The cartoon follows roughly the same plot as the films The Toxic Avenger and it's two succeeding sequels. A complete and hopeless nerd, Melvin, falls into toxic waste and becomes Toxie, a hideously deformed mutant of superhuman size and strength. Teaming with other mutants, No-Zone (whose power comes from radioactive sneezes), Major Disaster (he can control plants), Head-banger (Fender, a singing telegram delivery surfer-type, and Dr. Bender, a stereotype mad scientist, fused together - a hybrid character based on the Siamese twins in "Troma's War") and Junkyard, a dog/hobo hybrid, to become The Toxic Crusaders! Together they fight crime in every sense of the word and finally turn their attention on the Apolalypse Inc. of the movies Toxic Avenger Parts II & III, although in the series the chairman is an alien as opposed to Satan. The series follows the attempts of the crusaders to fight crime and be environmentally safe.Written by
Andrew Moncrieff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is another under the radar gem, this show is also another childhood gem as I saw this when I was about eight and at that time, I was a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" fan, when this show caught my eye it really took me by surprise as it was an animated show slightly similar to that property but a lot stranger and just as cool. I honestly never even knew that this show was a licensed animated adaptation of "The Toxic Avenger" let alone the movie company "Troma", this show led me to both as the film is one of my favorites of all time as well as a fan of "Troma".
But beside that this was a fun animated show even though in my book it's not quite a classic licensed cartoon on the level with "The Real Ghostbusters", "Men in Black.", etc. But came pretty close. Yeah, I know making a licensed animated adaptation for kids based on an extremely R rated film is kind of of strange but back then there were really no rules on what kinds of film adaptations you can do for a certain audience.
Personally, I'm glad because it shows how people back then were willing to take chances and we're worried about Politically Correctness or Cancel Culture two big barrels of toxic waste that truly are polluting our entertainment environment. Seeing this show at times makes me wonder about what other R rated movies could have been made into licensed animated shows.
The animation is solid it's about the same kind that you would see from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (80's show) and certain other shows in the 80's. I really like the character model roster who are animated well; from Toxie whom still looks like his live action counterpart but a lot of the other characters from the Crusaders to the Bad Guys, whom are all ugly yet uniquely cool looking at the same time much like some of the "Turtles" character roster. The theme song is an honorable mention in personal favorite theme songs as well as another under the radar theme song, the song just has this rocking tune that is catchy.
The action is solid really like seeing Toxic and the crusaders kick ass, but one other thing about them is each of them much like the "X-Men" have superpowers, which are each unique and have different functions. Toxic doesn't really have superpowers except for his superstrength and having a mop being alive as a useful pet. Nose Zone who has the power of wind though sneezing. Major Disaster superpower is the strongest and best in my book, like "Swamp Thing" he has elemental powers where he's able to command the elements of nature.
Story and characters are solid, from Toxie whom is the usual straight man. Really like how he reacts to certain things going on around him which feel a little how any of us would, in a way he's really the only sane person in town.
But I also really like the bad guy Doctor Killamoff whom is another underrated villain, this guy is pretty much a corporate jerk. Really like the voice where he is menacing but due to his over the topness he's also kind of funny. But one thing that's interesting about him is his motive where he's polluting the environment to create a livable one for him and his people from the other dimension. And I like that because here they did something different with the whole environment pollution premise which at times is always simply about greed which is still here, but they also put in alien invasion, so I thought that was creative showing how you can do more with an old premise.
Show could be a little dark as it's hinted that Killamoff may have already succeeded in his scheme of polluting most of the Earth and that Tromaville is the last or one of the last non polluted areas. This just adds to Killamoffs menace and makes the stakes all the higher for the Crusaders because if the Crusaders fail to defend Tromaville then it's game over for us permanently.
What makes this show truly unique is that is in its tongue and cheek humor as well as some cleverness in it. This show is kind of self-aware of how ridiculous and crazy it really is. It's interesting how it has that two way affect similar to Batman 66 where when you watch this as a kid it seems straight forward, it's funny but some jokes might fly over your head. But when you watch this when you are older, the show I find even funnier as you can see certain jokes you've never picked up on. The show does have a good message on taking care of the environment but it not preache, doesn't shove it down our throat, but is stuttle as it focuses mainly on one thing having fun.
It would be cool having an animated revival of "Toxic Crusaders" but it could be one for adults so it would be truer to the "Troma" fans where we would see the crude humor and over the top graphic violence which would be cool as we'd see the Crusaders kick ass more but turned up to 11. This show could be on a streaming channel or even on the Adult Swim block on Cartoon Network which would be fitting as most of there stuff can be even stranger and messed up than "Troma"
Though if anything it would be cool to have a live action version of this show, there are two ways this can happen either "Troma" thinks of making a fifth sequel to "The Toxic Avenger" where we would see Nose Zone and Major Disaster come as supporting characters and Dr. Killimoff does become the main villain. Or this can be a sequel to that upcoming revival movie to "The Toxic Avenger" that is if it doesn't suck. Well thoughts to consider anyway.
"Toxic Crusaders is worth a crusade.
Rating: 3 stars.
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