I was a huge Ninja Turtles fan growing up. I had all of the toys, watched the cartoon show every day, dressed as a Ninja Turtle for two different Halloweens (Michelangelo and Donatello), and the first time I went to New York City I pointed to a manhole cover and asked my mom if that was where the Ninja Turtles lived. I even repeatedly watched the video of the musical stage show. In fact, the only aspect of the Turtles that I was never interested in as a kid were the comics. But more than anything, I watched the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie over and over again. It was the first film that I ever completely memorized, and I wore that VHS out. I was originally supportive of resurrecting the Turtles for the big screen, as I feel like they fill a niche that most other comic book superhero movies seem to miss. However, the end result fails to capture what made the Turtles special to begin with and is nothing more than a watered-down shadow of the well know characters, too eager to be “cool” to be of much interest.
Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found them to be fascinating.
Here’s the thing, I absolutely love the 1990 film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I watched the VHS obsessively and it was one of the first films I completely memorized. I had all of the action figures, watched the cartoon every day, and was a Ninja Turtle twice for Halloween (Michelangelo and Donatello). But above all the other Turtle-related things, the film was what cemented my attachment to the characters. It was dark and unique, funny and emotional, with a great cast and some truly impressive design work. It was also very New York. The Jim Henson-created Turtles will always be the perfect incarnation of the four brothers, and are what I immediately picture whenever they’re mentioned.
So it’s more than a little understandable that when Michael Bay announced that he was rebooting the series I was not happy. Michael Bay has had a wildly successful career, and has actually made some genuinely good movies, but he is in no way the person I want involved with the Ninja Turtles. Add in his comments that the Turtles would be aliens (a statement he has since retracted) and his casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil and things started to look pretty grim. So I was prepared to hate the new trailer that debuted today. Imagine my surprise when I came away with some mixed feelings after all. Take a look below and read on for my thoughts: