Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (film series)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2009 Blu-ray box set cover
Directed by Steve Barron (1)
Michael Pressman (2)
Stuart Gillard (3)
Kevin Munroe (TMNT)
Jonathan Liebesman (2014)
Dave Green (2016)
Produced by David Chan (13)
Kim Dawson (13)
Simon Fields (1)
Thomas K. Gray (2TMNT)
Galen Walker (TMNT2014)
Michael Bay (2014)
Andrew Form (2014)
Bradley Fuller (2014)
Scott Mednick (2014)
Written by Bobby Herbeck (1)
Todd W. Langen (12)
Stuart Gillard (3)
Kevin Munroe (TMNT)
Josh Appelbaum (2014)
André Nemec (2014)
Evan Daugherty (2014)
Starring Elias Koteas
Judith Hoag
Paige Turco
Mark Caso
David Fraser
Jim Raposa
Matt Hill (13)
Nolan North
James Arnold Taylor
Mikey Kelley
Mitchell Whitfield
Chris Evans
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Mako Iwamatsu
Kevin Smith
Patrick Stewart
Zhang Ziyi (TMNT)
Megan Fox
Pete Ploszek
Noel Fisher
Jeremy Howard
Alan Ritchson
Danny Woodburn
Whoopi Goldberg
William Fichtner
Will Arnett
Abby Elliott
K. Todd Freeman (2014)
Music by John Du Prez (13)
Klaus Badelt (TMNT)
Brian Tyler (2014)
Cinematography John Fenner (1)
Shelly Johnson (2)
David Gurfinkel (3)
Steve Lumley (TMNT)
Lula Carvalho (2014)
Edited by William D. Gordean (1, 3)
Sally Menke (1)
James R. Symons (1, 3)
Steve Mirkovich (2)
John Wright (2)
John Damien Ryan (TMNT)
Distributed by New Line Cinema (1990–93)
Warner Bros. (2007)
Paramount Pictures (2014–present)
Release dates
1990–93 (original trilogy)
2014 (reboot)
Running time
365 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $218.500.000
Box office $903,510,077

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a film series based on the comic book characters of the same name created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The first film in the series, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was released in 1990 at the height of the franchise's popularity and was a commercial success. The success of the film garnered two direct sequels, respectively released in 1991 and 1993, and a CGI animated film in 2007 billed as TMNT building on the success of the 2003–09 TV series. The series was rebooted in a new film made by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, released on August 8, 2014.

Original trilogy[edit]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)[edit]

The first film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, closely follows the storyline from the Mirage comic books, in addition to some of the more lighthearted elements of the cartoons. The film tells the origin story of Splinter and the Turtles, their initial encounters with April O'Neil (Judith Hoag) and Casey Jones (Elias Koteas), and their first confrontation with The Shredder and his Foot Clan. Another plot point for the film is that The Foot have kidnapped Splinter, and the Turtles must rescue him from the Shredder's grasp. On a side note, it is the only TMNT film, besides the one from 2014, to swear. Directed by Steve Barron and released by New Line Cinema, the film showcases the innovative puppetry techniques of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)[edit]

The first sequel, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, expands on the Turtles' origin story while claiming the dubious distinction as Vanilla Ice's film debut. The film was dedicated to puppeteer Jim Henson. It also introduced the Turtles' human friend Keno (Ernie Reyes, Jr.) and Shredder's mutant henchmen Tokka and Rahzar.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)[edit]

The third film in the series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, features Elias Koteas reprising his role as Casey Jones. The plot revolves around the "Sacred Sands of Time", a mystical scepter which transports the Turtles back in time to feudal Japan, where they become embroiled in a conflict between a daimyo and a group of rebellious villagers.

Animated/CGI film[edit]

TMNT (2007)[edit]

Main article: TMNT (film)

A 2007 feature film, titled simply TMNT and written and directed by Kevin Munroe, was released March 23, 2007. Unlike the previous films, it used 100% computer-generated imagery, produced by Imagi Animation Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company. It was the final Ninja Turtle movie to be distributed by Time Warner due to the franchise being purchased by Viacom.

This film opens with the Turtles scattered as Leonardo is training in Central America, Donatello and Michelangelo have jobs, and Raphael spends his time as the vigilante crimefighter "Nightwatcher". Leonardo returns to New York City due to the events surrounding a series of monsters being hunted by the mysterious businessman Max Winters, but tensions begin to rise between Raphael and Leonardo over the leadership of the team. The Foot Clan also appear, with Karai leading them. While not strictly keeping to the continuity of the prior films,[1] it did include references to the prior three films in a scene near the end of the film.

