Following a quick techno dance number performed by a slew of costumed “foot soldiers,” Seth Rogen took to the stage to introduce an extended clip from “TMNT: Mutant Mayhem.”
We also got a first look at the full cast, namely Hannibal Buress (Genghis Frog), Rose Byrne (Leatherhead), John Cena (Rocksteady), Jackie Chan (Splinter), Ice Cube (Superfly), Natasia Demetriou (Wingnut), Ayo Edebiri (April O’Neil), Giancarlo Esposito (Baxter Stockman), Post Malone (Ray Fillet), Seth Rogen (Bebop), Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Maya Rudolph (Cynthia Utrom); alongside Micah Abbey (Donatello), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), and Brady Noon (Raphael).
We open with April talking to the young heroes, where Mikey asks if there are more humans who will accept them. April answers honestly, “No, not at all.” They send set out to take down the crime lord Superfly who is ravaging the city. The Turtles think they have the upper hand, since they are mutants, only to run into Beebop and Rocksteady.
“Oh my god,” notes April, I”m going to win a Daytime Emmy!” Superfly shows up and makes introductions followed by a few action beats. The end shows the turtles kicking ninja-butt (with a quick Splinter cameo) while April throws cold water on the whole “get people to like you” thing. In short, it lived up the Rogen’s promises that the teen ninja heroes, voiced by actual teenagers and recording together, look, feel and act like actual kids.
Opening August 4, 2023, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” is directed by Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears with a screenplay by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jeff Rowe, Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit. Based on Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman’s original characters, the film is produced by Point Grey Productions (Rogen, Goldberg and James Weaver) with Ramsey McBean and Josh Fagen serving as executive producers.
As previously seen, the animation feels like a psychedelic candy-colored kid-friendly comic actioner, again showing that “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” may be the most influential animated film of the modern age. While this is the second theatrical “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” animated film and the seventh theatrical such film between 1990 and 2023, the brand has been remarkably consistent and reliable for 35 years.
One big secret? Well, each new incarnation, be it the 80’s era afternoon animated show, the 2014 reboot movie, or this new theatrical installment alongside many, many other films and television shows, is pitched to young and new fans as opposed to banking on nostalgia. Every generation gets their version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and as such the brand has yet to go out of style.