Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo are four genetically mutated turtles who have grown into human-sized, ninja-powered crime-fighters living in the sewers of New York City. Under the tutelage of Master Splinter, these four teens have spent their formative years fighting their nemesis, Shredder, and his evil army. But the turtles world we have come to know and love is about to change. If you thought Shredder was bad, wait until you meet the newest TMNT foe: Dragon Lord! It will take all the power of the turtles to combat this new villain . . . lucky for them, they will have help from a new ninja turtle, a FEMALE turtle named Venus De Milo!
See all the exciting showdowns in the only live-action series based on the iconic Ninja Turtles franchise!
The only live-action series in the popular franchise, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation
ran on Fox Kids for only one season, 1997-98. It's not hard to understand why it proved so short-lived. Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo are portrayed by acrobats in rubber suits and masks that inevitably bring to mind The Creature from the Black Lagoon
, and other low-budget monster movies. The masks prevent the performers from speaking their lines, so a separate cast provides the over-the-top voices. The dialogue runs to a mixture of New York-accented "Dude!" comments and fortune cookie speeches: "You have betrayed your teaching and disgraced your ancestors." The villains, whether human or creature, speak in the inevitable Darth Vader basso. Next Mutation
introduced the female turtle Venus De Milo. The protégée and adopted daughter of Splinter's old associate Chung I, Venus embodies pretty much every pseudo-Asian cliché in the book. At times, the filmmakers seem to be striving for the campy appeal of the old Batman
TV series, but Next Mutation
lacks the requisite take-no-prisoners silliness. The combatants obviously pull their punches in the repetitive fight scenes, robbing them of any excitement. The original comics by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird relied on exaggerated poses and expressions that worked for drawn panels and animation, but don't translate to live action. The result is an inane mishmash that only the most dedicated Ninja Turtles
fan could love. (Rated TV Y7, suitable for ages 8 and older: cartoon-style violence, racial stereotypes) --Charles Solomon
(1. East Meets West, Part 1, 2. East Meets West, Part 2, 3. East Meets West, Part 3, 4. East Meets West, Part 4, 5. East Meets West, Part 5, 6. Staff of Buki, 7. Silver and Gold, 8. Meet Dr. Quease, 9. All in the Family, 10. Trusting Dr. Quease, 11. Windfall, 12. Turtles' Night Out, 13. Mutant Reflections)