Reboot series[edit]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)[edit]

A new feature film, rebooting the film franchise, was originally scheduled to be released in December 2013 as part of the acquisition of the franchise by Viacom. It was announced on May 27, 2010, that Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company had landed the rights to the new film. The film is a co-production between Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.[2] The first film was directed by Jonathan Liebesman and stars Megan Fox as April O'Neil, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, and features motion capture CGI for the Turtles and Splinter, the film was released on August 8, 2014.[3] The film became a box office success.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell (2016)[edit]

A sequel was announced for June 3, 2016 with Dave Green directing.[4][5] The original cast is set to return with Stephen Amell, Brian Tee, Tyler Perry, and Gary Anthony Williams joining as Casey Jones, Shredder, Baxter Stockman, and Bebop respectively.[6][7][8] WWE wrestler Sheamus was later confirmed to portray Rocksteady.[9]

Canceled projects[edit]

Kevin Eastman was working on a fourth Ninja Turtles film between 1995 and 1997 titled TMNT 4: The Next Mutation or TMNT 4: The Foot Walks Again. In 2012, Heritage Auctions published concept arts showing a fifth turtle named Kirby, but also featured are Fang, Shredder, Spyder, Nano Spyder, Super Shredder, Casey, Talbot, Lawson, Bugman and "Evil April".[citation needed] Peter Laird showed some concept art of the Turtles and Splinter on his blog.[10][11][12][13][14]The main concept behind the film will have the turtles undergo a second mutation due to the mutagen in the heroes' bloodstream beginning to change with age and giving them new abilities and new problems. Also, the film would revolve around the return of the Shredder and proceeded to rebuilt the Foot empire.

Kevin Munroe has stated that he would like to direct a possible sequel to TMNT, possibly involving the return of the Shredder.[15] Munroe planned a trilogy. TMNT 2 would have loosely adapted the Turtles’ 13-part comic book saga City At War. Michelangelo would have felt rejected and joined the Foot Clan. While the Turtles would have traveled to Japan and would have crossed paths with Karai and Shredder. TMNT 3 would have featured the Triceratons as well as the Technodrome’s arrival from Dimension X. Munroe wanted Michael Clarke Duncan to voice the Triceraton’s leader, Commander Mozar.[16] In an interview, Peter Laird stated he was interested in the idea of having the next film be a live-action and CGI hybrid film, with the Turtles rendered in CGI and Sarah Michelle Gellar and Chris Evans reprising their TMNT roles in live-action.[17]

In late April 2009, it was announced a new live-action film would be in the works for a 2011 release. Mirage Studios was partnering with producers Scott Mednick and Galen Walker, with Peter Laird, Gary Richardson, Frederick Fierst, Eric Crown would serve as executive producers, and 4Kids Entertainment would handle the film's merchandising.[18] The film would have used animatronic suits whose facial expressions would be digitally enhanced in post-production.[19] It was stated that the story would focus on the Turtles origin.[20] In July 2009, an open casting call was made for extras to play as members of the Foot Clan, with Ernie Reyes, Jr. as an acting judge.[21] "Ninja Turtles" co-creator Peter Laird said "there are a lot of positive feelings about a 'Batman Begins'-style 'reboot,[22] while producer Galen Walker said the film would be headed in a darker direction.[23] In July, 2009 is was announced that John Fusco would be the films writer.[24] His version was to be inspired by the original dark and gritty black and white comics that Eastman created with Peter Laird, but Paramount wasn't on board. Kevin Eastman described the script as being "too edgy for what Paramount wanted".[citation needed] Peter Laird revealed the film would have been a direct sequel to the 1990 film ignoring its sequels.[25] However, in mid October 2009, it was announced that Viacom's subsidiary network Nickelodeon had purchased all of Mirage's rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property for $9.75 million, thus terminating all deals with 4Kids and Time Warner.[26][27][28]

