Turtles for Every Occasion

In my first ever blog, I was a high school sophomore complaining about my English 2 reading list. My first ever blog under the name “DaemonCorps” was part of a group list ranking the best animation villains. Both those occasions, I wasn’t really considering what I was typing to set up the tone of all my future blogs, so for my first wordpress blog, I really wanted to write about something that would prove a good example of everything I’m about… but what?

Then I checked my twitter feed:

Hooooly crap, a new Ninja Turtles movie? (stretches arms) Hokay, time for a history lesson

No disrespect to my parents whatsoever, but I consider myself to have been raised on TV. There wasn’t a day in my life that I existed without cable at my place; I preferred VHS tapes over story books as my bedtime stories; the one time I went camping, I was totally elated to find the van had a TV installed in it. You get the point. That said, I’ve gone through quite the number of television series that I was absolutely crazy about—Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of the first, if not the first) of them. I remember having ninja turtles rain boots and insisting on wearing them even when they got too small for my feet to the point that the zipper would always snatch my foot whenever I tried to zip it up. I had a ninja turtles bike helmet and would occasionally bug my mom whenever I wanted to switch the color of my headband. I remember taking the turtles action figures for adventures in the garden and garage. Hell, on one occasion, I even cried during my grandma’s funeral—not for her death, but because I left my turtles action figures at home.

From the age of three to around seven, the turtles were my life.

Flash forward to 2003: a time when Toonami was king and action cartoons ruled every network that aired any kind of cartoons. In a time when goofy action heroes were fading to the background, I was absolutely surprised to find one Saturday morning that the turtles were back in action, brought closer to the Mirage Comics they originated from and were able to hold a flame to Goku, Gundams and the like. While nostalgia freaks did what they did best, I was just glad that the turtles were back.

Now five or so seasons of the 2003 season and the ‘80s series still big with hipsters in the form of ironic graphic tees and such, the turtles are celebrating their 25th anniversary in style with Blu Ray movie releases, ‘80s and 2003 series alike with season sets… and quite the awesome movie taking the best of every turtles universe.

The made-for-TV-but-still-pretty-awesome movie pits has the turtles from the ‘80s series transported to the universe of the 2003 turtles. Great, so it’s a crossover series? While I think movies and episodes with a crossover as their basis are generally pretty crappy, “TMNT: Forever” makes a pretty decent explanation of it all. I mean, from the little I remember of the ‘80s series, it would get pretty goofy at times, so the idea that a freak explosion during the latest of the turtle’s scuffles with Shredder and Krang transported the gang to the 2003-verse makes total sense.

One problem I’ve seen viewers have with this movie, however, was the portrayal of the ‘80s turtles. Rather than being portrayed as lovable and kid-friendly, yet still able to put up a decent fight, the ‘80s turtles are more a parody of themselves more than anything else. Personally, I have no problem with this, since most turtles fans I’m aware of know it mainly for its goofiness more than anything else, so it’s completely understandable. Besides, it looked like they put up a pretty decent fight in their first fight scene—that ain’t too shabby, right?

And if a crossover with the ‘80s turtles wasn’t enough, resurrected 2003 Shredder expands his plans for world domination, taking things one step further: taking over the multiverse! However, he’s got one problem: no matter which universe he tries to take over, he notices that those darn turtles are always there to try and stop him in some form or another. Following these turn of events is a series of references of turtles series, from the live action movies, to the Japanese adaptations and all other ones in-between. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say the end results are pretty sweet. And this is from someone who generally hates multiverse crossovers.

From the start, you can just tell that “Turtles: Forever” was made with quite the amount of tender loving care, paying respects to not just the two animated series, but absolutely every incarnation of the series you could think of. If you’re a turtles fan of any kind, definitely check it out.

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