If the latest trailer is anything to go by, the new animated feature film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem may just be the most fun adaptation of the Heroes in a Half-Shell since, well, ever. And as such, we’re already counting down to its August 2 release date on what we’re now calling our “cowabunga calendar”.
This forthcoming outing for Leo, Raph, Don, and Mikey looks about as far removed from the last time we saw them on the big screen as it’s possible to get and for that we should all be immensely grateful. That particular travesty was 2014’s Michael Bay-produced film and its sequel, which reimagined the turtles as hideous monsters both so enormous and powerful that their ninja skills became obsolete and so devoid of charm that we found ourselves hoping Shredder would make good on his long-running threat to dine on turtle soup.
This time, however, it looks like the filmmakers are shell-bent on re-embracing the “teenage” aspect of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While Bay and co had our heroes behaving like bitter single dads who can’t be trusted around their daughters’ friends, here they’re very much acting their age. We can probably thank writer and producer Seth Rogan for that—the trailer credits him as “permanent teenager Seth Rogen”—as well as the outstanding young cast giving voice to our pizza-loving heroes.
Speaking of which, this cast is an absolute sight to behold. Not only is Jackie Chan voicing Master Splinter (perfect!), but Paul Rudd, Rose Byrne, Giancarlo Esposito, Maya Rudolph, Hannibal Buress, and John Cena all make an appearance. Plus, Ayo Edebiri—from the outstanding The Bear—is voicing April O’Neil (again, perfect!). But perhaps most fun—there’s that word again—is Ice Cube’s performance as the lead bad guy, Superfly. Just try not to smile when he references Ice T’s “6 ‘n the Mornin’”. We dare you.
Not only does this film have the goods in the audio department, but it looks absolutely stunning too. In a stylistic choice not dissimilar to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and its forthcoming sequel, the animation deployed makes every frame look like a painting, while maintaining a grimy, unpolished aesthetic that would have required hours of polish to get just right. The irony! Plus, we love the return to a more classic look for the turtles. Words really don’t do it justice, so you should really just watch the trailer above.
While there have been countless adaptations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles over the years, this one looks to have found a truly fresh yet faithful take on our favourite ninjutsu-knowing siblings. We can’t wait to catch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem in cinemas from August 2!