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Original Trilogy TMNT (2007) Rebooted Series
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell (2016)
Leonardo Brian Tochi (voice only)
David Forman (costume only)
Martin P. Robinson (puppetry only)
Brian Tochi (voice only)
Mark Caso (costume only)
Rob Tygner (puppetry only)
Brian Tochi (voice only)
Mark Caso (costume only)
Jim Martin (puppetry only)
James Arnold Taylor Pete Ploszek (motion capture only)
Johnny Knoxville (voice only)
Michelangelo Robbie Rist (voice only)
Michelan Sisti (costume only)
Mak Wilson (puppetry only)
Robbie Rist (voice only)
Michelan Sisti (costume only)
Rob Tygner (puppetry only)
Robbie Rist (voice only)
David Fraser (costume only)
Gord Robertson (puppetry only)
Mikey Kelley Noel Fisher (motion capture and voice)
Donatello Corey Feldman (voice only)
Leif Tilden (costume only)
David Rudman (puppetry only)
Adam Carl (voice only)
Leif Tilden (costume only)
Rob Mills (puppetry only)
Corey Feldman (voice only)
Jim Raposa (costume only)
Rick Lyon (puppetry only)
Mitchell Whitfield Jeremy Howard (motion capture and voice)
Raphael Josh Pais (costume and voice)
David Greenaway (puppetry only)
Laurie Faso (voice only)
Kenn Troum (costume only)
David Greenaway (puppetry only)
Matt Hill (costume only)
Tim Kelleher (voice only)
Noel MacNeal (puppetry only)
Nolan North Alan Ritchson (motion capture and voice)
Splinter Kevin Clash (voice and puppetry)
Ricky Boyd (puppetry only)
Rob Tygner (puppetry only)
Kevin Clash (voice and puppetry)
Ricky Boyd (puppetry only)
Susan Dacre (puppetry only)
James Murray (voice and puppetry)
Lisa Sturz (puppetry only)
Tim Lawrence (puppetry only)
Mako Danny Woodburn (motion capture only)
Tony Shalhoub (voice only)
April O'Neil Judith Hoag Paige Turco Sarah Michelle Gellar Megan Fox
Malina Weissman (young)
Megan Fox
Casey Jones Elias Koteas   Elias Koteas Chris Evans   Stephen Amell
The Shredder James Saito
David McCharen (voice only)
François Chau
Kevin Nash (Super Shredder)
David McCharen (voice only)
  (Mentioned only) Tohoru Masamune Brian Tee
Chief Sterns Raymond Serra  
Charles Pennington Jay Patterson  
Danny Pennington Michael Turney  
Keno   Ernie Reyes, Jr.  
Professor Jordan Perry   David Warner  
Whit   Elias Koteas  
Mitsu   Vivian Wu  
Yoshi   Travis A. Moon  
Kenshin   Henry Hayashi  
Max Winters   Patrick Stewart  
Tatsu Toshishiro Obata
Michael McConnohie (voice only)
Tokka   Frank Welker (voice only)
Mark Ginther (costume only)
Gord Robertson (puppetry only)
Rahzar   Frank Welker (voice only)
Kurt Bryant (costume only)
Rick Lyon (puppetry only)
Lord Norinaga   Sab Shimono  
Walker   Stuart Wilson  
Niles   John Aylward  
Karai   Zhang Ziyi Minae Noji Brittany Ishibashi
General Aguila   Kevin Michael Richardson  
General Gato   Fred Tatasciore  
Colonel Santino   John DiMaggio  
General Serpiente   Paula Mattioli  
Vern Fenwick   Will Arnett
Eric Sacks   William Fichtner
Bernadette Thompson   Whoopi Goldberg  
Baxter Stockman   K. Todd Freeman Tyler Perry
 ?   Alessandra Ambrosio
 ?   Laura Linney
Bebop   Gary Anthony Williams
Rocksteady   Sheamus
List indicator(s)
  • Italics indicate a transition to a minor role, such as an extended flashback, after the initial appearance.
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.


Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Ref(s)
North America Other
Worldwide All time
North America
All time
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles March 30, 1990 $135.265.915 $66.700.000 $201.965.915 #331 #568 $13.500.000 [29]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze March 12, 1991 $78.656.813 $78.656.813 #804 $25.000.000 [30]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III March 19, 1993 $42.273.609 $42.273.619 #1,665 $21.000.000 [31]
TMNT March 23, 2007 $54.149.098 $41.459.878 $95.608.976 #1,289 $34.000.000 [32]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles August 8, 2014 $191.204.754 $293.800.000 $485.004.754 #167 #140 $125.000.000 [33]
Total $501.550.189 $401.959.888(E) $903.510.077 $218.000.000 [34]
List indicator(s)
  • (E) indicates total based on available numbers.
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 film) 41% (49 reviews)[35]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze 33% (39 reviews)[36]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III 21% (29 reviews)[37]
TMNT 34% (115 reviews)[38] 41 (21 reviews)[39]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014 film) 21% (132 reviews)[40] 31 (33 reviews)[41] B[42]
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.


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