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22-08-23 |Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of those franchises which has been revived quite a few times in recent years. These films were never able to capture the spirit of the original cartoon or underground comics. Now, Mutant Mayhem attempts to introduce the Turtles to a new audience.

And in an age where reboots and sequels are outstaying their welcome, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is a breath of fresh air! Critics like Hugh Verheylewegen of Pixelated Geek praise the animated feature, feeling it ‘lives up to its title, delivering both mutants and mayhem in an energetic story that is guaranteed to entertain even with its simplicity.’ ‘To top it off – ’ Maya Philips of the New York Times adds ‘ – Mutant Mayhem is sprinkled with self-referential jokes that poke fun at its own logic, like the inconsistent science behind the magical radioactive gunk.’

So why does this film succeed where previous reboots have failed? Collider’s Ross Bonaime finds that ‘while this is largely the origin story we’ve seen so many times before from these characters, Mutant Mayhem works so well because of how director Jeff Rowe embraces the teenage side of these characters.’ Terry Staunton of the Radio Times agreed. ‘Having the Turtles voiced by actual teenage actors goes a long way to giving their dialogue and motivations credible weight, and a noticeable air of innocence as they confront the changes all adolescents go through.’

Critics not only praised the cast and concepts. The vivid and unusual style of animation was universally lauded as well. Wendy Ide of the Guardian found the animation to be ‘gloriously anarchic: a scratchy, glitchy, scrawling onslaught that has more in common with the Biro’d graffiti on a high school bathroom door than it does with the immaculate 3D realism that has, until recently, been the norm for big-budget animation.’

‘Yet Mutant Mayhem still feels unique from other recent uses of this style, like Puss in Boots: The Last Wish or Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse feels Bonaime. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem offers great animation, great voice actors and a great sense of adventure. As Verheylewegen put it: ‘I can say this is not only an amazing adaptation of TMNT on its own but I think this might be one of the best adaptations of TMNT that we have had in years. I was completely stunned by just how much I loved this film from start to end.’

Read the full reviews here:
Hugh Verheylewegen at Pixelated Geek
Maya Philips at New York Times
Ross Bonaime at Collider
Terry Staunton at Radio Times
Wendy Ide at the Guardian