The First ‘Ninja Turtles’ Movie Turned 25 Yesterday: You Are Officially Old

Mar 31, 2015 at 2:22 pm |
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Skateboards, pizza, Sinophobia, and crime-ridden streets. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which turned 25 on March 30, was a pretty spot-on portrayal of early ’90s New York.

If you were an ’80s or ’90s baby (or if you had good taste in toys and franchises), you loved the Ninja Turtles. There was something about their cool lingo, butt-kicking antiauthoritarianism, and – face it – love for pizza that spoke to the American teenage wasteland at the end of the Cold War era and before the economic boom of the 1990s that really spoke to you. “Cowabunga” was more than just a word, it was a way of life.

And yet, 25 years later, have you forgotten those simple days, or what the TMNT stood for in a pre-Giuliani Manhattan? Then take a quick break from your fast-pace life, dude; this quarter of a century anniversary is the perfect opportunity to sit back and reflect on the most important life lesson that the Ninja Turtles taught you.

The best lesson you can always remember from TMNT is to take risks. Despite the franchise’s wild success as a comic, in the action figure and merchandising markets, and as a cartoon series, no one wanted to touch a live-action version of the film. Enter New Line Cinema, known then for independent films and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. From a $13.5 million dollar budget and help from Jim Henson’s puppet studio, the film turned over nearly $202 million at the box office. All that for four anthropomorphic turtles, skilled in the art of ninjutsu and with an affinity for New York City pizza.

Well it’s been 25 years since the glory days of your favorite childhood franchise (you’d probably lying if you said you didn’t have/ go to a Ninja Turtles-themed birthday party at least once), and while nothing else in your life might make sense these days, never forget life’s only true constants: firstly, never give up, and secondly, pizza. Pizza will always be there for you, even if no one else is.

Cowabunga.


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