The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series ran from 1987-1996 and had over one hundred and ninety episodes. Millions watched as Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, & Raphael grew up from little turtle babies into mean, green, fighting machines. They could take on Shredder, Krang and any other bad guy that wanted to turn them into turtle soup. The sixth season takes on episodes 128-143 and spins them into a tiny two disc package from Lionsgate. Over a hundred episodes in, do the turtles still pack the punch they did back in 1987? As Splinter would say, “Be patient young ones, the answer will come.”
Let’s see, where were we in the TMNT saga? The last episodes of the fifth season saw the Turtles land up on a planet where turtles ruled and introduced us to a couple of new mutants named Groundchug and Dirtbag. True to form however, the turtles were successful in their exploits and sent Krang & Shredder back to the Technodrome. Season six opens with Krang & Shredder in the Technodrome, trapped in the Arctic. The Turtles are busy eating pizza, fighting crime and striking back at whatever plan the bad guys hatch at them each episode.
The first episode starts off on a good foot. We have General Tragg, a giant laser, and some rock creatures to delight our Turtles taste. Krang & Shredder were able to get the Technodrome out of the frozen Arctic but find themselves in the depths of the Arctic Ocean instead. The second episode involves the premise that you can take a microchip from a video game and use it to replace a chip inside Krang’s body. Of course hilarity and mayhem ensue with the Turtles saving the day once again.
Subsequent episodes get even worse in their childish antics. The third episode involves Super Irma. Irma, the bungling side kick…errr best friend of April is given “super-hero” powers. Episode four: a ray turns the Turtles back into turtle-babies. From Mud Mutants to Willie Wombat to a bad impersonation of Agatha Christie, we get a rather forgettable list of guest characters for the sixth season. The Turtleoids do return and Slash makes an appearance but unless my eyes deceive me, no Leatherhead or Casey Jones in sight.
The episodes as mentioned have been made very child like in appearance. The episodes of past seasons focused more on developing characters and story rather than silly gags to bring in the very young children. Sure the earlier episodes still had gags, we appreciated the little nods to the audience and it made for a nice break in the serious action. But by the sixth season, these gags are all over the place. These episodes were more like the Archie comics and less like the original creations that Eastman & Laird comics that many of us first came upon.
Fullscreen action at its best. Assuming that best is from a cartoon series in the early 90’s. The film is over 15 years old and while there is a decent job here to preserve it, you shouldn’t expect too much. The picture is okay, it is certainly better than watching it on vhs tape from back in the day.
The audio is about what you would expect. Dolby Digital English 2.0 is the flavor and the theme song sounds just fine. Action is good and dialog is as crisp as it was so many turtle moons ago. No subtitles are provided but would they ever really be able to provide subtitles to the way Krang speaks? I think not.
- Automatic Trailers:24×24: Wide Open with Jeff Gordon, Dish Dogz, and Doctor Strange.
Season six starts moderately well and finishes with something less than a hum. Even though there are increased childish antics in season six, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is still one of the top five kid’s action cartoon shows of all time. Despite the fact that these episodes have been released in a very confusing fashion, traditionalists such as myself have done everything they can to pick up each volume or season set. The set has adequate video and audio but no extras. However, This dvd set has everything the TMNT fan wants and no boring pizza recipes to boot. (hello, Season 4!). Recommended for anybody who enjoys ice cream pizza & rats that have moments of zen.
Memo to Lionsgate: please keep the current package design of the dvd set. The 4th season had a very odd outer shell which does not fit well with other volumes in the series, the fifth season was a rather crappy makeshift pizza box. The sixth season is just nice and normal. We don’t need gimmicks, we need episodes. One more thing and feel free to steal this idea for TMNT or any other cartoon. Under episode selection, make it like a book and under each page, list the episode and a brief synopsis of each episode underneath. I might have watched about 2/3rds of the 190+ episodes but I sure don’t remember them by heart. Perhaps at the end of the run, we could have one extra disc that will be an encyclopedia of the entire series with descriptions of episodes and when certain characters show up. But then again I guess, I am just a fanboy.
Rock Around the Block
Adventures in Turtle-Sitting
Sword of Yurikawa
Return of the Turtleoid
Too Hot to Handle
Nightmare in the Lair
Phantom of the Sewers
Donatello Trashes Slash
Polly Wanna Pizza
Leonardo is Missing
Mr. Nice Guy
- DvdVerdict.com: “Lazy, uninspired, and formulaic are three words I wager will be going through the minds of many viewers revisiting this series; not even Master Splinter, the disease spreading vermin that he is, has the skill to defend such an attack.”
- Ugo.com: “Really, that’s who this DVD set was made for – fans of the original series looking to take a trip down memory lane.”
- My review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Original Series (Season 4)