Verdict: A- / 5
“Rise of the Turtles”, which follows the successful reboot of the classic franchise “Enter the Shredder”, covers the team’s first few missions and provides some origin tales whilst introducing as to fundamental characters.
This DVD contains 5 episodes; “Rise of the Turtles”, a double length premier episode, as well as “Turtle Temper” (centered around Raphael and his anger issues), “Old Friend, New Enemy” (focusing on Mikey and his desire to have friends), “I think his name is Baxter Stockman” (origin story of the new Baxter Stockman) and “Metalhead” (where Donatello is sick of wielding a stick and tries to use science to create the ultimate weapon). It also contains another episode of “Mutation of a Scene”, which showcases the creation process involved in creating and episode of this CGI series. Unlike the American release, we have not been given the Karaoke music video extra. So if you were planning to learn the intro video’s words it is best you Google the lyrics.
This season for most part deals with the Kraang threat and their mutagen, aka the ooze or as Mikey calls it, “Mom”. The Kraang, whilst verbally annoying, are undoubtedly a threat to the city. In fact they are could become a global threat if our heroes do not keep them in check. The Kraang have an updated look that still manages to remain true to the original Kraang. However, instead of one big bad brain, each Kraang robot has his own brain buddy as a pilot. There is a brief Shedder moment in the, “Old friend, New enemy” episode as the world’s greatest martial artist Chris Bradford, Mikey’s hero and the TMNT universe’s equivalent to Chuck Norris, introduces us to the world of the Foot and the potential threat they present. What I like about these episodes is that each introduces a new villain or threat whilst still managing to keep a moral to the story.
Once again the action scenes are choreographed beautifully. The opening scene to Rise of the Turtles will introduce you to the type of precise Ninjutsu that you would not expect of a Nickelodeon show. This, accompanied by great humour, is exactly why adults and fans of the original 1987 turtles have been drawn to this show. It manages to retain the winning formula of the original series. However, dare I say it, this rendition is actually an improvement on all the Ninja Turtles series of the past. It is the perfect mix of the serious turtles of the 2000’s series and the fun loving turtles of the 1987 original. Sure you will get parents who will complain that it is too violent in comparison to the original series, especially when they see Raphael ripping off his opponent arm and using the limb to barricade a door, but at the end of the day there is a moral to the story and they are disciplined by Splinter a lot.
This DVD will warp you into the world of the Ninja Turtles as you become so absorbed in these action packed adventures. Even though these DVDs come in bit by bit, featuring a few episodes from a 25 episode series, I am sure a first season blu-ray will be released with tons of special features. For now Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles will keep you content as it retells the story in a way that betters any of the other cartoon predecessors.