Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (film series)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Tmnt2009bluray.jpg
2009 Blu-ray box set cover
Directed by See below
Produced by See below
Written by See below
Starring See below
Music by See below
Cinematography See below
Edited by See below
Distributed by New Line Cinema (1990–93)
20th Century Fox (1991-93)
Warner Bros. (2007)
The Weinstein Company (2007)
Paramount Pictures (1993; 2014–)
Release date
1990 – present
Running time
577 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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. The sequel was released on June 3, 2016.

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. 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 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. This film was internationally released by 20th Century Fox.

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 and April back in time to feudal Japan, where they become embroiled in a conflict between a daimyō and a group of rebellious villagers.

TMNT (2007)[edit]

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.

Rebooted 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: Out of the Shadows (2016)[edit]

A sequel, Out of the Shadows was announced for June 3, 2016 with Dave Green directing.[4][5] The sequel was announced on August 10, 2014, two days after the first film was released. The original cast (with the exception of Johnny Knoxville) returns 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]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV[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 rebuild the Foot empire.

TMNT Trilogy[edit]

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]

Live-Action Reboot[edit]

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, with Lightbox Productions, LLC. funding the project.[18] The film would have used animatronic suits whose facial expressions would be digitally enhanced in post-production.[16] It was stated that the story would focus on the Turtles origin.[19] 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.[20] "Ninja Turtles" co-creator Peter Laird said "there are a lot of positive feelings about a 'Batman Begins'-style 'reboot,[21] while producer Galen Walker said the film would be headed in a darker direction.[22] In July, 2009 it was announced that John Fusco would be the films writer.[23] 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.[24] In 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.[25][26][27]

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Original trilogy TMNT Reboot films
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Out of the Shadows
1990 1991 1993 2007 2014 2016
Leonardo Brian Tochi
(voice)
James Arnold Taylor Johnny Knoxville
(voice)
Pete Ploszek
(motion capture and voice)
David Forman
(costume)
Mark Caso
(costume)
Pete Ploszek
(motion capture)
Martin P. Robinson
(puppetry)
Rob Tygner
(puppetry)
Jim Martin
(puppetry)
Raphael Josh Pais
(voice and costume)
Laurie Faso
(voice)
Tim Kelleher
(voice)
Nolan North Alan Ritchson
(motion capture and voice)
Kenn Troum
(costume)
Matt Hill
(costume)
David Greenaway
(puppetry)
Noel MacNeal
(puppetry)
Donatello Corey Feldman
(voice)
Adam Carl
(voice)
Corey Feldman
(voice)
Mitchell Whitfield Jeremy Howard
(motion capture and voice)
Leif Tilden
(costume)
Jim Raposa
(costume)
David Rudman
(puppetry)
Rob Mills
(puppetry)
Rick Lyon
(puppetry)
Michelangelo Robbie Rist
(voice)
Mikey Kelley Noel Fisher
(motion capture and voice)
Michelan Sisti
(costume)
David Fraser
(costume)
Mak Wilson
(puppetry)
Rob Tygner
(puppetry)
Gord Robertson
(puppetry)
Splinter Kevin Clash
(voice)
James Murray
(voice and puppetry)
Mako Tony Shalhoub
(voice)
Ricky Boyd
(puppetry)
Lisa Sturz
(puppetry)
Danny Woodburn
(motion capture)
Peter Donald Badalamenti II
(motion capture)
Rob Tygner
(puppetry)
Susan Dacre
(puppetry)
Tim Lawrence
(puppetry)
Greg Baldwin
(uncredited stand-in)
April O'Neil Judith Hoag Paige Turco Sarah Michelle Gellar Megan Fox Megan Fox
Malina Weissman
(young)
Oroku Saki
The Shredder
James Saito François Chau Silent cameo Tohoru Masamune Brian Tee
Kevin Nash
(Super Shredder)
David McCharen
(voice)
Casey Jones Elias Koteas Elias Koteas Chris Evans Stephen Amell
Chief Sterns Raymond Serra
Tatsu Toshishiro Obata
Michael McConnohie
(voice)
Charles Pennington Jay Patterson
Danny Pennington Michael Turney
Tokka Frank Welker
(voice)
Kurt Bryant
(costume)
Gord Robertson
(puppetry)
Rahzar Frank Welker
(voice)
Mark Ginther
(costume)
Rick Lyon
(puppetry)
Keno Ernie Reyes, Jr.
Professor Jordan Perry David Warner
Whit Elias Koteas
Mitsu Vivian Wu
Yoshi Travis A. Moon
Kenshin Henry Hayashi
Lord Norinaga Sab Shimono
Walker Stuart Wilson
Niles John Aylward
Max Winters Patrick Stewart
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
Dr. Baxter Stockman K. Todd Freeman Tyler Perry
Rebecca Vincent Laura Linney
Bebop Gary Anthony Williams
Rocksteady Stephen Farrelly
Krang Brad Garrett
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.

