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Turtles Forever

Perhaps one of the greatest pieces ever created for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans came in 2009 during the 25th anniversary.  4Kids Entertainment held the television rights to the turtles at that point in time, and had just recently completed their long running reboot of the TMNT television show.  So, for the anniversary, the company produced a brand new film: Turtles Forever, giving fans of every incarnation a chance to see their heroes in action.

After the turtles are reprimanded by Master Splinter for being careless and caught on camera, they break into a Purple Dragon hideout, only to come face-to-face with a different version of themselves.  The 2003 and 1987 turtles meet for the first time, with the older incarnations having been involved in a teleporter accident, which also brought Shredder, Krang, and the Technodrome to 2009.  While the turtles worry about their own doppelgangers, 1987 Shredder teams up with the Utrom Ch’rell, but Ch’rell quickly takes the Technodrome for himself, leaving Shredder high and dry.  Meanwhile, Hun – now mutated – attacks the turtles, forcing them into 1987 and capturing 2009 Splinter.

           Turtles Forever Meet

When all eight turtles finally arrive back in 2009, they find Ch’rell had turned the Technodrome into a floating death sphere that can destroy entire cities with a single stroke.  The turtles try to stop him, and Ch’rell reveals his true plan to be destroying all turtles across the multiverse by locating the Turtles Prime.  Ch’rell and the Technodrome head off in time and space, with the turtles in hot pursuit.  Eventually, they arrive at the Prime universe, where they meet the Mirage turtles of the original comic.

The hard-nosed turtles of 1984 don’t particularly like any of their other incarnations, but they agree to help stop Ch’rell to save the multiverse.  With the help of Splinter, Karai, April, Shredder, and Krang, the heroes are able to take on Ch’rell, but it’s only because of an unlikely accident from Bebop and Rocksteady that Ch’rell is obliterated by the Technodrome, and gone forever.  With the worlds safe, all the turtles return to their own timelines, and in the end Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird are shown completing the first issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Battle Scene Turtles Forever

This movie is, perhaps, the ultimate nod to the fans.  It showcases three different versions of the turtles in the same battle, and really does credit to their personalities.  The comic versions were much more violent and dark; the 1987 incarnations were goofy, and hardly heroes as one would expect from ninja; and the 2003 version tried to meld the two extremes effectively.  It truly was the ultimate turtle team-up, and was done in a way that really gave the fans something to cheer about.  (It was also probably one of the last projects that 4Kids Entertainment was really involved in before their money troubles started, which ultimately ended in bankruptcy and a fire sale of licensed properties.)

The movie wasn’t perfect, however, and most notably was the somewhat lackluster plot.  While Ch’rell’s reintroduction was good, the dimension hopping was never really explained effectively, leaving the whole thing with a sense that there was no reason for the turtles to all be together, save for the sake of nostalgia.  Of course, nostalgia has its place, and sometimes all fans want to see are their favorite characters in action one last time.  It just wasn’t necessarily the kind of quality that should have been devoted to a project of this magnitude.  At only 75 minutes, the movie was barely long enough to showcase the two former incarnations (and still, not terribly effectively).  It would have been nice to make a real movie out of, perhaps with a limited release, and give some screen time to some of the versions that Ch’rell showed to exist throughout various dimensions.

           Turtles Forever

Overall, it was a decent movie.  Though it had its silly, groan-worthy moments, it was a great nod to the fans and the series during an important anniversary.  If the upcoming 30th anniversary does anything as effective, then 2014 will be a great year to be a turtle (fan).

The Author

Zach Gasior

Zach Gasior

Zach Gasior is an author and English professor at Baton Rouge Community College in Louisiana. His short stories have been published around the world, and he has two non-fiction books in print. He has contributed articles to several different sites, and has been a fan of the turtles since he was two years old, and his favorite ninja turtle is Raphael.

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