Thursday, November 30, 2023

The new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are Zoomers in a half shell


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Featured Graphic by Destiny Mizell

Story by Larry Rincon

For generations, people have grown up watching various iterations of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” However, how many of those versions truly played out the teenage aspect of the characters?

From puppets to cartoons to CGI, everyone’s favorite turtles have had their story explored in many different ways. While I grew up with the 2012 Nickelodeon television series, younger generations are going to be growing up with the newest take on the franchise, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.” 

Nickelodeon and Paramount have come together to release what I like to believe is a movie written for Gen Z. With Seth Rogen as a writer, producer and actor for the film you can probably agree.

Obviously, the origin story is relatively the same as most versions. Four turtles get covered in a mysterious substance turning them into mutant turtles. They get raised by rat mutant, Splinter, and they learn about the ninja ways.

Aside from that, the actual story of the movie follows the four teens as they fight for human acceptance by tracking down the crime lord, Superfly. With the addition of themes of family and acceptance, “Mutant Mayhem” provided a fun movie experience.

2023 has been the year for great animated movies; “Mutant Mayhem is on par with the animated movies that have been released so far. From an amazing and talented cast to a unique and cool animation style and story, there is so much to unpack and love about this movie.

A lot of big-name actors fill out the cast. Jackie Chan voices Splinter which is hilarious considering the amount of times he has portrayed a character meant to be a master of some sort of fighting style.

Ice Cube voices the big bad Superfly who tries to rid the world of all humans with his fellow brothers and sisters. This roster of course includes but is not limited to actors like John Cena and Paul Rudd. We also can’t forget Post Malone voices a mutant Manta Ray.

Now, I do want to highlight the soundtrack for a moment. If you did not find yourself hyped up or vibing with the songs included in this movie, then I don’t think we saw the same movie.

I enjoyed the range of music from Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap” to the He-Man meme song, “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes. There was always something to get in the mood with, and, honestly, I left the theater with a lot of hype from the effect the music had on me.

Moving on, the animation of this film was truly spectacular. If you liked the second Spiderverse film where the different dimensions and characters had their own styles, then you will admire the “Mutant Mayhem” animation.

Rogen really wanted to emphasize the teenage aspect of this movie to the point that the animation was purposefully altered to look like school drawings. 

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” is perhaps one of the most accurate and honest depictions of the modern teen.

We’ve become accustomed to watching these turtles focus on their ninja lifestyle and really develop their relationship with the villains they face. “Mutant Mayhem,” however, sets itself apart by portraying the turtles as the teenagers they were always meant to be.

The four turtle voice actors recorded together which allowed for the dynamics and energy of the brothers to really come to life. It felt refreshing to see them act like teens and be into things that you expect teens to be into. They’re not absorbed into the ninja life, and instead, they’re just kids who want to be kids in the real world. The ninja skills are just a plus.

In all honesty, this entire movie was joke after joke: The voice cracks, the anime references, the blatant idealistic thoughts about humanity, etc. Even outside the most obvious humor, there were so many funny little details in this movie.

We need more movies like this one. Going to the theater is meant to be a good time, and you will not find another movie out in theaters right now that has the same energy as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.”

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @MTSUSidelines.

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