Crew[edit]

Crew Original series Animated film Rebooted series
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
1990 1991 1993 2007 2014 2016
Director Steve Barron Michael Pressman Stuart Gillard Kevin Munroe Jonathan Liebesman Dave Green
Producer Simon Fields
David Chan
Kim Dawson
Thomas K. Gray
Kim Dawson
David Chan
Thomas K. Gray
Galen Walker
Paul Wang
Michael Bay
Andrew Form
Brad Fuller
Galen Walker
Scott Mednick
Ian Bryce
Michael Bay
Andrew Form
Brad Fuller
Galen Walker
Scott Mednick
Writer screenplay: Todd W. Langen & Bobby Herbeck
story: Bobby Herbeck
Todd W. Langen Stuart Gillard Kevin Munroe Josh Appelbaum
André Nemec
Evan Daugherty
Josh Appelbaum
André Nemec
Composer John Du Prez Klaus Badelt Brian Tyler Steve Jablonsky
Cinematography John Fenner Shelly Johnson David Gurfinkel Steve Lumley Lula Carvalho
Editor William D. Gordean
Sally Menke
James R. Symons
Steve Mirkovich
John Wright
William D. Gordean
James R. Symons
John Damien Ryan Joel Negron
Glen Scantlebury
Jim May
Debra Neil-Fisher
Bob Ducsay
Production companies Golden Harvest
Limelight Entertainment
888 Productions
Mirage Enterprises
Northshore Investments
Golden Harvest
Mirage Enterprises
Northshore Investments
Golden Harvest
Clearwater Holdings
Imagi Animation Studios Nickelodeon Movies
Platinum Dunes
Nickelodeon Movies
Platinum Dunes
Alibaba Pictures
China Movie Media Group
Distributor New Line Cinema Warner Bros. Pictures Paramount Pictures
Running time 93 minutes 88 minutes 96 minutes 87 minutes 101 minutes 112 minutes
Release date March 30, 1990 March 22, 1991 March 19, 1993 March 23, 2007 August 8, 2014 June 3, 2016

