It’s hard to imagine now, but back in the late 1980s many kids had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fever. An animated TV series about a group of pizza-loving turtles who lived in the New York sewers and were a bit mutant due to some toxic substance, the show grew to become a cultural phenomenon as kids shouted the catchphrase ‘cowabunga’ at each other in the playground, bought comic books, trading cards, video games and toys and decided which one of the group – Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello or Raphael – they liked the most.
So it came as no surprise when a live-action movie of the show was made in 1990. And it’s pretty fun too, as the ‘boys’, with their Zen-like master, the rat Splinter, take on the evil Shredder and his henchmen. Packed with wisecracks and ninja moves, it is heavy on the martial arts (the scenes aren’t bloody, but if you have a little warrior in the house, be prepared for much kicking and karate-chopping of furniture after he’s viewed this) and light on plot, which kids will love even if (and probably because) their parents don’t approve. Two pretty awful sequels, The Secret of the Ooze and Turtles in Time, were also made, and a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, TMNT came along in 2007.
Is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Note that this is really aimed at the over-8s.
Young children may find Splinter the rat a bit scary, and the turtles themselves aren’t exactly attractive, either.
The Shredder is frightening.
As mentioned in the review, there is a lot of martial arts-style action.