Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
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|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stuart Gillard|
|Produced by||David Chan
Thomas K. Gray
|Written by||Stuart Gillard|
|Based on||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by Kevin Eastman
|Music by||John Du Prez|
|Editing by||William D. Gordean
James R. Symons
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema
20th Century Fox
|Running time||96 minutes|
|Box office||$42,273,609 (USA)|
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III is a 1993 American live action film, the second sequel of the 1990 live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. It was produced by Clearwater Holdings Ltd. and Golden Harvest. This was the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film released by New Line Cinema and released on VHS along with Columbia Tristar. It was internationally distributed by 20th Century Fox. Unlike the previous films, the Jim Henson's Creature Shop did not provide the advanced animatronics.
In feudal Japan 1603, a boy is being chased by four samurai on horseback. As they go into the woods, a mysterious woman emerges from the underbrush and watches closely. However, the samurai eventually capture and take the boy, revealed to be prince Kenshin, with them. In the present, April O'Neil has been shopping at the flea market in preparation for her upcoming vacation. She brings her friends gifts to cheer them up. Michelangelo is given a lampshade, Donatello is given an old radio, Leonardo is given a book on swords and Raphael is to receive a fedora, but having stormed off earlier, he is never formally given it. For Splinter, she brings an ancient Japanese scepter. Back in the past, Kenshin is being scolded at by his father, Lord Norinaga. He leaves his father's presence and throws priests out of a temple. There, he finds the same scepter and reads the inscription: "Open Wide the Gates of Time". In the present, April is looking at the scepter and it begins to light up and a small bit inside begins to spin. She is then sent back in time and Kensin forward in time. Before he storms off, Walker, an English trader, is introduced.
Upon arrival, April is kidnapped and put in prison. Lord Norinaga wants her to suffer. Back in the present, the turtles are freaking out of this and are dubbed "kappa", which is a water demon in Japan. They make friends with Kenshin and decide to go back in time to get April. But according to Donatello's calculations; they must do it within 60 hours, otherwise the scepter's power will disappear due to the space-time continuum being out of sync. They bring Casey back to watch over the lair, and that is well enough, as four Honor Guards are replaced by the turtles. Back in time, the turtles arrive on horses, and Michelangelo can't ride properly and gets kidnapped. The scepter was also taken with him. The others go to search for April. When they get to a more populated area they are quickly mistaken for Honor Guards. They find themselves in the jail after following one of Walker's thugs. After a sloppy rescue, involving another captured person (who April deems like Casey), they are all left alone without a clue where to go. Meanwhile, in the present, Kenshin is getting impatient and Casey introduces him, and the Honor Guards, to hockey. An attack on the turtles, again mistaken for the Honor Guards, leads them to Mitsu, leader of the rebellion against Lord Norinaga.
They find that Mitsu's village is being burned to the ground and they go to save it. Two men let Michelangelo out of his prison, thinking him an Honor Guard. He shows them his face and they run away. Michelangelo insists that he is a "beautiful princess in disguise", but he is distracted by swords. Michaelangelo saves a boy named Yoshi from a fire, then Leo helps by performing CPR. Anguished by the loss of the scepter, the turtles decide to make a new one. Walker continues bargaining with Lord Norinaga over the lord buying guns for gold or silver. Michelangelo wastes no time teaching some of the people about pizza, but when he bites down, he bites the pan and decides it is a frizbee. Raph gets in touch with his sensitive side as well, through the child Yoshi.
Back in the present, the Honor Guards from the past are challenged to a hockey game by Casey. To his dismay, he finds they think hockey is beating up each other. In the past, the new scepter is completed, only to be dropped by Michelangelo and Raphael. Mitsu informs them that Lord Norinaga has guns and will attack the next day. After being nice to Yoshi, Raphael receives the original scpeter from him as a gift. They are overjoyed to see it, but angry at Mitsu because they felt she hid it to force them to fight. Mitsu is then kidnapped by the man they saved when they saved April. They go to save her, and after a while of fighting, Leonardo defeats Lord Norinaga, comedically finishing him by cutting his hair. Walker now has the scepter, and uses it to his advantage. He tries to escape by tossing it off a rooftop, only to forget his precious birds. The turtles catch the scepter, and the very man who betrayed them finished Walker by knocking him into the ocean and killing him. The turtles then debate whether to or not to go home. The scepter activates, making their decision harder. They all decide to go, but Michelangelo misses the ride home. After the other turtles return to the present, the Honor Guard who replaced Michelangelo runs off with the scepter. A flash of light occurs, and Michelangelo comes back. The scepter is also destroyed. He is depressed, until Splinter puts the lampshade on his head as a joke. Then the turtles end it off with another dance number.
Live actors 
- Paige Turco as April O'Neil
- Elias Koteas as Casey Jones / Whit
- Mark Caso as Leonardo
- David Fraser as Michaelangelo
- Jim Raposa as Donatello
- Matt Hill as Raphael
- James Murray as Splinter
- Stuart Wilson as Walker
- John Aylward as Niles
- Sab Shimono as Lord Norinaga
- Vivian Wu as Mitsu
- Henry Hayashi as Kenshin
- Travis A. Moon as Yoshi
Voice cast 
- Brian Tochi as Leonardo
- Robbie Rist as Michaelangelo
- Corey Feldman as Donatello
- Tim Kelleher as Raphael
- James Murray as Splinter
Rist and Tochi (who did the voices of Michaelangelo and Leonardo, respectively) are the only two voice actors to voice the same character throughout all three live-action TMNT movies. However, Feldman voiced Donatello in both this and the first movie.
Reviews for the film have been mostly negative by both fans and critics. Based on a sample of 22 reviews, the film holds a 27% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus "It's a case of one sequel too many for the heroes in a half shell, with a tired time-travel plot gimmick failing to save the franchise from rapidly diminishing returns." It was poorly received by the LA Times as well.
Other common criticisms include the absence of any established TMNT villains, like Shredder or Krang. James Berardinelli gave it one out of four stars, citing that "any adults accompanying their kids will have to invent new and interesting ways to stay awake. Not only is this movie aimed at young children, the script could have been written by them." TV Guide gave it two out of four stars and said in their review, "If the time-travel gimmick has to be employed twice in a row then it's probably best to banish these characters to a retirement sewer." when commenting about a possible future film invoking time travel.
As with the both previous films, the British PG version was censored due to usage of forbidden weapons (Michelangelo's nunchuku). For these scenes, alternate material was used. The cuts were waived for the DVD release. The German theatrical and video version was based on the censored UK cut; the DVD is uncut.
Home media releases 
The film was released to DVD in Region 1 on September 3, 2002; it contained only minor special features and interactive menus.
On August 4, 2009, the film was included in a special 25th-anniversary boxset, released to both DVD and Blu-Ray formats. It also contained Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, and 2007's animated release, TMNT. In this release the film is given the subtitle Turtles in Time, previously a common misnomer by fans confusing it with the video-game of the same name.
Production notes 
Even though the movie is set primarily in 1603, the movie poster states that it is set in the year 1593.
- Rotten Tomatoes - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
- "No Spark in Samurai-Style 'Ninja Turtles'". The Los Angeles Times. March 22, 1993. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- Reelviews - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
- TV Guide - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
- "Weekend Box Office Ninja Turtles Capture Top Spot". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- "Weekend Box Office Ninja Turtles' Are Still Power Dudes". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- Comparison between the UK VHS (rated PG) and the UK DVD (also rated PG)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III at the Internet Movie Database
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III at AllRovi
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III at Rotten Tomatoes
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III soundtrack information at the Official Ninja