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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Ninja Turtles brings back memories of the 90’s

Growing up in the 1990s, I tend to think that knowing the names of renaissance artists and many types of Asian weaponry is common. This is only because of a well-known cartoon with an incredibly absurd premise. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles features four human-sized turtles who stand on their hind legs. They live in the sewer of a major city where they have been trained as ninjas to fight the forces of evil by an equally large rat. Despite it being so ridiculous, the cartoon gathered a very large fan base. “TMNT was one of my favorite shows when I was growing up,” senior Anthony Ashley said. In addition, it has been succeeded by another cartoon series, as well as two feature films. The most recent of these was done through computer animation similar to that of such films as Toy Story. Despite the animation style’s unrealistic appearance, the film manages to make great improvements to several areas, such as water and hair. In the movie, Leonardo (the eldest and the leader of the brotherhood), returns from his training in Central America. In his absence, Rafael (the aggressive, hotheaded younger brother) has been the only turtle to continue fighting violence. Animosity grows between Leonardo and Rafael, while the villain, Mr. Winters, gains strength. In the end, the turtles (including their other brothers, Donatello and Michelangelo) must fight together if they are to have any chance of defeating evil. In addition to a decent script and excellent animation, the film had a very peculiar cast. Such actors as Chris Evans (Jonny Storm in Fantastic Four), Sarah Michelle Gellar, Patrick Stewart, Laurence Fishburne, Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and Kevin Smith (Silent Bob from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), all appear in the movie. However, the four main characters are all virtually unknown. Mitchell Whitfield, James Taylor, Mikey Kelley, and Nolan North have mostly only done voicing for video games and a hand full of animated shows. While the movie’s quality is unquestionable, it does bring rise to several questions that many people have been asking for years. The most important of which is whether or not violence on television (or films) is desensitizing America’s youth. During the previews before the movie, a child no more than six years old asked about one film, “That movie looks really good, but why didn’t that other guy die?” Furthermore, it surprised me how darkly the movie started out. Within the first few minutes, an army of thousands had been killed by monsters (or turned to stone), and several evildoers had been killed by Leonardo. For a film aimed at younger children, the prevalence of the violence was astounding. This film, not to mention many others, showed violence often, but without the inevitable consequences. This lack of consequences is undoubtedly more dangerous than the prevalence of violence in itself. Nevertheless, the film was well made and brings back memories of the 1990s. For anyone who grew up in the nineties and watched the television show, I highly recommend it. Even if you didn’t grow up with the Turtles, the film had a significantly entertaining plot with the potential to captivate its audience.

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