‘TMNT: Mutant Mayhem’ Comic-Con Footage Showcases a Completely New Franchise

in Entertainment, Movies

The Ninja Turtles in 'Mutant Mayhem'

Credit: Nickelodeon Movies / Paramount Pictures

We are currently attending the annual San Diego Comic-Con, where we got to see 20 minutes of previously unreleased footage of the upcoming TMNT: Mutant Mayhem film. Seth Rogen is producing the film, the newest animated venture showcasing everyone’s favorite turtles. From the footage alone, the film has taken the necessary steps to separate itself from the rest of the franchise.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Related: New Lair Experience Released Before ‘TMNT: Mutant Mayhem’ Premiere

Mutant Mayhem is the newest of the plethora of animated TMNT ventures that have entertained fans for decades. However, this new film is the first time that the youth of turtles has been the main focus. Many actors have voiced the turtles through the years, with most being younger actors. Corey Feldman, for instance, was 19 when he voiced Donatello in the 1990 film.

Though he was technically still a teenager, the dialogue and actions of the turtles weren’t exactly focusing on their namesake. That is the case for the new film, which was commented on by director Jeff Rowe. Rowe revealed at Comic-Con that TMNT: Mutant Mayhem would be “a coming-of-age story for the turtles.”

This is an important factor showcased in the footage we were fortunate to see. Though the turtles live in a fictional world, Mutant Mayhem gives them contemporary references that make them feel very real, along with themes of belonging that every teenager has felt at one point.

‘TMNT: Mutant Mayhem’ Comic-Con Footage Breakdown

mutant mayhem
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies

The beginning of the TMNT: Mutant Mayhem footage is of the turtles getting ready for their “night out.” It is part of the footage that fans have seen in teasers already. Donatello (Micah Abbey), Raphael (Brady Noon), Michaelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.), and Leonardo (Nicholas Cantu) get ready as their animation transforms into the classic Kevin Eastman drawings from the original comic.

Leonardo engages in what his brothers refer to as his “Batman” voice. His pseudo-leadership is immediately attempted and criticized, as the four turtles must go on their mission. The mission is to restock their groceries, but doing so by not being seen. In a more shocking reveal, they recite words from Splinter (Jackie Chan), which is to stay away from humans.

Sadly, it appears that Splitner’s outlook on humans is far more intense, and his experiences with humans have made him far more cynical than we have ever seen.

The boys achieve their success of getting the groceries without a hitch, which leads them to break the rules by staying out past accomplishing their mission. The contemporary references begin immediately, as Leonardo reveals they broke curfew for an Adele concert and a game watching the New York Knicks.

Leonardo is subject to peer pressure as his brothers convince him to break curfew for a movie in the park, which is the hit 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This kicks off one of the more emotional moments, where Leonardo states he hopes that “the world will love them as much as Ferris Bueller one day.”

They head back home, knowing this might never happen when Mikey stops and stares at the city—longing for when they might finally be accepted. When the boys attempt to sneak back in, Splinter catches them, resulting in him going into deeper reasons why they must stay away from humans. Splinter showcases how he came upon the ooze and the turtles and how it transformed them all. The turtles are obsessed with the human world, leading to Splinter’s attempting to take them above the sewers, which goes horribly wrong.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies

Since then, Splinter forbids the turtles from human contact, grounding them for a month. Splinter also vows to protect himself and his children by teaching the ways of Ninjitsu. The turtles take to it quite well but long for a world where they can be “normal” teenagers.

The entire interaction showcases the rebellious teenager trope well, as the team also gets upset with Leonardo for telling Splinter they broke curfew. Shortly after, they are free from punishment and filming tricks on the roof when they accidentally come upon April O’Neil (Ayo Edebri). The turtles hit her helmet with a throwing star, leading to her getting robbed of her scooter and bag.

The turtles leap into action to get her scooter back, running into a group of tough guys. The fight ensues, leading to a rough yet triumphant victory for the turtles, giving them their first taste of crime fighting. They also attempt to hide when April shows up, leading to her discovery of them.

The footage ended in raucous cheers as we finally saw what TMNT: Mutant Mayhem is all about. This time, the turtles are teenagers trying to find their place in the world. Leonardo gets a crush on April, while Donatello, Raphael, and Michaelangelo incessantly make fun of him.

We also got treated to the first scene of Super Fly (Ice Cube) introducing his mutant cohorts. Seth Rogen as Bebop, John Cena as Rocksteady, and Paul Rudd as Mondo Gecko, to name a few. The mutant villains blanket the scene, which showcases the turtles realizing they aren’t the only mutants in the world and sets up the story for why they choose to do the right thing and stop Super Fly and his villainous ploys to destroy all humans.

Jeff Rowe also revealed at the panel that the dialogue was recorded by having the stars in the same room, which is generally not how animated filming works. He wanted to capture the authenticity of the banter that the turtles share in TMNT: Mutant Mayhem, which is expressed well.

The footage showcases the turtles finally feeling authentic, as their namesake indicates. They are quite literally teenagers who feel angst for being chastised by Splinter, want to feel like they belong, and drop a heap of contemporary references like Adele and Drake—which everyone will identify with.

The humor is fantastic, and the emotion of the turtle’s plight to belong comes through quite well. Also, though Shredder is arguably one of the best villains ever made, it’s refreshing to see a movie that does not involve him or the Foot Clan. The turtles will deal strictly with the consequences of the ooze they came into contact with. However, they must remember to do the right thing, even if it means stepping up against their own mutant kin.

It’s also interesting to rework the origin story of the turtles to showcase a much more paranoid and untrusting Splinter, which allows him to change for the better, which we assume might happen when the turtles eventually bring April around.

TMNT: Mutant Mayhem has all the right makings of blending the old-school feel of the turtles, along with a contemporary look at how this franchise can exist beyond this first film. Seth Rogen certainly did his homework, showcasing it well in the footage, which references past TMNT properties.

Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies

Related: New ‘TMNT’ Installment Finally Replaces Original Four Heroes

We cannot wait to see TMNT: Mutant Mayhem when it drops on August 2.

Are you excited about TMNT: Mutant Mayhem? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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