So I found the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Amazon Prime a few years back… and while I thought it was funny I didn’t think I would have the time to sit and do a whole rewatch. But of course Covid levels everything out. So I am here with nothing but time on my hands. I decide to look in it again. To my surprise, there are 10 seasons. I do remember running home from school so I didn’t miss it on television… and it seemed like I had been watching it a few years… but if I had 1000 guesses… I wouldn’t have said 10. But it was created the same year I was born… so even when I was old enough to understand what was going on… it had been on a while… Quite possibly reruns. I figured it would be fun to watch one of my older show faves. And give a couple of thoughts on it as an adult.
So with Amazon prime… All ten seasons were available for purchase. So I said… Why not? *Kanye Shrug*. Funny story. I keep forgetting that I am older and that much more time has past than I think… because my nephew came to visit… who was 6 at the time. He wanted to watch TMNT. So I turned this on.. and kept it moving… and he was baffled. I asked him what the issue was… and he said… “This is not the turtles I watch.” I laughed aloud and cried a bit inside. Good news though. When I asked him if he wanted me to turn it off… he said… “No… I want to find out about this.” It had to be the theme song. 34 years later. The theme song is still lit.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, retroactively also known as TMNT 1987 is an American animated television series. It was the first television adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. (I looked into buying some of those comics… Amazon has it all.) Set in New York City, the series follows the adventures of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their allies as they battle the Shredder, Krang, and numerous other villains and criminals. The property was changed considerably from the darker-toned comics, to make it more suitable for children and the family. Makes sense since… the comics are pretty dark… The show helped launch the characters into mainstream popularity and became one of the most popular animated series in television history. Action figures, breakfast cereals, plush toys, and other merchandise featuring the characters appeared on the market during the late-1980s and early-1990s and became top-sellers worldwide. The ’90s was a fun time to be a kid… unless you hated the ninja turtles. Then even as a 6-year-old… I questioned your tastes. By 1990, the series was being shown daily on more than 125 television stations, and the comic books sold 125,000 copies a month. There is a Netflix series that chronicles the rise of the TMNT action figures. Check out The Toys that Made Us. I am going to say… you were a nobody if you didn’t have a favorite turtle. But it was hard being a girl and loving TMNT. But to answer your unspoken question… LEONARDO… MIKEY was a close second. I am sure pizza sales went up during this time.
So unless you have been living under a rock… you would know all 4 turtles. But for those who do not… Let’s talk about them:
- Leonardo: Turtle with the blue bandana who wields two katanas. He is the oldest of the group. Being the leader of the Turtles, he is the most serious member of team, and the most talented fighter. Voiced by Cam Clarke. Totally should have stood in line at comic con to see him. Leonardo’s bravery, determination, and willpower makes him a great leader. And due to his heroic and selfless nature, Leonardo is willing to put his own life on the line to keep his friends and family safe.
- Donatello: Turtle with the purple bandana who wields a bō staff. He is interested in science and is constantly tinkering with various inventions. He is responsible for the creations of most of the Turtles’ high-tech equipment, including the Turtle Van, the Turtle comms, and the Turtle Blimp. Voiced by Barry Gordon, but is some Season 3 episodes and a Vacation In Europe Side season episode voiced by Greg Berg. A running gag was that most of his inventions exploded or otherwise malfunctioned, but it was still Donatello who came through to save the day most of the time.
- Raphael: Turtle with the red bandana who wields two sais. He’s sarcastic, often jokes, and seems to get irritated easily. Voiced by Rob Paulsen, but in Vacation In Europe Side season, voiced by Hal Rayle, and voiced by Michael Gough in Season 10. Unlike later versions of Raphael, he is not a hothead, and is the main source of comic relief. He’s generally lazy and doesn’t want to fight at times all while remaining sarcastic. I maintain that I got my sarcasm from watching Raph work. Raphael gets along with the other turtles better than his later incarnations, but he sometimes can mock them or butt heads with them.
