Making the Grades
I felt guilty as I sat alone late one evening watching a movie with characters that I have specifically cautioned my children about. Because I constantly encourage them to solve their conflicts through peaceful means, I feel the Turtles do not live up to this ideal. Yet the fact is, I have never sat through a Ninja Turtle movie... until now. I confess, I was somewhat surprised, but still not convinced.
The violence in this Turtle film (remember this is my first--I cannot comment on the others) is done more as a stunt demonstration, rather than a graphic display. Taking place during the 1600's in feudal Japan, there is no blood, and I don't think the Turtles killed one person during the film. Their objective seems to be to disarm their enemy rather than put them to death. For that I have to give a mark of credit.
However, I found it highly hypocritical to have one turtle explain to a child that fighting isn't right, and children should not be involved in fighting. Based on that comment, Ninja Turtles should have died with the dinosaurs! With a plot as thin as sewer water, the only reason for their existence is the action scenes, and the excitement children get from watching them.
Based on this movie alone, your children won't be corrupted for life, but I still worry about the effect of repeatedly viewing this type of material. The day after I viewed this, my three-year-old daughter returned home from a friend's house. "We played Ninja Turtles," she says, and knowing my feelings about the subject, adds, "They were killing, and I don't like to play killing games." It seems most of the kids are missing the subtle point that Turtles don't kill, they just defend.