When will be a good time to talk about a ‘90s animated crime series? I bet if you are like me, a lover of animated series, you must have watched the Street Sharks. Yes, the street kids who would fight crime. What does that remind you of? I can’t stop myself from thinking about other similar shows like the Battletoads (1992), Avenger Penguins (1993), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987). These shows made our childhood enjoyable back then.
I remember binging on Street Sharks one weekend while hosting friends. The ‘90s shows had some classic touch in them that will never get old! The storytelling and the sequence of events on these shows would keep you glued to the TV and make you curse when you reach the end. Because the suspense that these shows had was just on another level.
The Street Sharks was a fantastic show. And do you remember the 1994 Street Sharks Mattel? The promotional sports for street sharks were just funny. If you owned the toys, you will understand what I mean here better.
The Story Begins...
If you don’t remember Turtle Mania, it is the period between 1987 and 1991 where TMNT sold roughly 1.1 billion dollars worth of toys which my parents definitely contributed. That same number had other studios and toy companies copy the concept.
The Street Sharks were super loud eaters! It was a full-fledged race to find the next in the turtle-style kid's show. Which is how you ended up with Battletoads, Toxic Crusaders, Dino Saucers, Road Rovers, and more. The studio was addicted to such a storyline. Kind of like street shark villain Reptile getting sky-high on electricity. The best of the bunch was definitely 1994s Street Sharks.
Since it was the ‘90s, just like most of the shows back then, the Street Sharks needed their own cool catchphrase to top Cowabunga, and I think they nailed it with the phrase Jawesome! So goofy but very good and it is also impossible to forget. Thanks to the fact that it is repeated in the Street Sharks opening them song every episode.
Do you remember how the sharks tore up the pavements all over the city? And the fact that they could eat metal was just on another level of entertainment! I love the creativity behind the actions of these sharks, they could punch walls and walk through them like a piece of cake! I mean, they were kind of a public nuisance. People were scared of them; as one should be of walking and talking shark! Except for Laverne who was all about that short way.
When they weren’t hitting on the waitresses and destroying public property, they were saving the world from the evil Dr. Paranoid and awesome actions sequences. The street sharks were big, brash, and bold. They were Jawesome. So much such that DJ Jawsome immortalized them in this amazing EDM check.
Since there were many variations of the Ninja Turtles at the time, the production TV of Street Sharks ad to make the turn of the show different and they chose a heart. Like when Dr. Paradigm aka Dr. Paranoid turns all four Bolton brothers into street sharks against their wills. Looking back at it, that’s not a kid's cartoon, it was more of a David Cronenberg movie! It was like 1965 The Fly horror movie where the characters would transform into ugly creatures.
Street Sharks was the brainchild of Joe Galleani, a toy designer at Mattel who was inspired to create a toy line featuring sharks by calling local libraries and finding out which books were the most popular with boys. Weird but actually pretty smart of Joe. Turns out that sharks were a hit with the target demo thanks to Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws. And its sequel culminated in 1987 Jaws – The Revenge which holds the record for the most incoherent screaming in a movie ever.
Also, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week had just premiered in 1988 creating an image of sharks as big mean-eating machines with very poor live animation. Interest in sharks was at its peak, so Mattel bought Street Sharks even before Galliano finished his presentation. For the animation, they hired DIC animation who had just produced Battletoads. And for the Toyline, they hired Vin Diesel.
That is enough of quick background into the history of the Street Shark. Let us dig into the deeper history of the evolution of the Street Sharks and the cast and characters. This show quickly became a global thing even though it did not stay on the screens for that long.
Detailed Background into the Evolution of the Street Sharks
We have touched lightly on how the show came to be. We will now delve into more details about the show. This was a half-human half-shark animated series created by DIC Production L.P David Siegel and Joe Galliani were the show creators and the show aired from 1994 to 1997 as part of Bohbot’s Amazing Adventure programming block.
This show was retitled by Dino Vengers Featuring Street Sharks in 1996 after they were joined by Dino Vengers.
Street Sharks Storyline
Gene-slammer is the brainchild of Dr. Robert Bolton and Dr. Luther Paradigm, two university professors who combined aquatic animals’ DNA to make human-like hybrids. While trying to stop Paradigm from utilizing this machine to gain personal power, Bolton transforms into a monstrous creature, but managers to elude detection as part of the deal, Paradigm will create four separate sharks images for Bolton’s boys, John, Bobby, Coop, and Clint. A struggle between Dr. Paradigm and piranha DNA occurs when Dr. Paradigm kidnaps their friend Bends. The ensuring “Street Sharks” rescues Bends
Later, Dr. Paradigm creates a variety of mutant animals to exterminate the Street Sharks while seeking to persuade the residents of Fission City, Where Sharks are native, to jail them. Among these mutants, Rox, Moby Lick, Mantaman, and El Sowrdo sided with the Sharks.
