To every boy growing up in the late 1980s and the early 1990s TMNT is more than just another franchise, more than just another licensed property. It embodies everything that was pure awesomeness growing up. Heck it embodies our fucking childhood. Remember the times where you used to argue with your best friends about what turtle you were going to play? I sure do because truth be told, I still do it to this day. Turtles are cool. Ninja Turtles? FUCKING EPIC.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Turtles doing martial arts and shit… I could end the review right here and all the men (pfff who am I kidding we’re all still little boys when it comes to shit like this) around my age would be like: ”Fuck yeah. Best review ever.”
Every boy remembers the first time he… watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Man I remember that after watching that freaking movie I was so obsessed with that property that I started to collect everything related to the turtles. I even cut out all the movie magazines my brother had at the time. Better not tell him that by now he could have sold those magazines for a decent amount of money… But who cares? We’re talking about walking, talking, pizza eating ninja turtles. NINJA TURTLES!!
The movie was directed by Steve Barron (Coneheads, The Adventures of Pinocchio) and stars Josh Pais as Raphael, Michelan Sisti as Michaelangelo, Leif Tilden as Donatello and David Forman as Leonardo. Obviously as a child I didn’t realize that the voices we hear sometimes do not belong to the actors we see on-screen. I for one didn’t realize until wayyyy later that Donatello was dubbed by the always awesome Corey Feldman (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Gremlins, The Lost Boys).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out in 1990 and was a huge success. It only cost around 13 million and made way over 200 million dollars. Ka-Ching!! Still a lot of die-hard TMNT fans felt like Hollywood had just raped their favorite comic book property as, and the casual movie buff may not know this, the comic book the movie was based on was actually pretty dark and violent. Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird the creators of what was soon to be a million dollar property had been putting out their little comic book way before millions and millions of parents went to the cinemas with their little ones for what must have felt like the 93 best minutes of their childhood. What the producers of the live action movie went for was a mix of the source material and the über popular TV show airing back then. Yep, just like me now you’ll have that theme song playing in your head for hours to come. You’re welcome.
What kick-started my new-found passion for the turtles was the comic book currently published by IDW Publishing. That comic book is among the best TMNT-related items ever produced, it is that good. Hell it’s one of the best comic books in the shelves right now, period. And then came the newish Nickelodeon TV show. The show rocks. Big time. Being hit with so much turtle awesomeness made me want to re-watch the movie that made me love the turtles so much in the first place.
It felt like somebody had just hit the rewind button and I found myself in the 90s all over again. The goofy soundtrack, the cheesy jokes… I love it all! But truth be told, surprisingly the movie holds up pretty well. To this day I am still amazed by the incredibly cool looking creature designs by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Sure nostalgia probably plays a huge factor, but even from a neutral, impartial point of view it is still a very well made, decent fun movie that old and young TMNT fans should enjoy.
Who cares about specific camera shots, directing techniques, set designs… Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is more than just a movie. It represents, childhood. Memories we won’t ever forget. And this my friends, is to me, what makes a great movie experience.