Warner Celebrates 25 Years of TMNT30 Apr, 2009 By: John Latchem
Warner Home Video will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a boxed set of the franchise’s four films. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 25th Anniversary Collection hits shelves Aug. 4 (prebook June 30) on DVD ($39.92) and Blu-ray Disc ($84.99).
The turtles debuted in 1984 in a comic book published by Mirage studios. Creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird wanted to parody such popular 1980s comic books as Daredevil, New Mutants and Ronin. Their concept: Radioactive goo mutates four turtles into wisecracking ninjas.
The adventures of sewer-dwelling Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael, under the guidance of their wise sensei Splinter, a mutated rat, proved popular enough to spawn a hugely successful animated series in 1987, leading to their big-screen debut in 1990.
The first film, titled simply Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was a huge success, grossing $135.3 million at the domestic box office, coming in first for four consecutive weeks. The film chronicled the Turtles’ battle with their most-feared nemesis, the evil Shredder.
The second film, 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, further explored the origins of the turtles, culminating in a cameo performance by rapper Vanilla Ice. After complaints of excessive violence in the first film, the sequel sought to mitigate the action by never depicting the turtles drawing their weapons, instead using everyday objects to do their fighting.
The third film, 1993’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, found the heroes transported to medieval Japan through a mystical artifact.
While the first three films were live-action, the fourth film, 2007’s TMNT, utilized CG-animation. Grossing $54.1 million, the film featured the voices of Laurence Fishburne, Patrick Stewart, Chris Evans and Sarah Michelle Gellar as the Turtles’ reporter sidekick, April O’Neil.
The DVD set comes packaged in a collectible tin travel case with four turtle masks and temporary tattoos. The Blu-ray collection includes retro pizza box packaging, an exclusive reproduction of the comic adaptation of the first film, an original sketch autographed by Laird, character cards and a TMNT-branded beanie hat.
The official 25th anniversary celebration kicked off April 23 in New York City with the Shell-ebration Mobile Tour, a TMNT-branded party bus complete with media, memorabilia and interactive experiences. The tour is traveling coast-to-coast to more than 10 major cities. For information, visit www.TMNT25.com.