'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season 6'
(Jennifer Darling, Cam Clarke. et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1987) 2008 / LGF)
Overview: Mutated into anthropomorphic fighting machines when they fall into the sewer at a young age, four turtles--Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael--have been trained in the martial arts by the sewer-dwelling Hamato Yoshi. Now, they fight crime in New York City, using their ninja skills as well as the aid of news reporter April O'Neil to counter the efforts of their enemy, Shredder. This collection includes all 16 episodes from sixth season of the 1980s animated series.
DVD Verdict: If you were alive at any time between 1987 and now, chances are you've heard of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Even before that, the popular characters starred in their own comic book created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, an oversized black-and-white funnybook that enjoyed its own enormous level of success. Essentially, TMNT was a true kitchen table project; two independent creators simply having fun, unaware that their creations would quickly grow beyond their wildest dreams. Spawning an endless supply of merchandise, a video game series and several feature films, Eastman and Laird's creation proved to be one of the most successful franchises of the late 80s-early 90s. In fact, it's still going fairly strong today.
Of course, the most well-known adaptation of the Ninja Turtles' adventures came in the form of their first animated series. Premiering in December of 1987, the first run of TMNT was quite a success: it eventually became one of the longest-running animated shows in television history, spanning roughly 200 episodes over nearly a decade. The first few years were chock full of classic moments, but each passing season saw the show get a little more ridiculous, eventually collapsing under its own weight. Though I saw and generally enjoyed the latest CGI feature film, other recent "resurrections" like Fast Forward have caused mild constipation.
Long story short: they don't make 'em like they used to. The original animated series' road to DVD started off slowly, but has gotten better in recent years. The first season was extremely solid in episode content; though it only spanned five episodes, they were probably the Turtle's finest hour overall. The DVD boasted a decent technical presentation, but only a few throwaway bonus episodes were included as extras. Subsequent volumes have crammed a dozen or more shows onto one disc, sacrificing picture quality and season continuity for cost purposes. Still, it was good enough to have these old episodes on DVD in any fashion, so most fans scooped them up quickly. To date, six volumes and three full-season compilations (counting this one) have been released.
This new two-disc set presents the sixth season in its entirety, albeit in slightly different order than the original broadcast run. 16 episodes are included in all - and they're spread across two discs, so at least they've got room to breathe! This is a Full Screen Presentation (4x3) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but doesn't come with any Special Features.