STUDIO: Family Home Entertainment
MSRP: $14.98
RUNNING TIME: 289 Minutes

The Pitch

Senior Cartoon Exec, circa 1987: “Okay, we need to come up with the next big cartoon. So it’s time for the Idea Bag again. Everybody reach in and grab a card…. Alright, what’s it going to be?”

Junior Cartoon Exec #1, circa 1987: “John Hughes flicks.”

Junior Cartoon Exec #2, circa 1987: “Chernobyl.”

Junior Cartoon Exec #3, circa 1987: “Sho Kosugi.”

Junior Cartoon Exec #4, circa 1987: “Gamera.”

Senior Cartoon Exec, circa 1987: “Okay, give me a minute on this one…”

"Master Splinter, you got any more of that ooze so we can whip up some turtle bitches?"

The Turtles

Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Rafael.

The Rat


The Humans

April O’Neill, The Shredder.

The Brain in the Android Body


The Various Other Mutants

Rocksteady, Bebop.

It was nice to see Bosworth getting some work after his football career…

The Nutshell

Cartoon about four turtles who are mutated into humanoid form and a man who is mutated into a giant rat by a vial of radioactive industrial waste. The rat is Splinter and becomes a father figure to the turtles and teaches them all Ninjitsu fighting. He names the turtles Leonardo, the leader who uses two katana swords; Donatello, the brain who fights with a staff; Michelangelo, the surfer dude who uses nunchakus; and Rafael, the hothead who uses sais. Together with their TV news reporter ally, April O’Neill, the turtles fight the ninja forces of the evil Shredder, who is a masked ninja master with blades on his arms and is the former student of Splinter and sworn enemy of the turtles. Shredder’s main henchmen are two other mutants, Rocksteady and Bebop, a warthog and rhino, who are all muscle and no brains. He also has an ally in the living brain in a robot body, Krang.

"Sorry to do this, April, but I don’t see any female turtles around and I’ve got needs…"

The Lowdown

There are cartoons I can watch from just a few years ago or decades ago and get an instant hit of nostalgia. This isn’t one of them. I’m sorry to say I watched more than my share of TMNT when I was way older than the target demographic in the late ‘80s / early ‘90s. I never read the comics, but I know that this is a supremely watered-down version of the turtles, with stories that barely qualify as plots and animation that’s a couple steps above flipping pages with stick animation figures. The only thing – and I mean the only thing – that this set has going for it, is that at least there’s an acceptable number of the episodes for the price. If this had been one of those three or four-episode offerings I’ve railed against lately, I wouldn’t even bother giving it a score. You want TMNT, watch the first movie and skim the third (skip the second), or read the comics. This cartoon was ass.

The Package

Twelve episodes, 2.0 audio, crappy-looking episodes, a couple of trailers. The cover art is weak also.

2.3 out of 10