TMNT: Turtles Forever (Full Un-Cut Widescreen Version) Review

     With a mere two days until the release of the Michael Bay & Jonathan Liebesman's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits theaters across the US, I have been rewatching to review a bunch of old films.  Outside of the 1990 Original Motion Picture, the best movie easily goes to TMNT: Turtles Forever.

     Created with a multipurpose design.  It served as the finale to seven seasons of the 4Kids TMNT show and as the 2009 mark of the 25th anniversary in one brilliant combo pack.  What happened is all the right things were brought together to bring generations of Turtle incarnations into one unbelievable movie.

     A teleportation incident on the Technodrome and winds up tearing through dimensional divides and bringing the 1987's Ninja Turtles into the 2003's cartoon's world.  Through a series of world destroying circumstances they wind up meeting animated versions of the original Mirage Comics' Turtles.  All animated in their individual styles.  When you hear this, it sounds like a mishmash recipe for disaster- it sounds ridiculous, silly, and downright stupid.  But this film is far from it.  Far, far from it.

     The creators did an unparalleled job bringing together the Turtle's version of the multiverse.  Every scene shows that writers Rob David, Matthew Drdek, and Lloyd Goldfine clearly not only understand the TMNT, but they understood their changes through time and what made them work so well.  They've captured the essences of three different types of the TMNT and I would be hard pressed to say anyone else has ever matched this fantastic quality.
     They even perfectly portrayed the way the characters handle running into alternate versions of themselves- watching the 4Kids Turtles react to their incompetent 80's counterparts is continuously hilarious as they wonder who they are talking to when they break the 4th wall and speak to the watching audience.  Then the grim and gritty Mirage Turtles arrive and make the 2000's generation seem like nice guys.  Even the Shredder's realization when finding his better, newer, and very different self is priceless.  They've even thrown in a bunch of extra bits and characters in the background if you keep your eyes peeled.

     The 4th wall breaking takes a whole extra step when they realize that destroying the Mirage Comics' TMNT will destroy all of the iterations and everything created from them- heroes, villains, and everything in between.  It would be like Eastman and Laird had never created them in the first place.  A truly defining moment of brilliance in writing for television.

     Any fan of the TMNT should watch TMNT: Turtles Forever, it is a phenomenally handled and clever work of art.  It shows their change through time for new and different generations, it shows that they can all exist together and all be wonderful as well... even if it's the new Bay & Liebesman movie.  When 4Kids Entertainment made this, they succeeded in making something to bridge the gap between parents and children that enjoyed the Turtles in a way that could be shared together across generations.  The collision of three vastly different TMNT worlds has miraculously created something that is absolutely magnificent.  As it stands, this was the perfect tribute to TMNT fandom.

     For more of my Turtles posts [ TMNT ]


  1. Best TMNT movie? Sorry but Turtles Forever was TRASH. They treated the '87 Turtles like complete idiots who joked all the time, would just run into battle with no plan,made them cowards, whenever they DID do something good it was treated as a fluke, walked around people in broad daylight as if it were normal, etc. That wasn't them, that was a parody of them. Brilliant writers my ass. If they really wanted to do this movie then they should have done it RIGHT. It very CLEARLY favors the '03 turtles and just shits on the '87 ones EVERY SINGLE CHANCE IT GETS. FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.

    1. Apologies, this comment got caught in my spam filter. I fully agree it treats the 87 TMNT as a bunch of idiots, but have you re-watched any of those episodes recently? They kind of are inept, which is NOT saying the 03 group is superior at all. The captured the spirit and feel of each group (including the darker Mirage versions) individually.