- Published: Friday, 04 August 2023 17:22
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Pixar elevated the animation industry with CGI which delivered polished and clean imagery, but films like Academy Award-winning film SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, its sequel ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE, and now TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM return to basics with raw and hand drawn-looking artwork. The style is fitting for the cinematic adaptation of these comic book heroes who are endearing and hilarious.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM is an origin story. Donatello (Micah Abbey), Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.), Raphael (Brady Noon), and Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu) live in the sewers with their father Splinter (Jackie Chan) hidden from the humans. After meeting April O’Neill, their first human friend, she helps the ninja turtles take on a group of evil mutants as a way to become heroes and be accepted as normal teenagers.
Based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, Seth Rogen’s Point Grey Production spearheads the relaunch of the crime-fighting turtles.
Rogen not only produced but originated the story and screenplay along with his partner/frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg, director Jeff Rowe, Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit. The result is an extremely hilarious movie with loads of heart. The teen turtle’s goal to be accepted by humans and roam among them is very relatable and makes them endearing characters to love.
There are tons of references to other IPs and pop culture trivia, and the turtles are fanboys themselves. Rogen and his partners come at the story as fanboys, and it’s evident in the final product which will satisfy new fans and the existing fanbase.
Seth Rogen revealed that the teen actors voiced their characters together in a recording booth and were allowed to act like teenagers, often improvising. The characters were previously voiced by older actors, so they cast teen actors Nicolas Cantu ("Leonardo"), Micah Abbey ("Donatello"), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), and Brady Noon (Raphael) and it paid off with an organic relationship that jumps off the screen.
Casting Jackie Chan as Splinter was also a great choice. The action icon delivers an endearing voice of reason as the turtle's adopted father. Ice Cube plays the mutant villain, Superfly with a recognizable voice
The animation style is different than anything we’ve seen before. It’s hard to describe whether it’s computer-generated or hand drawn. It looks like a bit of both. The style is fitting for the setting of the New York streets and the underbelly of the sewers.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM is a good time at the movies for all age groups. This cinematic iteration is by far the best of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES adaptation.