Email Interview with Christian Tremblay!


Enjoy my brief interview with the co-creator of Swat Kats, Christian Tremblay!

TMB: Where did the idea of Swat Kats from? You mentioned on Reddit that it was based on a T-shirt design, but how did you develop the characters and the world from there? Did you approach Turner or did they approach you?

CT: The world evolved from that drawing into Jet fighter pilots, then we created the world of and all [MegaKat] City, a city large enough so that their jet plane can fly through. Then the villains came into the drawing board. We did not approach Turner. The SK was set up at HB for a while, and nothing happened, then Turner bought the studio, and they decide to produced two new shows, SK and Two Stupid Dogs.

TMB: Swat Kats had a lot of adventurous plots and a number of ideas at play. It dealt with time travel, dimensional travel, aliens, monsters, underground creatures, robots, magic, and so on. Was there ever a fear of having too many of them? Or was it just the idea of maximizing excitement week-to-week?

CT: Megakat city is a world in itself, ¬†and I think we stayed faithful to the original ideal of having a few recurring villains. In the same time it is always fun to explore a “villains of the week”. But sincerely, we think the best episodes are the ones that involves villain that have stronger personalities, ex: The Metallikats are better episodes then, lets say Mad Kat. It does not mean that Mad Kat is not interesting, [he] was not as developed at the the Metallikats, or Dr. Viper as example.

TMB: How would you describe the relationship between T-Bone and Razor?

CT: They are trusted friend with their rivalry, they both are strong character[s], and sometimes it clashes, but there is an absolute trust in one¬†another, and that is their strongest ties to each other…..THEY ARE REAL FRIENDS.

TMB: Even as a fan, I have to admit that there was quite a bit of exposition, which was unfortunately distracting in an otherwise fantastic show. Was that because the staff felt it was necessary for younger audiences to follow?

CT: I am not sure I understand, did you mean ” explosion?” If so, well it is an action series with villains and flying choppers, jets etc., it is quite normal to have explosions here and there, maybe there are too much in some, but it was not meant to keep the young audience. We always did the series to have fun ourselves.

TMB: I actually did mean “exposition,” in that characters would often explain the action, plot point, and/or situation out loud, when it was quite obvious what the action, plot point, and/or situation was. I was wondering if the staff felt that was necessary for younger audiences.

CT: Ah! OK, well you are right, that is something we were not crazy about, but it does have younger audience interest, when the writing has these elements into place. [They are] not the kind of things we would redo though.

TMB: Character designs in the second season were sharper and more angular than the first. Why the switch? I also noticed that in the first season, you worked with a number of animation companies, yet in the second, you stuck with one: Mook LTD. They provided the best work?

CT: The show evolve, there are things we wanted as the show started but we did not have time to do on the first season that we tried to do on the second one, and yes Mook provided the best work

TMB: One thing I was extremely impressed by was the number of body types of the different characters. Skinny, muscular, broad-shouldered, pot-bellied, short, stocky, fat – it really helped to make the world seem more real. Was that a conscious design decision from the beginning?

CT: Yes, you said it well, we were trying to build a make believe world.

TMB: So according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWAT_Kats:_The_Radical_Squadron), Swat Kats was one of the highest rated shows for a children’s cartoon, yet it was cancelled abruptly with three unfinished episodes. First, what happened that caused such a sudden cancellation against large ratings? And second, any chance we may get a sneak peek at what we missed?

CT: It was a bad timing of merchandising coming out late into the course of the series, and the investment from Turner to finance the entire things, and at some point, they pulled the plug. Remember, the toys came out late into the second season…..too late, as well as other merchandising. At the end, the white collar executives look at numbers.

TMB: That Reddit thread mentions some ideas about rebooting the series again. Without getting too detailed, what are some future plans you have in stored for the Swat Kats and MegaKat City? How do you plan on turning this idea into reality?

CT: We will bring back SK with new series and transmedia experience.
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