You can’t stop the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What started as a bit of a joke comic book back in the ’80s has outlasted many of their fellow mutant heroes. Their indie comic book got picked up by a major publisher. Their movies are still major hits on DVD. Even more importantly is the numerous TV shows they’ve inspired over the decades. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles is the latest incarnation about the Heroes in a Half-Shell. The latest series was launched last Fall on Nickelodeon. The CGI characters reflect the original comic books with tales of turtles who through a toxic ooze were mutated into humanoid figures with mad ninja skills and artist names. The show ups the level by having Raphael (Sean Astin), Leonardo (Jason Biggs), Michelangelo (Greg Cipes) and Donatello (Rob Paulsen) with familiar voices. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles contains the first six episodes.
“Rise of The Turtles” is a two-part episode that restates how these reptiles became superheroes and came to the surface. Things start off fast when they must save April O’Neill and her dad from the evil Kraang. “Turtle Temper” makes the battle with Kraang gets difficult when a neighborhood guy videotapes the battles. He wants to sell the footage. Lewis Black (The Daily Show) has the right tone for the grubby videographer. “New Friend, Old Enemy” demonstrates the danger of making friends on social media. Michelangelo thinks he’s innocently chatting with martial artist Chris Bradford, but the man has a hidden social connection. Viewers will know there’s something fishy since Chris is voiced by Clancy Brown (Highlander). “I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman” is about a man upset about being fired for a toner issue. “Metalhead” introduces a robot turtle that Donatello wants to be his replacement in dangerous battles. But can you trust a robot’s loyalty?
The new series is very exciting with the battles scenes taking advantage of the CGI modeling. Here’s my daughter’s take on the DVD set.
The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfers bring out the details in the CGI universe. The audio is Dolby Digital stereo. You hear the swords cutting the wind. The episodes are Closed Captioned.
Making of Animatics are provided for a scene from each episode. This is very educational for anyone wondering what sort of work goes into creating the finished image. They share storyboards, simple animation and the rough CGI footage.
Theme Song: Karaoke Music Video (1:01) so you can rap along with the opening action.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles revitalizes the quartet of reptiles. The voices and the action makes this exciting to watch for new and old fans of various ages.
Nickelodeon & Paramount present Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles. Starring: Jason Biggs, Lewis Black and Clancy Brown. Boxset Contents: 6 episodes on 1 DVD. Released: Feburary 26, 2013. Available at Amazon.com.
Joe Corey is the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.