Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (TV series)

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Genre Animation
Created by Richard Mueller
Written by Richard Mueller
Jack Enyart
Ted Pedersen
Starring John Astin
Thom Bray
S. Scott Bullock
Cam Clarke
Kath Soucie
Christian Guzek
Maurice LaMarche
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 21
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Marvel Productions
Fox Children's Productions
Distributor BVS Entertainment
Original network Fox
Original release September 8, 1990 – November 23, 1991

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is an American animated television series based on the movies Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (from 1978) and Return of the Killer Tomatoes (from 1988). It aired on Fox Kids from September 8, 1990 to November 23, 1991. Repeats continued to air until September 5, 1992. Three or four years later, repeats were aired on Fox from April 20, 1996 to August 31, 1996. It was also shown on October 26, 1996. In addition, repeats were aired on Fox Family from 1998 to 2000.


The original film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes was released by Four Square Productions in 1978. A parody of the giant menace movies of the 1950s, it became a cult hit and predated the movie-spoofing disaster film Airplane! by two years. The Killer Tomatoes might have remained in that genre had it not been for an unlikely intervention from an equally unlikely source. During the 1986-1987 season of Muppet Babies, there was a segment in the episode "The Weirdo Zone" upon which Baby Fozzie deals with how he once faced an 'Attack of the Silly Tomatoes'. The segment used clips from the movie and concluded with Baby Fozzie using a giant-sized ketchup bottle to capture the Silly Tomatoes (he told bad jokes and the large tomatoes launched themselves at him, only to be caught inside the bottle when he ducked out of the way). It became one of the higher-rated episodes of the season, so much that New World Pictures (the owner of Marvel Productions, which made Muppet Babies) approached Four Square about making a sequel to Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes. Four Square had never intended to make a sequel but when New World approached them with a two-million dollar budget towards filming a potential sequel, John De Bello, Costa Dillon and Stephen Peace got to work on crafting a script. The resulting film, Return of the Killer Tomatoes, was a surprise success. New World was pleased with the results, and the company decided to duplicate the results of the film with an animated series aimed at a younger audience. Tweaking various characters and ideas from both Attack and Return, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Series was born and debuted as one of the first Saturday morning cartoons on the Fox Children's Network in the fall of 1990.

There were many inside jokes to popular television series and movies that played out during the series' run. It often poked fun at itself or its low-budget film origins.


The series picks up five years after The Great Tomato War (much as the film Return Of The Killer Tomatoes did), where tomatoes are banned. However that has not stopped Dr. Putrid T. Gangreen from engaging in his experiments. Gangreen's ultimate goal is to rule the world and he will not let anyone stop him. But his most successful experiment may very well be his undoing. Tara Boumdeay, a tomato turned human runs away from Gangreen, taking with her 'Brother' the fur-covered F.T., whom she passes off as a dog. They befriend Chad Finletter (nephew of the Great Tomato War veteran, Wilbur Finletter) who, after saving the pair from a tomato attack, gets Tara a job at his uncle Wilbur's Tomatoless Pizza Parlor. She shares their secret with Chad regarding the two of them being tomatoes and Chad vows to help them against whatever Gangreen has planned. That is where everyone stands at the start of the first episode, "Give A Little Whistle", where the evil Doctor sets his new plans into motion (and would continue through the first season).

Season Two would center on Gangreen actually conquering the world in the debut episode. But Gangreen learns on a personal level the importance of the quote "Be careful what you wish for". He is overthrown by Zoltan and his gang of twice-mutated tomatoes, and is forced to join up with Chad, Tara, Wilbur and the rest of the Tomato Task Force (other vets of the Great Tomato War).

Main characters

Recurring characters


Season One

  1. Give a Little Whistle
  2. Attack of the Killer... Pimentoes?
  3. Tomato From the Black Lagoon
  4. Streets of Ketchup
  5. Tomato Invasion from Mars
  6. War of the Weirds
  7. Invasion of the Tomato Snatchers
  8. Terminator Tomato from Tomorrow
  9. Camp Casserole: So Vine
  10. Spatula, Prinze of Dorkness
  11. Frankenstem Tomato
  12. The Gang That Couldn't Squirt Straight
  13. Beach Blanket Tomato

Season Two

  1. The Ripening Disaster
  2. A Rotten Reversal
  3. Phantomato of the Opera
  4. Stemming the Tide
  5. As the Worms Turn
  6. Ultra-Tomato III
  7. Tomatotransformation
  8. The Great Tomato Wars


Numerous changes from season one to season two factored in the cancellation of the series. The show was now animated in a much different style than viewers were used to (the second season is known for being the first Saturday Morning cartoon series to be computer animated), the single episode plots were done away with in favor of an ongoing storyline (partly due to the series changing story editors between seasons), no more than eight episodes were made for this second season (shown out of sequence in its initial run, no less) and changes to already-established characters contradicted facts and events that viewers witnessed in season one (such as Tara now being able to change into a tomato even if salt was not utilized at times, her being a tomato was now public knowledge, and she could move freely around and talk in her tomato form; none of these were true of Tara in season one). The final change came in the form of taking the comedy-relief provided by Zoltan and the Gang of Five and doing away with that in favor of turning them into serious threats.



External links

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