Animato! article cont'd (aka "Where's my OCR software when I need it?")

From: chance <>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 06:03:25 -0800

***There have been a number of parts prior to this one. If anyone wants the
earlier portions of this thing (a "must have" for every Kat fan), feel free to e-mail
and I'll send the missing parts via e-mail (I don't bite - unless you're standing in
my supper dish...)


Airdates: October 16/17, 1993
Written by Glenn Leopold (who's doing "Fantastic Four" eps as we speak...Ed.)

Caught in one of the Pastmaster's time vortexes, the SWAT Kats are drawn back
into the Dark Ages. They find the wretched warlock invading "Megalith City" with
an army of magical monsters, threatening to destroy the town unless its leader -
Queen Callista, Callie Briggs lookalike ancestor - agrees to marry him. And that's
not the only romantic complication: when Callista sees Razor pull a certain sword
from a certain stone, she falls for him, causing T-Bone to become jealous. This is
a fun episode that puts the SWAT Kats in unfamiliar territory, both physically and
emotionally - this is the first time either of them has a requited love interest. Queen
Callista is as courageous, intelligent and likable as her present day descendant.
(Tress MacNeille's excellent vocal performance, subtly different from her Callie
Briggs voice, adds a lot to the Queen's appeal). "Bride" also uses a clever framing
device: the episode begins and ends with the SWAT Kats in mid-battle against two
worm-like sea monsters who are attacking oil tankers. A-


Airdates: October 23/24, 1993
Written by David Ehrman

Dark Kat enlists Hard Drive to help him destroy both the SWAT Kats and their
reputation; aftter the villains lure the pilots into a conveyor belt death trap, Hard Drive
uses the stolen TurboKat to pose as the SWAT Kats and frame them as criminals.
Good points: 1. Mook's animation is well done. 2. Callie has a strong role that tests
both her courage and her trust in the SWAT Kats; she even gets to save their lives
for a change. Bad points: 1. The cliched "make the heroes look like villains" plot.
2. The whole death trap business. Dark Kat is foolish not to kill the SWAT Kats
outright; even Hard Drive sensibly complains to his partner, "I still say you should
have let me fry those two!" 3. Hard Drive's introduction is marred by a clumsy,
contrived monologue meant to explain the "high-tech low-life's" powers to the
audience. The verdict: I've seen worse, but this one needed one or two rewrites.



Airdates: October 30/31, 1993
Written by Lance Falk

An accident with an experimental diamond mining machine somewho transforms
brutal convict Rex Shard (John Vernon) into a crystalline giant whose touch turns
people and objects into crystal...and that's only the beginning of his new powers.
Yes, it's another "giant monster" episode, but at least this time the creature has a
unique gimmick (not to mention a personality). "Crystal" is also the first SWAT
Kats set totally outside Megakat City - most of the desperate battle between Shard
and the two fighter pilots takes place in the desert. Not a classic, but a decent way
to kill a half hour. B

Appearances: The mining device's inventor is one Dr. Greenbox ("Terminator 2's"
Robert Patrick), who returns in the second season's "Unlikely Alloys".

Musings: Warden Cyrus Meese (Jim Cummings), whose greedy exploitation of his
prisoners causes Shard's accident in the first place, is knocked onto his office floor
and shattered after he's "crystallized" (which Falk intended as "poetic justice"). As
the episode ends, every location Shard turned to crystal is shown changing back
to normal - except the warden's office. No prizes for guessing why.

Lance Falk: Falk planned to make Rex Shard another recurring SWAT Kats
villain - backed up with two concepts that had never been used before.
(ed. note - see the "Cold War" script premise on the ftp site "" for an
 example of what Falk intended for Shard). "What makes [Shard] a villain
is his mean and criminal mind, and after the crystal incident, he's so bent on
getting the heroes back that he'll go to any length to get some kind of edge,
some kind of weapon or power. What I wanted to do was to bring him back
three, four, or five times, and each time he came back [he'd] have a different
power. He'd escape from prison and dive into an experimental energy source
and [become] a big fire demon...or a snow guy that freezes the city over. I
would have done something more original than those things I mentioned; I
thought the crystal guy was an original idea, and I want to come up with stuff
just that cool. The other thing was, not only did [Shard] keep coming back
with different powers, but every time out there'd be a price to pay the next
time he came back. He'd lose an eye, so from then on when you saw the guy
he had an eyepatch. And each time he comes back, he's a little more beat
up. He's become a fanatic, and he's lost all sight of everything but revenge,
and it's really destroying him."


