Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever (Review)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever

Directed by Roy Burdine and Lloyd Goldfine

Turtles Forever is the 25th Anniversary celebration that brings together different branches of the Ninja Turtle franchise in a way that is not only a good story, but a fun reference to the past 25 years of the franchise. Both people like me, who grew up with the older cartoon in the 1980s and the more modern fans who were raised on the modern cartoon will have plenty to make them smile.

For those of you who never really watched the modern TMNT cartoon, it is a slightly more realistic take with less crazy stuff and more actual deaths. Though they still have a bunch of wacky adventures and aliens and all that fun stuff. The Turtles still have the same basic personalities but they are less over the top.

When the 80s Turtles show up, their voices are different from the classic voices (due to union issues, IIRC) but they have the same animation. There are plenty of Easter eggs – including Tokka and Rahzar in it! We also see Irma and unmutated gang members (including unmutated Bebop and Rocksteady) back in the 80s Turtles’ universe. There are lots of other references to the old show, including the 80s Turtles finding all sorts of ways to use the terrain to take out bad guys instead of directly attacking them.

This is dubbed off of a TV broadcast because I am cheap and the DVD isn’t out yet! For purposes of this review, we will refer to the 1980’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as 80s Turtles (80s Leonardo, 80s Donatello, 80s Raphael, and 80s Michelangelo) and the modern TMNTs by their regular names. 80s Shredder will be referred to as such, and Utrom Shredder is the modern version. 80s Splinter and Splinter. Any other random characters (like 80s April O’Neal) will follow the same pattern. Isn’t that easy? So let’s begin. First up is the Roll Call:

80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – We all know how this goes: Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines, Raphael is cool but crude, and Michelangelo is a party dude! Raphael even breaks the fourth wall like he does from the old cartoon. The 80s Turtles are very fond of noogies.
Modern Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The modern Turtles are a bit more low-key and realistic, fitting in with their more realistic cartoon reality. Leonardo is the leader, Donatello is still smart, Raphael is hardcore, and Michelangelo acts similar to the 80s Turtles.
Utrom Shredder – Utrom Shredder is an alien disguised at a human who was the central villain for the first three seasons. Other Shredders are an ancient Shredder, Shredder’s daughter Karai, and a digital copy of Shredder called the Cyber Shredder. Utrom Shredder is brought back by 80s Shredder and concocts a plot to destroy all turtles throughout the multiverse.
80s Shredder – Shredder was Oroku Saki and was the enemy of Splinter back when he was a human. He was played by Uncle Phil from i>Fresh Prince of Bel Air James Avery back in the day. Shredder’s plans were always defeated by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Krang – Krang is the evil brain from Dimension X. He isn’t a race of brains, just a guy removed from his body, and thus he has his own robot bodies. Both of the classic Krang bodies are here, as are such Dimension X favorites as the Technodrome. Krang spends most of the film quibbling with Shredder, and has no Modern counterpart.
Modern Splinter – Master Splinter is the rat who was Hamato Yoshi’s pet, and raised the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and trained them to fight against the Shredder.
80s Splinter – 80s Splinter isn’t a mutated rat, but is Hamato Yoshi mutated into a rat. He trained the 80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Bebop and Rocksteady – Everyone’s favorite hench-mutants return and they’re as dumb as ever! Look for the cameos of their non-mutant forms.
Hun – Hun (real name Hunter Mason) is the leader of the Purple Dragons street gang. I thought he was named Han at first and wrote the entire review with “Han” and even had Han Solo jokes, but then looked things up on Wikipedia and everything was ruined. Damn you, Wikipedia. Now I have to make jokes about Attila the Hun. That’s no fun. Hun is eventually mutated into a turtle monster that resembles Slash from the 1980s cartoon.
Classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo are all hardcore black and white ninja masters! They are also the Turtles Prime, thus the origin of all Turtle Universes!

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Rare Movie Time!!! – Our Friend, Power 5 (Wurideul-ui chingu pawo 5) (1989)

[adrotate banner=”1″]From the depths of Korea comes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles piloting giant robots! Yes, in a live action movie mixed with cartoon robot fights! Our Friend, Power 5 (Wurideul-ui chingu pawo 5 aka 우리들의 친구 파워 5 )Besides directly ripping off TMNT, the robots are ganked from Go-Bots, most particularly the Gobots Guardian Power Suit. This copyright nightmare is probably never going to get a legit release in the US because no company wants to get sued into the ground. I don’t even know if it has much legitimate releases in South Korea, because the only shots of it seem to be from VHS. But you never know when funky DVDs or VCDs will show up. Until then, all we have are internet images, translated websites, and a lot of frustration. Just the thing rare cult movie fans love to hate to love.

KMDB sez:

On a star called ‘Battlestar,’ a class of turtles have evolved to form a civilized society. Shark, villain of the universe, attacks Battlestar. The princess escapes with the secret design plans of the Comentor Robot. On earth, Dr. Yang discovers how to bring garbages of the universe to earth and take care of them. Dr. Yang brings the princess to earth. Hyuk walks into Dr. Yang’s lab. Contaminated by gamma rays, Hyuk grows supernatural powers. Hyuk and the princess combine forces and fight Shark and his men. Dr. Yang and Dr. Gong finish the Comentor Robot to defeat Shark’s troops. The princess and her people return to Battlestar.

Unfortunately the site won’t let me access the stills, so screw KMDB!

Here are some scans of a promo-booklet ganked from here. (Click for HUGE!)

How about screen shots of the actual film? Got you covered, thanks to some Korean guy! Hooray!

Some toys were produced, this TMNT fansite has some photos:
More at GoGreenMachine, which now has a stand alone site at GoGreenMachine.org

Searching in Korean also yielded this site that has more photos of both of the robots used. Thank you, random Korean blogger guy!

You can rest assure that if TarsTarkas.NET gets a hold of a copy of Our Friend, Power 5, we will review the FRAK out of it!