Cowabunga, dudes! Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has just seen its first DVD release for Season 3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Retreat features seven episodes and a modest helping of special features on one disc.
The Kraang have overrun New York City. Splinter is presumed dead. Leonardo is critically injured. The turtles, along with April and newcomer Casey Jones, are forced to evacuate the city and take shelter in the O’Neil Family farm house at the edge of the woods. The temporary peace is broken by the appearance of several mutated monsters born from one tragically misplaced can of mutagen (thanks, Donnie).
As if that wasn’t a dark enough intro for you, the episodes in TMNT: Retreat are some of the darkest, creepiest, scariest moments I’ve ever seen in a kids’ cartoon series. It’s as if every episode was a freaky homage to old John Carpenter horror flicks from the 80s. I mean, one episode is LITERALLY a recreation of the movie The Thing (1982).
Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. The show creators obviously wanted to try something new, and the old-farmhouse-in-the-middle-of-the-spooky-woods setting is a welcome departure from New York City. In their new surroundings (and without a real leader) the turtles are far more vulnerable than they were in Season 1, and each mutated menace that shambles out of the woods is especially threatening. The change-up from the usual urban conflict that the TMNT franchise is known for was fresh and interesting.
As I mentioned earlier, this season really plays on scary horror elements. This surprised me, as a reviewer who assumed this show is being marketed towards young children. Notable examples include a shape-shifting lab experiment, that was too much for even the Kraang to handle, ingesting the turtles one-by-one, a man who hasn’t slept in decades going after Casey Jones with a chainsaw, and a quartet of evil beavers who invade their victims’ dreams and suck away their life forces.
The eight-year-old Mason would have loved this kind of content, but more sensitive parents might want to show a different season to their youngsters.
In fact, this season is great for adults to watch with their kids. Any science-fiction aware adult will instantly recognize the many nods to classic sci-fi/horror films that TMNT: Retreat pulls off, the kung-fu action is still really well done, Mikey is still hilarious, and there is LITERALLY a Napoleon Dynamite frog in one episode.
I repeat: Napoleon Dynamite, voiced by Jon Heder (fanny pack and catchphrases included), appears in one episode as a mutated frog. It’s something you have to see to believe.
Throw in seven making-of shorts that highlight the technical process of making each episode, and you’ve got yourself a pretty impressive DVD set. My only complaint is they really didn’t do enough with Raphael (my favorite turtle), but then I also believe casting Sean Astin as Raph was a bad idea from the beginning.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Retreat: Amazon
To celebrate the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Retreat, we have partnered with Nickelodeon to give away a LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-Rawket Sky Strike building set.
Entering is easy:
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The giveaway will close March 17 at 11:59PM PST. Open to US and Canadian residents only.
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Edited by: Hannah Wilkes