STUDIO: Lions Gate
MSRP: $39.98
RUNNING TIME: 920 minutes
• Underneath the Shell: Slash the Evil Turtle" featurette
• "The Shredder: Inside the Turtles’ Most Fearsome Foe" featurette
• Recipe for a cheese pizza

The Pitch

TMNT: This Mess Needs Torching.

The Turtles

Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Rafael.

"Dude, what’s that smell?!"
"This cartoon."

The Rat


The Humans

April O’Neill, The Shredder.

The Brain in the Android Body


The Various Other Mutants

Rocksteady, Bebop.

It wasn’t the fact that there were four mutant ninja turtles walking toward 5-year-old Johnny and his mother that freaked them out, nor was it the fact that they had weapons, nor the fact that they wore masks and trenchcoats, but the fact that when said turtles flashed them with tattoos of Sho Kosugi on their turtle penises that the aforementioned 5-year-old Johnny and his mother ran screaming…

The Nutshell

Four turtles mutated by radioactive ooze, trained as ninjas by a rat mutated by the same ooze, fighting crime in the form of an evil ninja named The Shredder with his mutant rhino and warthog henchmen and diabolical brain creature in an android body…in the worst cartoon adaptation possible.

The Lowdown

I covered this shitpile last year about this time (here) and I had to come clean about my having seen a few…okay several…okay a lot of episodes back in the day when the turtle mania was at its fever pitch.  And I also had to say that despite my shame in that sad chapter of my life, which I’m dredging up for your entertainment value by the way, this cartoon is utterly unwatchable today.  The animation was worse than watching those old cels on white discs that you observed through that red viewfinder and clicked one at a time when you were a kid; and the stories, if you want to call them that, defined the term "steaming pile."  Now to say that this cartoon was intended for kids is little to no justification for the simple fact that TMNT was a lazy, sloppy, poor excuse for entertainment of the lowest caliber. 

"Just as i thought, that tantric stuff is total bullshit…" 

Every episode was practically the same: Shredder and Krang, or some other villain du jour would hatch a plan to take over the world, April would be captured, the turtles would drop their pizzas and go save the day, usually being outmanned and outgunned at the same time.  Now I know our childhoods were rife with one note cartoons, Scooby Doo being a good example, but at least (in most cases) they were fun to watch.  Here, you almost choke on the stupidity on display before you.  And you don’t have to look far to see how far the adaptation of this particular property has come in the 15 years or so since this diarrhea was on the air.  There’s a current adaptation of the turtles on TV that, even though I’ve caught all of five minutes of while waiting for The Batman, blows anything this previous incarnation ever hoped to bring out of the water.  And of course there’s the new computer animated cartoon, TMNT, which is supposed to be pretty good, and quite a bit more faithful to the source material.

I don’t usually bag on cartoons like this that I watched in my pre-CHUD life, even the bad ones that I couldn’t possibly watch today, but this is maybe the worst piece of (insert feces metaphor here, I’m running out) I can recall in recent memory.  If you watched this and if you’ve got kids, for the love of God, don’t even consider steering them toward this dreck because they’ll wonder if you used to watch it and if you try to be honest with them, you’ll tell them you did and then they’ll think you’re a loser.  It’s at least better to lie to them in this matter.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should be avoided at all costs.  It’s dookie.

"Okay, so let’s see, four turtles, two human females…yep, we got the makings of some pretty good bestiality orgy porn here…" 

The Package

The so called animation is pathetic, and the audio is passable.  There are a couple of features: “Underneath the Shell: Slash the Evil Turtle" featurette, and "The Shredder: Inside the Turtles’ Most Fearsome Foe" featurette, as well as a recipe for Cowabunga Cheese Pizza.  And (ooh, this is the best part), the set comes in a box with a 3-D cover of Raphael looking like he’s constipated. 

2.8 out of 10