War Planets: Shadow Raiders
War Planets: Shadow Raiders was produced by Mainfraime Entertainment (now Rainmaker) in 1998. It’s a CGI sci-fi show, and one of the best shows you have (probably) never seen.
War Planets: Shadow Raiders is set in a five-planet solar system known as the Cluster. The four habitable planets are in a constant state of war, always raiding one another for resources unique to each planet. However, when an alien named Tekla comes from another solar system, she brings a warning: the Beast Planet is coming. Now Graveheart, a humble miner of Planet Rock, must convince the leaders of Fire, Rock, Bone, and Ice to put aside their differences and stand together against the Beast, their new common enemy.
The show was known as “War Planets” in the States (it’s ‘actual’ title), and “Shadow Raiders” in Canada (where the show was produced). The reason for the name change in Canada was because they have some sort of restriction on the word “war” in titles of TV shows.
I somehow missed War Planets when it aired in the states, and only discovered it when I saw a trailer for the show on a ReBoot DVD. At that time only one volume had been released, I bought it, and was instantly hooked. So I continued to buy each one as they became available.
The series was inspired by a line of toys created by Trendmasters. It’s full of great characters, plenty of action, and has an interesting story. On a recent rewatch I discovered it holds up really well. You can tell the animation is a bit dated, but it still looks pretty darn good, especially when you realize this show came out in 1998. That is an attribute to just how awesome Mainframe was at what they did.
This was supposed to be aimed at kids, but since the story wasn’t very ‘kid like’ I think it just confused them, it was the adults who could appreciate it more.
War Planets: Shadow Raiders was a show ahead of its time, and should have been marketed towards adult viewers. These days it would probably be a nice fit for something like Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
Unfortunately it only last for 2 short seasons, there was definitely more story to be told. I wish there was a way to bring this show back, maybe remake it (without losing the awesomeness of the original).