Industrial Deals Best Books of the Month Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Periphery Fire TV Stick Happy Belly Coffee Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer angrybirds angrybirds angrybirds  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Segway miniPro STEM
Customer Review

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The LIVE Small-Screen Adventures of FIVE All-Green Avengers, August 22, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, Vol.1 (DVD)
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are like the 'Star Trek' of Generation Y: derided by critics, and yet beloved by fans; written off by entertainment executives, and yet repeatedly resurrected in multiple media; initially assessed as a fad, and yet still making waves 30 years later.

Since their first appearance in a May 1984 one-off comic book funded by monies from a tax return, the anthropomorphic bale* has appeared in three animated series, four feature films, an anime, numerous RPGs and video games, a live concert tour, and of course too many subsequent comic books to count! (Not to mention a rumored fifth film in 2014.)

Of all these incarnations, the most different (and, arguably, the least beloved) would be 'Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation,' a T.V. series that aired for only one season on Fox Kids in the late '90s. The first proper release of this series on home video in North America (in two volumes: the first releasing in September, the second to follow in early 2013) by Shout! Factory gives us occasion to look at this footnote of television history again (both literally and figuratively), and decide for ourselves where it fits in the TMNT universe (and in the broader media-scape).

For starters, the series is non-canonized, and thus officially, does not fit anywhere. Chronologically, it is supposed to take place after the events of the third live-action film. However, a myriad of discontinuities has been pointed out by fans, most notably the fact that The Shredder, who himself mutated into a "Super Shredder," and was ultimately defeated in the second film, is alive again, and is no longer in his mutated form.

In addition, several concepts were officially included as part of the 'Next Mutation' mythos that were incompatible with, if not diametrically opposed to, the larger TMNT establishment. Most famously or infamously, depending on one's point of view, was the character of a fifth, female turtle named Venus de Milo. Also, in a development stemming from her inclusion, Leonardo is given the occasion to state in an early episode that none of the turtles is biologically related. The writers of the show established this fact right away so as not to rule out a possible romantic relationship between Venus and one of the other four man-sized bipedal tortoises. (Thankfully, this romance never matriculated!)

The series is equally notable for all the new elements it brought in as well as for all the traditional elements it left out. As far as enemies go, Shredder and The Foot Clan, for all the fuss that was made about them, are given but a minute role to play. The new villainous duties fall on a roughly analogous bunch, Dragonlord and The Rank, along with a host of minor villains, most notably Silver (the last Yeti), Vam-Mi (an ancient, reawakened vampiress from the Far East) and Simon Bonesteel (a rare animal poacher who has grown rather eccentric (read: crazy!) from years of living his isolated lifestyle). And as far as allies go, fans will notice, with disappointment, the absence of April O'Neil and Casey Jones.

Besides the obvious backstory changes, the criticisms most heavily weighed on 'The Next Mutation' are the lack of production values, the alternately stiff acting/overacting and the ludicrous dubbing of some of the actors' voices (most notably, Vam-Mi's henchmen Bing and Chi Chu). My personal opinion (although I have not yet found a way to confirm it) is that 'The Next Mutation' was purposefully filmed (and subsequently produced) in an intentionally "pop art camp" style, similar to the 1960s Batman T.V. series. If so, this would go a long way in explaining why (1) the creative minds behind the show took it so seriously and (2) the public didn't get it. Ultimately, of course, the show flopped, and was cancelled after a sole season of 26 episodes; too bad, as the writers seemed to promise The Shredder a bigger role in season two, and had at least hinted at the inclusion of April and Casey.

After all is said and done, fan reaction to 'Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation' will always be divided. And the release of the series on DVD is certainly not going to change that. No: if anything, it is just going to add fuel to (both sides of) the fire! But it is important, I think, because it allows Turtles' fans to re-view the series (and younger fans to see it for the first time) and make up their own minds. Because--whether you love it or loath it--just like the rest of the TMNT universe, it's here to stay. And, unless something even more left-field comes along (which, I suppose, is conceivable), 'NT:TNM' remains the most unique manifestation of what may be the most unique cultural phenomenon of our lifetimes.

Until next time, "Cowabunga, dudes!"

*A group of turtles is called a bale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 3, 2013 8:28:30 PM PST
Margui says:
The TMNT were turtles not tortoises, because before their mutation they were aquatic turtles not land tortoises.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2013 9:03:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2013 9:08:31 AM PST
Thank you for helping to clarify, Margui. Indeed, the word "turtle" refers to any member (modern or extinct) of the biological superorder Chelonia, including aquatic turtles, while the word "tortoise" refers either (in North America) to terrestrial turtles only, or (in Great Britain) to any turtles other than sea turtles. In my review I referred to the Ninja Turtles as tortoises because they now live and operate on land (or in underground subway stations!), as opposed to in water. But, biologically (notwithstanding the effects of the mutagenic ooze), they are indeed, and always will be, (Teenage Mutant Ninja) Turtles, as you say.

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 8:45:30 AM PDT
sugahbamf says:
Actually, the show was a big hit at the time it was aired. It was cancelled by Saban over a money dispute.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2014 5:43:36 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 4, 2016 9:20:26 AM PDT]
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details



Location: Virginia, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 794,844