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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Movie Review -- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever

Well, I have a proud tradition at this here blog that I always review the latest straight-to-DVD animated films that I pick up.  I picked up one while I was in the city today, so why am I wasting time?  Let's get to my review of....

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:  Turtles Forever

Directed by Roy Burdine and Lloyd Goldfine

Starring the voices of Michael Sinternaklaas, Wayne Grayson, Sam Riegel, Frank Frankson, Veronica Taylor, Scottie Ray, Johny Castro, Tony Salerno, Sebastian Arcelus, and Dan Green.

Backstory:  2009 marked the 25th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.  As such, there was lots of celebrating in the comic book world.  The makers of the current Ninja Turtles cartoon (henceforth called the "03 cartoon," because that's the year it premiered) came up with a great way to celebrate.  They decided to do a crossover with the original Ninja Turtles cartoon (the 87 cartoon).  2009 was also when Nickelodeon bought the Ninja Turtles franchise lock, stock, and barrel, and decided to reboot the franchise with their own 'toon.  So, the '03 cartoon's 25th anniversary celebration also served as the final episode of the '03 cartoon.  I knew it was going to be released as a direct-to-video film, but it wound up not coming out until a year after it was televised.  Oh, well.  It's out now!

Plot:  The '03 Turtles are stunned when news reports start popping up, of 4 large turtles fighting crime on the streets of New York.  When they investigate, they soon come across...the '87 Turtles!  Turns out their latest battle with the '87 Shredder and Krang caused the Technodrome's trans-dimensional portal to malfunction, sending them all to the '03 Dimension.  The '87 Shredder decides to seize this opportunity, and enlists the '03 Shredder for help.  However, this discovery of alternate dimensions and more Turtles does not sit well with the '03 Shredder.  The '03 Shredder surmizes that all of their universes branched off from a prime universe..."Turtle Prime."  The '03 Shredder figures that the only way to be finally rid of the Turtles is to destroy "Turtle Prime," and thus destroy all of reality.  It's up to theses Turtles of two worlds to join forces, defeat the '03 Shredder, and save all of existence! 

What I Liked:  Man o man, when the '03 Shredder gets his hands on the Technodrome, he turns it into the WMD we were always told it was.  He turns the robotic Foot Soldiers into an evil machine army that would make SkyNet proud, and with his hands on mutagen, he promptly creates an unstoppable army of mutant warriors.  You know...everything we wished the '87 Shredder would do, back in the day.  The scenes on Turtle Prime are also amazing.  SPOILER ALERT:  Turtle Prime is the world of the original Eastman and Laird comics from 1984, and are rendered completely in black and white.  And be sure to hit pause when the '03 Shredder starts skimming through other dimensions.  It's Easter egg-irifc, as just about every other known incarnation of the Turtles is represented. 

What I Didn't Like:  The plot does seem somewhat reminiscient of the DC universe animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.  I'm sure there are only so many ways to do multiple-Earths stories in comics, so I'll give them a pass.  And I don't remember the '87 Turtles being so...jokey. 

Final Verdict:  A more than enjoyable outing that Turtles fans will find quite satisfying. 

3 Nibs

Bonus Features:  Nothing.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada. 

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