Is the New ‘Ninja Turtles’ Film Canon With Any of the Previous Installments?

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Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows poster

Credit: Paramount Pictures

You’ve probably lost count of how many Ninja Turtles films there have been over the years, but don’t worry — we’ll bring you up to speed! And now that the trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) is here, there’s no time like the present.

From producer Seth Rogen, the upcoming animated reboot will be the seventh theatrical Ninja Turtles film in the TMNT franchise — although there have also been a handful of straight-to-video/television/streaming service feature-length films over the years.

Donnie in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Gets an R-Rated Reboot

Mutant Mayhem follows 33 years’ worth of theatrical Ninja Turtles films, which started way back in 1990, right up until the last one was released in theaters in 2016.

In order of release, they are: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), TMNT (2007), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).

Leonardo in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem teaser
Credit: Paramount Pictures / Nickelodeon Movies (via Nickelodeon’s 2023 Kids Choice Awards, YouTube)

Related: Which ‘Ninja Turtles’ Characters Have Been Gender-Swapped In the Reboot?

However, Mutant Mayhem isn’t the first CG-animated film in the franchise, with 2007’s TMNT being the first. Although the new film’s animation style is very different, and is far more in line with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) than it is with Disney and Pixar.

But how does the film fit in with the rest of the franchise? Is Mutant Mayhem a prequel? A sequel? Or a remake? Well, it’s actually none of the above. The new Ninja Turtles film is a straight-up reboot, and as such, is in no way connected to any of the previous six films.

Michelangelo in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot Teaser Revealed, A-List Cast Seemingly Gender-Swaps Two Characters

With that said, fans were surprised that the 2007 film is a sequel to original three live-action ’90s films. It’s unlikely, however, that Mutant Mayhem will do anything similar, especially given the fact that the Turtles are somewhere between 13 and 16 years’ old in the film.

Check out the brand-new trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem below:

Related: First, Female Ninja Turtles, Now ‘TMNT’ Eyed For R-Rated Horror Reboot

As per Wikipedia, here’s the official synopsis for the film:

After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtles set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a notorious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem official logo
Credit: Paramount Pictures / Nickelodeon Movies (via official Mutant Mayhem Instagram)

Related: What Is the New Female ‘Ninja Turtles’ Sequel About?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem stars Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Micah Abbey (Donatello), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), Brady Noon (Raphael), Jackie Chan (Splinter), Ayo Edebiri (April O’Neil), Seth Rogen (Bebop), John Cena (Rocksteady), Hannibal Buress (Genghis Frog), Rose Byrne (Leatherhead), Ice Cube (Superfly), Post Malone (Ray Fillet), Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Maya Rudolph (Cynthia Utrom), Natasia Demetriou (Wingnut), and Giancarlo Esposito (Baxter Stockman).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) will be released in theaters on August 4, 2023.

Michelangelo in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem teaser
Credit: Paramount Pictures / Nickelodeon Movies (via Nickelodeon’s 2023 Kids Choice Awards, YouTube)

Related: ‘TMNT’ Prequel Follows ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot, Replaces Beloved Heroes With Female Turtles

There’s also another live-action Ninja Turtles reboot in the works from producer Michael Bay, however, there’s currently no release date for that film.

Raphael in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem teaser
Credit: Paramount Pictures / Nickelodeon Movies (via Nickelodeon’s 2023 Kids Choice Awards, YouTube)

Related: “Footage” Surfaces For R-Rated ‘TMNT’ Reboot, Marvel Star Was Set For Lead Role

Do you think Mutant Mayhem will feature references to the other Ninja Turtles films? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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