Ninja Turtles Teenage Years Joyfully Reinvents Ninja Turtles (Review)

Ninja Turtles Teenage Years joyfully reinvents the Ninja Turtles (review)

Director Jeff Rowe has created a modern, edgy film that is very comfortable in its time. Cowabunga?

Without breaking the house, the Ninja Turtles produced and co-written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg had a nice little success in theaters this summer ($180 million at the box office, 600,000 admissions in France). If you missed this refreshing and stylish animated film, take advantage of it, it is now available on DVD and for rental on VOD.

Watch Ninja Turtles: Teenage Years on VOD on Première Max

Another (again!) adaptation of Ninja Turtles? In around thirty years, the characters created in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird have seen no less than a dozen transpositions on the small and big screen, with some rare great vintages and quite a few film objects. that we would prefer to forget. So why do fans and everyone who grew up with the 90s TV series seem to be passionate about this new animated feature film by Jeff Rowe (The Mitchells against the machines) ? Large project with a big budget (no less than $70 million), Ninja Turtles Teenage Years intends to open a new era for the franchise, and is immediately distinguished by its scriptwriting bias – telling the Turtles’ adolescence in the form of an action comedy – as well as its inimitable look – one would swear that the drawings were made in pen. A style that inevitably recalls the Spider-Verse, but Rowe and his teams explore graphic spaces that are deliberately more messy, combining content and form in their own way.

We therefore find the four ninjas aged around fifteen, who dream of exploring the world and getting out of the sewers where their master Splinter confines them most of the time, for fear that humanity will reject them. The film reinvents the origin of the Turtles and makes them frustrated and laughing kids, who are looking for their place in the world. Helped by April O’Neil, they will try to dismantle a mysterious crime syndicate, but an army of mutants will hinder them… Objective: save New York from destruction.

Very anchored in its time (the smartphone obviously plays an essential role), Ninja Turtles Teenage Years cleverly plays on scale relationships (we go from the sewers to the tallest buildings in a snap) and bears the humorous imprint of its producer, Seth Rogen (SuperSevere often comes to mind, in less bold). Fun, funny and ultra-paced, the story moves at full speed, sometimes at the risk of forgetting to characterize the Turtles, here almost interchangeable. Surely the big downside of the film. But if we agree to let ourselves be carried away and put aside the incessant – and perfectly heavy – pop culture quotes, Ninja Turtles Teenage Years turns out to be a supercharged adventure about adolescent troubles. We can bet that an inevitable sequel will be able to correct the minor flaws of this first opus.

By Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears. With the voices (in original version) of Rose Byrne, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen… Duration: 1h32. Released August 9, 2023

We met the director of Ninja Turtles Teenage Years: “We had to stand out and dare”

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