Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Original Series (Volume 5)

Starring: Townsend Coleman, Jack Angel
Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of discs:
Run Time:
289 minutes



For ages 5 and up the box says, but since that would technically include adults, it is inaccurate: it is doubtful whether anyone over the age of eight would be interested in these 20 minutes long episodes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that were broadcast during the early 1990s when the whole fad was at its height.

(They are not to be confused with the recent animated show that revived the characters nor the big screen live action movies that unexpectedly proved to be huge hits back in the ‘Nineties.)

The concept is an original though: four turtles named after Renaissance painters have been turned into mutant-powered ninja weapon-wielding masked heroes with a penchant for pizza. However the show’s execution is uninspired since the animation is crude, the synth music cheap and the plots simplistic. In fact, what is most depressing about the show is how the Turtles almost always end up fighting the same group of inept villains led by a character promisingly called Shredder.

To be fair the animation isn’t as substandard as He-Man, that other animated TV show remembered with fondness by aging twentysomethingers, and the surfer slang patois spoken by the turtles (“Cowabunga, dudes!”) always manages to raise a smile or two. Also, some episodes do contain some unexpected flashes of wit.

Still, aging twentysomethingers in search of a worthwhile nostalgia trip will be sorely disappointed. Like the box says: only five-year-old boys need apply.

THE DISCS: No extras, but they somehow managed to cram in 12 episodes a whopping 289 minutes of them! onto a single disc! The 2.0 audio tracks are a bit tinny, but the problem might be the original source synth score and not the encoding. For such a recent show (come on it wasn’t that long ago!) the image is disappointingly mediocre with the occasional speckle and somewhat washed out colors. Five-year-olds wouldn’t mind though.

WORTH IT? If you’re a five-year-old boy, yes.

RECOMMENDATION: If you have any five-year-old boys, then buy it for them. Just don’t watch any of the episodes with them though – even if you do recall the show with much fondness.

NOTE: Depressingly over 190 episodes of the show were apparently made. It is depressing because I kinda felt sorry for the show’s writers who had to churn all those episodes with practically the same characters and situations over and over again. Then again, if that isn’t what TV is about, then what is it? (To be fair, the show did once in a while introduce new characters and villains, but the mainstay villains remained Shredder, Krang and their numbskull henchmen Rocksteady and Bebop.)



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