Celebrating the 28th Anniversary of the release of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
I still have a scar on my index finger from when I was young. I threw my talking Mickey Mouse plush into my framed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster. It’s the one where all 4 of the turtles lift the sewer lid. The glass shatters, my tiny hand cuts open, and they put stitches in my fingers. I was 4 when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was first released in theaters. It came out 28 years ago today. Since its release in 1990, certain things stay with me now in to my 30’s. Including scars.
To celebrate the 28th Anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I decided to rewatch it. The movie deserves to be celebrated. It’s incredible that the movie was ever made! It was turned down by every major studio, but it’s release, it became the highest grossing independent film of all time.
I knew there was only 1 way to celebrate, so shout out to Slice, my local pizza place for making this happen!!!
Here are 90 thoughts I had while rewatching the 1990 release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
1- I can’t believe I was only 4 when this came out. I remember it SO well!
2- New Yorkers have always look down at something. In the 90’s it’s newspapers.
3- Sid Vicious shirts in the 90’s mean you’re up to no good.
4- It’s New York City so no one thinks twice about the Foot Clan in a baby van. Yeesh.
5- Burger King Promotion!
6- April works for Channel 3 in this version.
7- She wears a yellow raincoat, but this is the only time she wears yellow. Most other times she wears red.
8- Rats don’t phase New Yorkers, April! You quietly scream on the inside when one runs over your feet.
9- Raph glimpsing out from the sewer is still awesome.
10- The soundtrack is very 90’s. The end song is called “T-U-R-T-L-E Power!” by Partners in Kryme and oh my god. There’s a music video. Oh my god.
11- My fiancee says, “It stands out that it wasn’t put out by a big studio.”
12- Donatello- “Bossanova.” Oh, Donnie. You aren’t.
13- Raph said, “DAMN!”
14- I’m glad Raph calls it a sai. If he didn’t I’m not sure I would ever know what his weapon is.
15- Until this point, I called it a “weird fork.”
16- The turtles and all the puppetry is incredible. And still holds up.
17- A guy in a bulky turtle costume can fight.
18- And dance.
19- And skateboard.
20- “122 and an 1/8th.” I need to find this intersection.
21- Michelangelo is a born and raised New Yorker. He would never order Domino’s.
22- Then again… it’s only $10.
23- Raphael saw Critters. I don’t remember this one at all!
24- They were at Central Park West and 61st.
25- Casey Jones just tried to kill that guy with a golf club.
26- Raph is right about the Jose Canseco bat.
27- Casey Jones hates Punkers. Casey Jones is small minded in this movie.
28- I started saying “Whiffer” all the time after seeing this.
29- The cab driver is pretty accurate.
30- Raph Swears again!
31- I get that its a character thing, but if Splinter talked faster this movie would be half as long.
32- April’s place is at Bleeker & 11th.
33- When April’s boss says “He sticks his head in those things!” and it’s just headphones.
34- The Ninja Turtles have 1 black and white TV they found, while Shredder has like 19.
35- So it’s not like Shredder threw a knife at his only TV.
36- Danny got arrested real fast. Like, impressively quick.
37- The newspaper headline says “It’s Worse!”
38- April just misses her train. At like 3 am. That super sucks.
39- The first fight is at the City Hall train stop. Today, this would be off the N,R,W trains.
40- Hey, Raph got his Sai back! This plot is airtight guys!
41- It’s impressive how this was shot. In this scene there’s a closeup of Splinter’s leg while his face is in the mirror.
42- April freaking out is the only appropriate response to seeing the turtles and Splinter so far.
43- Origin story time!
44- I always wondered why the film looked so different in this scene.
45- Here we learn the Turtles are 15 years old!
46- The baby turtles look so bizarre.
47- Their first word was “Pizza!”
48- “Radical” is a very advanced word for baby turtles.
49- Splinter names them in this version. There is still no explanation of his love of art.
50- April’s antique store is called “2nd Time Around Antiques & More”
51- When I was younger I still hadn’t seen Rocky, so I didn’t get the impressions.
52- The Foot Clan broke in with a circle shaped hole in the door?
53- Angry Raph always gives me chills
54- Judith Hoag is a great April. She looks like the April from the original comics.
55- Danny wears eyeliner in his mugshot?
56- Why would they have a Danny and Donnie? It gets confusing. Name Danny anything else!
57- Anthony. Name him Anthony.
58- Is this really the only shirt that Anthony owns?
59- Anthony runs into the Bleeker St. Uptown 6 train station.
60- Featuring Oscar winner Sam Rockwell.
61- A guy is gust playing Bass. He’s bad news.
62- The Foot Clan headquarters is a shanty town in “Ready Player One.”
63- Shredder looks surprisingly awesome in this.
64- He has metallic zebra pattern shoulder pads.
65- It’s cooler than it sounds.
66- Why is Charles always in April’s apartment. He needs to back off an live his life.
67- Especially if he’s willing to fire her.
68- She’s a reporter! Why silence her?!
69- Ugh, Anthony sucks so hard.
70- I like that Mikey and Donnie have a thing for when someone fights. “Let’s go!”
71- Now that I’m older, I want a sequel where the “Tortoise and the Hare” is a prequel to Usagi Yojimbo.
72- Raphael says “Damn!” again, but his voice cracks.
73- April must be super rich to afford 2 rents in the city of that size.
74- And a skylight!
75- I always love the scene with the nunchuckery between Mikey and the Foot Soldier.
76- The music cues are really good at heightening the tension!
77- Moonlighting is another reference I get now!
78- I would chop a carrot with a sword too if I had one, Casey.
79- Casey is way too aggro with April and everyone!
80- I love that by this point in the movie, everyone is so invested that we can take a Splinter “Jedi” scene with the 4 turtles around a campfire completely seriously.
81- The farmhouse is REALLY far from the city.
82- This is probably the most accurate representation of the comics so far, only because they pulled the farmhouse story right out of the books.
83- Ugh. Danny/Anthony is given nice art a gift and he just folds it and puts it in his pocket. Ungrateful.
84- As ninjas, they don’t master silence. It’s always “Hiyaah! Yaaaah!”
85- The end fight is on the only abandoned block in all NY.
86- Casey casually crushes the Shredder to death with an “Oops!”
87- Good for you, April! Get that raise!
88- I love the easter egg, “go to the East warehouse in the Lairdman Islands.”
89- Splinter ends it all with a “Cowabunga!”
90- The movie still holds up!
The movie really holds up. It’s a bit silly at times, but by the end it’s totally not weird to be crying for 4 turtles losing their father figure rat. I love this movie, and always have a reminder of it as a scar on my finger.