24th Mar2014

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 2 Volume 1′ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars (the voices of): Jason Biggs, Rob Paulsen, Sean Astin, Greg Cipes, Mae Whitman, Hoon Lee, Kevin Michael Richardson | Created by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird

TMNT-S2-V1

Featuring the first six episodes from the second season of Nickelodeon’s CGI-animated hit series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 2 Volume 1 sees the gang face new perils including robot foot soldiers, an infestation of mutated squirrels and the ultimate threat: Mutagen Man! Episodes on this DVD include The Mutation Situation, Follow the Leader, Invasion of the Squirrelanoids, Mutagen Man Unleashed and Mickey Gets Shallacne.

It was a year ago that I reviewed the first volume of the new iteration of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a the time I had concerns about the new CGI design of the Turtles, mostly because it was the greatest departure from the original hand-drawn animation to have ever appeared on TV. I was used to a more cartoonish look and originally I thought this hadn’t translated well to the new CG-created Turtles. Well now it’s a year and an entire season later and these new Turtles have undoubtedly grown into their new CGI bodies.

The overall animation has changed a little too since that first DVD release. Not only is the show just a mix of traditional cell animation and 3D CGI, the animators have also added in live action inserts and some more basic, obviously anime-inspired animation too – used to great effect in the episodes present on this disc to show Mikey’s imagination! But the first thing that strikes you about this volume of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that the show is funnier, a lot funnier, than ever before. The humour is even more goofier than the original series, taking a leaf out of Eastern animation and being unafraid to push the boundaries of on-screen zaniness. Anime fans will easily see a clear delineation between the comedy in this iteration of TMNT and the crazy comedy of the likes of One Piece, Naruto et al. And this show is all the better for it!

Those first six episodes of season one always felt a little too stoic to me, but thankfully this new season as brought back fun to kids animation and it is all the better for it. This first volume also features the classic 80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character Mutagen Man in his new incarnation – yet another mutation of Timothy (aka The Pulveriser) as seen in the first season. This time round Timothy gains not only the official “Mutagen Man” moniker but also a new look which resembles the classic appearance of Seymour Gutz in the 1987 season.

As a fan of the 80s iteration of the Turtles it’s fun to see a new show that not only creates a new mythos for the characters but also references all that has come before it; and it’s a credit to Nickelodeon that they’ve managed to craft a cartoon that will appeal to all ages of Turtles fan. Special features on this DVD include ‘Ninjas in New York’ and a Channel 6 Special Report entitled ‘Creatures of the Night’.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 2 Volume 1 is released March 31st courtesy of Paramount.

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