Top 5 Baffling Aspects Of “TMNT: We Wish You a Turtle Christmas”

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There are no weapons, there’s no fighting, no Shredder, no April, no Casey, and no foot clan. And those aren’t the worst crimes this monstrosity commits. This is the definition of a quick cash grab. I am quick to believe someone raided a storage closet from a party entertainers’ warehouse, and decided to release their own Christmas themed Ninja Turtles video. Even at eleven years old, I would have shut it off after the first few minutes. “We Wish You a Turtle Christmas” doesn’t even last longer than twenty five minutes in length, and still feels long as hell.

The plot to this anomaly is that the turtles are trying to find a present for Master Splinter. So they prepare for Christmas, and go looking for a perfect present. Cue the mind numbingly terrible cash grab that is “We Wish You a Turtle Christmas.” Here are five of the more head scratching aspects of the twenty minute “special.
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Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

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I’d be very hesitant to call “Turtle Power” the definitive history of the Ninja Turtles franchise since it’s only ninety minutes, covers only the nineties portion of the series history, and feels like a glorified DVD extra, but all in all it’s still a worthwhile documentary. Director Randall Lobb composes an entertaining history of the series teeming with excellent nostalgia that chronicles the origins of TMNT from their introduction as an independent comic book, to their inevitable domination of the world in the eighties and nineties. “Turtle Power” definitely has some interesting tidbits and trivia about the franchise and the series in general, while the producers are slick to feature some of the 2014 TMNT posters in a few timeline graphics.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

856118c8610e45827078b86cbe164263It’s pretty sad to see “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which understands the idea of dysfunctional warriors coming together for a common purpose and becoming heroes, while “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” gets it so wrong. Speaking as a fan of the TMNT franchise, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” not only gets it all wrong, but it accomplishes what not even the worst adaptations could in the past. It turns the Ninja Turtles in to generic heroes with almost no personality. Beyond Michelangelo, no one in the film has an actual unique personality I could think of. Director Jonathan Liebesman and Platinum Dumbs take the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in to a whole new arena of bland, lifeless, nonsense. What’s pretty much always been a franchise meant to sell merchandise for decades, becomes even more

Director Jonathan Liebesman and Platinum Dumbs take the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in to a whole new arena of bland, lifeless, nonsense. What’s pretty much always been a franchise meant to sell merchandise for decades, becomes even more soulless than ever. In this unnecessary rehashing, April is a fluff news reporter anxious to be taken seriously, so she begins investigating the foot clan and their reign of crime. During an investigation, she’s taken hostage, and witnesses the Ninja Turtles bring down a troop of the Foot Clan.

Despite being ninjas, April is able to follow them and sneak up on them, prompting her discovery of the four anthropomorphic turtles, all of whom are committed to fighting crime. After meeting them and their master Splinter, an anthropomorphic rat with knowledge of martial arts, the turtles are kidnapped. Apparently the turtles have magic blood, and the Foot want to spread a lethal plague across New York, synthesize the turtles’ mutagen blood as a cure, and sell it to the US government for big profits.

If you can believe it, Shredder is awkwardly shoe horned in to the movie, never really doing much but confronting and taunting the turtles, and donning robotic armor that looks like the Foot strip mined a Decepticon and used its parts for a suit. The Shreddertron 3000 is also turned in to a generic foe; it’s quite obvious the script was hastily retooled to turn Shredder and Sacks (William Fichtner) in to separate characters. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” completely re-writes the entire mythos for the sake of propping up future installments, and selling toys, never actually touching on what’s so much fun about these characters.

Splinter now becomes a martial arts master because he read a book, the turtles were once pets of April, and for some reason the turtles now look like dinosaurs. With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there’s always been that thin line that separates them from being moronic creations, and fun underdog superheroes, and Liebesman seems to want to embrace both sides of the coin. He mocks the characters for the adult audience, while giving them their own moments of martial arts bad assery for the sake of the kids. He also throws in a fart joke, and an honest to goodness erection joke. Shredder is barely the villain of this piece, the foot clan is generic soldiers, and (for the sole reason of Megan Fox’s sex appeal) April O’Neill is now the main character. Not to mention the entire reasoning for the turtles existing. It’s disheartening that a movie about “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” takes almost twenty minutes until we see the foursome. Even then they’re really just nothing but plot devices for April confronting her tortured past, and becoming an actual news reporter.

Not to mention the entire reasoning for the turtles existing. It’s disheartening that a movie about “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” takes almost twenty minutes until we see the foursome. Even then they’re really just nothing but plot devices for April confronting her tortured past, and becoming an actual news reporter. The movie relies on Megan Fox reacting and interacting with the turtles, and that’s a travesty considering Fox’s performance is god awful. It’s cringe inducing how she can barely deliver a worthwhile line of dialogue convincingly, and never seems at all lifelike in the role. April should be a foil, and unofficial part of the team, and yet she’s really just this pouty cardboard cut out who barely has any kind of chemistry with the computer animated mutants.

April should be a foil, and unofficial part of the team, and yet she’s really just this pouty cardboard cut out who barely has any kind of chemistry with the computer animated mutants. April should be a foil, and unofficial part of the team, and yet she’s really just this pouty cardboard cut out who barely has any kind of chemistry with the computer animated mutants. There are glimmers of fun moments between the team which include an impromptu beat box session in an elevator, and Raphael’s conflict with Leonardo. I wanted so much more of that. Instead all we get is another loud, obnoxious, ninety minute commercial with no grasp on what makes the source material it’s adapting so appealing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

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It’s surprising that for a movie about anthropomorphic talking turtles that director Steve Barron takes the premise with as much seriousness as possible. Director Barron just seems to get the appeal of the Ninja Turtles, walking the line between the mainstream versions and the original Eastman and Laird R rated comic book. The turtles here have a hard edge, but are entertaining sympathetic heroes, and they’re the center of what is still a damn good action film about family, revenge, unity.

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Celebrating the Resurrection of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

In the right format, the Ninja Turtles are pretty damn incredible. There’s just something about anthropomorphic human sized mutant turtles that are ninjas and know Ninjitsu that is just so darn appealing. What’s more is that there’s just something about the concept that is just so entertaining. Even when Eastman and Laird never intended for the series to be for kids, the Ninja Turtles always seemed destined to become icons for childhood superheroes who fought bad guys while entertaining tweens and all audiences alike. The eighties was the golden age of the Ninja Turtles where they were household names. There was just nothing but an avalanche of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles merchandise and clothing that you couldn’t fit it all in one giant warehouse.

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Turtles Forever: Director's Cut

turtles_foreverIf you’re one of the kids who grew up during the golden age of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they were all that any kid in their right talked about, then this form of nostalgiasploitation is one you’ll have a damn good time with. For anyone hoping to re-live their youth while also looking in to what the current incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are up to, the best form of marketing for all the audiences of this franchise comes in the form of “Turtles Forever,” a reality bending, genre twisting mini-movie that works as a satire on the eighties series, a tribute to the current incarnation and a respectful nod to the classic Turtles.

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Fight the Foot (2011)

tmnt-fight-the-footNow this is what I call a fan film. Not only does it make good use of its resources, but it manages to re-invent the lore it pays tribute to all the while pleasing the fan base behind it. “Fight the Foot” is a proposed prologue to the new universe of the Ninja Turtles, a film made by the Reserve that is supposed to be a gritty re-working of the Turtle lore while also being respectful to the legacy.

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