Karate Kommandos

Karate Kommandos (also known as Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos) is an American animated television series that originally aired in 1986 as a syndicated five episode mini-series. It was created by and starred Chuck Norris as himself, and produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises.[1] Re-runs of the cartoon have occasionally aired on Boomerang and Adult Swim.

Karate Kommandos
Created byChuck Norris
Developed byDan DiStefano
Directed byCharles A. Nichols
John Kimball
StarringChuck Norris as himself
Voices ofChuck Norris
Sam Fontana
Kathy Garver
Robert Ito
Mona Marshall
Bill Martin
Alan Oppenheimer
Keone Young
Composer(s)Udi Harpaz
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes5
Production
Executive producer(s)Joe Ruby
Ken Spears
Producer(s)Larry Huber
Running time30 Minutes
Production company(s)Ruby-Spears Enterprises
DistributorWorldvision Enterprises
Release
Original networkFirst-run syndication
Original releaseSeptember 15 –
September 19, 1986 (1986-09-19)
Chronology
Related showsLazer Tag Academy
The New Adventures of Little Oscar

PlotEdit

This fictionalized version of Chuck Norris is a United States government operative with a team of racially diverse warriors known as the Karate Kommandos. Together, they fight against the organization VULTURE (it was never revealed what VULTURE was short for) led by the Claw and his right-hand man Super Ninja.[2]

ProductionEdit

The series follows the framing device of Mister T (also a Ruby-Spears production). At the beginning of each episode, a live action segment with Norris, usually at a gym or a martial arts studio, is shown to explain what is going on. At the end of each episode, Norris narrates a moral lesson for the audience to learn.

CharactersEdit

Karate KommandosEdit

The team includes:

VULTUREEdit

  • Claw (voiced by Bill Martin) - The leader of VULTURE who serves as the primary antagonist of the series. Claw has a metal claw for a right arm.
  • Super-Ninja (voiced by Keone Young) - A ninja who is Claw's right-hand man.
  • VULTURE Ninjas - The foot soldiers of VULTURE.

EpisodesEdit

No. Title Written by Original air date
1"Deadly Dolphin"Dan DiStefano
Janis Diamond
September 15, 1986 (1986-09-15)
Chuck Norris and his comrades are helping a scientist named Dr. Sanford test experimental equipment that would enable people to breathe underwater by converting water into oxygen. The Claw sends Super-Ninja and a female operative named Angelfish to lead his men to kidnap Dr. Sanford and break into Sealab. It's up to Norris' team to defend them both.
2"Target: Chuck Norris"Jack BornoffSeptember 16, 1986 (1986-09-16)
The Claw places a bounty on Chuck Norris' head in order to eliminate him once and for all. At the same time, he sends the Imposter to steal a computer chip that would permit him to gain control of NATO's defenses. Chuck Norris and his comrades must get the chip back in order to protect the free world. When Super Ninja manages to capture Too-Much, Chuck Norris must rescue his young ward as well.
3"Terror Train"Matt UitzSeptember 17, 1986 (1986-09-17)
Chuck Norris and his comrades are assigned to guard a robot laser while it is being transported, but The Claw has his eyes on the prize as well so he sends some of his best men to steal it. However, when Super-Ninja plants some explosives onto the transport train, Norris must play his cards correctly or risk losing the lives of the passengers on board.
4"Menace from Space"Mike ChainSeptember 18, 1986 (1986-09-18)
Chuck Norris and his comrades head off to a space shuttle launch site in order to warn a general about The Claw's plans, but they're too late and The Claw manages to get away with the shuttle. To make matters worse, the space shuttle was carrying a fusion cannon that has the power to do unspeakable damage to any city in the world. So Norris decides to use an old space shuttle to go into space and stop Super Ninja before any damage is dealt.
5"Island of the Walking Dead"Janis DiamondSeptember 19, 1986 (1986-09-19)
The Claw is attempting to bring down a United States satellite in order to reprogram it so he can gain control of all the nation's military bases, so the president decides to send Chuck Norris to stop him. However, Super Ninja manages to distract Norris long enough for The Claw's men to succeed. Norris and his comrades head off to Voodoo Island in hope of recovering the satellite, but things take a turn for the worse, and they discover that the island is full of the walking dead.

Home mediaEdit

In 1987, a VHS tape of Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos was released by Worldvision Home Video.

The complete series was released on DVD on April 1, 2011 via Warner Archive line.[3][4]

Comic bookEdit

There was also a comic book series published by Star Comics, an imprint of Marvel Comics which produced comic books aimed at young children. Steve Ditko provided the art.[5] Issue #1 found Too-Much daydreaming in class about being as great a martial artist as Chuck Norris, even taking down the Super Ninja singlehandedly. Without warning, Too-Much's teacher calls on him to give his book report (which, being Too-Much, he hasn't even started) on James Clavell's The Children's Story. Then Too-Much, his classmates, and their teacher are taken hostage by the Klaw's ninjas...who demand the Super-cruiser in return for their release. The Super-cruiser, which looks like a U-Haul truck, is a new anti-terrorist weapon created by Norris for the government. Pepper drives the Super-cruiser to the school, where she and her trusty dog take on the ninjas...while Chuck himself barges into the classroom and knocks out more of the ninjas. One of the ninjas tries to shoot Norris, who stops the bullet with a copy of The Children's Story; he then sells Too-Much a bill of goods about what a great book this is, while the police haul the ninjas off to jail.

Action figuresEdit

To coincide with the airing of the show, Kenner Products made a set of action figures based on the main characters of the show. Kenner also made many accessories, including weapons and vehicles, to go along with the figurines.[6]

ReceptionEdit

In The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows, David Perlmutter writes, "This short-run (five-episode) series was a blatant exploitation of Norris' popularity among child audiences, for whom, it seemed, the action-oriented narrative was directed. It was rather standard fare, save for the (undoubtedly unintentional) racism inherent in making the villains Asian people, as well as the public service announcements at the end, where Norris unconvincingly asserted that violent acts of the kind featured in the program were "my last option" when it came to problem solving."[7]

Popular cultureEdit

StationsEdit

City Station
Boston WLVI 56[8][9]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos DVD Review - IGN". Uk.ign.com. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 202. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ "Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos - The Complete Series : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  4. ^ "Chuck Norris Animation on DVD-on-Demand". Animation Insider. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  5. ^ @ 04:56 PM (2007-01-07). "365 Reasons to Love Comics #7 | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources". Goodcomics.comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  6. ^ "Buyers Have an Early Adventure in Toyland : Industry Show Previews Talking Teddy Bears, Cuddly Dolls, More Rambos - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1986-02-21. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  7. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 125. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  8. ^ "RETRO: Providence/Boston/Hartford – Thursday, September 11, 1986 (1 of 2)". Radio Discussions. August 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "Retro: Maine (Tuesday, September 9, 1986)". Radio Discussions. September 9, 2012.

External linksEdit