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'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4'
(James Avery, Cam Clarke, Jennifer Darling, Barry Gordon, Michael Gough, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / (1987) 2007 / LGF)

Overview: This show tells the adventures of four turtles who were transformed into humanoids by a strange ooze and were trained as ninja by a human martial arts master, Hamato Yoshi, who was changed into a humanoid rat, Splinter, by the same substance. Together with the intrepid reporter, April O'Neil, they fight against the threats against the world, like Shredder and Krang.

DVD Verdict: On September 8, 1990, the show began its first run on CBS. This was the fourth season of the wildly popular "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" animated cartoon. The first three seasons had been (and continued to be) shown in syndication on the USA network, and also (for a short while, anyway) on the FOX network. When the cartoon began airing on CBS, it aired two episodes back-to-back, with "Turtle Tips" in between, animated shorts advising viewers young and old on environmental issues, such as not running too much water or wasting too much electricity.

Season Four of the series took the show to new heights, as new characters were introduced, familiar characters were given increased depth, and our Heroes in a Halfshell continued to sky-rocket in popularity. From 1989-1992, the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was one of the hottest cartoons on the planet, airing on Saturday mornings after a full hour of "Garfield and Friends," another terrific cartoon based on the comics of Jim Davis.

For me personally, Seasons Three and Four of this wonderful cartoon are my favorite. For them to finally -- FINALLY! -- be released on DVD has been a long time coming. And I could not be more thrilled that Season Four in its entirety is going to be released in one fell swoop, instead of being churned out disk by disk every spring and fall. Any seasons released after this, in my opinion, will just be icing on the cake. All I've wanted since the invention of DVD was to have Seasons Three and Four make it to this format, and it FINALLY HAPPENED!

I don't know if the "Turtle Tips" will ever see the light of day as far as bonus features go. There were only about ten of them, if I remember correctly, and they just kept getting recycled through all the seasons that aired on CBS.

I know a lot of people like the darker, grittier versions of the Turtles, but I much prefer the goofier, kid-friendly versions that this cartoon consists of. Season Four, especially, really emphasizes this fact, as some of the funniest episodes in the series are included. All of the principle characters have their moments to shine comedically, but Shredder and Krang, in particular, have some really funny moments all throughout this season, something that was sorely lacking when the show changed tone dramatically in its waning years.

So if you can't wait to see all your old friends again: Donatello, Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Splinter, and are even anxious to see Shredder bicker with his live-in wife, alien warlord Krang, and his two bumbling mutants, Bebop and Rocksteady, just rush to your local DVD retail outlet and buy, buy ... BUY!! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

40 episodes on five discs
"Underneath the Shell: Slash the Evil Turtle" featurette
"The Shredder: Inside the Turtles' Most Fearsome Foe" featurette
Recipe for a cheese pizza

www.LGF.com





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