Nickelodeon’s revamp of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes to DVD with “Rise of the Turtles,” containing the first six episodes of the computer-animated series.
The two-part premiere reintroduces the turtles to a new generation. On the 15th anniversary of their mutation, the teen turtles — Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael — celebrate with their mentor and father figure, Splinter, who has raised them in the sewers. Splinter is a former ninja master who was turned into a giant rat by the same mutagenic goo that turned four regular turtles into bipedal talking mutants.
On the turtles’ first incursion into the city, they meet a teenage April O’Neil, who is later kidnapped along with her scientist father, drawing the turtles into their first adventure.
De-aging April O’Neil from the cartoons and comics is one of the major changes made to the mythos of the Turtles, which goes back more than 25 years in comics, movies and cartoons. But it works pretty well, making April more a peer to the turtle teens.
The visuals are CG, but with an intriguing mix of styles, giving the series a fresh feel.
The series sports an all-star cast, with Jason Biggs (“American Pie”) as Leonardo, the leader; Sean Astin (“Lord of the Rings”) as Raphael, the often-sullen aggressor; Rob Paulsen (“Planet Sheen”) as the geeky Donatello and Greg Cipes (“Teen Titans”) as the party-loving Michelangelo.
Mae Whitman (“Parenthood”) voices April O’Neil, while Hoon Lee (“Royal Pains”) as provides the voice of Master Splinter. Kevin Michael Richardson (“Penguins of Madagascar”) is the villainous Shredder.
Other episodes included are “Turtle Temper,” “New Friend, Old Enemy,” “I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman” and “Metalhead.”
Extras include trailers, “making-of” animatics and karaoke music video.
— Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman