I’ll be the first one to admit that after the amazing series that was Nickelodeon’s TMNT from 2012 ended, I wasn’t looking forward to a lighter, more silly incarnation of the famous ninja turtle brothers when I learned about Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But after watching this DVD, I did find myself enjoying the new show a little, but it’s hard not to feel like it’s a so-so follow-up as the previous series set the bar pretty high for the teen heroes.
This time the turtles are back in the 2D realm with a goofy artstyle that makes them look more like teenage mutant ninja frogs with shells (maybe a Battletoads remake series should have released instead?). The art also isn’t too kind to other major characters such as Master Splinter who looks pretty terrible here and is a lot more silly instead of being the solid rock he’s known for. I do like how they made April black this time around (makes sense as she was in the original TMNT comics from the 80’s), and how some classic villains return along with some new ones that are pretty decent.
Getting to the DVD, it features the the first seven episodes of the show which run around eleven minutes each. Starting with the pilot episode “Mystic Mayhem”, the turtles find out they’re not the only mutants running around New York when they encounter a weird looking, dog-like creature.
In another episode called “Donnie’s Gifts”, the heroes have to go up against a new villain named Meat Sweats, a mutated chef that literally sweats meat who is looking to tenderize the turtles. There’s other zany episodes such as one that has the heroes fighting against mean mascots on the streets of NYC just so they can get a gift for Splinter, with more wacky misadventures to check out afterwards.
The visuals and audio are good for a DVD, but it’s pretty clear this show would greatly benefit from a high definition Blu-ray release, as the colorful artwork and style would come in better and look more crisp. There’s also a lack of special features, so all you’re getting is 90-some minutes of turtle craziness.
I’m a TMNT fan, so despite this new series not being the best reinvention of the teen heroes, I still had a fun time watching Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You can tell the creators were trying to compete with other wacky styled versions of serious shows (cough cough Teen Titans Go!), and they’ve pretty much succeeded for better or worse. So grab some pizza with this DVD and get ready for some comedic ninja action for the family.