‘’Safari Joe" is the twenty fourth episode of ThunderCats (original series)
The ThunderCats must match wits with an intergalactic big game hunter who is looking to make them his prey.
A huge spaceship lands in a clearing in the forest and from it emerges Safari Joe, the best big game hunter in the galaxy. After having successfully hunted Big Cats, Aqua Cats and Sky Cats, Safari Joe now has his eyes set on hunting ThunderCats. The only other occupant of the ship is his robotic assistant, Mule, who immediately gets to work unloading supplies as well as setting up camp and the Holojector device which displays the profiles of Safari Joe's preys.
In another part of the forest, Wilykit and Wilykat are cruising on their hoverboards with Wilykit showing off her skills. Safari Joe, who is secretly stalking them from the nearby bushes, fires his gun at their hoverboards, breaking them to pieces. As the ThunderKittens fall to the ground, they are caught in giant bags which Safari Joe had set for them.
At Cats Lair, while Lion-O and Snarf are enjoying a game of "Kick the Bucket", Panthro is worried about the "electronic blind" in the middle of the forest. Unbeknownst to him, the blind has been set up by Safari Joe to conceal his hovership and his camp. Lion-O tries to use the Sword of Omens' "Sight beyond sight" but even it fails to see past the blind. Tygra and Cheetara decide to check it out on foot.
Back at Safari Joe's camp, the hunter locks up Wilykit and Wilykat in Thundrainium cages and then instructs Mule to start the holojector so that he may see his next prey. The device first displays a hologram of Tygra and then Cheetara and Mule describes each of their strengths and weaknesses. Shortly after, Tygra and Cheetara arrive in the forest and Safari Joe wastes no time in capturing both. He first catches Cheetara using rocket-powered cuffs and then traps Tygra in a water-filled hole. He then locks them up in Thundrainium cages as well before getting the holojector to show him the profile of his next prey, Panthro.
Panthro, who has taken the ThunderTank out to search for his friends, soon locates the electronic blind. Before Panthro can do anything, he is showered by a barrage of explosive shots from Safari Joe which cause the tank to flip over. Panthro attacks using his Nunchucks but Safari Joe fires a round from his gun which materializes into a huge energy bat, the one creature that Panthro fears. The bat terrifies Panthro who becomes so overwhelmed with fear that he is unable to move and the hunter locks him up in a cage as well. Mule then switches on the holojector again to show Safari Joe the profile of Lion-O. As the device displays Lion-O using the Sword of Omens, the holojector shorts out and explodes. Mule explains that the Eye of Thundera defied being analyzed. Safari Joe is amused at the opportunity of having to capture a prey whose strengths and weaknesses he is not fully aware of.
Meanwhile, back at Cats Lair, Lion-O is worried about his comrades. At that moment, Jaga appears and informs him about his adversary. He tells Lion-O that Safari Joe is a formidable opponent who knows all of the ThunderCats' weaknesses. Lion-O goes out to rescues his friends but as soon as he steps out of Cats Lair, he is confronted by Safari Joe. The hunter uses every trick in his arsenal on Lion-O but the lord of the ThunderCats manages to defeat each one of them.
Safari Joe then taunts Lion-O to fight him without his sword which Lion agrees to if his friends are released. Safari Joe accepts the deal, offering Lion-O his "Word as a sportsman" but as soon as Lion-O throws away his sword, Safari Joe turns back on his word and starts shooting at Lion-O. Deciding to use his wits, Lion-O runs into Cats Lair and dares Safari Joe to come and get him. Inside the lair, Lion-O avoids Safari Joe for a while but eventually slips and falls right at Safari Joe's feet. Before the hunter can shoot Lion-O, Snarf runs up behind him and kicks the bucket right into Safari Joe's back causing him to fall down and drop his gun. Seeing that he is unarmed, Safari Joe, in a cowardly fashion, concedes defeat.
In the end, the ThunderCats take Safari Joe to his spaceship and make him promise never to hunt again and Panthro changes Mule's work directive to make sure that Safari Joe adheres to the promise.
Snarf: "Safari Joe turned out to be a coward? Didn't he Lion-O?"
Lion-O: "Most bullies are, Snarf. Most bullies are..."
- Safari Joe (1st appearance)
- Mule (1st appearance)
- Safari Joe's Spaceship
- In this episode we learn about the weaknesses of some of the ThunderCats such as Panthro's fear of bats, Tygra's inability to swim when not invisible, and Cheetara's vulnerability to fire, lightning, and energy bolts as well as her inability to maintain top speed over long distances. This second weakness of Cheetara would also be mentioned in Lion-O's Anointment Second Day: The Trial of Speed
Animation Mistakes and/or Technical Glitches
- In a number of scenes throughout the episode, the ThunderCats are missing the black lion symbol on their insignias.
- When Tygra's Thundrainium cage is first shown, the "G" in Tygra is upside down.
- The orange part of Cheetara's outfit normally extends on her left side but in the scene in which she is talking with Safari Joe, the orange part is extending down her right shoulder and arm.
Inconsistencies/Continuity Errors and/or Goofs/Oddities
- In this episode, Mule reveals that Tygra is unable to swim when visible and Safari Joe uses this weakness against him. Yet in the earlier episode The Fireballs of Plun-Darr, Tygra is shown to be swimming even after becoming visible.
Panthro: Moonlight's too bright. Even though I'm rigged for silent running, I might be seen. Well... since there's nothing I can do about it, I might as well go in with teeth bared and fur flying!
Cheetara: If only I had my staff!
Safari Joe: Ha, ha, ha, ha! Looking for this? (holds it out and Cheetara tries to grab it) Ha, ha, ha! Nice kitty! Be nice, or I'll make your tiger friend into a rug.
Cheetara: Doesn't that thing... ever... rest?
Tygra: It wouldn't matter. This Thundrainium cage has me weaker than a kitten.
Cheetara: Me too. And the poor kids. They're out like lights.
Lion-O: Now we know you're a liar, Safari Joe. Let's see if you're a coward too! Come and get me!
Safari Joe: Safari Joe does it again!
Lion-O: All out of ammo, Safari Joe? Looks like you ran out of courage, too!
Panthro: You've got to tell us how you beat Safari Joe.
Lion-O: Snarf did it. He's "Kick the Bucket" champion of Third Earth!
"The Crystal Queen"
|ThunderCats Season Guide||Next episode:|
"Snarf Takes up the Challenge"