This past summer, being a tremendous and lifelong fan of the Transformers, I was caught up in the Movie merchandise frenzy and by the time the movie came out, I had bought figures of every character in the movie except for Megatron. When I finally saw the movie, I was hit with a sense of buyers regret I hadn’t felt since… well, Beast Machines, probably. As you may remember from my review, I didn’t much care for the movie. I mean most of the toys are outstanding, but some of the characters never even spoke.
A few weeks ago I finished the first six volumes of the “classic” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, and though the experience left me stupified, it also left me nostalgic. So, I started collecting the movie figures, and they’re pretty outstanding, with the possible exception of April. The face is great and will eventually serve as the basis of a Hailey Kitson custom, but the body lacks poseability. That is fine on a female figure if poseability is sacrificed to keep the lines more feminine and sexy, but April is a stick. I had heard good things about the summer’s hit CGI movie TMNT, from which the figures hailed, but I heard good things about Transformers, too. Was I setting myself up for another disappointment?
As it turns out, no.
This movie was pretty outstanding. I usually don’t like CGI movies, either. Including the Final Fantasy movies. But Turtles was well-animated. 3d enough to give you a feeling of depth, but still cartoony enough to feel like you’re watching… well, a cartoon. It’s rare that an animated movie (short of most Disney-Pixar releases) can be action-packed and funny enough to entertain a kid without annoying the piss out of parents, but TMNT achieves it. This is a much more grown-up “real-world” version of Turtles than most people are used to seeing in the mass media, with real feelings and real problems. With the possible exception of the original Mirage Comics, this is probably the first version of Turtles to not insult my intelligence. Yet it achieves this more grown-up feel with out a single curse word or a drop of blood and without sparing humor and lighthearted moments. While much of the conflict in the movie is actually between Leonardo and Raphael, more than any other version you also feel the Turtles and Splinter are a true, if somewhat dysfunctional family. Highlander fans will probably find the twist of the “repentent villain weary of immortality” a bit familiar, but it was a welcome surprise in a family-targeted mass release, especially with Patrick Stewart voicing. Sweet.
When was a kid, Michelangelo was my favorite Turtle, with Donatello a close second. This movie gained Raph a lot of respect in my eyes, but while a lot of the movie focused on his conflict with Leo, I would say all the Turtles go a pretty fair share of screentime. Leo, is however, still my LEAST favorite. (Of course the leader guy usually sucks. At least he isn’t Cyclops.)
All in all I give it an A+, two thumbs up, and a 9.95. Anyone who gets the Spunkadelic reference should be euthanised.