- For the character this episode is named after, see Battle Cat.
Battlecat is the 96th episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, based on a story by D. C. and Richard Fontana, adapted for television by D. C. Fontana, and directed by Richard Trueblood. Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms tell Orko the story of how Adam discovered the tiger cub that would become Cringer and Battle Cat.
Man-At-Arms, Prince Adam, and Teela find Orko working on some bizarre concoction in the lab while Cringer observes. Orko explains that he's working on a capture beam for Teela to use, and although they find the idea intriguing, Man-At-Arms is quick to point out that the chemicals he is using are highly dangerous. Orko is warned to stay out of Duncan's lab, but once the others are gone he begins working on a new project to make Cringer more brave. Before long he has combined the solutions in such a way as to create a bizarre demon. Adam and Man-At-Arms return to contain the demon, and Duncan gives Orko a stern lecture about doing as he's told.
Man-At-Arms tells Orko a story from before the Trollan first came to Eternia, about how Adam first discovered Cringer. Adam was on his way to a camping trip in the hills, and volunteered to test Duncan's latest invention, a device to simulate the sounds of various wild animals. Adam spent his trip documenting the creatures he saw, including a spinedeer, but he eventually ran afoul of a hungry sabrecat threatening a green tiger cub. Adam quickly tried scaring the beast off with his device, simulating the sound of a manticore. Adam found the cub injured and alone, so he took it with him back to the Royal Palace for Man-At-Arms to treat.
With proper care, the cub recouperated, and Adam adopted it as a pet. However, the other kids at the palace made fun of the animal for the way it was easily spooked. Teela began calling it a "cringer," and the name stuck. One day, Adam received a telepathic vision of the Sorceress, who advised him not to be imaptient with Cringer, as he would someday be most important to the boy. As Adam grew up, Cringer didn't change, following Adam everywhere and panicking at the slightest disturbance. This became a problem when Adam started becoming He-Man, as he would have to make sure Cringer wasn't in sight.
One day, an archaeological party led by Melaktha came to the king and queen with news of an amazing discovery in the Tikon Jungle: ancient ruins possibly dating back over ten thousand years. Fascinated, Randor ordered a larger team to follow up on the site. Queen Marlena recommended Man-At-Arms to lead the party. Ram Man and Teela are also assigned for the trip. Adam planned to go along as well, although he couldn't find a way to keep Cringer from coming with him.
At the site of the ruins, Melaktha explained that there were no signs of life around a particular building, save for the vines growing over it. Man-At-Arms was intrigued by the writings the team has uncovered, which reminded him of the ancient Pelite language. Teela and Adam quickly grew bored and started scouting around on their own, and discover a sealed door with more ancient writing on it. Man-At-Arms decided it can wait until morning, but his two young friends thought he was being overly cautious and returned for a closer look. They attempted to force the door open, but succeeded in nothing but creating a small opening for the dust to escape from inside. Frustrated, Adam and Teela finally returned to camp for the night, little realizing what they had just awakened.
By the next morning, Man-At-Arms had made some headway in translating the ancient writing, which seemed to be a warning against some danger. When the entire party returned to Adam and Teela's door, they found the small crack had grown. When they opened the door, a huge monster emerged. Far away in Castle Grayskull, the Sorceress sensed this calamity and recognized the monster as the Gedge. Concerned, she transformed into Zoar to fly to the aid of her friends.
While Teela, Man-At-Arms, Ram Man, and some of the Royal Guards tried to stop the Gedge, Adam snuck off to transform into He-Man. However, Cringer managed to follow him, and witnessed the change. He-Man tried to reassure his pet that he was still Adam, but when he happened to point his Power Sword in Cringer's direction a bolt of energy transformed the cowardly tiger into a larger, fiercer beast. He-Man was confused until he remembered the Sorceress's advice years ago. As he rode his altered companion into battle, Zoar contacted him and advised him to use "Battle Cat" to help him trap the Gedge once more. Together, He-Man and Battle Cat outflanked the Gedge, herding it back towards its prison where the others set up explosives to seal it back in. Once the danger had passed, Man-At-Arms asked where He-Man's new mount came from. "You'd be surprised," He-Man laughed. "No, you'd really be surprised!"
Finishing his story, Man-At-Arms explains to Orko that if Adam and Teela had listened to his warning, the Gedge never would have escaped in the first place. Cringer notices that he wouldn't have become Battle Cat either, although Adam is glad that he did saying that if Battle Cat wasn't around then He-Man would be a "lonely fella". Cringer laments that he's stuck with it, and Adam responds by giving his beloved pet a big hug.
Man-At-Arms: "In today's adventure, Orko was warned not to play with certain bottles. Well, Orko didn't listend and he nearly caused a lot of trouble. There may be containers like this one in your home. This symbol is a warning of poison."
Orko: "Say, that looks like Skeletor."
Man-At-Arms: "And just like Skeletor, it's bad news. It could make you very sick. So, if you see this picture on a bottle or box, it means 'I'm dangerous, don't touch me'."
Orko: "Be a safe person, not a sorry one!"
- Prince Adam
- Battle Cat
- Queen Marlena
- Ram Man
- King Randor
- Skeletor (mentioned in moral)
- John Erwin as He-Man/Prince Adam and Ram Man
- Alan Oppenheimer as Man-At-Arms, Battle Cat/Cringer and Melaktha
- Linda Gary as Teela, the Sorceress and Queen Marlena
- Lou Scheimer (credited as Erik Gunden) as Orko and King Randor
- Erika Scheimer as Elora and Page
Orko's Fun Facts
As featured in BCI's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season Two, Vol. 1 DVD boxset (Disc 5)
- "This is the first time we have seen young Prince Adam and young Cringer since 'Creatures From The Tar Swamp.' In this episode it appears that Cringer could not speak much during his youth, and yet in 'Creatures From The Tar Swamp' the young tiger appears to be very well spoken."
- "When young Teela and her gang approach Adam we can see that one of the boys is Prince Jeremy from 'The Royal Cousin.' However when we see the boy in close-up his hair has changed to blonde and his black top has become white!"
- Script was approved August 28, 1984 and final script revision took place October 4, 1984.
- Melaktha's unidentified female assistant is named Elora in the script. A sequence in which they discovered the temple, leading them to present their findings to the King and Queen was written but never animated.
- Next to the character model for Jeremy from The Royal Cousin, and Chad from Double Edged Sword & The Eternia Flower can also be seen among the children taunting young Cringer during the flashback.
- The original script neglected to finish the story by returning to the framework setting of Man-At-Arms recounting Cringer's history to Orko. Instead, Adam and Cringer had their final lines during the flashback sequence.
The He-Man and She-Ra Blog
- Happy Birthday He-Man #12 - Go home.
- Weekend Away #7 - Feeding time for Cringer.
- Appreciating Cringer.
- The cowardly cat's point of view.
- Easy, Cringer...
- Confronting the Gedge!
- The original ending to "Battlecat"...
- I guess I'm stuck with it.
- 30 YEARS - Top 30 GREATEST MOMENTS #16
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