- Michelangelo: Turtle with the orange bandana, who wields two nunchuks but later wields a grappling hook. He is the most relaxed of the group, mostly interested with pizza and having a good time. He used a lot of slang, and is the source for many of the catch phrases such as “Cowabunga!”. He was voiced by Townsend Coleman in every episode. He is often teased by his brother Raphael in many episodes. He loves to skateboard, surf and party. Michelangelo has a free-spirited character, with a hopelessly innocent and romantic heart. There is also a recurrent theme of him exceeding the low expectations that others have of him – and sometimes even his own expectations of himself. Now, let me tell you guys about this grappling hook… There was a lot of controversy at the time when getting permission to show the episodes in other countries about the violence. Here in the USA… there were a lot of parents that bought their kid nunchuks because they wanted to be like Mikey…. (Why would you bu these for kids and plus not watch them is beyong me.) So when kids started beating each other up… they changed the show. Michelangelo could still be seen with the nunchuks… but he rarely used them. Much to my kid disappointment. The grappling hook was odd. They called it… called the “Turtle Line” that served as Mikey’s signature weapon for the rest of the show’s run. I am going to say… doing the rewatch that he rarely used the nunchuks on someone… so it was weird. But I am sure that the live action movies had more to do with it.
- Hamato Yoshi/Master Splinter: A strict and wise sensei, he is the mutant rat who trained the Turtles in ninjutsu. He was voiced by Peter Renaday. As opposed to later depictions, this version of Splinter treats the Turtles like students more than his sons, as well as being Hamato Yoshi and becoming a rat, whereas in most other versions, he is Yoshi’s pet rat that becomes humanoid. When he’s not calling the Turtles by their names he calls them his “students” or “my turtles”.
- April O’Neil: A red-headed Channel 6 TV reporter who discovers the Turtles’ home in the sewers. She befriended the Turtles in the very first episode. She is also known for wearing a yellow jumpsuit, except for the Red Sky episodes. April O’Neil was voiced by Renae Jacobs. This is the first version where April is a news reporter and it continued in other versions. She often puts her self in danger just to get her story and hardly had any love interests in the series. In the final two seasons, she became a freelance reporter.
- Shredder/Oroku Saki: Arch-villain of the Turtles and Splinter. The Shredder wears a suit covered in metal blades, a cape, and a metal kabuto helmet and menpō mask which he rarely takes off. Voiced by James Avery, (Quick Question… is your favorite villain voiced by Uncle Phil?) but in some Season 3 episodes, voiced by Dorian Harewood. Unlike other incarnations, this Shredder is associated with a disembodied alien called Krang, and plans to take over Earth along side him with his armored fortress the Technodrome, which is also there headquarters. He was the leader of the foot clan.
So I was entertained by the show during my rewatch because I never remembered it being so far-fetched. The technodrome, the neutrinos, Dimension X. But as a kid… it works. Why not?
So as I normally do… I am going to pick a few episodes that I remember clearly and were fun to rewatch. Since there are 10 seasons… I am going to try and narrow down the list. But I may get a bit carried away. My dad had a red bandana that I used to play Raphael for the longest time. Good Times. Also, I had a few VHS tapes with some of these episodes on them. So it is fun to watch it without having to rewind. (Ah. Youth.) LOL… the show is very 80’s on down to the animation.
Anyway, let’s jump into it. In no particular order:
- The Case Of The Killer Pizzas (Season 2, Episode 6) – Nothing like Pizza Monsters to start off the list. Leave to Krang to bring something over from Dimension X. (Let me tell you how funny it is hearing that name again as a 30 plus year old.) A pizza bake off turns nefarious when Krang sends the eggs of Xenomorph-like creatures, which look like meatballs, in order to assassinate the Turtles. Baxter Stockman then rigs the pizza contest so that he and Shredder can deliver the deadly pizzas to the Turtles. However, due to heavy customer demands the Turtles end up getting ordinary pizzas, and the booby-trapped pizzas are out somewhere in New York! (I can feel the kid in me squealing. Like watching tv at my dad’s job back in the day.) This is significant in that it’s one of the few instances where the Turtles actually team up with Shredder, along with Baxter, to take out a common threat since the killer pizza monsters want everyone’s blood. I have difficulty explaining why I love this episode so much. Nostalgia… sure… Because it’s not one of the best, and it’s got a large number of animation/continuity errors that make it unintentionally funny in places. The whole premise of the episode is silly. Hence why my kid self enjoyed it. The whole ridiculous meatball-egg/pizza-monster thing is handled as a genuine peril, (my guess is it had to simple enough for kids to follow athough I doubt that 7 year old me was following the story that deeply.) but I will say Raphael commenting “It’s the creature that came with the pizza!” would make a good horror movie title made me laugh.
