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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 66,404 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


Lean, green and on the screen everywhere. 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?


There are also numerous deleted scenes (mostly on the farm) that give the four turtles much more character development, expanding on April and Casey's romance, and would put later scenes into a different context:

. April and Casey's reaction to Mikey's "turtle wax" joke was originally one of relief after he goes through a severe depression where he destroys a punching bag and part of the barn's wall.

. An extended training sequence where Leo proves a point by turning his mask around and fighting blind followed by the other Turtles taking turns doing the same. The scene rather famously has Donatello sporting a straw hat.

. Various scenes of the Turtles training on their own or in pairs trying to master the technique Leo shows them earlier.

. Some of the April and Casey scenes involve him trying to help her with a stuck truck door while she declines and exits on the driver's side. Another leads into the scene of the two of them talking on the porch swing where the night before she shows him her drawings the Turtles but tries to hide the one she did of him in a beanie, they both share a laugh over it.

. A game of "ninja hot potato" where the Turtles toss around an apple and the holder has to defend against the other three while taking a bite out of it. It makes the later scene where Raph finishes off an apple after defeating a squad of Foot ninjas a call back. See more »


When Michelangelo yells as he's fighting on the street in the last scene, you can see the actor through the mouth opening. 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. ...
See more »

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 »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Surf Ninjas (2008) See more »


Written by Johnny Kemp and Rhett Lawrence
Performed by Johnny Kemp
Courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best movie ever made on the subject of radio active turtles
4 May 2001 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

I dare anyone to hate this movie. Come on. I triple dog dare you. Sit in front of the TV with a bunch of your friends and just try not to like it. You can't. It's impossible. I was a full fledged turtle fan back in the day (I don't think the fad lasted long enough for us to earn Trekker-type names) and of course at that point, I thought it was the Gone With the Wind of our time. That, obviously, it's not. But there is something just incredibly charming about a bunch of giant turtles acting like typical sit-com kids. One even gets yelled out for sneaking out past curfew to see Critters 2. If it comes on TV, even my dad has to pause to watch at least one fight scene. If someone in a college dorm pops it in, legions of kids will exclaim "Holy sh*t! Is that Ninja Turtles?" and then plop right down in front of the TV to watch. You have to give a lot of credit to the guys who made this film. It was released in the height of the craze so they could have thrown anything on the screen and it would have been a hit. (See Ninja Turtles 2). But instead, they tried to make it the best film they could, despite the subject matter. They came up with an almost relevant, after school special type plot. The jokes and references range from Moonlighting to John Steinbeck, and the fight scenes are done in the spirit of a Jackie Chan flick. Add the fact that there are giant turtles doing the fighting, and you get a funny, imaginative, and just plain likeable movie no matter what your age. Sure, it's about pizza loving ninja turtles. But it is the best movie that could ever be made about pizza loving ninja turtles. That has to count for something.

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