Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (film series)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (film series)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series

2009 Blu-ray box set cover.
Directed by Steve Barron (1)
Michael Pressman (2)
Stuart Gillard (3)
Kevin Munroe (TMNT)
Produced by Simon Fields (1)
Kim Dawson (1-3)
David Chan (1-3)
Thomas K. Gray (2-TMNT)
Galen Walker (TMNT)
Associate Producer (3 Only):
Roberta Chow
Graham Cottle (1)
Terry Morse Jr. (2-3)
Executive Producer:
Raymond Chow (1-3)
Francis Kao (TMNT)
Peter Laird (TMNT)
Gary Richardson (TMNT)
Frederick U. Fierst (TMNT)
Written by Todd W. Langen (1,2)
Bobby Herbeck (1)
Stuart Gillard (3)
Kevin Munroe (TMNT)
Starring See Cast and characters
Music by John Du Prez (1-3)
Klaus Badelt (TMNT)
Cinematography John Fenner (1)
Shelly Johnson (2)
David Gurfinkel (3)
Steve Lumley (TMNT)
Editing by William D. Gordean (1,3)
Sally Menke (1)
James R. Symons (1,3)
Steve Mirkovich (2)
John Wright (2)
John Damien Ryan (TMNT)
Distributed by Warner Bros.
The Weinstein Company (TMNT)
Release date(s) 1990-2007 (original series)
2012 (reboot)
Running time 365 mins.
Country  United States
Language English

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a film franchise based on the comic book series of the same name by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The first film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, closely follows the storyline from the Mirage comic books, in addition to some of the more lighthearted elements of the cartoons. This movie presents the origin story of Splinter and the Turtles, their initial encounters with April O'Neil (Judith Hoag) and Casey Jones (Elias Koteas), and their first confrontation with Shredder and his Foot Clan. Another plot point for the movie is that The Foot have kidnapped Splinter, and the Turtles must rescue him from the Shredder's grasp. Directed by Steve Barron and released by New Line Cinema, the film showcases the innovative puppetry techniques of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

The first sequel, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, expands on the Turtles' origin story while claiming the distinction as Vanilla Ice's film debut. It is dedicated in memory of puppeteer Jim Henson. It also introduced the Turtles' human friend Keno (Ernie Reyes, Jr.) and Shredder's mutant henchmen Tokka and Rahzar. The original story was to include Bebop and Rocksteady at the insistence of the studio, but Laird and Eastman fought tooth and nail to prevent their inclusion, settling on Tokka and Rahzar as a compromise[citation needed]. The original ending to Ooze would also reveal the benevolent Techno Global Research Industries scientist, Jordon Perry (David Warner), to have been an Utrom[further explanation needed]. But due to budget constraints, plus the fear he may be mistaken for the character Krang, the plot twist was abandoned[citation needed].

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

The third film in the series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, features Elias Koteas reprising his role as Casey Jones. The plot revolves around the "Sacred Sands of Time", a mystical scepter which transports the Turtles back in time to feudal Japan, where they become embroiled in a conflict between the Daimyo and a group of rebellious villagers. This was largely panned by critics[citation needed].


The Turtles' latest feature film, titled simply TMNT, was released March 23, 2007. It is the fourth and final installment of the original series. Unlike the previous films, it utilized 100% computer-generated imagery, produced by Imagi Animation Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company. Chronologically, this movie takes place after the third movie. According to a press release, "the PG-rated movie will derive its tone from the original comic-book series and will be slightly grittier than the previous live-action pictures. The animation was created in Imagi's state-of-the-art facility in Hong Kong."[1] The teaser trailer was released July 20, 2006.[2] A second trailer was released January 17, 2007.[3] The storyline focuses on an ancient legend of four siblings and thirteen monsters, taking a giant leap from any preceding turtle movies yet gave small evidence to the fact that the film is a sequel to the 3 movies that had preceded it (including showing the magical sceptre from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, the canister the 'ooze' came from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II near the ending, and Shredder's helmet, resembling the one from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, even though it was thought to have been crushed in the original movie).

The movie takes place after Shredder's defeat, with the team essentially broken as Leonardo is training in Central America, Donatello and Michelangelo have jobs, and Raphael spends his time as the vigilante crimefighter 'Nightwatcher'. Leonardo returns when Max Winters, an immortal warrior who tried to take over the world 3,000 years ago, begins hunting for alien beasts and stone statues of his former Generals. However, tensions begin to rise between Raphael and Leonardo over the leadership of the team. The Foot Clan also make an appearance, with Karai leading them. It is hinted towards the end of the film by a comment by Karai that either the Shredder is not dead, there is a new incarnation of the Shredder in the Foot Clan, or that he will be resurrected. TMNT is possibly the final Ninja Turtle movie to be distributed by Time Warner due to the franchise being purchased by Viacom.


