Making the Grades
New York City is constantly under attack, or so it seems. From apparitions in Ghostbusters to Godzilla and King Kong, someone is always tearing up the famous town. It's no surprise then that once again the Big Apple is besieged with villains intent on taking over the place.
In this film, ancient stone statues come to life and roam the streets in search of alien monsters that slipped into town through an open portal. So who you gonna call? Michelangelo (voice by Mikey Kelley), Donatello (voice by Mitchell Whitfield), Leonardo (voice by James Arnold Taylor) and Raphael (voice by Nolan North) -- the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT).
But alas, not all is well in the underground sewer where the mutant reptiles live with their Ninja Master Splinter (voice by Mako). Sibling rivalry is tearing the team apart and before they can save the world, they have to repair their brotherhood.
Leaner and meaner than their old Saturday morning incarnation, the Turtles still love pizza, skateboarding and shouting "Cowabunga," but this new computer animated rendering gives a more realistic look to the foursome. Like the comic book, cartoon and movies before it, this tale is skimpy on storyline and heavy on action. There is plenty of cartoon-like violence including hitting, kicking, swordplay, and the use of other hand weapons. Guerilla soldiers attack villagers in the jungle and a vigilante character takes on criminals without police authorization. Although the violence is bloodless and only one person appears to be killed, the conflicts are almost nonstop. Adult themes are also more prevalent as the Turtles' friend, April O'Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her cameraman Casey Jones (voice by Chris Evans) now share an apartment.
Master Splinter does his best to wisely discipline the teens and restore sibling solidarity, but for young viewers, mesmerized by the nonstop martial art antics, the scant message can be easily lost.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Martial arts require a lot of discipline. Do you think that aspect of the art is adequately portrayed in the film?
What does Leonardo learn about leadership? What skills and qualities does a leader need to develop? How can a person inspire respect in others?