Note: this article contains an excerpt of a Wikipedia article, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie

For the 2007 film, see TMNT (film).
For the 2014 film, see Ninja Turtles (film).

Template:Infobox film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 1990 American live-action film adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise directed by Steve Barron. The film was followed by three sequels: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze in 1991, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III in 1993, and TMNT in 2007. This film presents the origin story of Splinter and the Turtles, the initial meeting between them, April O'Neil and Casey Jones, and their first confrontation with The Shredder and his Foot Clan. The film is distributed by New Line Cinema and outside the United States is internationally distributed by Golden Harvest.

When the New York City Police Department is unable to stop a severe crime wave caused by the Foot Clan, four vigilantes — Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello and Raphael — come forth to save the city. Under the leadership of Splinter and together with their new-found allies April O'Neil and Casey Jones, they fight back and take the battle to The Shredder. The film kept very close to the dark feel of the original comics, with several elements also taken from the animated series that was airing at the time, such as April being a news reporter, and the turtles having different-colored masks, as opposed to the uniform red masks of the comic. The film was the highest-grossing independent film of all time when it was released, and became the ninth highest grossing film worldwide of 1990 and the most successful film in the franchise.


As an unsolved crime wave rises in New York City, news reporter April O'Neil covers the reports and rumors of a mysterious 'Foot Clan,' a gang of ninjas that is plaguing the city. April continues to cover news of the crime wave, to the point where the Shredder, leader of the Foot, decides she needs to be silenced. She is attacked by the Foot in a subway and is knocked unconscious while trying to fight them off. Raphael has been following her to retrieve his sai - which he had lost in a previous battle - and easily fights off the Foot. He carries April back to the Turtles' hideout, unaware that he is being followed by one of the Foot. Splinter then recounts to an astonished April his and the Turtles' origins: once ordinary turtles living in the sewer, they were mutated into intelligent, human-sized creatures by a discarded canister of toxic waste. The Turtles escort April back home. Upon their return to the sewers, the Turtles find that their home has been ransacked and Splinter kidnapped. With nowhere else to go, the four distraught Turtles return to April's apartment and spend the night there.

Meanwhile, the Foot Clan continues to grow, incorporating a number of delinquent teens into their ranks. One of these teens is Danny Pennington, who is arrested for robbery. After bailing Danny out of jail, his father and April's supervisor Charles Pennington stops by her apartment, where Danny incidentally catches a glimpse of one of the Turtles in hiding. He then reports back to the Shredder, who has been searching for the Turtles.

At April's apartment, Leonardo and Raphael get into a heated argument. Raphael goes to the roof of the building, where he is ambushed by an army of Foot Clan ninjas. He is thrown unconscious through April's skylight, and the Turtles scramble to defend themselves from the Foot. Things look bleak until the arrival of Casey Jones, who helps them fight off the remaining Foot warriors. However, the building catches fire during the melee, and the Turtles have no choice but to retreat.

They retreat to a farm that belongs to April's family, and she learns that she was fired from her job. Raphael eventually recovers from his coma, and the Turtles train together vigorously, while April and Casey fall in love. At one point, Leonardo manages to make contact with Splinter through meditation, and after the Turtles witness him in a shared vision, they decide to return to New York to find and rescue him.

Despite being a member of the Foot Clan, Danny had secretly been taking counsel from Splinter, who shares with him the story of his master Hamato Yoshi's murder by a rival ninja named Oroku Saki. Splinter explains to Danny that during his master's scuffle and murder at the hands of Saki, the cage that he stayed in had been knocked over. After being freed from the cage he lunged at Saki's face. Grabbing on with his claws he proceeded to bite and claw Saki's right cheek. Saki, bleeding and enraged, knocks Splinter to the floor and slices off part of his ear with his katana. When Danny learns that the Shredder intends to have Splinter killed, he and Casey set him free from captivity.

Although the Foot were set to ambush the Turtles in the sewers upon their return, the Turtles manage to turn the tables on them. The fight escalates into the streets above and eventually onto a rooftop, where the Turtles finally face off against Shredder, but prove to be no match for him. Leonardo eventually scores a hit with his ninjato, but is ultimately disarmed and pinned to the ground. Before Shredder can finish Leonardo off, Splinter appears and challenges him to a fight. Splinter reveals to the Shredder, he knows he is in fact Oroku Saki, and that they met many years ago at the home of Hamato Yoshi. Splinter challenges him to remove the cowardly mask that he has been using to hide his shameful wound. Saki removes his mask and touches his scar, remembering how Splinter gave it to him. Saki then charges Splinter, who using Michelangelo's nunchaku, ensnares the Shredder's yari, leaving him to dangle precariously over the roof's edge. In desperation, the Shredder throws a tanto from his belt, but when Splinter reaches up to catch it, his grip is released and Saki falls into the back of a garbage truck. Casey then pulls the lever to activate the compactor, crushing the Shredder. As the police arrive on the scene, the teens inform them on where all the stolen goods can be found.

On the roof, the Turtles reunite with Splinter and, while trying to come up with a proper word to cheer with, Splinter suggests the phrase "Cowabunga." The Turtles unanimously agree, and Splinter declares, "I made a funny!" as the film ends.


