Have you ever wondered what the original animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would look like in live action? Well, although Paramount got pretty close with Out of the Shadows, I think it’s fair to say that this new fan film might be even more accurate. Although some of you may take issue with the amount of CGI used in this project, others will probably appreciate just how good the turtles look. If you took issue with the design of the Ninja Turtles in their latest films, this should be a breath of fresh air in comparison.
Developed in a collaboration with the Dave (Digital Animation and Visual Effects) School and The Valencia College Film Production Technology Program, this project was more than just a fan film. The students who developed Green Harvest were putting their skills to the test by combining digital animation with physical acting in order to recreate one of the most beloved cartoon intros of all time. The result is an almost surreal iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that feels very similar to the type of work done for films like Sin City or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
The combination of actual acting with digital animation was fairly seamless, as it felt like the actors were living in a CGI animated world. According to the director, much of this film was actually shot on the Universal backlot in Orlando, Florida. By definition, a student project is not going to be professional, but this might be one of the highest quality student films I have ever seen. I’m sure some fans will take issue with a few differences between Green Harvest and the original animated series, but I’m hopeful that most of you will enjoy it.
While the credits role, we get a close look at all of the work that went into making this happen. If you’ve ever been curious about digital animation, this addition to the credits is a very nice feature. Oh, and how about that Star Wars reference in the title? For those who aren’t aware, Blue Harvest was the original working title for Return of the Jedi. Family Guy went on to reference the name in their first spoof of Star Wars. Being that turtles aren’t blue, this is definitely an appropriate and geeky title!