- Enter The Rat King (Season 3, Episode 9) – NYC has a rat problem. Who knew? After Burne Thompson is attacked by rats on his way to work, he demands April do an editorial on the city’s rat problem. The Turtles are also experiencing rat issues, since one of the rats somehow managed to eat an entire pizza mix. And after April visits them, rats chew through her tires and chase her and Irma down the street. It was enough to gross a young me out. Splinter was the only rat that I could dig. But during the broadcast, the lights cut out and April vanishes without a trace. She has been kidnapped by a mysterious sewer-dwelling man known as the Rat King, who has taken exception to her unflattering descriptions of his rodents. He throws her in a cage and demonstrates his ability to control rats with a flute. He lives with rats… EWWWW…. Splinter joins the Turtles in searching for April in the sewers, but he starts hearing a strange melody that causes him to act oddly. The Rat King, upon hearing from April that Splinter is a rat, intercepts him in the sewer and brainwashes him into attacking the Turtles. All four are unable to stop Splinter, partly because they are reluctant to hurt him. It was a shock to my young mind. When Splinter is unable to fight off the Rat King’s influence, Leonardo declares he won’t defend himself against his master… but tricks Splinter into breaking a large water pipe, sweeping away the Rat King and temporarily breaking his hypnotic hold.
- A Thing About Rats (Season 1, Episode 3) – In the New York City sewers, Splinter recovers from a confrontation with Shredder. The Turtles search for the Technodrome, hoping to force Shredder to transform Splinter from a mutant rat back into a human. In another part of the city, scientist Dr. Baxter Stockman tries to convince the Ajax Pest Control company to invest in his new invention: the Mousers, robots that can catch rats. The president of the Ajax Pest Control company sends Baxter away, saying that the Mousers would cause unemployment for the pest control companies. (Older me found that way too funny.) However, Shredder asks Baxter if they can work together. Back at the deserted mansion where Shredder has set up base, Shredder orders Baxter to create a master control device to control the mouser army he plans to build. (You see where this is going right?)Shredder returns to the Technodrome and begins to mass-produce Mousers. plinter is meditating in the sewers, until he is attacked by twelve Mousers sent by Shredder. With his martial artsskills, Splinter is able to fight off the Mousers one by one, but is outnumbered – until the Turtles, who had sensed Splinter was in danger, arrive and help him defeat the Mousers. Afterwards, they notice that each robot is inscribed with “Baxter Stockman, Inventor.” The Turtles and Splinter visit April O’Neil’s apartment, where she looks up Baxter Stockman on her computer, finding a photograph and his address. The Turtles head for Baxter’s house. Baxter, who has finished the master control device, is followed home by Shredder’s Foot robots because Shredder fears that Baxter “knows too much.” Luckily, the Turtles fight off the Foot robots before Baxter is hurt. The Turtles tie Baxter to a nearby lamp post and Raphael convinces Baxter to divulge that Shredder is at the deserted mansion. Suddenly realizing how easily the Mousers can find Splinter, the Turtles hurry back to April’s apartment. When they arrive, they find April and Splinter using kitchen utensils to fight for their lives against the 1,200 arriving mousers. The Turtles, April, and Splinter all escape the apartment just as the building collapses as a result of the Mousers’ destruction. Is it cheesy? Sure. I enjoyed every moment of it though. They manage to defeat the Shedder. (Michelangelo gets help from Krang.)
