Back at the end of 2010, the Warner Archive Collection released Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron - The Complete Series Collection
on DVD as an MOD (manufacture on demand) title. However, by March 2011 the title had been pulled, with no explanation. Word had gotten out by then (via fans who had bought the set) that the episodes, as shown on DVD, were missing their pre-story prologues titled "Today on Swat Kats
" and their post-story epilogues titled "Secret Files of the Swat Kats
," both of which had been part of the broadcast presentations back in 1994. Speculation was rife that the reason for the DVDs being pulled were to hopefully re-insert these segments.
The title is now for sale again
at Warner's WBShop.com online store, with the same configuration, info, pricing and box art as the original release (thanks to our reader "Nick" for the heads-up about that). We wanted to set the expectations of the fans correctly about what, if anything, had changed during all these months. So we got in touch with our contact at the Warner Archive, and we were provided with this official statement:
"Content on the Swat Kats DVD is the same except for a few changes to end credits. Everything else is unchanged from the version that was available last year."
As we're sure most of you know, the credits for any television or film production are very important, and we believe the rules for them are often spelled out in specific ways by the contracts between studios and the various cast and crew unions. So if something wasn't correct in the end credits for the DVD, we can only imagine that it was a legal matter to get it straightened out. It's too bad that the prologue and epilogue segments still aren't included; we hope that they haven't been lost or deteriorated beyond usability (for those of you who don't know, such segments are often shot and stored separately from the main episodes; this has been an issue with home video releases of several other kid-oriented programs from the '70s, '80s and '90s during the DVD era). Still, it's good to know that the main episodes are available to buy again. Here's a button link to the studio's new online store listing:
Apparently our write-up here in this story on Friday parked a conversation on Twitter with @WarnerArchive (here
) confirming that the prologue and epilogue sequences "do not exist" any longer. Screen captures of those tweets can be found at the bottom of this post, underneath the package art. Our thanks to "@Cartoons1980s" for their help with this. FOLLOW-UP:
@WarnerArchive tells us that this tweet
from the same day "explains it a little more eloquently," with word about how "That material was not preserved past initial syndication. Portions were used, however, in SWAT Kats: A Special Report.