Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

A shell of a time

Director: Randall Lobb
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Starring: Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman, Fred Wolf, Mark Askwith

What could have been an overly long advert for the latest Turtles film is instead an interesting look into the history of the popular quartet. Director Randall Lobb touches upon many moments in the characters history, on their rise to becoming a pop culture phenomenon. Things begin with the birth of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's partnership, and continue up to the massive success that was the first Turtles film. Many touchstones in the history are included, including the largely popular animated series, the sold-out first issue, and the gag-drawing which started it all.

But while it does a good job in highlighting the early history of the Turtles, it certainly lacks a focus on their later years. Time could have been devoted to the 2003 Animated series, the 2007 film and the 2011 comic series, utilizing them as a good method of highlighting how these characters have remained appealing to many generations of children, something which isn't explored nearly enough as it could have been.

The original Ninja Turtle

The focus is clear throughout though, to look at these peculiarly named characters who ruled the mediums of comics, television and film, and how revered they ultimately were. These wonderful heroes who are the reason we know the names of four Renaissance artists, who gave the world a wondrous theme which is endlessly catchy.

While it may lack a focus on the later years in their popularity, Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a great look at four unconventional role models for multiple generations of children. Here's to another 30 years of the turtles being a part of childhoods. Cowabunga.