Sunday, 24 May 2015

DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Search For Splinter

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Search For Splinter
Studio: Nickelodeon
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Retail: $9.98
Running Time: 65 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


While it might seem like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been on television constantly since 1987, there was actually a hiatus between 1998 and 2003. The second animation series was produced by by 4Kids Entertainment and Mirage Studios. The series debuted in February 2003. It dropped all the slapstick of the original series and focused on story-arcs, which offered a darker plot, similar in style to the comic book series.

While the series was popular with fans of all ages as well as critics, it went downhill when it was retitled "Fast Forward," when the character designs were altered and the turtles were sent to the future. The series tried to bounce back by bringing the turtles back to the past in Back to the Sewer, but it was too little, too late as the series was canceled; though the turtles would return in the TV-Movie Turtles Forever.

Nickelodeon purchased the franchise in 2009 and launched a computer-animated series in 2012, which is currently in it's third season. During it's run, the 2003 series mostly received single-disc DVD releases, featuring only three episodes. A Season 4 two-disc DVD set was later released, though the first half the season was missing. Seasons 1 & 2 were eventually released in two volumes (2-discs) sets each. Fast Forward was released in a similar format as well as Ninja Tribunal (the fifth season).

On June 9, 2015, Nickelodeon will finally be releasing the 2003 series to DVD, but with three episodes per disc. The DVD titles will be The Search For Splinter and NYC Showdown (I'll have a separate review for it posted soon). The Search For Splinter features the very first episode "Things Change" and the two-part season one finale, "The Search for Splinter Parts 1 & 2."

The turtle's lair is destroyed by Baxter Stockman's Mouser robots in the beginning of "Things Change." During the chaos, the turtles (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael) are separated from the sensei, Master Splinter. While as they search for Splinter, they encounter the Purple Dragons and the Foot Clan.

"The Search for Splinter Parts 1 & 2"continues the storyline that was started in "Return to New York Part 3." With Shredder defeated (so they think), the turtles suspect that the Guardians are the ones responsible for kidnapping Splinter, so they raid the TCRI building. There they find their sensei in a stasis tank and discover the true origin of the ooze that mutated them.

Honestly, die hard TMNT fans want full DVD season (or a series set) sets instead of a 3 episode single-disc release. At a retail price less than ten dollars, these DVD releases will appeal to parents, whom have kids that are fan of the current series or last year's live-action feature film, but if you're new to the 2003 series, you'll become confused with the release. Like I already mentioned, the 2003 series had storyarcs, so watching the first episode and jumping to the 25th and 26th episode, will make it difficult for you to understand the storyline.

Nevertheless, being a TMNT fan myself, I'm just glad that Nickelodeon is finally releasing the 2003 series to DVD. Hopefully, this title, as well as NYC Showdown, will do sell enough that Nickeloden will release more titles, maybe even a complete season! Overall, while the episodes on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Search For Splinter DVD are entertaining, I can only recommend it to die hard fans that don't already own the previous 4Kids releases.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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