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LRTR: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 - 1993

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Mark Radulich

Mark Radulich

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Comer and Radulich are joined by a gang of mutant turtle lovers to discuss this fondly remembered series.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a film series based on the comic book characters of the same name created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The first film in the series, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was released in 1990 at the height of the franchise's popularity and was a commercial success. The success of the film garnered two direct sequels, respectively released in 1991 and 1993.

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. The film tells 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 The Shredder and his Foot Clan. Directed by Steve Barron and released by New Line Cinema, the film showcases the innovative puppetry techniques of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

The first sequel, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, expands on the Turtles' origin story while claiming the dubious distinction as Vanilla Ice's film debut. The film was dedicated to puppeteer Jim Henson. It also introduced the Turtles' human friend Keno (Ernie Reyes, Jr.) and Shredder's mutant henchmen Tokka and Rahzar.

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 a daimyo and a group of rebellious villagers.

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