ATTACK OF THE CARTOON TOMATOES

Just when you thought it was safe to eat your salad again, the killer tomatoes return… again. But this time, their creator Dr. Putrid T. Gangreen and these vicious veggies are even more hell bent on revenge and world domination.. and they’re animated for a Saturday morning cartoon.

 If you expected the ‘90s cartoon to pick up where Return of the Killer Tomatoes left off, then you’d be wrong. Much like the sequel, the series (which only lasted 2 seasons) picks up after The Great Tomato War of the first movie (much like the sequel). The characters are all pretty much the same as Return of the Killer Tomatoes also.  A few things occurred to me while watching this; 1. Why would they make a cartoon series out of this? and 2. Why did I not find out about this sooner?

Though the plot may be quite similar there are some subtle differences between the movie sequel and the daytime cartoon. In the ‘80s movie, the characters are old enough to be out on their own (the main character of both, Chad Finletter, even has his own apartment) but in the series, the characters are school age (10 years old, I believe). Since they’re too young to really have a relationship, Tara is not Chad’s girlfriend but his best friend in the cartoon. Like, the movie, she flees Dr. Gangreen’s lab after being considered a “failure” and refusal to get on board with his evil plan.

If you were worried that they left out the best character, have no fear! F.T. (a.k.a Fuzzy Tomato) is also in the show! He was also a failed experiment of the Doctor after he ended up cuddly, fuzzy and incapable of causing any harm to anyone. He’s my favorite character of the show because of his cover. Because society has a very anti-tomato stance, F.T. goes by “the world’s ugliest dog” in order to live among the general population.

Another difference between the show and the movie(s) are the tomatoes themselves. In the original, the tomatoes can’t talk but make some weird noises that is probably a language of their own (but not understandable) and in the sequel, Dr. Gangreen turns tomatoes into humans so they are able to speak, but only when they’re in the human form. In the cartoons, the tomatoes speak english and actually have leadership roles. For example, Tomacho (they got super creative with the names) has control over South America and Ketchuck rules over Asia. But all the tomatoes weren’t bad, for example, there’s a rogue tomato named Phantomato (a clever nod to Phantom of the Opera) who hides in the sewer due to his deformity (again, Phantom of the Opera) who repeatedly saved Tara’s life (way to be the weakest link, lady).

Much like many other horror series, this show was short lived. I feel like people were not fully ready to see a horror show (especially in Saturday morning programming). With the success and acceptance of the horror genre on television nowadays, I think the show could be successful now. Maybe it’s time for a revamp…any takers?

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