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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Old 03-17-20, 07:00 PM
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

So amid all the crazy things happening in the world currently this month (March 30th) marks the 30th anniversary of the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Iíve come to really appreciate it over the years, and sometimes find it doesnít get as much recognition as it deserves.

Itís one of the earlier films based on a comic book property to take the source material seriously. Also when you consider it came out at a time when the cartoon series was at the peak of its popularity doing a film that was more gritty in tone probably was somewhat risky at the time. That probably is also partially why the following films became more kid friendly.

A lot of what made it great to me are the character designs. The Henson Turtles looked great and still hold up pretty well to this day if you ask me. Splinter also looks cool and Shredder is scary. Even the Foot Soldiers while basic had a cool look. Also liked the overall look of the film and the score is pretty good.

I mainly wanted to start a thread marking the occasion and for discussion. Kowabunga!!!


[img]blob:https://forum.dvdtalk.com/b8eb62ef-d588-4713-b77a-e0ae23ae1fb9[/img]

Last edited by Mike86; 03-17-20 at 09:39 PM.
Old 03-17-20, 09:26 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

I was a big fan of the cartoon as a kid and when the movie came out it was a huge event. I don't think I was aware that it was an independent comic originally. I noticed it deviated from the cartoon but it was for the better in my opinion. Back then the movies was the "real" versions for me. And I liked the grittier direction in comparison to the comic. It was the perfect compromise between the cartoon and the Mirage stuff. I think right after I discovered the Mirage comics and it was so much better than the cartoon.

I think I enjoyed the second one just as much, but in hindsight, the original was much better. I hate when they get the formula right for something, it's a success, and they water it down in order to play it safe.
Shredder looked pretty close to the comics and the foot soldiers definitely looked great.


Old 03-17-20, 09:38 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

I enjoy it a lot more now and its the best of the original three movies. I am thankful for the Splinter Shredder fight in the first reboot movie. It couldn't really be done this way in the first Turtles movie.
Old 03-17-20, 11:18 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
So amid all the crazy things happening in the world currently this month (March 30th) marks the 30th anniversary of the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Iíve come to really appreciate it over the years, and sometimes find it doesnít get as much recognition as it deserves.

Itís one of the earlier films based on a comic book property to take the source material seriously. Also when you consider it came out at a time when the cartoon series was at the peak of its popularity doing a film that was more gritty in tone probably was somewhat risky at the time. That probably is also partially why the following films became more kid friendly.

A lot of what made it great to me are the character designs. The Henson Turtles looked great and still hold up pretty well to this day if you ask me. Splinter also looks cool and Shredder is scary. Even the Foot Soldiers while basic had a cool look. Also liked the overall look of the film and the score is pretty good.

I mainly wanted to start a thread marking the occasion and for discussion. Kowabunga!!!


[img]blob:https://forum.dvdtalk.com/b8eb62ef-d588-4713-b77a-e0ae23ae1fb9[/img]
I completely agree. I seem to watch it at least once or twice a year and never get tired of it. Love the opening scene in the subway and the scene where April O'Niel is talking to her boss and her son Danny steals from her and takes off. Also always find it amusing seeing Sam Rockwell in that headquarters for delinquent kids and the Foot Clan. And the scene in the countryside is great. Shows what filmmakers were capable of when creatively working with a small budget but using that money effectively (sure, it helped that it was a pretty popular brand at the time, but as mentioned above, it was risky the way they made the movie so gritty and kind of adult). I remember seeing this as a kid and loving it, and having a ton of the movie trading cards that were released around that time (still actually probably have some kicking around in a boss in the basement). Also liked the second one, albeit it it was far more comical and cartoonish (I'm looking at you Be-Bop and Rocksteady...and Vanilla Ice, for that matter). And believe it or not, I still like the third one. Some of the direction and shots in that film are actually really, really great...

