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Can We Kick It With The 'TMNT: Mutant Mayhem' Trailer? Yes We Can!

By Claude Weaver III | Film | March 6, 2023 |

By Claude Weaver III | Film | March 6, 2023 |


In case you, like me, forgot about it, back in 2020 Seth Rogen announced that he was producing a CG-animated feature film featuring the Heroes in a Half-Shell, to be directed by Jeff Rowe (The Mitchells vs. the Machines). Now we have a trailer after two years of seeming radio silence!

Check it out!

The film picks up as the Turtle brothers seek to win the hearts of New Yorkers by performing heroic acts they hope will get them accepted as normal teenagers. When they take on a mysterious crime syndicate with the help of new friend April O’Neil, they find themselves over their heads when a mutant army is unleashed.

First, “Can I Kick It” by A Tribe Called Quest is pitch-perfect. It’s laid back, playful, welcoming, and evocative of NYC. I doubt anyone could have come up with a better song to (re)introduce the Turtles with during a scene of mischievous teenagerdom.

The animation is amazing as well. Seemingly taking notes from Into the Spider-Verse, it looks like a mix of NYC graffiti, Claymation, and even the comic-book-looks of the titular team, from the black and white scratches of Eastman and Laird’s original to the more modern interpretations from the IDW series.

To the Turtles themselves: it’s clear that they are trying to have them sound like actual 15-year-olds. I like it! I’ve long felt that the age of the Turtles was often obscured because nobody wanted to deal with the implications, but this is a refreshing change and clearly lends well to the “hanging out with your bros” vibe.

Joining Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu), Raphael (Brady Noon), Donatello (Micah Abbey), and Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.) are Splinter (Jackie Chan) and April O’Neil (Ayo Edebiri). And you can’t have a “Mutant Mayhem” without a lot of mutants, which include Genghis Frog (Hannibal Buress), Leatherhead (Rose Byrne), Ray Fillet (Post Malone), and Mondo Gecko (Paul Rudd). As for the antagonists, we have the double trouble of Bebop (Rogen) and Rocksteady (John Cena), and scientist Baxter Stockman (Giancarlo Esposito), and (if the last name is any indication) Cynthia Ultrom (Maya Rudolph). Oh and Superfly (Ice Cube, who is doing the anti-vaxx shuffle over to voiceovers apparently).

Despite that last bit, the cast sounds awesome all on their own, and the trailer is only stoking my anticipation even further!

It’s hilarious that they have a scene showing how dangerous the Turtles’ weapons are when put in the hands of 15-year-olds. Back in my day, we had to put up with Leonardo being required to never unsheathe his swords in Secret of the Ooze onward because parents complained about the violence in the first live-action TMNT movie. Does this mean we win, or they do?

Maybe the true winners are lovers of cartoon ninja fights of all ages.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem opens in theaters… AUGUST 4TH?!?!! Cutting it kinda close, aren’t they?

Claude Weaver III is still humming “Can I Kick It”. RIP, Phife Dawg.