- Pizza by the Shred (Season 3, Episode 26) – I had this on one of those VHS Tapes. Wore that tape out. To this day, my parents loathe that theme song. The Turtles (Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello) are seen working on the Starcruiser that was left to them by the Neutrinos. But this is a Michelango episode… He is the only one not helping. He shows up later with a pair of Fuzzy Dice as an accessory piece for the Starcruiser, the other turtles scold him for not doing his part in taking care of it. When Michelangelo explains that he was admiring a Belly Board for sewer surfing and thus would like to purchase it, he is unable to get any money from his brothers and quickly becomes fearful that he will need to get a job. Michelangelo’s predicament worsens when the other turtles remind him that can’t get one due to him being a Mutant, leaving Michelangelo broken-hearted. While watching Television, Michelangelo sees a job listing for a Pizza Parlour known as “Weird Pizza To Go,” and becomes elated to get it in order to get his Belly Board. (Poor Mikey. We have all been there trying gather money for a new purchase… and asking parents.) Unknown to Michelangelo however, Weird Pizza To Go is actually a false Pizza Parlour being run by the Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady, as a trap to catch the Turtles in. While disgused as a human, Michelangelo applies and receives the job after informing Shredder (whom he does not recognize since Shredder is hiding behind a door and using a hatch to see through) that he has a car. Michelangelo takes the Starcruiser as his vehicle and proceeds to delivering pizzas to many customers, including Vernon (who tips his rudely). While trying to overpass a Traffic Jam, Michelangelo tries to use the flying capabilities of the Starcruiser to deliver Pizzas faster, but is shocked and horrified to learn that Donatello didn’t finish fixing the vehicle’s “Air Brakes”. Fortunately, the Starcruiser’s engine stalls while in mid-air before it can crash into the ground, and thus Michelangelo is saved. (I loved this episode as a kid… because honestly… who would mistake the turtles for humans? Apparently everyone in NYC.) While contemplating why Michelangelo would steal the Starcruiser, the other Turtles decide to order Pizza after their homemade blender fails. They notice an ad for Shredder’s Weird Pizza To Go, and decide to order from there. When Shredder recognizes it’s the Turtles ordering when Donatello mentions his name, he plants his trap’s bait on their pizza by using a homing device disguised as an Anchovy in order to find their lair. When Michelangelo returns (with the Starcruiser somehow repaired), he is given the order to deliver the Turtles’s pizza to them. Fearing how his brothers would react to him getting a job against their wishes, Michelangelo asks April O’Neil if she can deliver their Pizza to them instead. o the Turtles misfortune, their phone booth is picked up and taken away, therefore they decide to show up at Weird Pizza To Go in person. Believing it’d be better to pick it up there. Just as the Turtles leave though, April shows up too late and does not see the other turtles or a phone booth, and so believes Michelangelo mixed up the street address for an avenue address. Needless to say the turtles triumph… but this is a weird episode. No idea why I enjoyed it so much…
- Turtle Tracks (Season1, Episode 1) – It is the first episode of the 1987 show. As dusk falls in New York City, news reporter April O’Neil is broadcasting for Channel 6 News about crime waves. She has an assignment to deliver a news report on mysterious thefts of high-tech scientific equipment from various laboratories across the city. During the investigation, she learns that the thieves are ninjas. She goes with her film crew to stake out a scientific laboratory that she believes to be the site of a potential destination … only to be seized by a street gang. April’s film crew panics and takes off. April makes a run for the canister and slips it into the sewers and is chased by the thug mob under the streets of New York City through an intricate maze of sewer tunnels. Down in the sewers, the street gang members prepare to attack April, when four big talking turtles arrive and help April by defeating the street gang members. It is our introduction to the human Rocksteady and Bebop. This introduced TV audiences to the turtles, their world, their iconic supporting characters, and their the Shredder. With Splinter explaining his and the Turtles’ origins to the reporter, April O’Neil, the impact of this series can still be felt in contemporary TMNT content.
