I took a friend’s kids to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or TMNT as the kids and marketers like to say these days) over the weekend and am stunned to say it will likely be in my top 5 at the end of the year. No animated movies usually make my top ten so that’s saying something about TMNT that it reaches such a high level. TMNT is thrilling and riveting on many, many levels. Seriously.
The first thing that jumps out at you when TMNT starts is the amazing, groundbreaking animation. The creators of this film have taken new computer technology and run amok with it—the turtles and their subterranean environment seem “more” than real. It’s so good it doesn’t really resemble animation as it looks like real ninja turtles running around. I honestly think this film can be thought of as highly as Walt Disney’s Fantasia in 40 years.
The story was completely shocking to me as well. I thought it was just going to be about some goofy turtles that get into misadventures and try to save the city and each other. Wrong! Sure, there is some of that but the film also has some off the wall turns that I was stunned to see develop. First was when Leonardo develops a cancer scare and the film branches off with him going to the doctor and the rest of the turtles rallying around him. I mean, who would have thought a cancer storyline would be in this kind of movie? I didn’t. Another element of the story is about manic depression—which I thought was a little too much for kids but its handled in a tasteful way. You do have suicide but you don’t actually SEE the act of suicide so that was okay for kids. It’s good for them to be aware of these kinds of topics anyway. I won’t even go into the plot twist at the end but all I can say is don’t trust any of these turtles as one of them is not as they appear to be!
TMNT has it all: comedy, action, laughter, the best animation in 50 years, plot twists, death, turtle romance and many other elements that will leave you as slack-jawed as I was when it ended. TMNT is possibly the best film of the year for me. Oh, and by the way, you should probably look at the date of this post and realize if you believed any of this you were had, as it is April fools day! Got you.