Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time (1993)

3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Ok Turtle costumes but still look pretty fake

Bad story, overacted

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III:  Turtles in Time

Studio:  Golden Harvest Company/Clearwater Holdings/G.H. Pictures

Genre(s):  Martial Arts/Superhero/Action/Adventure/Family

Release Date(s):  March 19, 1993

MPAA Rating:  PG


Oh, Donatello…I think I’ll miss you most of all…

A magical scepter has Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo traveling back to feudal Japan to try to rescue April O’Neil (Paige Turco). Finding themselves labeled as demons, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles become caught up in a local civil war and battling to save a village from samurai warriors. As the Turtles fight for survival, Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) and Splinter find themselves having to tend to the ancient Japanese soldiers who took the Turtles place in the future.

Directed by Stuart Gillard, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time (or sometimes just Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III or even TMNT III) was a follow-up to the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze. The movie received heavy criticism but despite that did well at the box-office.


Do you think we’re as lame as we look?

While the first movie was decent, the second film was pretty awful. This third film is almost unwatchable. Any of the danger of the first film is gone, and the movie is very flat and dull. While the second film of the movie at least featured supervillains and Shredder, this movie didn’t have much going for it in that realm also.

Visually this movie doesn’t match the other films of the series. The movie’s effects were not done by Jim Henson’s company. The result is decent facial work on the Turtles, but they continue to look cheesy. I don’t know if the decision to switch production companies effected the direction of the story, but the movie also doesn’t use the previously fun Casey Jones in a good way.


(In a raspy voice) “Casey…do you remember when you were half-way cool?”

The Turtles, Casey Jones, and April really come off with no direction and one dimensional. I know from the cartoon (less so in the original comic book series by Eastman and Laird), that the characters are rather one dimensional, but they could have really worked to make them likable. I did think the idea that the people of Japan believed they could be demons, but I wish they had expanded on this.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time fortunately was the end of this franchise (sort of). The movie and the characters were starting to slip in popularity and big screen exposure like this didn’t help. The Turtles didn’t die out but they did become much lower key soon after this. Another Turtles movie didn’t appear until TMNT in 2007 which was CGI and a big screen live action film followed in 2014.

Related Links:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II:  Secret of the Ooze (1991)

TMNT (2007)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:  Turtles Forever (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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