Samurai Pizza Cats also known as the English dub of Kyattou Ninden Teyandee (キャッ党 忍伝 てやんでえ, Cat Ninja Legend, What Are You Talking About?!"), licensed by Saban, who didn't manage to get transcripts of the original anime dialog (or just horribly translated scripts, according to the writer). As such, the writers had to make up stories and dialog out of whole cloth.
As for the plot: the eponymous Cats are the owners/employees of a pizza parlor, who defend their city and the royal family (pushy, spoiled Princess Violet [Usa-Hime], and her demented father, Emperor Fred [Shogun Tokugawa Iei-Iei]) from the machinations of the villainous fox the Big Cheese (Ko'on-no-Kami). Between the giant robots, the Ninja Crows and the, um, peculiarities of their emperor, this is both harder than it sounds and easier than it ought to be.
While the plots can be a bit formulaic, most of the show's appeal comes from the humor and the lame puns (some main characters being Speedy Cerviche [Yattarou], Guido Anchovy [Sukashii], Polly Esther [Pururun] and "Big" Al Dente [Wanko-no-Kami]), and an astounding number of running gags. The show is notable for being perhaps the only heavily edited, rewritten and hacked-up anime dub which fans actually prefer to the original. Whereas the original show is merely a cute kids' action cartoon, the English Pizza Cats is chock full of sly references, shameless puns, rapid-fire sardonic humor, and a total refusal to so much as acknowledge the fourth wall.
Kyattou Ninden Teyandee was made for television outside of Japan in 1990/91 by producer Andy Thomas for Saban International and featured an all Canadian cast of vocalists (and a few behind the scenes people too). When the show was made for English television it wasn't translated (Thomas didn't even look up the proper spelling for Samurai - thus we get Samurai, which is funny all the same!). The original dialogue and sound track was kept from everyone (except Thomas) and they created an entirely new show (but some things had to be kept the same because you can't change the cause and effect responses embedded in the cartoon). The writers were given the animation, re-arranged a bit by Thomas so that they couldn't do a carbon copy translation it if they wanted - and that's all they had to work with. Andy Thomas came up with the title Samurai Pizza Cats, re-named all the characters; making them international so to speak ~ Speedy after the Mexican theme Speedy Gonzallez, Guido's name is Italian, and Polly... she's named after Andy Thomas's sister! The bad guy's names became puns of sorts - Bad Bird's name is self explanatory, Jerry Atric is a pun on the medical term Geriatric which refers to an old person, and Big Cheese is a slang term given to a person in a position of power. It was set in Little Tokyo. Andy Thomas came up with the idea of having the narrator be a know-it-all, providing some direction, communication, explanation and hilarious comic relief!
The setting is a Japanese looking village named 'Little Tokyo' where the Pizza Cats run a pizza fastfood business. Little Tokyo is populated by all kinds of animals. The characters are cyborg humaniods. The official ruler of the town is the Emperor, but since he has gone bananas a council takes care of the well-being of the village. One of the members of this council is called Seymour "Big" Cheese (a rat in SPC, buta fox in KNT), who secretly wishes to take over control of the village. The pizza take away restaurant is merely a cover for their true job... Whenever evil is afoot, the Pizza Cats are launched towards the danger from the cannon clock tower that emerges from the top of their restaurant. During the series, Speedy fell in love with Lucille until he begins to fall in love with Polly later. Bad Bird started out bad until he reunited with a girl from his childhood named Carla. Later, Bad Bird change his name to Good Bird. Good Bird quits being a bad guy and joins the heroes. Big Cheese is finally dismissed from his position as Prime Minister and exiled thanks to Princess Vi, the one who sends anyone who makes her angry to Prisoner Island. He isn't happy about this and unveils his ultimate plot... to destroy Little Tokyo by means of aiming a large comet at the city. Then it's up to Speedy and Bad Bird (who was mostly out to get rid of the Cats before the finale) to join forces to destroy the comet before it makes connection and annihilates the entire city and its citizens. Speedy and Bad Bird come very to biting the dust. However, to everyone's surprise, they make it with only a few scratches. After Speedy and Polly admit their feelings for each other, and Bad Bird and Carla get back together, the rebuilding process begins, with no more threats from the Big Cheese and his crew of Ninja Crows in the foreseeable future. Seymour lose his job and he's on the run. He was last seen in a raft with Jerry Atric in order to escape Little Tokyo. It is unknown if they know about Bad Bird leaving them. The rest of the bad guys in the last episode appears they been disbanded after the comet. The last episode show Speedy and Bad Bird head to the future and the future is uncertain, but it will be good for them.
Also note that 12 Episodes got banned from the United States and only showed 40 Episodes.
Due to the bad timeslots, and poor advertising efforts in Saban's part, underdevelopment characters, bad story line, censorship, 12 episodes got banned in the US. SPC bit the dust in the second week of September, 1997. Shows like DBZ and Sailor Moon, which got it's start in larger markets in 1996 with the above-mentioned block of Saban shows, carried on for a second season and expanded to cover areas that lost SPC. Of course, that meant bad times again, but DBZ and Sailor Moon faired better in those timeslots than SPC.
However, Saban, who bought out the Family Channel in 1995, in a partnership with FOX/News Corp., and renamed the channel "Fox Family Channel", would pull totally out of syndication business in January 1998. Basically, this meant all Saban series in syndication, except on Fox affiliates, all but disappeared from the air at once. Saban also gave up rights to DBZ in fall of 1998, and thus it moved to its current home, Cartoon Network, and was their first shows to premiere on its new "Toonami' block.
SPC's current status today is not what most fans would like to hear. Everywhere except for Israel and in scatter-shot locations in the UK who show it on occasion, SPC is off the air.
As of this page's publishing, Saban has given up his portion of Fox Family, his ownership of Fox Kids, and all rights to current and previous Saban series are under Fox's complete control. What this means in laymans terms is a possible re-airing of SPC on Fox Family, Fox selling off rights to another company (eg: The Program Exchange) to re-syndicate the series, or Fox issuing the series on DVDs, or selling rights to a company like Pioneer or ADV Films to reissue onto VHS or DVD formats.
SPC has had a devoted fan following and even more so since it's fading from the airwaves and forgotten. Fans even write their own stories where the characters would go.