to pretty much anyone. The character depth and good nature that we see in both Chance and Jake earns the "great messages" tag as well as the "great role models" tag, and even though there's a lot of explosions, trust me: this show doesn't warrant the "too much violence" tag. Considering there's giant dinosaurs/robots/alienships/you name it regularly destroying stuff, it's kept tame enough for the young'uns. You can find it on DVD from the official Warner Bros. shop here: http://www.wbshop.com/product/swat+kats+the+radical+squadron+1000181482.do and on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Swat-Kats-Radical-Squadron-Disc/dp/B004H0M2ZU Alternatively, watch it online here: http://www.dailymotion.com/playlists/user/TheRadicalSquadron/1
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old April 27, 2011
 

Awesome

I love this show, its on rerun where i live, and its so awesome! theres tons of action in it, might be to much for young kids but anyone 10+ would probly love this show,
What other families should know
Too much violence

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