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Western Animation / Chris Colorado

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Chris Colorado is a French animated series that aired on Toonami in the UK 2001 and later in other countries. It is set in a world After the End where the survivors of an meteorite impact gathered and assembled The World Federation, a peaceful society. A few decades later a dictator called Thanatos, with an army of Thanor cyborgs/cultists, took over Europe. The Centurions of Freedom, a group led by Commander Richard Julian, rallied against him and overthrew his rule, exiling his Triple-six Group to the Forbidden Zone, the area around the meteor impact crater. Subsequently, Julian was elected Commander (i.e President) of the World Federation.

The main character, Chris Colorado, a former soldier, is recruited by The Commander as a personal secret agent against Thanatos, after the dictator made an attempt on his life. Chris' father was a famous member of The Centurions of Freedom that went missing and is presumed to be a traitor. That motivated Chris to search for the truth about his (mostly missing) family.

This series provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Large scale objects such as buildings and aircrafts as well as explosions are rendered in CGI while everything else is animated with traditional animation.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: William flees to one in Episode 17.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Sam Krantz initially believed that his family acquired resistance to the effects of Dark Torrent as a result of radiation from the lab explosion. However it turns out that Herb Forsythe gave implanted him with genetic immunity when he was a child thus it was passed down to his children and grandchildren through genetics.
  • Action Girl: Rebecca Wong. For the most part she works from behind the scenes but she is a capable fighter in her own right.
  • After the End: First a giant, planet-altering meteor, then a MegaWar. Both caused by the same Omnicidal Maniac.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Eventually, Triple-six Group successfully manages to conquer the home base of the Centurions of Freedom and drive them out. The Centurions only take it back after Chris has been cured from the influence of the Dark Torrent, and helps them to eliminate the remaining Thanors.
  • Alliterative Name: The titular protagonist's nick name Chris Colorado.
  • Alliterative Title: As its a Protagonist Title, which is an alliterative nickname.
  • The Aloner: Anton the assistant of Sam Krantz was found to have been living alone in the lost library for 40 years after the great crash.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: As with many Italian dubs of cartoons, Giorgio Vanni composed an original theme for the show that feels more reminiscent of an 80's Saturday Morning cartoon than the dark dystopian theme of the show. It also doubles as a Bragging Theme Tune.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 1. A fallen meteor caused the near destruction of all life on Earth in a massive disaster later known as The Great Crash. After some time, many groups of survivors gathered together to try to rebuild and create a newer, more peaceful society, and formed "The World Federation".
  • Artificial Limbs: A past injury that forced Rebecca to have her arms surgically amputated and replaced with robotic implants which require Magnetite as a power source.
  • The Atoner: Marubo, who is implied to have had a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Chris and Chip make a very effective team, even when outmatched in numbers by the Thanors.
  • Badass Longcoat: Part of Thanatos' attire.
  • Beach Episode : Chris and Rebecca try to enjoy one in episode 20 but duty calls Chris back into action.
  • Big Bad: The one called Thanatos, obviously. Later subverted with the reveal that Herb Forsythe is the real responsible for the troubles the heroes go through.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Chip is known for pulling these moments off often but special mention goes to Episode 18 where he saves Chris from being attacked by his worst fear, a pack of rats. Chris thanks him and affirms their friendship.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Krantz family. William Erwin Krantz was branded a traitor to the cause after his disappearance. As a result his son Chris was discharged from the resistance on the grounds he'd repeat his father's actions. The world commander Richard Julian is actually William's younger brother, who severed ties with the Krantz to keep a wholesome image. His adopted daughter Jennifer is actually Chris' long lost sister Victoria. William's twin brother Wencenslas was the original Thanatos before William took his place. Vladmir is actually Chris' younger brother who was born in Thanatos' captivity. Samuel Jonathan Krantz was the original test subject for the Dark Torrent. Herb Forsythe is actually the father of Lauren, William Erwin's wife.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Vladmir is the only remember of the Thanors who legitimately believes Thanatos is doing the right thing and bringing order to the world. But after being trapped in the lost library for a period of time, he learns about ideals such as freedom and liberty and soon begins to question the will of Thanatos.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The influence of the meteor Shayol is what causes the personality of Thanatos to be born.
  • Cain and Abel: William and Wencenslas and later Chris and Vladimir
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Rebecca likes Chris but she doesn't quite have the courage to tell him. They do in fact hook up later.
  • Cassandra Truth: At one point everyone believes Storm to be a traitor due to his devious ways but in fact he's revealed to be innocent.
