Retro Review: TMNT

Let’s do the time warp, again!

Back in 1987, the animated series “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” debuted on television. The series ran for ten seasons and firmly planted the four Turtle brothers in pop culture for all time. Three live-action feature films debuted in 1990, 1991 and 1993 accenting the craze even further.

In 2003, a new television series debuted seven years after the previous one concluded and once more the Turtles were back in the minds of children everywhere. This new series was a little darker than its previous version but still accented the magic that is the Turtles.

For those of us who don’t know, the Turtles consisted of Donatello the computer whiz, Raphael the misunderstood, Michelangelo the comic relief and Leonardo their sometimes reluctant leader. Holding this team of brothers together was Splinter, their sensei who happened to be a mutated sewer rat.

The new film isn’t a reinvention of the Turtles or a restarting but instead it focuses on what has happened to the turtles since we last saw them. They have defeated their nemesis Shredder and now the family of turtles has fractured. Leonardo is off in the jungles of South America trying to find himself, Donatello is a tech support representative, Michelangelo is a birthday party performer and Raphael is a vigilante on the streets of New York trying to carry on the Turtle tradition. Even though, Raphael is the one doing what a turtle does best, he also seems the most lost.

The core of the plot focuses on eccentric billionaire Max Winters (Patrick Stewart), who seems to be obsessed with assembling a set of Chinese artifacts which seem to be linked to a mysterious legend. Turtle friend April O’Neill (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is helping Winters assemble his collection.

What is this mysterious legend and how is it connected to Winters? Why are their creatures wreaking havoc on the streets of New York? Can the Turtle family reassemble in time to solve these mysteries?

I was always a fan of the Turtles and I remember inhaling a bowel of Honey-Nut Cheerios as I watched the Turtles on TV. My favorite was probably Leonardo only because I always liked his swords the best.

The new film doesn’t take anything away from what made the Turtles what they were back in the day. The film is almost a homage to those of us who remember them. The humor, family squabbles and alien menaces are still a lot of fun.

The only update is the animation and I have to say it is out of this world in this picture. This is the way the Turtles were meant to be seen. I really hope we get to see more from IMAGI Animation Studios.

This is a film solely for the fans who love them now and for those of us who remember them when this whole craze began.

4 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

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