08 February 2013

DVD Set Review: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles": Season One, Part One

Rated: TV-Y7
Starring: Michael Sinterniklaas, Wayne Grayson, and Gregory Abbey
Released: May 22, 2007
Synopsis: Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello. Together, they are the Ninja Turtles.  Though they are strong and powerful, they must stay in the shadows because of their mutant appearance.  In this first half of their premiere season, they make friends with fellow fighter Casey Jones and the young and beautiful April O'Neil, have their first encounter with big-time villain Shredder, defend homeless people, and plenty more.  This series is based on the original comic book series from 1984 and features creative input from TMNT creator, Peter Laird.

Stories: 5/5
From the start, these episodes had me hooked.  Every story, including the multi-episode arcs, kept me wondering what would happen next.  Even though you know who will win, it still kept me guessing and involved.  No complaints in this department.

Production Values: 5/5
Nothing to gripe about here, either.  Excellent animation; wonderful voice work; amazing action sequences; just all-around great.

Moral Content: 4/5
This is where the set falters somewhat.  The Turtles' kindness towards the human race is great; they respect the homeless and forgive enemies to the point of letting them become not only friends, but allies.  There's plenty of violence--no surprise there--but it gets slightly intense in their battle with the Shredder; he repeatedly comes quite close to skewering each of the Turtles.  Other negative content comes in the form of using "shell" as a euphemism--even the opening song says, "It's a shell of a time!"--and female characters' outfits.  April O'Neil wears a bare-midriff outfit in almost every scene she is in, which even shows a bit of her backside when she is seen from the back once.  It seems that she was meant to be "eye candy" for young boys.  Other female characters show less skin, but still more than necessary.  Thankfully, the "cartoony" appearance of the characters makes it less sultry than it would be if it were live-action.

Conclusion: As a longtime superhero fan, it's no surprise that I would like something like this, right? Though this entire set is amazingly produced, I'm not sure why the makers chose to throw some unnecessary material into the mix.  Still, fans of action/adventure hero stories will certainly find plenty to enjoy about this.

Score: 4.5/5 

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