Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is on its way to movie theaters later this summer, for good or ill. The Michael Bay-produced interpretation has taken some sizeable liberties with the source material, most notably with origin story and appearance of the Heroes in a Halfshell. Fan response has been loud and displeased, but if you’re looking for an alternative way to celebrate the adolescent amphibian martial arts experts, check out this trailer for the new documentary Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
If you’re of a certain age, you can recall a time when the Turtles were ubiquitous. They’re still quite popular, but for years, they were absolutely everywhere, on TV, in movie theaters, dancing with Vanilla Ice, and even at fast foot joints. And that isn’t even taking into account the pizza franchise tie ins. That was a no-brainer. I remember getting two episodes of the cartoon on a VHS tape as part of a promotion at Burger King, a tape that I subsequently watched and rewatched until it was so degraded that you could barely tell what the hell was happening on screen.
Turtle Power traces the origins of an independent comic book that no one initially wanted to publish, tracking the title from the beginnings all the way through the time where it became a global phenomenon. You’ll see interviews with the likes of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, as they recount the early days and their initial successes. A few celebrities, behind the scenes players, and other important figures chime in. They even talk to Brian Henson, who worked on the creature designs of the feature films from the 1990s.
This doc is the brainchild and passion project of a trio of super fans: Isaac Elliot-Fisher, Mark Hussey, and Randall Lobb. Their biggest qualification to make this movie is that they’re crazy for Turtles, and they spent five years shooting this film, tracking down interviews in the spare time between their routine day jobs. Overall, this documentary looks like it should be a damn good time, especially for lifelong fans and those of you in the market for a bit of nostalgia.
Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hits theaters everywhere on August 8, unless those rumored reshoots and delays come to pass. To capitalize on the ensuing hype, or possibly to cash in on the fan outrage and despair, Paramount Pictures will release Turtle Power on DVD and digital download the following Tuesday, August 12.