  • The Chessmaster: Herb Forsythe was instrumental to starting the entire events of the series from the very start.
  • Character Name Alias: Chris disguises himself as Colonel Morton in episode 2, which is based on the protagonist of a comic he was reading in the previous episode.
  • Childhood Friends: Chris and Chippowok met as children and have remained close friends ever since.
  • Clone Angst: Herb taunts Chris over the fact he's the "son of a clone" in episode 25.
  • Cultured Warrior: Chippowok, fits the bill. Case and point, after successfully completing a dangerous mission Chris jokes that Chip should make a book out of his sayings. Chip nonchalantly mentions he's already working on Volume 3.
  • Cut Short: The ending leaves a few story threads for a second season, but the show never got renewed.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: In order to gain the power needed to defeat Thanatos and save his family, William drank the dark torrent however it corrupted him into becoming the new Thanatos
  • Darker and Edgier: By French animation standards and cartoons in general that is. There's a dark and complex story line, mature themes such as politics, corruption, genetic modification and conspiracies.
  • Defector from Decadence: Rebecca Wong was originally a political extremist and member of "Steel Axe", a radical political factions that was forcibly disbanded by Commander Julian after they contested him for office.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The Thanors play the theme tune on violin for their leader in episode 19.
  • Emotionless Girl: Lauren Krantz is very inexpressive but it turns out As a clone, she physically is incapable of true human emotions. At least she thought so until she realized she felt an intense desire to protect her family .
  • Evil Is Hammy: Thanatos, courtesy of Ed Marcus, he has the most hammy lines out of all the characters.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: Mitchell uses one in the first episode to find the truth on Chris Colorado.
    Computer: Captain Christopher Krantz. Subject is usually known as Chris Colorado. Son of William Erwin Krantz who disappeared in an aircraft accident after betraying the federation. Navy Pilot. Highest level in martial arts. PhD in law and theoretical physics. Chris Colorado was dismissed from the service five years ago. Accused of stealing secret blueprints. File Closed. Warning: Chris Colorado can be dangerous.
  • Fate Worse than Death: All Thanors are programmed to wipe their minds clean on command, using a system wired to their costumes. This is usually done to prevent the Centurions from finding out any secrets, or if they didn't live up to expectations.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The comic Chris reads in episode 1. If you pause to see the cover, you'll notice it features the adventures of "Colonel Morton" which Chris will base his fake identity's name and appearance in the following episode.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Chris knew Rebecca when they were in high school, but he didn't recognize her until much later.
  • Generation Xerox: Chris looks almost exactly like his father William Krantz while Jenifer looks very much like her mother Lauren .
  • Going Cold Turkey: Those who drink dark torrent become dependent on it or else they suffer great pain. As a prisoner of the Mosais, Wencenslas had no choice but to endure the pain, without any access to dark torrent which is how he was able to overcome its addiction.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: What happens to Chris after he falls into a pool of "Dark Torrent". Consequently he desires to become the new Thanatos.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Anticipating the meteor crash, Professor Sam Krantz and his wife Annouchka began plans to blast it into pieces using a giant cannon. However on that fateful day, an mysterious act of sabotage caused the building to catch fire. At the cost of her own life Annouchka went back into the burning building to fire the cannon, which at the very least managed to weaken the impact of the collision thus allowing at least some of humanity to survive.
    • The final episode has Lauren with the dying Herb Forsythe sacrifice themselves to destroy Shayol permanently.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The underground home of the Mosais.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At one point Chris chides Chip for not bringing any weapons with him and Chip points out Chris didn't bring any weapons either.
  • I Am Not Your Father: Jenifer eventually learns that Richard Julian is not her biological father. At first she's bitter about the deception but later asks him if it's okay she still calls him "father".
    • Likewise, Chris initially believes Marubo to his father William Krantz but Marubo is actually his uncle Wencenslas
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Chip has a special powder that allows him to pull this trick on the Thanors.
  • Killed Off for Real: Annouchka Krantz, Ricardo Duvall, Captain Del Santos, Herb Forsythe III and Lauren Krantz.
  • The Last DJ: Chris' skills prove him to be an invaluable asset to the World Federation, but he still holds resentment towards them for his unfair dismissal. Chris agrees to work for Richard Julian but that does not mean he will follow every order without question.
    Richard: Hey you! Come back here at once, that's an order!
    Chris: (walking away) Great, I haven't ignored an order in years!
