If You Think Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Are Bad, You Should See What Japan Did To Them

Senior Contributor
08.04.14 13 Comments

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been insanely popular for nearly thirty years now. They’ve been in multiple media, from the satirical comic books that form the roots of the series to, well, this week’s Michael Bay-produced feature film. The Bay film has gotten a lot of flack for terrible outfits and cheesy ideas, including from yours truly, but it’s honestly not the worst thing to happen to the team in their history.

That would be Mutant Turtles: Chōjin Densetsu Hen, or, roughly translated, Mutant Turtles: Superman Legend, or, accurately translated, “Hey, the Ninja Turtles and the Power Rangers make a lot of money, let’s combine the two and make lots more money!” Here’s a Russian bootleg of a hardsub, which is the best quality we could find:

To be fair to those involved, it existed entirely to sell toys. Specifically, the Supermutants line, an unfortunate attempt to salvage the toy line’s popularity in the face of changing tastes of children. We assume that the popularity of the X-Men is why they suddenly had those ridiculous Wolverine masks.

If you can stop laughing long enough to watch the two episodes, they’re… well, OK, they’re pretty terrible. The animation is surprisingly good for what amounts to a toy ad with a plot, but the plot itself is completely insane even by Ninja Turtles standards, and we’ll remind you that this is a franchise that’s parodied the Punisher. Keep in mind that in the first minute of this, a fairy gives the Ninja Turtles a magic gem to turn them into Wolverine, and it just gets weirder from there.

So, as much as we might mock the noses and lips of these current turtles, we might as well be grateful Michael Bay never saw this and forced the beleaguered Jonathan Liebesman to put this in. You’ve got to save something for the sequel, really.

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