You’ll probably know ThunderCats and you might know SilverHawks but what about TigerSharks?
I hadn’t heard of them until I saw Toy Galaxy’s The History of TigerSharks: Abandoned, Moist & Weird (how funny is that title btw?) and suddenly, my interest was piqued.
So, what is TigerSharks?
TigerSharks was an animated series created by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass of Rankin/Bass in 1987. As you might have guessed from the intro and the names I just mentioned, the production company were also responsible for ThunderCats and SilverHawks.
The series featured a team of human hybrid heroes that transformed into different marine animals. The main characters were:
- Mako – A scuba diver and unofficial leader of the TigerSharks. He transformed into a mako shark hybrid and his superpower was super speed underwater. He could also slice through metal.
- Walro – A STEM (science, tech, engineering, mathematics) genius who created the Fish Tank (the device used to make everyone transform). He transformed into a walrus hybrid.
- Dolph – A scuba diver and second-in-command. Dolph transformed into a dolphin hybrid, which gave him super agility underwater.
- Octavia – The captain of the SARK (their ship). Octavia transformed into an octopus hybrid.
- Lorca – A mechanic. Lorca transformed into an orca hybrid.
- Bronc – A teenage assistant in the SARK. He transformed into a seahorse hybrid.
- Angel – An assistant in the SARK and Bronc’s sister. She transformed into an angelfish hybrid.
- Gupp – The TigerSharks’ pet dog. He transformed into a… seal? Sealion? I dunno.
The story was that the TigerSharks were humans who transformed into human/marine animal super hybrids using a device called the Fish Tank. Their base was a spaceship called the SARK and it also contained the Fish Tank as well as other facilities used for marine research.
This all took place on a planet called Water-O (pronounced Wah-tare-oh) which sounded very similar to the post-apocalyptic version of Earth in Waterworld (spoiler alert: Kevin Costner was a human/marine animal mutant hybrid in the film).
While on a research mission, the Tigersharks became defenders of Water-O against the evil T-Ray and a handful of other villains that appear on the show.
A damp squib of a series
Unfortunately, the show only lasted for one series of 26 episodes. It aired as part of a cartoon anthology show called The Comic Strip alongside equally-forgotten titles such as Street Frogs, The Mini-Monsters, and Karate Kat.
Its short run meant there was hardly any merch to go with it and the toys you can find on eBay today are rare and expensive. The show did make a cameo appearance in the ThunderCats reboot in 2011 which suggests it could technically come back if rights owners Warner Bros lost their minds and brought it back. Not likely – it’s WB after all.
Where you can watch TigerSharks
Due to its lack of popularity, the series was never released on VHS (at least not in full -- two episodes came out as part of a Comic Strip series), DVD (but there are some bootlegs), or Blu-Ray (although the naming ideas write themselves for the latter). But someone on YouTube has made a playlist of episodes and other related videos to enjoy, including reviews, podcasts, the other cartoons from The Comic Strip, and a video about actual tiger sharks.
I strongly recommend you stream the Toy Galaxy episode below because it’s very funny and Dan Larson is awesome.