Just for fun – TMNT 1: Turtle Tracks


Naturally, episode one is the origin episode. In case we don’t remember, it’s martial arts outcast meets mutagenic goo and rats and pet turtles in the sewers of “the big city” makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

April O’Neil, lady journo, isn’t really impressing me in this episode, running straight into a brick wall and fainting away twice in about the first five minutes. Her boss later reveals she’s maybe the third-best reporter at his station. She starts to redeem herself when she ditches the pizza-loving turtles to to go chase her story, but even that turns out to be just a way for her to be the damsel in distress. First she has to get rescued from a sketchy roof, then from a flooding building.

The show has some moments that make me feel like it was written for adults as well as kids, like the knowing comments to the camera, or the Casablanca reference, “here’s looking at you, kid,” or the gag about the check at Ninja Pizza.

It also has some moments that have me mentally preparing for some serious Japanese stereotypes, like a rope with a “made in Japan” being a clue that a crime was committed by ninjas.

I’m loving how sci-fi the show feels. We’ve got mutagenic goo, high-tech ninja weapons, robot ninja goons and big ol’ spy screens in Shredder’s lair. I’m also loving that various characters used the word “punk” to describe — I don’t even know exactly — inept ninjas? Trouble-making teens? Something like that.

Finally, how has no better cartoon theme song been composed since 1987?

Favorite quote of this episode:

Criminal to April : We got a message for you from the big boss man. He wants you should stick to reporting fashion shows.*

*It could have been ripped right from Said To Lady Journos!

Don’t forget I have a youtube playlist if you want to watch along.


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