The Dino Vengers, a group of extraterrestrial dinosaurs that collaborated with the Street Sharks against their own rivals in the Raptor Gang, was introduced in the final episodes. For example, when Dr. Paradigm wished to receive a piece of the Raptors’ DNA in order to improve himself, they gave him iguana DNA, transforming him from a scientist into a Dr. Iguanazoid and allowing him to work as a consultant with the Raptors, who finally, Paradigm is arrested by the Raptor Gang and imprisoned.
After the Raptors, the Dino Vengers got their own show called Extreme Dinosaurs, in which they featured the Raptors and had different backgrounds.
Street Sharks Characters
The Bolton’s Family
He was voiced by Lee Tockar. John Bolton is the sharpest, most powerful, and oldest of four brothers who enjoy inventing. He learned most of his knowledge and talents from his father. He also enjoys playing pool. John rides a motorcycle in the first episode of the show. When he transforms into Ripster, he becomes a great white shark with extrasensory abilities and the ability to bite through steel.
Jab was voiced by Matt Hill. Clint Bolton is the most sluggish of the Street Sharks, yet he enjoys boxing and looks to have some mechanical ability. When he transforms into Jab, he transforms into a hammerhead shark that uses his head as a battering weapon.
Andrew Rannells was the voice behind Streex. Robert "Bobby" Bolton Jr. is a self-proclaimed ladies' guy with a level head. He is always seen on rollerblades, and he appears to like parachuting and snowboarding, as well as playing drums professionally. When he transforms into Streex, he transforms into a tiger shark, so named because of the purple streaks on his body. He was initially referred to as "Blades" in the toyline due to his abilities as a rollerblader.
The voice behind Big Slammu was D Kevin Williams. Coop Bolton is the most powerful and the youngest of the four. He is also a high school football player. He rides a skateboard in the first episode. When he transforms into Big Slammu, he transforms into a whale shark, and his most notable maneuver is the "Seismic Slam," in which he uses his fists to shake or fracture the ground.
Dr. Robert Bolton
Dr. Robert Bolton’s voice was done by D. Kelvin Williams. The father of the Bolton Brothers and a university professor who invents the gene-manipulation apparatus for peaceful purposes. He appears just in the first episode, as he tries to stop Dr. Paradigm's experiments, only to be transformed into an unseen monstrous creature. Following then, he is only ever portrayed by a shadow on the wall.
Throughout the series, it is implied that Dr. Bolton surreptitiously helps his sons. In the episode "Shark Source," he defeats Dr. Paranoid in order to save a kidnapped mutant crocodile. Despite his assistance, Dr. Bolton is never reunited with his boys. He does, however, communicate with his boys via a TV screen, where the transmission prevents even the spectators from seeing his current appearance.
Sir Thomas Bolton
An ancestor of the characters who appears in the episode "Sir Shark-a-Lot." He is the aim of Paradigm's time-travel adventure to eliminate the Bolton family.
Street Shark Allies
Pam Carter voiced Lena Mack. Dr. Paradigm's student suspects him of criminal activity and thus supports the Street Sharks. She is later relegated to a supporting role, and she has a younger brother named Malik.
Bends was voiced by Jim Hoggatt. Fission University's technical genius and comic relief, who provides the Street Sharks with their motorcycles and weaponry and hides them beneath the University's ice skating rink. In episode 16, it is shown that a gene-slamming airborne virus cannot transform him. This genetic feature was handed down to his great, great, great-grandson, who is a member of Dr. Paradigm's resistance in an alternate future depicted in "Shark to the Future."
Jets Taylor is close to the Bolton Brothers and Bends. Dr. Paradigm uses mind control to fuse Jets with a killer whale in order to create his next Service. He later broke out of Paradigm's mental control as Moby Lick and became an ally of the Street Sharks. Moby Lick possesses a long prehensile tongue (thus his name), immense strength, and the capacity to intake and release water through his blowhole, as well as the ability to communicate with other killer whales. Moby became an eco-conservationist in the Everglades National Park, according to "Shark Hunt."
Lee Tocker was the voice of Rox. Melvin Kresnik is a rising musician who is erroneously fused with a bull shark, exposing Dr. Paradigm's plot to turn Kresnik's audience into mutants. Rox then continues as a rock star, describing his disguise as a costume, and remains a friend of the Sharks. After Season Two, he was fired from the show. Rox is referred to as a mako shark rather than a bull shark in the toy line.
President David Home
Tony Wike was the voice behind President David Home. The President of the United States of America. The Street Sharks save him from Dr. Paradigm before he can be "gene washed" like Vice President Russell. Following this occurrence, President Horne sends information to the Street Sharks in secret.
Garry Chalk was the voice behind El Swordo. A circus performer who collaborated with Spike, a huge marlin. Dr. Paradigm eventually "combined" the two, resulting in a jumble of memories under the man's psyche. El Swordo is still engaged in the entertainment industry as a professional swordsman.
D. Kevin Williams was the voice of Mantaman. Dr. Terrence "Terry" Morton discovered a flying dinosaur-like alien species imprisoned in the stone and revived by Dr. Paradigm. Dr. Morton then purposefully gene-slammed himself with a mix of alien and manta ray DNA to aid the Street Sharks in their fight against the original alien.