  • Legacy Character: Thanatos isn't a single person, but rather a title given to the highest ranking member of the Thanors.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: The cold and serious Richard Julian is the son of the bumbling professor Sam Krantz. Nevertheless Sam will remind Richard of who's in charge if need be.
    Sam: I remind you I'm still your father and even though I've never actually done it I can still give you a couple across the mouth!
    Richard: Yes dad.
  • Long-Lost Relative: In Episode 3 Chris figures out that Jennifer is his long lost sister Victoria. And later it's revealed that Richard Julian is actually the brother of William Krantz, while Herb Forsythe is Chris' maternal grandfather.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Thanors are very incompetent which makes sense due to the fact they've all been brainwashed to have a one track mind.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Dr Storm usually states some variation of "I knew this was going to end badly" whenever things go awry for him.
  • Mad Oracle: Chippowok often expresses his feelings through his tribes metaphorical sayings.
  • Magical Native American: "Heart of thunder" better known as Chippowok is an Apache of the Hopi tribe.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr Storm is credited as one.
    Rebecca: Storm's methods may be unusual to say the least but he's a remarkable scientist.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Senator Herb Forsythe (The Third), he orchestrated the events of the Great Crash and was the one who gave Wencenslas the identity of Thanatos..
    Herb: I was able to manipulate you all. From the beginning you were like puppets on a string. I'm the world's only master!
  • Master of Disguise: Chris has a special suit that let's him take the form of anyone he wants, including Thanatos. He often uses this to fool Thanors who will obey Thanatos without question.
  • Meaningful Name: The Project Minotaur as explained by it's sole survivor.
    Herb: The Minotaur is a monster with the head of a man and a body of a bull and it was imprisoned in a labyrinth. Every 7 years he was given 7 boys and 7 girls. They created us entirely, they created fourteen of us. All of us clones. No father no mother. Cloned From a Single Cell.
  • Mooks: The Thanors. They are humans who were captured by Thanatos and underwent severe brain-washing and physical transformation into cyborgs ready to fight in Thanatos's name.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Herb Forsythe is revealed to have these because he's an Artificial Human.
  • Morality Pet: Lauren is this to William as Thanatos
  • Mutagenic Goo: The "Dark Torrent" which came from fallen meteor, corrupted humans who were exposed to into mutants, later to be known as "The Mosais". For an unknown reason, members of the Krantz family have inherited immunity to it in their DNA, provided they don't drink it. Because the ones who can survive drinking it have the potential to become the new Thanatos.
  • My Greatest Failure: Once captured by Richard Julian, Wencenslas confirms his suspicion. It was Wencenslas that accidentally caused the malfunction on the day of the meteor crash. Thus he is partly responsible for the death of his mother as well the events of the Great Crash.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Thanatos whose name in Greek mythology refers to the personification of death.
  • Not So Stoic: Richard Julian, despite usually maintaining a level headed demeanor he shows great concern for his father Sam.
  • The Nicknamer: Chippowok often refers to people by tribal nick names such as "Unleashed Tornado" for Chris and "Cross Eyed Buzzard" for Jack Mitchell.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The main theme.
    Ars Longa. Vita Brevis. note 
  • Out-of-Character Alert: How Chris confirms that Bert Jordan has been replaced with an impostor. He notices that Bert catches a pen with his right hand despite explicitly being left handed.
    • Also how Rebecca Wong deduces Vladmir being disguised as Chris, when he doesn't recall her original name "Lily" or her old organization's actual name being "Steel Axe".
  • Play-Along Prisoner: Rebecca Wong while she's captured by a brainwashed Chris
  • Power Floats: The one chosen as Thanatos boasts this power.
  • Really 200 Years old: Herb Forsythe III is actually Herb Forsythe I. Chris and co notice he has the exact same DNA structure as his supposed father and grandfather.
  • Prison Escape Artist: Herb Forsythe, escapes numerous times from captivity. In fact he's the only person to escape Project Minotaur's facility alive.
  • Rapid Aging: The clones age very slowly but towards the end of their life cycle are subject to this.
  • Rescue Romance: Jenifer develops feelings for Chip after he saves her life.
  • Robotic Reveal: Herb Forsythe III is revealed to have been replaced by a robot duplicate at one point.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The mask of Thanatos contains these.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: At one point Richard tries to reason with Thanatos, believing him to be a brainwashed Wencenslas but Thanatos insists That Man Is Dead. However it turns out that while Wencenslas was brainwashed into becoming Thanatos for some time, at this point the mantle had actually been taken up by William Krantz
  • Saw It in a Movie Once: How Chris thought of the trick to counter a torpedo in episode 23. He orders the crew to ram the submarine into it before it has a chance to arm itself.
