Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem | Review by: Stefano Bove

Mutant Mayhem is the most successful theatrical update the turtles have had in years. This coming of age film is a perfect example of updating characters for a new audience while paying homage to the original 1980's series and comic. The breathtaking animation style brings the Turtles and New York to life by playing off of its energy in ways that tell you everyone had a lot of fun making this.

Mutant Mayhem is a familiar origin story that sees the turtles growing up in the sewers, 15 years after their exposure to the famous green ooze. The young turtles are eager and excited to meet and interact with the humans but Their father, Master Splinter is an overprotective dad who does not want them venturing up to the surface. The Turtles obviously do not listen and their more frequent visits to the city surface change their lives in ways they did not expect. Their paths cross with a young high school journalist, April O'Neil who is trying to gather evidence on a mysterious villain in the city named Superfly. April O'Neil's character changed to a young High schooler is one of the changes that makes complete sense. The original April was much older and was more of a mother figure to The Turtles. April and the turtles being the same age opens up many more story possibilities and we see one in the form of a potential relationship in this film.  

The story and characters have been updated for a modern audience but not to a point that tarnishes the character. Only fifteen, The Turtles now represent the teenagers of today's generation. The original series was dated in the 80's with 80s technology so it makes complete sense to update the turtles for a modern audience. The writing for The Turtles is interesting because they speak like Gen Z'ers but make many references and jokes to pop culture that many fifteen year old's would not get. Seth Rogan and the rest of the writing team definitely wrote this film for the multiple generations of Turtle fans that will be seeing it. I read that Seth Rogan wanted improvising and combined recording room time with many of the actors which does not happen in animation. This is definitely noticeable in many of The Turtles hilarious rambling conversations and arguments. Nicolas Cantu, Micah Abbey, Brady Noon, and Shamon Brown have amazing chemistry together and truly embody the spirit of each character.  

Spiderman Into the Spiderverse sparked a brand new market in animation potential for North America and I am so happy to see that TMNT is one of the properties that capitalized on it because the aesthetic fits the rough streets/sewers of New York so well. Everything about this movie just screams fun; fun for the cast/crew who made it and fun for audience goers. 


Review by: Stefano Bove

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