Live actorsEdit

Voice castEdit

* All four actors who played the Turtles also appeared in cameos as minor characters, with David Forman (Leonardo) as a gang member, Michelan Sisti (Michaelangelo) as a pizza delivery man, Leif Tilden (Donatello) as a messenger of The Foot and Josh Pais (Raphael) as a passenger in a taxi.

‡ Josh Pais, who portrayed Raphael, is the only actor to portray a Turtle on screen and provide his voice.


File:Jim Henson and Ninja Turtles 1990.jpeg

Filming took place from July to September 1989.[1] The film's budget was $13.5 million.[2] Much of the production took place in North Carolina (with a couple of location shoots in New York City during the summer of 1989 to capture famous landmark areas such as Times Square, Empire State Building, and the Hudson River), at the North Carolina Film Studios, where New York rooftop sets were created. Production designer Roy Forge Smith and his art director, Gary Wissner, went to New York City four months prior to filming and took still photographs of rooftops and other various locations. While in NYC, Smith and Wissner were allowed to explore an abandoned Brooklyn subway line, as they could not gain access to a city sewer, but the structure of the subway had the same principle as a sewer. They also went to a water tunnel which had large pipes running through it.[3]

After design sketches were created, the construction team used the studios' backlot to create some of the sets. There were problems with the manholes that led to the Turtles' home, in that an eight-foot square room had to be constructed beneath them, but found water at about five-feet, and thus had to pour concrete into the underground rooms to keep the water out. In order to make the sewer authentic, a tide-mark was given, and it was covered with brick, plaster and stucco paint to give the walls a realistic look. The Turtles themselves were done by Jim Henson's Creature Shop in London. Jim Henson said that the creatures were the most advanced that he had ever worked with. The creatures were first made out of fiberglass, and then remolded out of clay.[4] They were produced as moulds to cast the whole body in foam rubber latex. The work at the Shop was completed within 18 weeks.[3]


Live Entertainment Inc. announced that the film would go to VHS via its Family Home Entertainment label on October 4, 1990. The suggested price was $24.99 per cassette. Pizza Hut engaged in a $20 million marketing campaign tied into the film. Items included advertising in print, radio, and television, and several rebate coupons.[5]

Alternate versionsEdit

The UK version was severely censored due to its censorship guidelines considering Eastern fighting weapons like the nunchuku. Alternate shots of Michaelangelo were used in order to conceal his nunchuku weapon, or omitted altogether - for instance, the show-off duel between Michaelangelo and a member of the Foot clan. Also, the death scene of Shredder was heavily cut because of this. The uncensored version was released on DVD in 2005 in the UK due to relaxations of the censorship laws.[6] The German theatrical voice-dubbed version is identical with the UK version, i.e. it omits the usage of the nunchuku. Furthermore, the German dubbing audio track contains several "cartoon-like" sounds in order to soften the violence of the fight scenes. Although the German dub of the film was released with uncensored picture on DVD in Germany, the German dub audio version with the "funny noises" was still kept, because they were permanently merged into the German voice-dubbing audio.


The film was a commercial success and was praised by the large fanbase, but received mixed reviews from critics.[7][8][9] Based on a sample of 38 reviews, the film holds a 44% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is exactly as advertised: one-liners, brawls, and general silliness. Good for the young at heart, irritating for everyone else."[10] Roger Ebert gave it 2½ stars out of 4, saying, "this movie is nowhere near as bad as it might have been, and probably is the best possible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie. It supplies, in other words, more or less what Turtle fans will expect."[11] The film was also criticized for its level of violence, but it was mostly stylized and not graphic.[11] The film was praised for largely staying loyal to the original comics while also integrating several elements from the cartoon series.

Box officeEdit

The film opened at the box office in North America on March 30, 1990, entering at #1 over the weekend and taking in more than $25 million.[12] The film turned out to be a huge success at the box office, eventually making over $135 million in North America, and over $66 million outside North America for a worldwide total of over $200 million, making it the ninth highest grossing film of 1990 worldwide.[2] The film was also nominated for awards by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.[13]

Home releaseEdit

In 1990, the film reached No.4 in home video market.[14] The film was released to DVD in Region 1 on September 3, 2002; it includes only minor special features such as a trailer and interactive menus. The film was also released in the MiniDVD format.

On August 11, 2009, the film was included in a special 25th anniversary boxset (25th anniversary of the original comic book, not the movie), released to both DVD and Blu-Ray formats. It also contains Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, and 2007's animated release, TMNT. No additional features, other than theatical trailers, were included.

In Germany, however, a "Special Edition" was released on March 12, 2010 with additional features, including an audio commentary by director Steve Barron, an alternate ending, and alternate takes from the original German release where Michelangelo's nunchaku had been edited out.[15]

Warner Home Video released the film along with Secret of the Ooze and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III as part of a "Triple Feature" on Blu-ray in June of 2012, minus the fourth film TMNT. Warner Home Video will also release the film separately on Blu-ray on December 18, 2012.


Main article: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (soundtrack)


Following the huge success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the box office, several sequels were created. Only a year later, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze was released in theaters and was a commercial success. In 1993, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III was released in theaters and the reaction was poor. After a 14-year absence from the theaters (due to development hell), a fourth film was released in 2007, though unlike the first three, this was a CGI animated film. A reboot was announced and will go for the working title, Ninja Turtles, set for 2014.


External linksEdit


Template:Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Template:Steve Barron Template:Use mdy datesja:ティーンエイジ・ミュータント・ニンジャ・タートルズ#映画

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.