In this live-action TV series, the Turtles are older than in the movies or cartoon, and are joined by a fifth, female Turtle. "Venus De Milo" mutated with the other 4 Turtles but was washed... See full summary »
Mitchell A. Lee Yuen,
Brothers Johnny, an adolescent surf talent, and Adam, a preadolescent video-game addict, grow up care-free in California as adopted sons of Marines veteran Mac, inseparable friends of wacky... See full summary »
Ernie Reyes Sr.,
Ernie Reyes Jr.
Mutant Turtles: Choujin Densetsu hen (Superman Legend) is a two-part OVA series from Japan based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show. In the first episode entitled "Super Dai Pinchu... See full summary »
The turtles find out where the Ooze, the substance which made them mutate, came from. Unfortunately Shredder learns about it too, and uses it to enhance himself. So the turtles have to prove again who's the better ninja fighter. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
As I sit here on the eve of what is sure to be the greatest event in the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (more accurately, the greatest Turtle event of the new millennium), the release of the much-anticipated animated film "TMNT," I feel it's only proper to go back in time to when the original Turtle-mania was at its peak. I was only five in 1990, when Turtle-mania was sweeping the nation and now I'm 21, as Turtle-mania Part II threatens to grab a hold of a new generation of young fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Of course the TMNT got their start in the black & white pages of Mirage Comics, as first printed by artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. What began as a one-shot parody of popular independent comic titles at the time (namely Frank Miller's "Ronin" and his revisionist re-workings of Marvel Comics' Daredevil), quickly turned into an overnight sensation, launching the greatest and most successful comic craze and merchandising campaign of the last 50 years. Several animated series and three live-action movies have only added to the madness started by Turtle-mania.
The first film, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," was released in 1990. Its sequel "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze" was released in 1991. The second sequel came out in 1993. "The Secret of the Ooze" picks up right after the events of the first film. The Foot Clan (a group of martial arts-trained teenagers) has been virtually wiped out by our four mutant reptilian heroes - Leonardo (my favorite), Donatello, Raphael, and Michaelangelo - and a much-deserved rest is at hand. However, the Shredder returns, angrier and decidedly more fearsome than in the first film, with only one thing on his mind: vengeance. So he reassembles the Foot Clan in the hopes of getting his revenge off the ground.
But TGRI, the corporation responsible for the experimental mutagen that created the heroic foursome, has been hard at work recovering and disposing of the remaining canisters of ooze. Jordan Perry (David Warner) has been leading the mission of retrieval and disposal, with Channel 6 reporter April O'Neil (Paige Turco, a little less convincing than the first film's Judith Hoag) on the story. Shredder manages to steal the last remaining canister of ooze and uses it to create two mutants of his own: Tokka and Rahzar (filling in for Bebop and Rocksteady, from the 1987 animated series), who have both been swimming in the same toxic cesspool as ye old Toxic Avenger. Guided by their Yoda-like sensei Splinter, the Turtles must find a way to battle their new mutant adversaries.
Considering that "The Secret of the Ooze" is a sequel, it is a surprisingly entertaining sequel. Although not as a good as its predecessor (it is less dark and less violent and more slapstick than the first film), it is obvious that accommodations were made by the filmmakers to cater to a younger audience. Director Michael Pressman takes his cues from Turtle-mania hype, much rather than Eastman and Laird's source material, but "The Secret of the Ooze" is still a fun ride through and through.
The acting and plotting is all sub-standard, but hey, it's a family movie based on a hyper-violent underground comic book. Along for the ride is high-kicking martial artist and stuntman Ernie Reyes, Jr. as the Turtles' new human friend Keno. Without a doubt, he probably gives the most enthusiastic performance here, even if his talents are somewhat underused; it's a shame he hasn't faired better over the years even though he has become something of a cult figure. The special effects by Jim Henson's Creature Shop (the film is dedicated to his memory) are astounding, even if somewhat dated. The action climaxes with a battle royal in a dance club where (who else?) rapper Vanilla Ice is performing "Ninja Rap" as our four heroes duke it out with Tokka, Rahzar, and a bunch of Foot Clan members (this segment alone is what will surely date the picture).
For this Turtle fan, I plan on seeing the new movie next week with friends, just so you know. From looking at these movies today, they probably haven't aged all that well. But one thing is clear: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are here to stay. "TMNT" will only prove that.
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