Before I get into my thoughts on Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, I have to tell you about my history with this franchise. I am 40 as I write this and for over 30 years, I have been a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja (or Hero as it was originally called here in the UK) Turtles.
How to Download Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Check out also live-action animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Movies that we have reviewed – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).
The Movie Review
This is one of my favorite franchises and I have enjoyed most of the comics, TV shows, movies, and video games over the years. Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the second show since Nickelodeon got the rights to the series and after the phenomenal 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and it had a lot to live up to.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a much more lighthearted take on the series and featured some pretty radical changes. To be fair, it was a fun show and far more entertaining than people were giving it credit for, but it did not capture people’s attention the same way the previous series did. Still, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie was greenlit and I have to say, it is fantastic!
This movie was put out by Netflix as part of the current deal they have with Nickelodeon to release movies and specials based on some of their iconic characters. What I loved about Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie was how it kept much of the fun that Rise was known for, but it was also more serious in places too, like a blend of Rise and the 2012 series in many ways.
It starts in the future, The Krang has invaded Earth and all hope is lost. In this future, we see a grown-up Leonardo who is sensei to Casey Jones! Leonardo and Mikey know that this war is lost, so Mikey uses his mystic powers to send Casey Jones back in time to try and stop the Krang invasion before it happens. The small portion of the movie we get in the future is amazing, seeing Mikey like Dr. Strange was something I thought was so cool!
I liked this take on Casey Jones, he heads back to modern-day New York and armed with a photo, Casey tries to track down the Turtles so that they can find this key and stop it from opening the portal for the Krang. Of course, these Turtles are not very disciplined, and before Casey arrives the key has found its way into the hands of The Foot Clan.
Casey, The Turtles, and April now must try and stop this Krang invasion before it is too late! What I love about this story is how it is really a Leonardo-focused story. We get to see Leo go from this rather obnoxious somewhat annoying character, and grow into the leader that we long-time fans know him to be. It does it all with the humor and charm that the Rise series is known for it and it works very well.
While I think that Leo is clearly the main character, I do think that the movie gives the other turtles time to shine as well. I liked the way we get Donnie having to take risks by exposing his soft shell, Mikey gets his moment to shine in the future segment, and then right at the end and we also get to see Raph as the leader. This by the way is probably my least favorite aspect of the Rise series, but this movie I think goes a long way to fix that for me.
The movie looks incredible. I was already a fan of the bright and wacky style that Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was known for, but this takes it to a new level with stunning animation and incredible action scenes. The later part of the movie also takes a much darker tone too which I thought was pretty cool.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie is a movie that is just incredible. I think even if you are lukewarm to the Rise series, you are going to have a fun time with this. It is a fun story that has a lot of humor, but there are more serious moments here too and I really like how it brought Leo’s character arc full circle. It kind of makes me sad that Rise got canceled as I would love to have seen how the show built upon what happened here.
- This is a fantastic way for them to bring the Rise series to a close
- I liked how it had the humor of the Rise show, but also a more serious side too
- I thought the way it handled Leonardo’s character was fantastic
- This is truly one of the best Ninja Turtles movies!
- I have my doubts that this will ever get a physical release which is a damn shame
- It sucks how the show got canceled and we will see no follow-up to this!