Directed by Roy Burdine & Lloyd Goldfine
Written by Rob David, Matthew Dredk and Llyod Goldfine
BEWARE OF SPOILERS!
It’s Sunday morning, I needed some cartoons to watch and I thought of this movie which I’ve had for a while but still haven’t gotten around to watching.
The premise of this film is pretty genius: to bring together the three most famous incarnations of the TMNT; the 1984 comic book originals, the 1987 cartoon classics and the 2003 animated series team plus versions of the villains from both animated universes and all this to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise.
The animation is on par with the 2003 animated series but with incursions in to the universe of the 1987 TV show and also the world of the 1984 comics the animators take massive queues from the styles of those incarnations so this film overall becomes a massive nostalgia-fest for fans of the genre.
‘Forever’ acts as a series finale to the 2003 series which was not always a big hit with fans but is enjoyable in its own right.
The saddest part of this film? The fact that because 4Kids was a non-union company – I’m sighting Wikipedia as a source here guys – and the actors who originally played the turtles in the 80s were union actors the company could not afford to hire them and therefore replaced them with reasonable sound-a-likes.
The voice acting is good, you can tell its not the voices that you most likely remember from childhood but they do a great job of trying to recall the magic of the 80s cartoon.
The fact that 4Kids didn’t just recreate the series for a new audience in 2003 opens this film up to a whole lot of interaction between the two teams of turtles who share the most screen time. Discussion about their initials on their belts and the comedy value of their catchphrases and vehicles from the classic series just ramp-up the seriousness of the 2003 team and likewise the fun of the 80s team brings a new level of comedy which some fans felt was lacking.
Some brilliant moments also come in the scenes shared by the two Shredders. All memories of the 87 Shredder being a menacing villain will be undone by seeing him dwarfed by the 2003 Shredder who is the main villain here. Sadly 87 Shredder is reduced to a slapstick comedy villain which is a little bit of a shame.
April O’Neill (both of them) and Casey Jones are overlooked a little in this film but with 8 and sometimes 12 turtles to contend with the ensemble cast is already pretty huge.
Splinter does get a little screen time mainly in his 2003 self, his 1987 self does make a brief appearance for added value.
The story actually works well and although a cash in for the 25th anniversary feels pretty organic to the worlds of both cartoon turtles. Having not read the 1984 comic I’m not sure if this world fits in with the dimension hopping nature but for inclusions sake and to honour the source material it’s great to see them getting involved.
In the run up to the new 2014 film if you, like me, are going back over your TMNT history this is a great place to see all your favourite turtles crammed in to one adventure.
Also… I still want my own Technodrome!