Also should say that I absolutely loved the Super NES game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (playing two-player was a blast)...I soooooooo wish that could've been included in the Classic Super Nintendo I purchased (along with Super Double Dragon, for that matter)...Those two games kicked so much ass and were played on almost a weekly basis for probably close to two years...Really wish I never got rid of them when I was younger...
Old 03-17-20, 11:39 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Goonies85 View Post

Also should say that I absolutely loved the Super NES game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (playing two-player was a blast)...I soooooooo wish that could've been included in the Classic Super Nintendo I purchased (along with Super Double Dragon, for that matter)...Those two games kicked so much ass and were played on almost a weekly basis for probably close to two years...Really wish I never got rid of them when I was younger...
TMNT as a property was amazing back in its heydey.
The cartoon was pretty decent. A great line of toys. The original Mirage comics were fantastic. All the videogames being released for the NES games, the arcade, to the SNES were phenomenal, and then you had the excellent movie.
Old 03-18-20, 09:24 AM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Judith Hoag is a babe. Those legs were killer.
Old 03-18-20, 12:29 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Elias Koteas was the perfect Casey Jones.
Old 03-18-20, 02:25 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

I love this movie more at 40 than I did when I was 10.

The biggest quibble I have with it is Shredder is barely even a character. In that sense I guess it's true to the comic, but I laugh everytime Tatsu says to him "Your empire flourishes Master Shredder!Ē What empire exactly? His warehouse full of stolen cigarettes and stereo equipment? You never get the sense that he's living large, or even particularly motivated by money. He's more or less just a dude in a silly costume.

That said, the first movie is waaaay better than the second one, Vanilla Ice aside. As a kid I liked it because it skewed closer to the cartoon, but the last time I saw it (which was admittedly long ago), I thought it was pretty terrible. No Corey Feldman = no sale!
Old 03-18-20, 03:59 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

I wouldnít say itís awful, but the second one is definitely a film I liked much more as a kid. I owned all three on VHS as a kid, which was a rarity to own official tapes instead of ones recorded off of tv. I would say I definitely say The Secret of the Ooze was the tape that got the most play.

I last watched the first couple films about a year ago and I definitely do feel like the second film hasnít aged as well. Itís definitely more of a movie for kids with the overall tone and humor. Itís watchable enough, but watching the two back to back the first one is definitely the better film.
Old 03-18-20, 05:00 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Never did see the third one. I was older by then and over the Turtles.
Old 03-18-20, 05:48 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
Judith Hoag is a babe. Those legs were killer.
This is true. I was disappointed when they recast the character for Secret of the Ooze.

I would have liked to seen a live-action April O'Neil who was either light skin African-American or Puerto Rican looking like the original comics seemed to imply. She didn't look white at all to me in those early issues.

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
Elias Koteas was the perfect Casey Jones.
I was thinking the same thing. Usually they mess up on casting for cartoon properties, but they were right on the mark here.

Originally Posted by rocket1312 View Post
The biggest quibble I have with it is Shredder is barely even a character. In that sense I guess it's true to the comic, but I laugh everytime Tatsu says to him "Your empire flourishes Master Shredder!” What empire exactly? His warehouse full of stolen cigarettes and stereo equipment? You never get the sense that he's living large, or even particularly motivated by money. He's more or less just a dude in a silly costume.
Yeah, watching it now, I thought the same thing. It felt like an anti-drug/gang PSA. Shredder's just there to turn troubled kids into delinquents? He's supposed to be this bad ass assassin and he just deals in some stolen goods and pays his teenage gang members with skateboards and free arcade games? What about the mafia and other street gangs?
In the Mirage comics wasn't Shredder more comparable to like a Yakuza boss? His hands in every vice scheme.