  • Scenery Gorn: Expect to see a lot of this whenever the heroes enter the Forbidden Zone.
  • Season Fluidity: It's rather abrupt, if you skip more than two or three episodes, you'll have a hard time understanding what is going on, especially since there are no episode recaps.
  • Send in the Clones: In Episode 26 the dying Herb Forsythe reveals he has already created several clones of himself to carry on his legacy.
  • Shadow Archetype: Vladimir represents what Chris would be like if he chose to ally himself with Thanatos.
  • She's a Man in Japan: In the original French version, the computer spoke with a gruff male voice but the English dub gave it an authorative female voice.
  • Shipper on Deck: Chip likes to tease Chris about his relationship with Rebecca by calling them "love birds".
  • Sibling Triangle: Both Wencenslas and William Erwin were after Lauren.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Rebecca Wong in regards to her idealistic past self as "Lily". Her involvement with "Steel Axe" ended with her getting severely injured.
    Rebecca: All that was long ago. Lily doesn't exist anymore. Now no idealism.
  • Skeleton Key: The Delta Passes, are given to the highest ranking members of the World Federation. They will give access to classified material and the passes can be used as an ultimatum with severe consequences for disobeying.
    Jenifer: What are you waiting for? Arrest them!
    Guard: Sorry, only I can't! I can't refuse to obey anyone holding a Delta Pass...
  • That Man Is Dead: Chris states this when he becomes the new Thanatos
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Herb Forsythe claims that since he was created to be evil, he's going to fulfill that purpose.
  • The Real Remington Steele: The first time we see Bert Jordan, Chris reveals him to be an impostor Thanor. Later on, Chris meets the real Bert Jordan in the Mosais territory.
  • The Reveal: Episode 24 reveals Herb Forsythe as the ultimate Chess Master. Herb Forsythe was a clone among 13 others created in a laboratory as part of project Minotaur. Forsythe was specifically created to explore the nature of evil. He managed to escape the facility and destroy all those related to the project besides himself. Studying samples of Dark Torrent the facility obtained from a fallen meteorite and testing it on a kidnapped child prodigy (Sammuel Krantz who as such developed immunity to dark torrent) Forsythe decided he would fulfill his purpose by using an ancient device left by the Mayans to attract a meteorite to the planet. But Sammuel Krantz and his wife would end up foiling his plans by softening the impact of the meteor. Consequently, Forsythe swore revenge on the Krantz family and setup his "daughter" Lauren to intentionally drive a wedge between brothers William Krantz and Wencenslas Krantz. He then captured the rogue Wencenslas to convert into the first Thanatos to battle Richard Julian Krantz the world commander, even founding "Steel Axe" to aid in that quest. However Wencenslas began to lose his mind due to the effects of Dark Torrent so Herb set his sights on William who became the second Thanatos. Herb had almost successfully lured Richard Julian into a trap at the start of the series and would have succeeded had it not been for the intervention of Chris.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Part of the plot focus in Episode 8.
  • Truly Single Parent: Herb Forsythe artificially created his daughter Lauren through the same cloning methods that produced him.
  • Undying Loyalty: Vladmir to William as Thanatos.
    • Later Lauren is this to Herb Forsythe until he goes back on his promise to spare Chris' life
  • Unobtainium: Magnetite, but not really. Since the meteor fell, nuclear power does not work anymore, and magnet reactors of some kind are used to generate power. The world capital is at Chichen Itza, where a new magnetic pole of the Earth was located.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 26 Richard Julian survives his assassination attempt but will never walk again. Rebecca Wong is elected as the new World Commander but can no longer be with Chris. Lauren sacrifices herself along with Herb Forsythe to permanently destroy Shayol, though it's implied more clones of Herb may still be out there. Chris goes off on a journey to find himself. The three Krantz siblings William, Richard and Wencenslas are presumed to be dead after a plane crash however they too are off on a journey of their own, with Richard being certain Chris won't ever find where they're going.
  • Willing Channeler: The one chosen to be Thanatos is dictated by the sentient force within the meteor referred to as "Shayol".
  • Why Did It Have to Be Rats?: A childhood incident makes Chris uncomfortable every time he encounters Rats.
  • You Never Asked: Dr Storm is berated by Richard Julian for not warning him about the dangers his mind probing experiment could have on Chris and Storm argues this, stating Richard told him to just "get on with it".