Hello, I’m a unicorn. What would be the best way to end Turtles Month? How about with a TV special that celebrates all Ninja Turtles, past and present, that came out on their 25th birthday?
Turtles Forever is easily one of my favorite movies, for obvious reasons. Where else would you see the comics Turtles, the 80’s Turtles and the 2003 Turtles team up in one epic adventure. The basic plot is that the 1980s Ninja Turtles, Shredder, and Krang accidentally end up in the 2003 universe via dimensional hopping. While the two teams of Turtles try to figure out what is going on the 1980’s Shredder accidentally frees the Utrom Shredder, Ch’rell, from his exile. Upon finding out about the multiverse of Ninja Turtles, Ch’rell decides that he was going to destroy all the Turtles that have ever existed, even if it meant destroying reality itself. So, with an updated technodrome, he heads out to do just that by destroying Turtle Prime, aka the 1st appearance of Ninja Turtles, which I’ve covered in an earlier post. Let me just get it out there right now: this special is supercalifragilisticexpialadocious.
Uh oh readers beware: fangirling ahead. Abandon all hope ye who read on. Also, really? Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious?
Oh, go watch a Golden Girls rerun.
With pleasure. And I bet you ten chimichangas that you can’t go one paragraph without fangirling.
Okay, you’re on. I switch it up and start with the criticisms. First of all, due to union stuff too complicated to go into here, none of the original VAs could reprise their roles as the Turtles and side characters, and the replacements didn’t sound anything the originals. That is, with the exception of Sebastian Arcelus, who sounds almost exactly like Rob Paulson. Also, the background music didn’t quite sound right because 4Kids didn’t want to pay royalties for the original compositions, instead choosing to have their own sound mixers create lamer tunes. The 1890’s Turtles personalities were exaggerated a bit for the sake of humor and could come off a bit mean spirited and out of character at points. There, I did it.
Nope? What do mean nope? I went a paragraph without fangirling.
You complimented Sebastion Arcelus. That counts.
That does not count.
Yes it does, so pay up.
I hate you.
The feeling is mutual.
Yeah, yeah, whatever. Anyway, while the 80s Turtles may sometimes seem a bit out of character and the jokes mean spirited, it was still in good fun and all of the teasing is affectionate. It’s also made very clear that both teams needed each other in order to defeat the Shredder, with 80’s Don’s inventions saving the day as many times as the 03 Don, perhaps even more. They’re just portrayed as goofier, but equally competent. It’s obvious that the creators put a lot of love into the story and animation. Nearly everything in the 1980s universe is kept how it was in the original cartoon and the animation is fantastic in all three worlds. The 80’s universe looks exactly like the the original cartoon, right down to the background characters. In fact, if you have a keen eye when watching the streets you can see a train of cameos such as Irma, pre-mutated Bebop and Rocksteady, and the crazy gun toting grandma from the first season. In fact, there are a ton of cameos and references from Tokka, Rahzar, to Casey and April wearing the same outfits they wore in the 2007 movie as well as the comic Turtles saying dialogue word for word directly from the first issue. Also, this:
Yes, each picture is a differentTurtles universe, and yes, there are more seen in the movie. This is just one screen shot of them delving deep into Turtles obscurity. They even dragged up the old anime OVA where the Turtles turned into giant robots.
But not Next Mutation.
What did I say about the show that shall not be named?
Next Mutation! Next Mutation! Next Mutation!
Fine, two can play at that game. X-Men Origins Wolver–
Fine! I’ll stop.
Ha! Anyway, another great thing about this geek fest is the humor. While the humor in the 2003 series was very hit or miss, this was extremely funny in a meta way. My favorite jokes had to be the 2003 characters’ reactions to the 80’s fourth wall jokes and the fact that the 80’s Turtles automatically knew to save April as soon as they entered their universe again. Those always get a laugh out of me no matter how many times I see them. The movie has so many jokes, cameos, and references that it takes at least three viewings to hear them all and at least another three viewings to see them all. This was obviously made by Turtles fans for Turtles fans.
Overall, watch it. Seriously, go watch it now. It is amazing. The story is epic in scope, the script is witty, and the animation is fantastic. What more can you ask for in a TV special? While the 80’s Turtles may seem a bit off, there’s nothing to get offended or angry about. Everyone is being poked fun at, but it doesn’t detract from the wonderful and epic crossover. Growing up a fan of all three franchises features in this movie, I can tell you that this is great for any Turtles fan. So what are you waiting for? Watch it now, and happy 30th birthday TMNT. May you have another thirty years of making us laugh, kicking shell, and inspiring generations of kids to be heroes.