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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Genres: Action/Animation
Running Time: 1 hr. 26 min.
Release Date: March 23rd, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Patrick Stewart Voice of Maximillian J Winters
Sarah Michelle Gellar Voice of April O’Neil
Ziyi Zhang Voice of Karai
Chris Evans Voice of Casey Jones
Mako Voice of Splinter
Kevin Smith Voice of Diner Cook
Mitchell Whitfield Voice of Donatello
James Arnold Taylor Voice of Leonardo
Mikey Kelley Voice of Michelangelo
Nolan North Voice of Raphael/Nightwatcher
Written and Directed By: Kevin Munroe

It’s been over a decade since the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hit the big screen and earned a strong income of over 20 million in green bills (with inflation this is probably around $40 million today) in
just one shell shocked weekend. Turtle Power was a force to be reckoned with. Children everywhere wanted to play with them, watch them on their televisions, and even become them. What 8 year old boy didn’t want to dress up as Leonardo and crash a Halloween party — a year early? Every day was a new adventure with the turtles. Unfortunately, the green power did not last forever. The monetary backing of the green dudes just didn’t seem worth it after the third theatrical film (which didn’t come close to grossing as much as the previous two did in theaters). Perhaps, financial backers thought, it was time to put the franchise to rest. Luckily that did not include putting it to sleep entirely — it just took a nap. A very long one. Now that it’s had time to stretch it’s back in movie-goers lives and better than ever.

What can one expect from the new TMNT feature? A motion picture that should and undoubtedly will “rock the world” for most seven year olds. It’s a nice mix of action and comedy. Granted, the “fun” factor has gone down considerably. This new version of the turtles expects the audience to take things seriously… as least to the extent this kind of movie can muster.

The story, while nothing special by any means, is at least serviceable to the action and manages to keep things flowing at a fair pace. Surprisingly, the dialog somehow manages to come off as better than it has before. When an unexpected reunion brings two of our favorite characters together it even leads to a confrontation that manages to come off as both important to developing their personalities and to successfully engage the audience. This scene in particular was more intense than most other children’s movies have even bothered to try and achieve as of late.

The animation used is stunning. Surely no one expected that CG Animation would be the right fit for these characters? Apparently someone did and surprisingly this turned out to be a right on the mark choice. Even though a feature using the same animation style featured in the original 80′s series (with the theme song intact) might be preferable for most; even the most die hard Turtle fanatics will find something enjoyable in the slick and smooth rendering used for this
movie. The character designs were all really impressive in addition to the lush backgrounds. In many ways this was the best aspect of the film.

As for the end result, the whole project comes off as both a hit and miss at once. Warner Bros. and their creative team clearly put together this feature for fanatics longing to return to the story and characters and with that in mind there is mostly satisfaction in the end. With hope, of course, that the inevitable sequel will be even better. Things are looking bright
for these Turtles. So why go to the theater and see the new TMNT movie? It’s a shell of a good time.

Final Grade: B+