In an interview with Kevin Munroe, he stated that he would like to direct a possible sequel, possibly involving the return of the Shredder.[4]

On October 21, 2009, it was announced that cable channel Nickelodeon (a subsidiary of Viacom) had purchased all of Mirage's rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property.[5] Nickelodeon plans to develop a new CGI-animated TMNT television series and will partner with fellow Viacom company Paramount Pictures to bring a new TMNT movie to theaters. Both are expected in 2012.[6]

According to Deadline, Paramount and Nickelodeon have brought Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form on to produce the next film that reboots the film series. Bay, Fuller and Form will produce with Galen Walker and Scott Mednick.[7]

The studio originally hired Matt Holloway and Art Marcum to write the film for close to $1 million dollars but they left the project.[8] The Studio hired Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec to write the script for the film.[9]

Cast and characters

List indicator(s)

  • Italics indicate a transition to a minor role, such as an extended flashback, after the initial appearance.
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.

Character Film
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III TMNT
Leonardo Brian Tochi[A] James Arnold Taylor
Michelangelo Robbie Rist [B] Mikey Kelley
Donatello[C] Corey Feldman Adam Carl Corey Feldman Mitchell Whitfield
Raphael Josh Pais Laurie Faso[D] Tim Kelleher[E] Nolan North
Splinter Kevin Clash James Murray Mako
April O'Neil Judith Hoag Paige Turco Sarah Michelle Gellar
Casey Jones Elias Koteas   Elias Koteas Chris Evans
The Shredder James Saito[F] François Chau[F]
Kevin Nash (Super Shredder)
Chief Sterns Raymond Serra
Charles Pennington Jay Patterson
Danny Pennington Michael Turney
Keno   Ernie Reyes, Jr.
Professor Jordan Perry   David Warner
Whit Elias Koteas  
Mitsu Vivian Wu  
Yoshi Travis A. Moon  
Kenshin Henry Hayashi  
Narrator   Laurence Fishburne
Max Winters   Patrick Stewart
Tatsu Toshihiro Obata[G]  
Tokka   Frank Welker[H]  
Rahzar   Frank Welker[I]  
Lord Norinaga   Sab Shimono  
Walker   Stuart Wilson  
Niles   John Aylward  
Karai   Zhang Ziyi
General Aguila   Kevin Michael Richardson
General Gato   Fred Tatasciore
Colonel Santino   John DiMaggio
General Serpiente   Paula Mattioli

[A] Voice actor; suit worn by David Forman in the first movie, and Mark Caso in the other two.
[B] Voice actor; suit worn by Michelan Sisti in the first two movies, and David Fraser in the third.
[C] Voice actor; suit worn by Leif Tilden in the first two movies, and Jim Raposa in the third.
[D] Voice actor; suit worn by Kenn Troum
[E] Voice actor; suit worn by Matt Hill
[F] Voice provided by David McCharen
[G] Voice provided by Michael McConnohie
[H] Voice actor; suit worn by Mark Ginther
[I] Voice actor; suit worn by Kurt Bryant


Box office

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles March 30, 1990 $135,265,915 $66,700,000 $201,965,915 #234 #387 $13,500,000 [10]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze March 12, 1991 $78,656,813 $78,656,813 #605 $25,000,000 [11]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III March 19, 1993 $42,273,609 $42,273,619 #1,312 $21,000,000 [12]
TMNT March 23, 2007 $54,149,098 $41,459,878 $95,608,976 #998 $34,000,000 [13]
Total $310,345,435 $108,159,878(E) $418,505,313 $93,500,000
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.
  • (E) indicates total based on available numbers.


  1. ^ Imagi - Press release dated March 10, 2006
  2. ^ Trailer for TMNT (2007). (Requires QuickTime)
  3. ^ Trailer 2 for TMNT (2007). (Requires QuickTime)
  4. ^ Alex Billington (2007-03-04). "TMNT Sequel Planned, Could We See Shredder?". FirstShowing.net. http://www.firstshowing.net/2007/03/04/tmnt-sequel-planned-could-we-see-shredder/. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  5. ^ Laird, Peter (10-21-09). "palblog: Musings about the sale". http://plairdblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/musings-about-sale.html. Retrieved 10-24-09. 
  6. ^ The Mirage Group Sells Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(TM) to Nickelodeon | Reuters
  7. ^ Platinum Dunes Steers 'Turtles' Relaunch | Deadline Hollywood
  8. ^ Paramount Hires Marcum & Holloway For Fast-Tracked Big Franchise 'Ninja Turtles'| Deadline Hollywood
  9. ^ Paramount Taps 'M:I4' Scribes Appelbaum & Nemec For 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'| Deadline Hollywood
  10. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=teenagemutantninjaturtles.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  11. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (1991)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=tnmt2.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  12. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=tmnt3.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  13. ^ "TMNT (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=tmntcg.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 

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