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Ref(s)
North America Other
territories
Worldwide All time
North America
All time
worldwide
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) March 30, 1990 $135,265,915 $66,700,000 $201,965,915 #331 #568 $13,500,000 [28]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ll: The Secret of the Ooze March 12, 1991 $78,656,813 #804 $25,000,000 [29]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III March 19, 1993 $42,273,609 #1,665 $21,000,000 [30]
TMNT March 23, 2007 $54,149,098 $41,459,897 $95,608,976 #1,289 $34,000,000 [31]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) August 8, 2014 $191,204,754 $302,128,830 $493,333,584 #183 #157 $125,000,000 [32]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows June 3, 2016 $82,051,601 $163,538,376 $245,589,977 #829 #512 $135,000,000 [33]
Total $583,601,790 $565,498,264 $1,149,100,054 $353,500,000 [34]
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[35]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) 40% (50 reviews)[36]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze 32% (41 reviews)[37]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III 21% (29 reviews)[38]
TMNT 34% (115 reviews)[39] 41 (21 reviews)[40] A-[35]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) 22% (133 reviews)[41] 31 (33 reviews)[42] B[35]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows 38% (139 reviews)[43] 40 (27 reviews)[44] A-[35]
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peter Laird's TMNT blog: Blast from the Past #654: April 1, 2005: Re: first pass and 2 other things". Peterlairdstmntblog.blogspot.com. 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
  2. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Is Coming With Nunchucks and Michael Bay".
  3. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (August 15, 2013). "Paramount Moves 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' To August 8, 2014". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  4. ^ "'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Sequel Underway; Bay To Return". Deadline.com. August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  5. ^ "'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' sequel set for 2016". Entertainment Weekly. August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  6. ^ Lesnick, Silas (March 31, 2015). "Arrow's Stephen Amell to Play Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2!". comingsoon.net.
  7. ^ "Tyler Perry joins Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 cast". ew.com. April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  8. ^ Gary Anthony Williams Cast as Bebop in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 comingsoon.net, Retrieved May 17, 2015
  9. ^ Spencer Perry. "WWE Star Sheamus Confirmed as Rocksteady for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2". comingsoon.net.
  10. ^ Pl (7 November 2008). "Peter Laird's TMNT blog: Blast from the Past #36 repost: Donatello's new costume".
  11. ^ Pl (8 November 2008). "Peter Laird's TMNT blog: Blast from the Past #37 repost: Leonardo's new costume".
  12. ^ Pl (10 November 2008). "Peter Laird's TMNT blog: Blast from the Past #38 repost: Splinter's new look".
  13. ^ Pl (11 November 2008). "Peter Laird's TMNT blog: Blast from the Past #39 repost: Michelangelo's new costume".
  14. ^ Pl (12 November 2008). "Peter Laird's TMNT blog: Blast from the Past #40 repost: Raphael's new look".
  15. ^ Billington, Alex (March 4, 2007). "TMNT Sequel Planned, Could We See Shredder?". FirstShowing. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
  16. ^ a b Armstrong, Josh (August 19, 2014). "Director Kevin Munroe revisits Imagi's TMNT franchise". Animated Views. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  17. ^ Benjamin Ong Pang Kean (June 10, 2008). "TMNT Celebrates 25 Years, III - Peter Laird". Newsarama. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  18. ^ ComingSoon (April 23, 2009). "New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Coming!". ComingSoon. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  19. ^ Rich Z (April 24, 2009). "Ninja Turtles Origin Story Due in 2011". Reelz. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  20. ^ ComingSoon (July 14, 2009). "Martial Arts Experts Casting Call for Live-Action TMNT Movie". ComingSoon. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  21. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Co-Creator Of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Reveals More Details About New Film". Splashpage.mtv.com. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  22. ^ "Producers Promise a Dark Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie". FirstShowing.net. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  23. ^ Graser, Marc (2009-07-20). "'Ninja Turtles' relaunch gets writer - Entertainment News, Film News, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  24. ^ Laird, Peter (August 13, 2014). "TMNT Volume 4, #30". Palblog. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  25. ^ Laird, Peter (October 21, 2009). "Musings about the sale". Palblog. Retrieved October 24, 2009.
  26. ^ PRNewswire (October 21, 2009). "The Mirage Group Sells Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(TM) to Nickelodeon". Reuters. Archived from the original on February 1, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
  27. ^ Finke, Nikki (October 21, 2009). "Nickelodeon To Revive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles For TV/Film After Acquiring Global Rights For $60M". Deadline. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  28. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  29. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (1991)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  30. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  31. ^ "TMNT (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  32. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  33. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  34. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  35. ^ a b c d "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
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  37. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II - The Secret of the Ooze (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  38. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  39. ^ "TMNT (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  40. ^ "TMNT Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  41. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  42. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  43. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  44. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 6, 2016.