ReviewsTV/Cartoon Series

TMNT – “The Croaking” Review

“My name is Napoleon Bona-Frog, and I see you’ve got some totally sweet ninjutsu skills” – Napoleon Bona-Frog

 

When Michelangelo makes another mess while trying to have fun, the others have had enough.  They order him to clean up, but the youngest brother gets fed up with being bossed around, and runs away after saying goodbye to Icecream Kitty  Deep in the woods, he encounters a mutant frog named Napoleon Bona-Frog who fancies himself a ninja in training.  Mikey bonds with his new frog friend over their shared exaggeration of ninja ability, and Napoleon takes the turtle to his frog fortress.

Meanwhile, back at the house the others clean up Mikey’s mess, wondering where he went.  They come across reports of green monsters trashing campsites, and head out to look for him.  However, Mikey and Napoleon have returned to the frog fortress, where the turtle meets the rest of the Punk Frogs: Rasputin the Mad Frog; Genghis Frog; and the leader, Attila the Frog.  At first, the group is less than trusting of the reptile in a mask, but upon learning of April and Casey, Attila welcomes Michelangelo into their fold.  Unfortunately, he also sends Genghis with an army to “liberate” the other ninja turtles from their human captors.

 

As Leonardo and the others return from their search, they find the farmhouse trashed and Genghis’ army waiting.  After a short battle, they escape inside, but the frogs learn of their friendship and turn on the turtles, too.  The turtles are beaten down, and Casey and April are captured, forcing the boys to go after the band of frogs.  With the humans now locked up, the frogs turn on Mikey, as well, and reveal their plan: To take back the land that humans stole using whatever means necessary, including mutagen.

 

However, the others arrive just in time and keep the frogs from unleashing their plan.  Napoleon proves he learned something from Michelangelo, and frees the hostages.  As the fortress burns, the battle rages, and everyone is forced to flee.  In the chaos, April and Casey save Attila, forcing him to rethink his position on humans, and promoting Napoleon to frog general.  Everyone departs as friends, but Rasputin’s mutagen is unaccounted for, and the trouble it will cause is far from over.

 

When it was revealed that Jon Heder would be voicing Napoleon Bona-Frog, there was no mention made of any of the other Punk Frogs being included.  It was an excellent surprise, then, to see that the whole amphibian team was present and accounted for in this episode.  Their career may have been short-lived in the 1987 series, but that didn’t stop them from becoming a pretty cool and unique aspect of the show.  Why would other animals exposed to humanity after becoming mutants band together and do what they could to survive.  Just like their former selves, these Punk Frogs were misguided and eventually accepted the turtles as friends.  It was great to see, and hopefully they will be back.

 

One downside to this, though, was that the show is still dealing with “Michelangelo is immature” as if nothing has developed on that front since episode one.  After all the growth for his character, and others in relation to him (especially Raphael), it would be nice if all of that wasn’t immediately undone every time there’s another Mikey focus episode.  He’s made leaps and bounds, even if he is only 15.  It would be nice if that was acknowledged and carried through the episodes instead of abandoned for the sake of plot.

 

Of the four “exile” episodes, this one was by far the best.  It was reminiscent of some season one and two episodes, but it didn’t feel like the rest of season three, where the audience is just waiting and waiting and waiting for them to be done with the farmhouse.  It was instead a great episode featuring classic characters and action done in a way that makes it feel like the time to return to the city is almost here.  Hopefully the next few episodes don’t disappoint on that either.

 

Rating: 7.5/10

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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