Home Blog REVIEW: Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

REVIEW: Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

by Justin Bozung


From Director Randall Lobb comes the definitive documentary about the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Coming to DVD and VOD on August 12th, 2014, Turtle Power focuses on the origins of the Ninja Turtles as told on camera by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, but what makes Turtle Power stand above your average DVD extra features documentary is that Lobb has wisely also included commentaries from others that were also integral in making the Ninja Turtles the pop culture phenomenon of the '80s that they became.    Look for commentaries from not just Eastman and Laird, but also [Animated Series Producer] Fred Wolf, [1990 Turtles film alumni] Bobby Herbek and Steve Barron, [Puppeteers] Kevin Clash and Brian Henson and collection of the actors behind the '80s animated series and '90s live-action movies. Lobb takes us on a very in-depth journey through the creation of the Turtles to the early comics and then onto the toy line, animated series, and first movie, all the while wisely staying away from examining the live-action sequels in any detail.


Turtles fans shouldn't expect any mentions of the recent Nickeloden animated series or the upcoming Michael Bay Paramount film outside of some photographs in segway montages throughout the movie, and yet, this isn't a problem as given that the Turtles have been around for 30 years, this would have made Turtle Power a 3 hour movie.


Another facet of Turtle Power that really sets it above your average documentary is Lobb's attention to aesthetics. The film is assembled rather peculiarly. Instead of cutting from taking head to talking head to photograph to footage and back, Lobb gives his talking heads a bit of style, and the way that the film is cut together gives it a feeling of existing in memory. We feel like we're experiencing a set of memories and not just learning the story first-hand from those that lived it years later via a movie.  In addition, there is a treasure-trove of home video footage that is incorporated into the film as well, and this gives us the Turtle Power audience a feeling of actually being there in the moment with Eastman and Laird in the early days at Mirage Studios or on the set of the first live-action movie. There is a lot of good stuff in Turtle Power, and it really celebrates 2014 as the year of the Turtle.

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