- Get Shredder! (Season 8, Episode 1) – Krang informs Shredder that the site of the old 1964 World’s Fair would make a great hide-out. Krang believes that the pavilion housing the Hall of Science might still contain equipment that they can use to conquer the world. The Ninja Turtles pick up a report on the police scanner of a sudden break-in that is being perpetrated by characters whose descriptions match Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady. At the sight of the break-in, The Turtles find foot prints belonging to Krang’s Bubble Walker and a brochure for the 1964 World’s Fair. The TMNT hustle over to the site just as Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady are about to take possession of the Hall of Science Pavilion, only to be greeted by laser fire from Berserko, the current resident. Shredder takes off and Krang gets captured by the Turtles. When Berserko hears the name “Krang” he orders his Cyberdrones to remove him from the Turtles’ possession. Later, when Shredder realizes that Krang is missing, Bebop and Rocksteady tell him that they last saw Krang being grabbed by the Turtles. Berserko reveals himself to be Drakus, Krang’s former weapons engineer who helped him design the Technodrome, and whom Krang had betrayed, blasted out of Dimension X, and whose homeworld he had destroyed (apparently Krang didn’t want to risk any of Drakus’s relatives seeking vengeance on him for his treachery). As a result, Drakus wants revenge. (I mean… they are villains… lol) Shredder plants an explosive device in the basement of Channel 6 and threatens to blow it up unless the Turtles rescue Krang from Berserko. One minute after Shredder’s deadline the Turtles successfully rescue Krang. Relieved to see that the building is still standing, Raphael makes the mistake of suggesting that Shredder had been bluffing. With that, declaring “I NEVER bluff,” Shredder blows the building to rubble! The Turtles attack Shredder and company, defeat them and tie them up. Unfortunately, rather than deliver them to the police, they have no choice but to leave them so that they can stop Berserko’s Annihilator, which is now up and running, from destroying Manhattan. After successfully defeating Berserko, the Turtles escape with the new villain in tow as the Annihilator plunges into the Hudson River and explodes upon impact.
- Casey Jones – Outlaw Hero (Season 3, Episode 23) – Crimes are committed – a mugging, a bakery robbery and a nighttime burglary at a sports store – and all are dealt with by a mysterious man named Casey Jones, who wears a hockey mask and vows that “all lawbreakers” will be punished. The Turtles are heading up to the surface to get pepperoni when Jones spots them and attacks. He eventually concludes that they aren’t criminals, but that they are Martians (which he finds terrifying, apparently). In the Technodrome, Krang is showing off his newest invention: a mechanical bug that can control any machinery. He’s planning to use them to create the Supersize Knucklehead, so Rocksteady and Bebop let the bugs loose in the street. The Turtles find Jones harassing a homeless man and stop him, but he gets away. Raphael doesn’t see why Jones is their business, but Donatello points out that since he knows kung-fu, comes out of the sewers and fights crime, people will blame his activities on them. (Because 3 seasons in, they still have to tell humans that they are heroes. Insert eyeroll.) While April is covering the vigilante, a bug causes her motorcycle to come to life and buzz around her. Fortunately the Turtles arrive to drive it off, only for all the cars on the street to start driving themselves around and appliances to chase people down the street. Unfortunately, this is also happening in high-tech labs, where the equipment starts building the supersize Knucklehead. I believe this is becoming a common thing at this point. We have seen attacking appliances before. But just as a fridge is about to crush Michelangelo and Donatello, Jones rushes in and smashes all the runaway appliances. Donatello spots the mechanical bug clinging to one of the machines, and the Turtles follow it in hopes of locating Shredder. They use the Porta-Tracker to locate the place where Shredder and Krang are, and arrive just in time to see the “giant economy-sized Knucklehead,” driven by Krang. Jones chases the Knucklehead down the street, climbs on board and begins attacking it with a hammer, while the Turtles are left to deal with the wild machines.
