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Featured TV on DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutagen Mayhem

March 9th, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutagen Mayhem - Buy from Amazon

The latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series started in 2012. After the 1987 cartoon ended in 1996, there have been a number of attempts to reboot the franchise on TV as well as in theaters. Not all of them worked. (The less said about the Saban series, the better.) Can the latest series thrive where some of the others have failed?

The Show

The show has mostly the same setup as the earlier TMNT shows. There are four turtles, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. They were normal turtles that were mutated and now live in the sewers with their master, Splinter, who was a man who was mutated into a rat. In the first episode of the first episode, April O'Neil and her father Kirby were kidnapped by Kraang, who along with Shredder (and to a lesser extent, Stacy Hirano, his adopted daughter) are the main bad guys in the series. However, a lot of the series also deals with the freak of the week, which isn't surprising, as one of the main elements of the show is mutations.

Now that we have the basic setup out of the way, what episodes are found on the DVD?

  1. The Mutation Situation
    Season two begins with the Turtles celebrating their season one win over Kraang's forces; however, their victory wasn't as complete as they thought it was and soon Shredder has a load of Mutagen on its way. Good news: the Turtles manage to stop Shredder from getting the shipment. Bad news: the containers of Mutagen are instead dumped all over the city. One even hits Kirby O'Neil, mutating him into some strange bat beast.
  2. Follow the Leader
    While the Turtles are trying to track down the Mutagen, Stacy Hirano is tracking them. Okay, her name in the show is actually Karai. Stacy Hirano is the name of the character Kelly Hu plays in Phineas and Ferb and a recurring joke I make. She's has Foot Bots, new robot ninjas, that learn from their opponents. With these, she might be able to defeat the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and earn the approval of her father.
  3. Invasion of the Squirrelanoids
    This episode is an homage to Alien, but with mutant squirrels instead. It's not as bad as it sounds. In fact, it's kind of fun.
  4. Mutagen Man Unleashed
    The episode starts with SRMFF, or Super Robo Mecha Force Five, a parody of late 70s early 80s Anime shows that the Turtles quickly become addicted to. Unfortunately, that fun ends and the episode begins. In it, The Pulverizer, a mutated former masked vigilante from the first season, becomes even more mutated and the Turtles have to stop him from attacking April.
  5. Mikey Gets Shellacne
    The worst episode of the DVD. Michelangelo gets mutated acne and the others have to find an antidote.
  6. Target: April O'Neil
    Karai gets an advanced Foot Bot and wants to test it... on April. It's her way of getting revenge against the Turtles, by killing their friend. Fortunately, April O'Neil is hard to kill, especially with Casey Jones lending a hand.

The Extras

Extras begin with Mutation of a Scene, which looks at a scene from each episode in storyboard, animatic, and final form. In total, these six scenes run more than 30 minutes. There is also a three-minute Channel 6 News Special Report, which looks at the first evidnce for the Creatures of the Night.

The Verdict

The latest incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is better than some of the previous attempts at the franchise. Perhaps if you really loved the original cartoon and despise change, then you won't like this show. Otherwise, if you are a fan of TMNT, then Mutagen Mayhem is worth picking up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Sean Astin, Jason Biggs, Kelly Hu, Nolan North, Rob Paulsen, Josh Peck, Kevin Michael Richardson, Mae Whitman, Roger Craig Smith, Greg Cipes, Hoon Lee, Keith Silverstein