Airdates: November 6/7, 1993
Written by Von Williams

The vengeful spirit of The Red Lynx (Mark Hamill), an enemy air ace from
"Megawar II", returns from his watery grave to kill the descendant of the
flier who put him there, The Blue Manx. Said descendant happens to be -
you guessed it - Mayor Manx, the flier's great grandson. Can even the
SWAT Kats shoot down "the most evil pilot in history"? And can Mayor
Manx overcome his own cowardice - even to save his own life? Manx
gets his biggest role of the entire series here, but it's the Red Lynx who makes
this episode a classic. The ghost pilot, with his grotesque character design
and aura of creepiness, is one of the SWAT Kats best one-shot villains, and
he inspires the animators to create several wonderfully eerie images throughout
the episode. A

Appearances: The ever-helpful Dr. Sinian discovers that only a relative of the
Blue Manx (such as the mayor) can destroy the Red Lynx.


Airdates: November 13/14, 1993

Written by Lance Falk and Eric Clark

The Metallikats escape from their creator Professor Hackle, who intends to
"program out all [their] criminal tendencies." In search of their armoured
hovercraft, the Metallikat Express, Mac and Molly wind up at the salvage
yard near Jake and Chance's Garage - where they discover the SWAT Kats'
headquarters! In a unique action scene, Clawson and Furlong, still in their
civvies, must defend their own base from the robot gangsters. The SWAT
Kats destroy the Metallikats' bodies, but the tin-plated thugs survive as two
disembodied heads crawling around on spider-like legs, and they soon
continue their rampage by taking over two huge space exploration robots.
There's mayhem aplenty in this episode, but there's also some of SWAT
Kats' best dialogue, as well as two character-driven scenes involving
Commander Feral. First, Feral and Callie Briggs finally have The Big
Argument over the commander's hatred of the SWAT Kats. Then Feral
redeems himself at the end of the episode; in a powerful scene, he
chooses his principles over a chance to capture his hated rivals. All this
and a cameo by Hard Drive - who could ask for anything more? A

In-Jokes: 1. Early in the episode, Professor Hackle and the Metallikats
watch the SWAT Kats capture Hard Drive on live TV, making a fool
of Feral (as usual).

HACKLE: "Such senseless violence. It's all so disheartening."

MAC: "Wow, Molly! That Feral hates the SWAT Kats even more than
             we do!"

MOLLY: "Why shouldn't he, Mac? Those fighter jocks make him look stupid
                  at least once a week!"

2. Hackle plans to turn the de-criminalized Metallikats into servants - Mac,
    a chauffeur, Molly, a housekeeper. He even buys uniforms which the
    Manges destroy when they escape his lab. However, Hackle must have
    had two spare uniforms, because they're shown in the second season's
    "Deadly Pyramid".

Appearances: Burke & Murray harass Jake & Chance yet again while the
Metallikats watch (Mac refers to the four as "duelling lowlifes". He should
talk!). "Star Wars" fan Lance Falk says, "Comedy characters aren't my
forte. I put [Burke & Murray] in there just so I could meet Mark Hamill."
(ed. note - Lance Falk meant that placing strictly comedic characters within
the action-adventure format wasn't "his forte". He now works art-directing
on Warner's "Animaniacs", and has proven that comedy is _indeed_
his "forte"!)

Lance Falk: "I wanted to do a big, blowout episode, and I wanted to do
something with Feral. I thought Feral was kind of one-dimensional." Falk
expanded on Feral's personality in in "Metal Urgency" 's finale, where the
Commander refuses the defeated Metallikats' offer to exchange the SWAT
Kats' secret identities for their freedom. "I wanted to show that jerk though
he may be, he's got a code - he has a line that he won't cross, and that line
is he doesn't deal with scum. He doesn't need to know anything bad enough
to owe the bad guy. That moment is my favourite moment in the whole
series, and I think it's my best character writing for the show. I know it's
a kids' cartoon, but that scene was really important to me, and all the other
stuff was just a device to lead to the last scene."

 "Sorry for's just that you looked so much like the 'Cheshire Cat' for a
  minute there, and I was rather hoping bits of you would begin to disappear.."

Received on Wed Nov 15 1995 - 09:22:58 PST

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