- Shredder & Splintered (Season 1, Episode 5) – The people of New York City have reported sightings of the Ninja Turtles, mostly exhibiting panic and hostility. April O’Neil is not happy about it, because it is not her story. The Turtles reassure her that she will get the full story and agree with Splinter that it is time to put The Shredder away. (This is funny because the show runs for 9 more seasons.) Shredder contacts the Turtles at their sewer lair via their TV to show off his Retromutagen Ray Generator, a device that reverses mutations as he tests it on Scrag (a bat mutant). He claims it can transform Splinter back into Hamato Yoshi and invites them to “come and get it.” Splinter says that he must go alone, because Shredder can use the device to transform the Turtles back into ordinary turtles. The Turtles try to use the Starcruiser left by the Neutrinos to transport Splinter to the Technodrome. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Splinter try to break into the Technodrome. The intruder alarm sounds, and Shredder—saying it is too soon and Krang “hasn’t come to its senses” yet—sends the Foot robots to destroy the Turtles. While the Turtles fight the Foot robots, Splinter slips inside the Technodrome in search of the Retro Mutagen Ray Generator. The Turtles, watching from a remote control camera, see Krang heading for the Trans-Dimensional Portal, where he contacts General Traag, leader of the Stone Warriors from Dimension X. General Traag tells Krang that the troops are ready and waiting. Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael arrive to stop Krang from opening the Transdimensional Portal, but Krang uses the Molecular Amplification Device to expand to twenty times his size and chases them out of the Technodrome. He smashes a hole through the street and climbs out, pursued by the Turtles. Nothing like Gian robots in NYC. I mean yeah… I can see it keeping my attention as a kid. It is just funny to me now. Donatello arrives aboard his new creation: the Turtle Blimp, created from the Neutrino’s star mobile and Baxter Stockman’s spare parts. He is closely followed by April, Vernon Fenwick, and their film crew. April videotapes Donatello and Leonardo as they slip inside Krang’s robot to destroy his Molecular Amplification Unit, even as Krang catches the Turtle Blimp glider and prepares to crush Michelangelo and Raphael. Leonardo can’t cut out the growth mechanism with his katana, so Donatello smashes it with his Bō staff. As Krang begins to shrink, Donatello and Leonardo rush out before they are crushed, and hop on the glider.
- Michelangelo’s Birthday (Season 3, Episode 31) – The show starts in the Turtles’ Lair, with Michelangelo making a cake out of stacked pizzas and singing a birthday song to himself. But when he walks into the living room, where his brothers are, they eat the pizza-cake, and are acting like the day is any other day. He tries desperately to call attention to his birthday, but is brushed off. When an upset Michelangelo leaves the room, his brothers give each other high-fives about how they fooled Michelangelo, in anticipation of a surprise party they’re planning. (Poor Mikey. Everyone deserves a party.) In the Earth’s core, Krang has forced Shredder out of the Technodrome and Shredder is complaining about it. A Rock Soldier has knocked over some welding flux he was working with, that turns the lava into a puddle of goo. Krang sees it as an opportunity for a horrible plan. Back in the Lair, the turtles and Splinter are training. Michelangelo is kind of dropping a few hints about his birthday, but his family doesn’t seem to be getting any of them. Krang has created an anti-mutagen that he believes will return the turtles back into their previous form, as ordinary turtles. Krang sprays some on one of the Rock Soldiers, but it fails. But when he throws the whole bottle at three soldiers, they become the rocks they once were. Krang believes that the only way for the anti-mutagen is to spray is on at least three of the turtles together. Later, back in the Lair, Michelangelo is giving his family one last chance at guessing what day it is. But since they’re still pretending, they still pretend not to know, and Michelangelo runs out of the room. Raphael and Donatello are amused by Michelangelo’s reaction, but Leonardo begins to feel that they are stretching the joke too far. But Raphael insists that what they’re doing is ‘too much fun.’ In Michelangelo’s room, he writes a note to his family. When he’s done, he runs away. (Teenagers are hella dramatic.) Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady decide to trash one of the streets, which they believe will attract the authorities, which will attract a friend of the Turtles’. That friend will call the Turtles, and the Turtles will try to stop Shredder. The Shredder then tells Bebop and Rocksteady to starts destroying the area and causing mass panic. April alerts Donatello to the news that Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady are destroying everything near the Channel 6 building. But as Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael are leaving, they notice that Michelangelo isn’t with them. Splinter answers their queries, reading out loud the note that Michelangelo left behind. Leonardo talks about how he knew they should have ended the joke about them forgetting Michelangelo’s birthday sooner, and Donatello says that it looks like Michelangelo surprised THEM before THEY could surprise HIM. Splinter says that he will look for Michelangelo, while the others go stop Shredder. The Turtles go topside, and fight, but Shredder’s attempts to spray them are less than successful. The three villains eventually escape by scampering over a garbage truck, but stumble across a disconsolate Michelangelo wandering by himself. They strap Michelangelo into the Flushomatic machine that will slowly slowly pours an acidic mutagenic compound onto his body. Shredder orders Rocksteady to contact the turtles via Michelangelo’s Turtle Com, ordering them to meet Shredder within ten minutes, or Michelangelo will be “flushed.” But the plan is squandered when the Mikey gets out of the restraints and reunites with his brothers. Back at the lair, Michelangelo makes one last attempt to tip off his family about his birthday, when Splinter calls him over to where a curtain has been drawn over a room. Behind it is the surprise party they’ve been planning all day.