Ryan, his younger brother, debuts in "Shark Jacked" when he is kidnapped by Dr. Paradigm. By the end of the episode, Mantaman's parents have learned what happened to their son and have come to terms with his appearance. Mantaman returns under the control of the Raptors around the "Ancient Sharkonauts" episode when it was revealed that they were behind the flying dinosaur-like alien whose DNA is part of Mantaman. The Street Sharks eventually free him.
An extraterrestrial military unit inhabited by humanoid dinosaurs. Joined forces with the Street Sharks. The four, who were once regular members of their race, volunteered to accept genetic upgrades that made them much larger and stronger in order to better confront Bad Rap and his gang of terrorists. The team was made up of:
- T-Bone – voice by Ian James Corlett. He was a Tyrannosaurus and the head of the Dino Vengers.
- Stegz – he was voiced by D. Kevin Williams. He was a Stegosaurus
- Bullzeye – He was a Pteranodon and was voiced by Ian James Corlett.
- Spike – He was a Triceratops and was voiced by Garry Chalk.
Dr. Luther Paradigm
Dr. Paradigm was voiced by Michael Lee. The series' major nemesis and the Street Sharks' arch-enemy. He is a professor at Fission City University who can be recognised by his metal eyepatch and eventually by a massive yellow robotic exoskeleton with offensive capabilities such as the capacity to fire harpoons. In the second episode, Dr. Paradigm is injected with piranha DNA intended for the Street Sharks, who have dubbed him Dr. Piranoid. Following that, when Paradigm is overcome with emotion, his visage takes on inhuman characteristics. Dr. Paradigm wears a robe in public to conceal his exoskeleton.
When Dr. Bolton beat Dr. Piranoid to save a captive mutant crocodile and broke his armor, it was revealed that sections of his body resembled fish. Dr. Paradigm was renamed Dr. Iguanazoid after injecting himself with iguana DNA supplied to him by the Raptors instead of Velociraptor DNA during episodes starring the Dino-Vengers. He has since assisted the Raptors in their plans in the hopes that they will actually give him Velociraptor DNA. Dr. Iguanazoid is arrested by the Street Sharks in "Shark-apolypse Now!"
Steve Gibbs was the man behind SharkBot’s voice. Dr. Paradigm's robotics experiment. It was used to release the monster Repteel and frame the Street Sharks for the crime. SharkBot was eventually reprogrammed by the Sharks to destroy Paradigm's facility. SharkBot was eventually rebuilt into SharkBot 2.0, who fought the Street Sharks until the end of the second season of the series.
A bipedal creature of unknown origins and species, originally seen as Paradigm's newest weapon in the episode "Sir Shark-a-Lot." It is unable to speak, has little intelligence, and was rarely used.
Other Antagonists include:
Seaviates: Sloabster, Slash, Killmari Repteel, Shrimp Louie.
Was the most outstanding. He was voiced by Tony The only one of Dr. Paradigm's Seaviates who was formerly human. Mr. Cunneyworth is the elderly owner and manager of a run-down hotel that was mistakenly demolished by the Street Sharks during a skirmish with Dr. Paradigm's Seaviates. Mr. Cunneyworth gladly enabled Dr. Paradigm to combine his genetic codes with those of a moray eel and an electric eel because he had nowhere else to go. As Repteel, he feeds on electricity and fires small eels (also charged with electricity) from his hands. He also wears a special pack to store energy.
An elderly mafioso who blackmails Dr. Paradigm into gene-slamming him with rhinoceros DNA (after obtaining nose-hair samples) and desert tortoise DNA after learning about his illegal and secret experiments. Greco gained the strength of a rhinoceros and the lifespan of a desert tortoise, rejuvenating him to half his true age. Later, he reappeared as the owner of a casino.
Zeus and Apollo - Chihuahuas are Maximillian Greco's pets. Dr. Paradigm genetically modified them, as well as their owner, to make them larger than normal.
Malcom Medusa III
Was also voiced by D Kevin Williams. Malcolm Medusa III's right-hand man, a mutant clam. He began as a dock worker for Malcolm Medusa III, who slipped into a poisonous waste area of the ocean where clams were present. As a result, when Malcolm dug him out, he transformed into a mutant clam. Clammando initially appeared in "Shark to the Future" as a Seaviate who worked for Dr. Paradigm during the Street Sharks' excursion to the future.
Other characters included:
- Raptors – Bad Rap, Haxx, Spittor
- Guy in the sky
- Detective Michael Brock.
I loved this show. Too bad it did not last long enough to be appreciated by the current generation. Watching it on YouTube, I still get the chills of the nostalgia and the sweet memories of the good old days that it brings. I wish the producers could work on the revival of this show. It was an epic show, a timeless show that deserves a re-run. There were a lot of characters who were yet to be unearthed from the storyline.
What do you remember about the Street Sharks?
How do you rate them compared to Ninja Turtles?