Our Favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Moments
Every kid has a ‘show’ growing up. A phenomenon that takes over every facet of your life. A cartoon or movie comes along and within months, your parents have purchased toys, videos, blankets, pajamas, curtains, bed frames, books, stickers, costumes, official cereal and more.
My thing was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
When the original cartoon series began, it completely dominated my life. I had all the action figures, the play sets, the vehicles, the comic books, the sticker books, the coloring books and most importantly, the custom made cardboard weapon replicas.
Ninja Turtles captured my imagination like no other franchise could growing up. At the very least the series can be partially credited for my obsession with storytelling today. I loved everything about TMNT. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better? It did. On a gorgeous spring day in 1990 at the impressionable age of 7 ¾ I sat in the theater and watched the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
To this day I remember that experience and how excited I was to see Turtle power on the big screen. It was everything I hoped it would be. I was so heavily invested in the characters that I actually cried when Splinter revealed himself in the camp fire.
"I love you all... My sons..."
I was a mess. Right in the middle of a theater, sobbing like… Well, like a 7 year old boy sobs when Turtles cry. That ‘incident’ is a story often told by my older sister in an effort to embarrass me. Over the years she realized telling the story didn’t have the desired effect she intended. Because I’m NOT embarrassed that I cried during the Ninja Turtles movie. On the contrary, I’m proud of it dammit! The Ninja Turtles are awesome and that movie is awesome and Splinter is awesome and I love Ninja Turtles… I don’t care what anyone says Tatsu is awesome too!
Then the sequel came along. The Secret of the Ooze. Instantly, I was disappointed because Bebop and Rocksteady were replaced by babies! BABIES!!! But I was willing to forgive the flaw to experience more live action Ninja Turtle bliss.
By the time the third film came along I was old enough to realize it was awful. It’s unfortunate but Turtle Time Travel is tricky soooooo…….
When thinking about a single moment that encapsulates my Ninja Turtle experience as a child, I have to go back to the first film:
This clip is EVERYTHING a Ninja Turtles movie should be.
Moments like these were missing from the 2014 reboot. I understand the Ninja Turtles have evolved over the decades since my obsession faded but come on! The shredder sucked! The story sucked! April O’Neil sucked! Other than the delightful elevator beat box scene, we rarely got the Ninja Turtle charm that oozed out of the original films.
But the movie was a financial success despite its flaws and made enough to merit a sequel. Early trailers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows suggest the producers took the criticism of the first film to heart. Suddenly, we have a Ninja Turtles movie featuring an improved Shredder, Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang! KRANG! (Or apparently KRAANG? I don’t like the second A.)
In addition to those classic villains, it looks like we will actually get a Ninja Turtles movie with all the brotherly chemistry the first film lacked. Also Casey Jones and April O’Neil I guess but I’m hoping the producers realized we don’t pay to see Casey Jones unless he’s teaching Pain 101.
Is Out of the Shadows the movie TMNT 2 could have been long ago but perhaps it was best to save those characters. However, for me, this film might be a couple decades too late. Is there a moment in the film that could earn its place amongst my cherished Turtle movie memories? Honestly, I doubt it. The movie looks like a ton of fun but I’m in my thirties now…
Who am I kidding! I can’t wait to see Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang and technically advanced CG/motion captured Turtles on the big screen! I owe it to my 7 year old self to give it a chance. It could be everything I always wanted in a Turtle movie… Or it could be stupid. Really, really stupid. It may be a toss-up but it’s a coin I’m willing to flip as a lifelong fan.
That’s my thoughts on classic Turtle moments. Take it away JB!
JB'S FAVORITE TURTLES MOVIE MOMENT
I remember the first time I watched the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie. It was during summer break at a school-yard buddy’s house, in his basement. (We had just finished playing some exciting rounds of Blades of Steel on Nintendo.)
I thought the Turtles themselves were hilarious, just like they were in the cartoon. The Foot Clan’s hangout seemed like the coolest place ever – skateboarding, arcade games, what wasn’t to like? Then there was Casey Jones. The ultimate bad-ass.
There is one particular line that has always stuck with me though, and it is so off the board that whenever I use it, it never gets any recognition. Near the beginning of the movie, as a few of the Turtles are waiting for their pizza to arrive, Michelangelo says: “Pizza duuuude’s got thirty seconds.” The way he said it, his inflection, how he stretched out “dude” – that line always made me laugh and for some reason I never forgot it.
I never did see “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” II or III, (and from what I’m told I didn’t miss much) and I’m okay with that. I don’t think I’d want to take anything away from the fun and nostalgia that was the original movie.
[Note: We feel the moment is so good, you get the video twice on one page]