REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES – BEST OF LEONARDO/DONATELLO/RAPHAEL/MICHELANGELO / CERT: U / DIRECTOR: VARIOUS / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: CAM CLARKE, TOWNSEND COLEMAN, BARRY GORDON / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
2014 should be a great year for Turtles fans. It’s 30 years since they first burst onto the comic book page, which is cause for celebration. So how will we be celebrating? Well, there’s the new movie, which is splitting fan opinion at best. Then there’s the documentary film Turtle Power, which is something to get genuinely excited about. But what of the original 1987 animated series?
Well, for the 25th Anniversary we got the Season 1 & 2 box set, which was great, but then there was nothing after that. None of the other seasons got released. Perhaps they were waiting for this year to give us the last eight seasons, or maybe even a UK edition of that awesome Party Wagon Box Set that came out in the US a couple of years back. Sadly we don’t get any of that.
Instead what we get are four lacklustre “best of” volumes, each containing 3 episodes offering up the “best” of each of the four main Turtles. The episodes range from seasons 1-7 and mostly serve as fine standalone stories (the ones from Season 1 generally refer to the events of the previous – not part of this set – episodes).
While these four volumes are disappointing in what they give you for your money, the episodes themselves are fun, albeit forgettable stuff. The animation hasn’t really aged that well, with some episodes feeling a little flat at times, but what they do have (particularly in the later seasons) is a nice streak of self-referential humour that plays much better to an adult viewer than it does to a child.
At the end of the day, it’s always nice to get a piece of your childhood back (and it does come flooding back when that Chuck Lorre theme tune kicks in), it’s just a shame it’s such a small piece, given that there are still eight complete seasons out there waiting to be released.
Ah well, there’s always the 35th anniversary...