One of the joys of having a child is being able to share with them the things you loved at their age. One of the horrors is looking at the those things through the eyes of an adult and realizing how horrible or ridiculous they were.
Today I watched an episode of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (if you have to click that link to know who they are, I’m sorry your life is so awful) with my daughter. Granted, it was season 5, long after they proverbial shark was jumped. Episode 1, the Turtles and the Hare. You can watch it here on youtube. Ah youtube, where were you when I was a kid? I had to wait for the allotted time and hope that it wasn’t an episode I had seen before.
If you want to spare yourself the 20 minutes of time you won’t get back, here’s a recap and review. Also, spoilers ahead. Sorry if you’re not caught up on this 20+ year old episode, but come on, you’ve had time.
It started with a tried and true situation. Donatello (who does machines) woke up the turtles to show them his new invention. An automated egg-painting machine. It worked well enough until, you guessed it, Michelangelo (the party dude) showed up and just jackassedly leaned on the lever, which sent him into the machine where he was pelted by eggs that broke (Seriously Donnie? You’re not hard boiling the eggs?) and painted. Leonardo (leads) tried to stop him and in the end the machine ended up in a big pile with Don sheepishly saying it needed minor adjustments. Keep in mind that he couldn’t do a simple machine like this later on, when we see another invention. During this, Raphael (cool but rude) just did his thing. Which wasn’t much, but I’ll give him a break.
Meanwhile, in Dimension X, Krang, that brain at crotch level, has just made a new invention. He even admits to Shredder that while all his inventions just look like remote controls, this one is going to be awesome. It’s a Docilizing Ray. Yeah. A ray that makes people docile. Typing that out makes me think it’s even worse than when I saw it.
Anyways, as you could have guessed from Donatello’s machine, it’s Easter time and so Bebop and Rocksteady are dressed in bunny suits so that they will be able to go undercover to Earth to test out Krang’s ray. That might be an okay plan, but the bunny suits don’t have masks so we are looking at giant bunnies, one with the face of a humanoid rhino, and the other a punked-out warthog with shades. Before leaving they comment to each other that if this episode is full of bunny jokes, they’re out of there. They also later comment that they’ll get their own show and then Shredder will work for them. The later seasons of TMNT did become a bit meta. Anyway, they teleport to Earth to try out the ray on April O’Neil’s news crew. Now this bothers me quite a bit. Krang can teleport them and Shredder ANYWHERE on Earth. Instead of just trying a different city, or different country altogether, this giant brain decides to always put them back near the turtles. He just wants to fail at this point.
So they go, the ray works, the turtles show up at the news studio after April and the crew was shot and… nothing. They are forced to lay down their weapons because Bebop and Rocksteady have hostages and then when they are about to shoot the turtles, who are unarmed and standing not 15 feet away from the guns, Shredder makes them come back saying he’s the only one that gets to have fun. Again, he just wants to fail at everything he does.
Now the turtles need to reverse the Docilizing ray, but the only thing that will do the trick is a special crystal that doesn’t exist in their dimension. No problemo! Donatello, the aforementioned inventor who can’t make something paint eggs just whips out his portable portal generator and starts scanning alternate dimensions. Yeah, it’s a thing and it totally got worked into several episodes if I remember correctly. This is a huge device that folds itself into a backpack size container. It can scan dimensions, create portals to them, and look inside them from any vantage point it wants. Anyway, he finds said crystal in the Fairy Tale dimension.
At this point, I’m asking myself, “Who is writing this garbage?” and I remember no one, because it happened in the past. Also, the early 90s were a crazy place. Meanwhile, my daughter is laughing at the absurdity of it all. Oh to be young and not overthink things.
We see Jack cutting down the beanstalk, (which he does every hour, for the tourists, WHAT?) and the titular Hare, who thinks the turtles are the tortoises he is supposed to race. Meanwhile, Shredder and his minions get ready to broadcast the Docilizing ray on microwaves (?) all over the world. He decides the best thing to do beforehand is to get on national television and tell everyone that plan. Again, he could have just been teleported straight to the satellite dish, but no, that would have ended in his victory.
The rest of the episode is two of the turtles (I think Leo and Raph) navigating fairy tale dimension to get the crystal from the giant. The hare wants to one up them so he ends up taking it and all three come back into our dimension. They stop the bad guys (of course) and then the hare ends up helping April do an Easter egg hunt put on by the news station. The turtles watch the egg hunt in their matching disguises that totally fool everyone. You know, puffy jackets over turtlenecks (HA, I just got that), pants and hats. Don’t bother covering up the hands or faces though. Just, don’t worry about it.
So, yeah. It’s still out there to watch. I guess if you made it all the way down here, you deserve something for your effort, so… here’s a creepy Krang gif from TMNT gifs over at tumblr. There’s some great stuff over there.