Critic Reviews



Based on 21 critic reviews provided by
A well-rounded, unpretentious, very funny, knockabout adventure - subtly blended so that it's fun for all the family.
The most interesting part of the film for a non-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan is the production design - the sewers and the city streets above them. Roy Forge Smith is the designer, and seems inspired by a low-rent vision of Batman or maybe Metropolis.
The script is peppered with clever lines even the transformation (and expansion) of cartoon violence into the live arena is achieved without resorting to realism. To balance the fighting, Splinter waxes philosophically on loyalty, perseverance and anger.
This film debut of the carapaced comic-book heroes features solid animatronic effects and a straightforward approach to superhero adventurism that should appeal to young Ninja Turtle fans, who should be pleased to see the terrapins brought so faithfully to the screen. However, a long-winded plot, broad characterizations and barely adequate fight scenes will prevent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from generating any breakthrough business.
Time Out
Jim Henson's Creature Shop has created splendid animatronic characters (including a four-foot talking rat), though extra distinguishing marks between the turtles would be appreciated. Between the dubbed dialogue and the dark visuals, the cumulative effect is curiously dislocating.
while many reviewers were put off by Splinter's rheumy-eyed philosophizing and the Turtles' ninja antics, the movie's youthful target audience squealed with delight.
Washington Post
Parents can vaguely console themselves, however, that amid the kiddie pollution available on Saturday morning TV, the Turtles rank slightly better than the rest. At least they care about each other and fight crime for other than fortress-destroying, fascistically gratifying reasons. And maybe, just maybe, this will make them curious enough, one day, to check up on the real Michelangelo.
The only thing this film has going for it is its improbable title and title song about four fighting turtles changed into upright, man-size creatures by exposure to radioactive wastes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles never rises above its marketing-hook origins. It's a product, a commodity, a toy tie-in, a trailer for the comics, an advertisement for the cereal. It's a naked sell.
When a kids’ flick has nothing to offer but cute special effects, it’s easy to think the filmmakers are patting themselves on the backs for their technical ingenuity. That’s not comic fantasy — that’s marketing.

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