A group of people thwart a mad scientist trying to take over the world with evil mutated tomatoes that he can change into people.A group of people thwart a mad scientist trying to take over the world with evil mutated tomatoes that he can change into people.A group of people thwart a mad scientist trying to take over the world with evil mutated tomatoes that he can change into people.
He also creates two other mutants: a friendly and fuzzy tomato known as FT and a tomato who turns into a human girl named Tara. (She can be reverted back to tomato form if she touches salt, then back into a girl with pepper). Tara, unlike the "angry scientist", is an absolute sweetheart who doesn't have an evil bone in her body. She escapes, along with FT, and is saved by a boy named Chad. They instantly become best friends.
I should take a brief moment to elaborate on Chad and Tara's friendship. Chad knows Tara's secret of being a tomato, yet is completely accepting of her and her differences because of this. Likewise, Tara is always thankful for Chad to be around. When I was younger and this show was still airing, this friendship was a great example for me and absolutely had an impact on me as a kid--something I didn't realize until I rediscovered a few old episodes I had on VHS in my 30s. Both kids are also very bright and resourceful and while they can be silly as all kids should be at times, they are the people any parents would want their own children to have as friends--unlike the bratty kids found in so many children's shows.
Most of the episodes revolve around Dr. Gangreen coming up with a plot, his boneheaded henchmen helping to mess things up, the adults on the show (led by Chad's Uncle Wilbur) somehow managing to fail at leading a defense, and Chad and Tara (and sometimes FT) saving the day.
The show makes fun of other TV shows, movies, itself, its origins from the low budget film series it was adapted from, and frequently breaks the fourth wall. (In fact, the TV reporter on the show, Whitley White, even breaks the fourth wall WITHIN the show sometimes). It is filled with humor for both kids and adults and even has a few episodes that poke fun at politicians.
The first season was amazing; if I could give it 11 stars out of 10, I would. The second season has its positives and negatives. The CGI wasn't bad for its time, but it definitely looks old by today's standards (unlike the timeless animation of the first series). The new writers made the story more cohesive, but Tara is de-emphasized a bit aside from one episode. Sadly, the series never finished and was cancelled prematurely; we can only write the final episodes to resolve the second season's plot in our minds.
This cartoon was my favorite animated series as a kid, which is saying a lot because I also was a fan of Muppet Babies, Ninja Turtles, Animaniacs, and Batman: The Animated Series. I chose quality over quantity in the amount of cartoons I watched, and this one was right at the top of the list. I'm lucky to have a few episodes on VHS! If you find any episodes sitting around on an old tape (this hasn't been re-run in years but SHOULD get a DVD or streaming release sometime), give them a try. I think you'll like the show.
- Jun 9, 2021