- Back to the Egg (Season 4, Episode 13) – After Michelangelo finds a special flyer for a pizza sale, the Turtles head out to buy dinner. On the Technodrome, Krang is displaying his latest invention: an age-reversing serum, which has the capability to de-age a living being into a helpless baby. He demonstrates this on a chicken; when the chicken eats the serum, it turns back into an egg. However, he doesn’t want Shredder to administer the serum to the Turtles. He is instead giving the task to Captain Krulik, an intergalactic circus ringmaster, who wants the infantilized Turtles for his show. Can you see where this is going? I could. Even 8 year old me… enjoyed my turtles more when they were teenagers. The Turtles arrive at Posh Pizza just before Krulik, Shredder and Kroolix’s tracker Grillox do. Krulik squirts the serum on the pizzas, but only manages to do two of them before Shredder “accidentally” causes him to spill the rest into a lobster tank. Leonardo and Michelangelo suddenly shrink down into small children, and begin throwing food at each other. As ordered by the waiter, Raphael and Donatello take their de-aged brothers back outside, where Krulik and Shredder attack them. The two pint-sized Turtles wander away from the fight and straight into traffic, only narrowly being saved by Donatello and Raphael, who act as their “parents” for the time being. It was a stressful time for me. At the lair, the children are placated with pizza and coloring books while Donatello tries to figure out what to do. But when left on their own, they hop on a Cheapskate and begin zipping around the streets, ending up where “Auntie April” works. The rambunctious kids accidentally destroy her computer and trash her office. Meanwhile, Donatello and Raphael find the leftover, thrown-out pizza slices that their brothers had been eating, in hopes of creating an antidote. But when they return to the lair they discover the other two are gone. April tells Donatello that she has the two child-sized Turtles, and agrees to look after them until Donatello can make an antidote. She places them in the audience of a children’s TV show, only for Shredder and Krulik to show up and attempt to kidnap them. Fortunately even small mutant turtles are still dangerous, and successfully deal with of the “bad guys.” Donatello successfully develops the age-reversal antidote and puts it on twin pizzas. Donatello and Raphael rush into the set and toss the antidote-laced pizzas up to Leonardo and Michelangelo. After some cajoling and even the usual parental promise of dessert if they behave (in this case, ice cream), they finally eat them, and turn back to their teenage selves. With all four Turtles now back at their correct sizes, the defeated villains flee the scene. It was pretty still as an adult. But it takes very little to entertain me.
So it was a fun trip back into the 80’s and early 90″s. What was funny was that it managed to keep my nephews attention. But I think that was solely because they were the ninja turtles. There were a lot more continuity errors that I thought there would be but nothing that takes away from the show. And I mean… I have no idea how animation at the time was… so I won’t harp on that too much. I did enjoy it because it was a good show… but I am sure nostalgia plays a part in it. But not as big as you may think. The voice acting is still top tier all of these years later. 4.5/5 stars COWABUNGA DUDES.