tek's rating: ¾

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in syndication / CBS
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This Saturday morning cartoon was okay. Could be funny and stuff. It aired from 1987 to 1996, though I'm not sure how much of its run I actually saw. Surely at least a few years. Anyway... there was this rat who was the pet of a ninja master, and he watched him train, and thereby learned ninjitsu himself. Later the rat ended up in the sewers of New York City, where he and four turtles were mutated by nuclear waste, growing to roughly man-size, and becoming intelligent. The rat, whose name was Splinter, named the turtles Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello, and began training them to be ninjas. Then the four of them at some point went out and started to fight crime and stuff, though they definitely had the personalities of 1980s teenagers, especially Mikey. (Splinter, on the other hand, was your typical wise old master.)

The turtles make some friends, including a reporter named April O'Neil, and a vigilante named Casey Jones, etc. They also make enemies, such as Shredder and his Foot ninjas. And they have lots of wacky adventures. One thing I definitely remember liking about the show as the occasional breaking of the fourth wall- it must have been one of, if not the earliest examples I ever saw of fourth wall-breaking. Also I vaguely recall liking some aliens called the Neutrinos, who showed up occasionally. Oh, and I always dug the theme song, which was totally redonk. That's about all I can think to tell you. Except... all this was based on comic books, which I never got a chance to read. I think people say they were a lot different from the cartoon, more serious and much better, and stuff. I suppose I should try to read them, someday. And the more I think about it, the more I really do want to rewatch the cartoon someday, to refresh my memory. I might give it a higher rating, if I did.

In 1990 there was a live-action movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which spawned a couple of sequels. And in 2003 there was another animated series that I watched for a little while. And one in 2012, which I haven't seen at all.

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