Accompanying a rather small collection of animation in the Archive Collection, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos still fits the bill as a should-be obscure but somehow-memorable production from a yester-decade. For years, this television animation from Ruby-Spears Productions was conveniently relegated to the little-accessed memory banks of 1980s fanboys, but has since found resurgence with the new century's incessant knack for parody video, retro fashion, and all things Chuck. In late September 1986, Karate Kommandos aired only five episodes, but that has done little to deter longtime fans of "this thrilling mix of heroism and incredible athletic prowess."
The Warner Archive Collection is selling Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos for $14.95; runtime 115 minutes. Episode titles are as follows: #01: "Deadly Dolphin," #02: "Target: Chuck Norris," #03: "Terror Train," #04: "Menace from Space," and #05: "Island of the Walking Dead."
Each episode finds Chuck and his handpicked squad of warriors fighting against an international crime organization with two clearly stated goals: (1) get rid of Chuck, and (2) rule the world.
Norris' team consisted of Too-Much (a kid), Reed (his teen apprentice), Kimo (a samurai), Tabe (sumo wrestler), and Pepper (a tech-savvy girl); all of which provide some natural if generic component to Norris' butt kicking of the evil Vulture organization. Opposing the Kommandos was the egomaniacal villain The Klaw and his trusted lieutenant Super Ninja (who was, as one would correctly presume, a super ninja). Chuck and the gang engage everything from undersea battles to hostage rescues, doing everything they can to stop The Klaw from wreaking havoc on the U.S., even if that means retrieving a stolen military satellite from an island plagued by zombies.
Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos was directed by John Kimball and the late Charles Nichols. Kimball, son of Ward Kimball, has served as animation director for several familiar titles from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s, including The Chipmunks, Darkwing Duck, The Smurfs, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and even more recently, ChalkZone. Nichols worked in the animation department for countless titles: Super Friends, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo! Where Are You?, both Jonny Quest and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, and dozens and dozens of others.