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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  30 March 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 66,403 users  
Reviews: 188 user | 101 critic

A group of mutated turtle warriors must emerge from the shadows to protect New York City from an uprising criminal gang of ninjas.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Raphael (voice) / Passenger In Cab
David Forman ...
Leonardo / Gang Member
Leonardo (voice)
Donatello / Foot Messenger
Donatello (voice)
Michaelangelo / Pizza Man
Michaelangelo (voice)
Splinter (voice)
David McCharen ...
Toshishiro Obata ...
Tatsu (voice)


Through contact with a mysterious substance, called Ooze, 4 little turtles in the canalization of New York mutate to giant turtles. They can speak, walk upright and love pizza. The wise rat Splinter becomes their mentor and educates them to Ninja fighters. Their arch-enemy is the bad, bad guy Shredder, who struggles to gain power over the world. Of course the ninja turtles will do everything to stop him. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hey dude, this is NO cartoon. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

30 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,500,000 (estimated)


$135,270,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the background of one of the shots of the city, there is a clear poster for Critters (1986) hanging on a wall outside a theatre. See more »


At the end of the movie, when Shredder is running towards Splinter with the staff, part of the sound stage is visible (on the full screen version). See more »


[first lines]
April: Much more than just a series of small, isolated incidents, it's now apparent that an organized criminal element is at work and at the moment, business is good. So good in fact that there appear to be no eyewitnesses to any of these crimes. With complaints ranging from purse snatching to breaking and entering, police switchboards have been swamped with the angry voices of more and more citizens who have fallen prey to the recent surge of crime that continues to plague the city. ...
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Crazy Credits

The film title appears from behind the corner of the sewer, just before the Turtles come around it and are fully seen for the first time. See more »


Spoofed in Tiny Toon Adventures: Weekday Afternoon Live (1992) See more »


Written by Chuck Río
Courtesy of Mask, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I remember them! Long live the "TMNT"!
6 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I recently bought an old VHS copy of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie" and I must say that this movie is still great even after 14 years. Now first let me that this is the only faithful film in the "TMNT" trilogy of movies released during the early '90s.

This film, released at the height of "Turtlemania" in the summer of 1990, raked in $133 million at the box office, quickly making it the highest grossing independent film of all time. That's good considering it also faced heavy competition from another comic book adaptation that year, "Dick Tracy," which was directed by Warren Beatty and was quite groundbreaking, on its own terms of course.

Though the film is more in touch with the toned-down animated series of the same title, its roots are squarely in the original comics created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. This film is violent (it DID push the limits of its "PG" rating in some spots, especially with some intense moments, many of which dealt with teenage crime and alienation, and some particularly brutal fight sequences) and is quite dark and actually kind of scary. This is by far the most mature, moving, and tense film in the series and we should thank director Steve Barron for making sure his vision of the Turtles did not stray off course (unlike the sequels).

I was a huge Turtle freak growing up, and I still have many of my original action figures and other memorabilia. I only recently purchased Eastman and Laird's line of graphic novels from First and I must say that they're quite excellent and they take me back to the Turtles' roots. It is quite obvious that this line of graphic novels served as the main source of inspiration for the film. One particularly big difference between the comics and the film is that the literary source material is quite violent (and not to mention very bloody in some spots).

Many people may look at this film today (in 2004) and they might say this film has not aged well. All I can say is that they did not have CGI taking control of every single action sequence to make up for lack of real stunt work. The performers inside the Turtle costumes acted quite excellently considering what they went through to become our four, high-kicking reptilian heroes.

I remember reading a little while back that Hong Kong director John Woo had expressed interest in remaking the Turtles movie. I hope not for two reasons: 1) If the Turtles were to be remade, it would most likely be based off of the current running "TMNT" cartoon series, which is crap and 2) The original 1990 film is fine the way it is and does not need to be touched by the greasy hands of today's Hollywood.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie" is the best adaptation of the comics so far, and I loved it. It is one of the best comic-to-film adaptations of all time and should be preserved. "TMNT" forever!


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