Hey gang, Valkor here. Back in 2010 and as a part of my “30 for 30” (30 films in 30 days), I was able to share with you guys a review for a film that was not only wicked cool but something that grew close to my geeky, little heart – Turtles Forever. It was the final icing on a seven-season cake, which began in 2003 and saw the TMNT return to their darker, comic book roots. “Turtles Forever” brought the 1987 version of TMNT into the 2003 timeline, but you also got a glimpse of the TMNT multiverse, which expanded into the comics and even the live-action films. The latest incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was introduced in 2012, brings the characters up-to-date in CGI form; we’ve covered plenty of the DVDs here on TOV (links to which you’ll find on the sidebar), but I never thought I’d run across anything as special as “Turtles Forever”, until “Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Wanted: Beebop & Rocksteady” crossed my desk. And no sooner had I placed the disc into the player, it was when I knew I’d be in for a spectacular ride where the past meets the present.
"Tales of TMNT – Wanted: Beebop & Rocksteady" kicks off by combing the final three episodes of season 5 - Wanted: Beebop and Rocksteady, The Foot Walks Again! and The Big Blowout, into one film; in the main event, we find the 1987 version of Shredder and Krang, crossing over into the 2012 CGI TMNT dimension, where they seek out the current versions of the boar and warthog in hopes of taking over/destroying the world. And to complete the package, Shredder gives the new Beebop and Rocksteady the costumes of the original versions; FYI, the originals only appear at the beginning and end of the film. Eventually, the 87 version of the TMNT find their way into 2012, or I should their return (this isn’t the first time the two teams have met), where they attempt to use their cartoony antics in an attempt to defeat new school Beebop and Rocksteady. However, their methods prove ineffective as the mean green machine are instantly trounced. Fortunately, the 2012 version steps in to save the day rescuing their classic bros. And now the TMNT teams will join forces with the Mutanimals (Leatherhead, Slash, and Mondo Gecko), Karai, Casey Jones, and April O’Neil to put an end to Shredder and Krang’s nefarious plot to revive the Technodrome and take over the world.
The second episode is “Lone Rat and Cubs”; here we find Splinter telling a tale to the younger version of the turtles of the events that happened after they were splashed with that mysterious ooze, his confrontation with the Krang, how the turtles got their names, leading up to Splinter and the turtles finding their secret sewer lair. It’s a fascinating story and gets plus points for being written by Kevin Eastman.
The only extra you get with this DVD is an exclusive music video sung by Mikey called “Ice Cream Kitty”, based on his frozen, mutated cat. It’s actually pretty dope, but I wish there was more to the set such as a couple of related episodes. And did I see April kiss Donny at the end of the video? When did that relationship happen?
While there will always be a place in my geeky heart for “Turtles Forever”, I feel there’s enough room to include “Wanted: Beebop & Rocksteady” into the fold; the film is an excellent blend of classic TMNT mixed with the current CGI crew. What I really enjoyed the most was the comparison of how campy the 87 version of TMNT was to the seriousness of the 2012 team, how the original’s tactics were ineffective against a newer foe, and how the new crew taught the old that it’s actually better to use their weapons as opposed to having them just for show. Ultimately, it was a so much fun seeing the two teams together, though at times things got a little out of control, it was still totally worth it. And this goes for both episodes, but I noticed some classic lines tossed in there other than the obvious “go green machine” or “cowabunga”. But we also got “tonight I dine on turtle soup”, Splinter’s “strike hard and fade away” (I recall that one from the first live-action film), and “Exterminate” by Dr. Who’s Daleks. I’m sure there are more visual as well as audio nuggets to be discovered, and considering how entertaining the DVD is, it’s actually worth going back in to find them.
The set could have used a couple more episodes to really broaden things out, especially the ep where the two teams first meet. I also found it strange that Jason Biggs wasn’t asked to come back to voice little Leonardo since Seth Green’s take was introduced in season 3.
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Wanted: Beebop & Rocksteady DVD is available now. And if you’re a fan of the current series, but especially the classic, then you’ll definitely want to invest in this DVD. Sure it doesn’t have too much to offer, but what it does have is more than enough for you to enjoy. So out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Wanted: Beebop & Rocksteady a 4.5.