After four movies, three television shows and countless merchandising, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are still running strong. This latest direct-to-DVD entry from the recent cartoon series adds a hilarious new twist which turns the 20+ year franchise on its ear.
The vicious street gang the Purple Dragons have finally captured their vigilante enemies: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But they’re in for a surprise when they learn their new captives are really the diminutive wise-cracking turtles from the 1980s – not the notably more serious (and notably taller) Turtles who usually thwart their plans (seen in the picture on the right).
It seems a dimensional rift has swept the 80’s pizza-loving Turtles into the same world as their sleeker, modern counterparts. Now both teams must contend with a nefarious alliance between the 80’s Shredder and Krang alongside the modern Shredder (who is actually a combination of Shredder and Krang), in a bid to wipe out all Turtles across time and space.
Whether you’re a fan of the old Turtles or the new Turtles, the cartoons and the movies or the comics and the toys, this movie is undoubtedly for you. In addition to referencing the entire TMNT franchise, the animated feature is simply to fun to watch. The longevity of the 1987 Turtles is on display as the Turtles continually crack jokes and break the fourth wall, much to the confusion of everyone else.
The film’s climax is of particular interest, as both groups encounter a third group of Turtles – those of the original indie comic book created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. These gritty ninjas kick butt in black and white – all while narrating themselves in third person. The three-way fight to the finish – in a stark stylized setting – is not to be missed by any comic book fan.
The problem is that the writers tend to favor the modern Turtles over their 80’s counterparts far too much. There are several points where the past Turtles look completely ineffectual; at one point they even run crying to the modern Turtles like frightened children. It doesn’t help that the voice of one 1987 Turtle – Leonardo – sounds ridiculously more like “Chef” from “South Park” than he ever did on the original TV show.
Overall, though, “Turtles Forever” is a nostalgic under-the-radar joy for fans of the vintage cartoons and present day incarnations alike. From the tough Frank Miller-inspired Turtles of the comics to their lighter Saturday morning counterparts, this DVD has all your favorite characters turning up in places you’d never expect.
Own “Turtles Forever” on DVD for $12.83 shipped at Wal-Mart.