Movie Name: TMNT
Studio: Imagi Animation Studio
Genre(s): Animated/Comic Book/Action/Adventure
Release Date(s): March 17, 2007 (Premiere)/March 23, 2007 (US)
MPAA Rating: PG
Leonardo has left the turtles and the team is shattered. As the turtles try to find their direction, Raphael sets out on his own search for justice as a masked vigilante. In New York, a man named Max Winters is collecting mythical creatures released from a portal…and the Foot is helping him. The Turtles must reassemble and put their differences behind them to stop Winters before it is too late…but Winters’ might have an ulterior motive for his actions.
Directed by Kevin Munroe, TMNT is a stand-alone Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated feature. The movie features the voices of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chris Evans, Patrick Stewart, Ziyi Zhang, and Laurence Fishburne. The movie was released to poor reviews but a relatively strong box office.
I watched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon religiously and saw the movies in the theater (ok, the first two…“Go, Ninja. Go , Ninja. Go, Ninja, go!”), but had pretty much outgrown the Turtles by this point of the release of this movie. The 2003 Turtles series was pretty strong, but this movie is more of a throwback to the original animated series with less humor.
The movie can’t decide its tone. It isn’t very funny (minimal roles for Michelangelo and Donatello cut down the humor) but it also isn’t serious enough to be “dark”. It needed a better balance and pick a direction for the film.
The other story based problem is that it feels like you missed something as a viewer. The film starts out with the defeat of Shredder (a far more compelling villain) and the Turtles are broken up. You don’t know any of this. It feels like a big screen sequel to a TV series or something and added to this is a confusing plot about an immortal, a dangerous dimension with monsters, stone statues, and a prophecy…it is a mess.
Likewise, the animation is also not at the top echelon of animation. It is better than a made-for-TV computer animated film, but it isn’t up the level of most computer animated films. TMNT is alright, but it isn’t anything that was revolutionary (especially for 2007).
TMNT is a misstep in a franchise that has a lot of missteps. The movie feels like a sequel should follow (it didn’t) but the story is so generic, that it didn’t really matter. The movie was a waste of talent and time. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did return to the screen in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 2014.