By Terri Lee Sylvester

DETROIT (WWJ) – The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are the latest super heroes to hit the big screen this summer.

The four brothers – Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo – originally hit the big screen in 1990 with TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. They returned in 1991 with TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE and again in 1993 with TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III.

This weekend, they’re back with their fourth film, and they go to work to save the people of New York City from Shredder and his evil Foot Clan. But while the turtles have serious business to tend to, they still know how to have a good time.

Megan Fox, who stars as TV reporter April O’Neil, explains it perfectly.

“They’re really lighthearted and they’re brothers, so there’s this element where they’re constantly teasing … each other,” Fox said. “And then you’ve got the battle for power between the two that want to be the leader and you’ve got the dad element, and then they’re sort of orphans and outcasts and heroes.”

And fun! The 2014 version of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES was definitely worth waiting for. The movie grabs your attention from the very beginning: it starts off looking like a giant comic book come to life on the big screen. Throughout the course of the movie, there are lots of funny moments, plot twists and a number of battle scenes – including one that starts off on a snowy road that’s especially amazing. Once you see the movie, you’ll know what I mean.

The animation, special effects and 3D are nothing short of amazing either. If you’re like me (and, perhaps lots and lots of other people), you may wonder how the filmmakers were able to make everything look so realistic. Here’s the answer straight from the Production Notes:

“Preparations got underway months before filming — as Alan Ritchson (Raphael), Pete Ploszek (Leonardo), Noel Fisher (Michelangelo), Jeremy Howard (Donatello) and Danny Woodburn (Master Splinter) each underwent complex facial and full-body scans that led to the tailoring of their custom made helmets and mo-cap (motion-capture) suits.”

“Later, on set, the four Turtle actors and Woodburn each went through a daily two-hour long session of applying white facial powder and VFX dots to help further track their expressions. Before the cameras rolled, the four turtle actors would then strap on not only their helmets but a lightweight turtle shell, which added to the realistic physical motion and weight distribution.”

Trust me, when you see it, you’ll be amazed.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack up the entire family and head to the theater for a great time at the movies!

This was one funny scene! Left to right: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

This was one funny scene!
Left to right: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, William Fichtner, Jeremy Howard, Danny Woodburn, Pete Ploszek, Minae Noji, Abby Elliott and Whoopi Goldberg. Rated PG-13.

Be sure to tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 every Friday at 2:40pm for my weekly look at the movies with Midday Anchor Jackie Paige.

See you at the movies!

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee


• The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first hit comic book stands in 1984. They made their debut in what was meant to be a single-issue comic by creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, who borrowed money from Eastman’s uncle to produce it. But it turned out to just be the beginning . . .

• In 1988, a first phase of total Turtlemania kicked off with launch of the animated television series followed video games, tours and the 1990 movie. TMNT toys became top-sellers, just behind G.I Joe and Star Wars figures.

• A new phase of Turtlemania began in 2012 with the new computer-animated television series on Nickelodeon. It was an instant hit, with 12 million viewers tuning in for the very first show

• Over 100 million viewers have since watched the series worldwide

• Since Fall of 2012, over 10 million Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures have been sold

• In 2013, the Turtles were named the #1 Boys Action Toy Property

• Also in 2013, FILA shoes kicked off their first TMNT sneaker, which sold out in the first 15 minutes online

• More than 1 million visitors check out the TMNT page on every month

• Polls have found that Michelangelo and Raphael are neck-and-neck as fan favorites, but Leonardo and Donatello have equally passionate fans

• Bringing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the screen in 2014 as hybrid CG
characters was an effort that took a team of more than 400 animators in addition
to a full-scale live-action production


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