I would have hoped that when they rebooted TMNT for the big screen again that it would have looked like this:


Last edited by brayzie; 03-18-20 at 06:05 PM.
Old 03-18-20, 06:41 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

I can testify that the original film holds up with the youngsters. My now 12 daughter really dug it when she was about 7 or 8. Watched it repeatedly.
Old 03-19-20, 03:20 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

The first Turtles movie is just fun without pandering too much to children. Turned out much better than I think anyone was expecting at the time. Is the sequel the one with Vanilla Ice in it?
Old 03-19-20, 04:51 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

The first really meshed both the cartoon and comic book versions together really well.
Old 03-19-20, 04:53 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Yeah, I remember when Casey Jones first appears and takes one of the thugs head straight off with the hockey stick. Koteas was badass.
Old 03-19-20, 08:56 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

I’d love to see former wrestler CM Punk play Casey Jones ...
Old 03-19-20, 09:30 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
The first Turtles movie is just fun without pandering too much to children. Turned out much better than I think anyone was expecting at the time. Is the sequel the one with Vanilla Ice in it?
Yep, Vanilla Ice is in the second one (The Secret of the Ooze).
Old 03-21-20, 02:04 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

It's still amazes me how they are able to do all the fight sequences with the actors in the latex suits and the complicated animatronics in the head gear.

Old 03-21-20, 11:33 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Yep, Vanilla Ice is in the second one (The Secret of the Ooze).
I think the sequel was the first film in the series I was able to see in theaters.

Definitely will have to re-watch the 1990 film soon to celebrate its anniversary!
Old 03-22-20, 04:12 AM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
It's still amazes me how they are able to do all the fight sequences with the actors in the latex suits and the complicated animatronics in the head gear.

Itís amazing to me how good the suits looked at the time and how well they still hold up. Especially compared with the abominations that were the Nickelodeon versions, which already look dated and didnít look great to begin with.

The fact that the versions from the nineties, and the first film in particular were guys in suits is really quite impressive. The actors portraying the Turtles moved pretty well in the suits and the suits donít look cheesy. They looked about as realistic as Iíd expect live action versions of the Turtles to look.
Old 03-22-20, 09:19 AM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Goonies85 View Post
I completely agree. I seem to watch it at least once or twice a year and never get tired of it. Love the opening scene in the subway and the scene where April O'Niel is talking to her boss and her son Danny steals from her and takes off. Also always find it amusing seeing Sam Rockwell in that headquarters for delinquent kids and the Foot Clan. And the scene in the countryside is great. Shows what filmmakers were capable of when creatively working with a small budget but using that money effectively (sure, it helped that it was a pretty popular brand at the time, but as mentioned above, it was risky the way they made the movie so gritty and kind of adult). I remember seeing this as a kid and loving it, and having a ton of the movie trading cards that were released around that time (still actually probably have some kicking around in a boss in the basement). Also liked the second one, albeit it it was far more comical and cartoonish (I'm looking at you Be-Bop and Rocksteady...and Vanilla Ice, for that matter). And believe it or not, I still like the third one. Some of the direction and shots in that film are actually really, really great...

Also should say that I absolutely loved the Super NES game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (playing two-player was a blast)...I soooooooo wish that could've been included in the Classic Super Nintendo I purchased (along with Super Double Dragon, for that matter)...Those two games kicked so much ass and were played on almost a weekly basis for probably close to two years...Really wish I never got rid of them when I was younger...
You can hack the SNES classic fairly easily and add whatever games you want. Turtles in Time was one of the first ones I added.
Old 03-22-20, 03:52 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
Never did see the third one. I was older by then and over the Turtles.
The third one is one of those movies that even as a kid when it came out (Iíd have been like 7) I knew it wasnít good. It was always my least favorite of the three and the one I watched the least. I truly donít even remember the last time I watched it. Itís been ages ago and probably was on the VHS copy I own (even though Iíve got the trilogy on Blu-ray where itís obviously included).
Old 03-23-20, 10:58 AM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

I still LOVE the original 1990 movie and think it holds up pretty well today. NECA put out these beautiful 1/4 scale figures a year or so ago... I definitely spent way to much money on the set but they are fantastic!



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Old 03-23-20, 11:49 AM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

The NECA figures are great. I have all of them to date, but opted for the 7Ē versions instead.
Old 03-30-20, 03:51 PM
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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 30th Anniversary

Today is the actual 30th Anniversary. Think Iíll watch this later tonight.

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