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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Action > Comedy > Martial Arts > CGI > Fantasy > TV > Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Retreat! (2015/Nickelodeon DVD)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Retreat! (2015/Nickelodeon DVD)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: C Main Program: B+


I have been a lifelong fan of the TMNT franchise and have seen many good and bad (cartoon and live action) television attempts based on the fabulous foursome over the years but have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this new-ish series by Nickelodeon. What is cool about this release (which features episodes from Season 3) is that there are several tips of the hat to the original film which features the Turtles, April, and Casey Jones all hiding in April's secluded farm house in the woods where she grew up in.

The first episode on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Retreat! (2015), Within The Woods, almost re-creates a few scenes from that original film only with a more cartoon-ish angle of course. A Ninja Turtle is injured and lying in a bathtub healing while another Turtle sits by his side (in the film it was Ralph but here its Leo), Splinter has gone missing, April is drawing sketches of the Turtles training, Don is helping Casey Jones fix an old Truck - these are all powerful images to the lore of these characters that I wish the recent film wouldn't have ignored.

A biggest change with the characters is that Donatello is now infatuated with April O'Neil, which I don't remember happening in any other incarnation. It was always more Michelangelo that was interested in her in the films and the shows in a romantic sense, even in the recent film, which was produced by Michael Bay. The Turtles are also shown here as weak fighters, with several instances with the adversaries hand their butts over to them was also interesting. The animation in the show is pretty cool and almost videogame-like with a shell-animated look and limited character detail.

Seven episodes are included on the disc and they are all really entertaining and had me engaged the whole time. Episodes include Within The Woods, A Foot Too Big - where the Clan faces off against a female Big Foot and an odd hunter codenamed 'The Finger', Buried Secrets where the group finds one of Krang's buried ships underneath April's farmhouse with an unlikely visitor from Ms O'Neil's past. This episode actually surprised me by the violence that it had especially with a storyline similar to James Gunn's Slither (reviewed elsewhere on this site) with an alien mutating humans with long tentacles. The Croaking - which has Michelangelo meeting a Mutated Frog in the forest named Napoleon - (who talks like Napoleon Dynamite but acts more like Jar Jar Binks) who exposes the group to an army of Frog Men. In Dreams, Race With The Demon, and Eyes Of The Chimera are also on the release.

The standard definition transfer is standard for the DVD format and captures the 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 anamorphic widescreen presentation with a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track. A Blu-ray upgrade would help make the animation pop more, but this release is comparable to the original broadcast.

Special Features only include Seven Shorts: The Mutation Of A Scene.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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