We Wish You A Turtle Christmas
We Wish You a Turtle Christmas
Producer: James K. Parker
Director: Larry Osborne
Writers: Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tish Rabe
Cast: James Eric Anzalone, Alfredo Miller, Florence Reymond, Ronn K. Smith, Jack William Scott, Natasha Cresap, Alicia Manta, Yaniv Segal, Anthony Manganiello
Synopsis: It's Christmas time, and the Turtles are setting up the decorations around their lair. Pondering on that faithful Christmas Eve of how wonderful things will be tomorrow. As they go over their checklist of things to do for the holidays, they soon realize that they forgot one important thing....they forgot to get their beloved Master Splinter a present...(gasp).. Now with only a couple of hours before the stores around the city close, the turtles set out to buy the perfect gift for Splinter on Christmas Eve.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Wrap Rap Song
Splinter's 12 Days of Christmas
Quite Possibly the Worst Holiday Special Since "Star Wars: Holiday Special".....(shudders)
Have you ever listened to an incoherent moron tell you some long winded story, but the reality is that nothing he/she ever said made a lick of sense? And to top that off, you can't help but feel a bit stupider for even bothering to listen to their nonsense. Well, this Christmas special with the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is a lot like that. Not only will it make you somehow feel stupider while watching it, but half the crap that happens doesn't make a lick of freaking sense. For those readers that might have been too young to remember the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", there was a time during their commercial peak, in the late eighties to early nineties, that ANYTHING with the turtles name on it was a huge hit.
Indeed, the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (TMNT for short) were pretty much an advertisers wet dream back in the day, as sponsors could have almost market anything from them; ranging from the usual toys, lunch boxes, cartoons, movies, musical tours, cereal, pizza, cream pies, and etc. However, towards the end of the TMNT's popularity (1994 to be exact), there was this Christmas special in one last attempt to capitalize off their name. How does it hold up? Not well. Granted, I won't go on record to say this is the worst Christmas special that I've ever seen, but it certainly comes very close.
Not only is there hardly any type of derivative story arc for us to draw from, but there's not even any kind of character development in this holiday special. Hell, it doesn't even have BASIC character development, as all the turtles have no defining characteristics. At least in the cartoon, each turtle had their own unique personality and voice. In this live action special, the turtles' personalities are all basically the damn same, and their voices keep changing throughout the show; which makes it very confusing at times.
Although, I should probably take back what I said earlier, as there is something of a story to this show, but it's not very good. If anything, the story only serves as a cheap excuse for fans to hear their favorite Turtles sing Christmas songs throughout the show. And if you thought "Star Wars: The Holiday Special" had some rather annoyingly bad songs? Well, let me tell you that after watching this show, you'll swear the songs in the holiday special that "Star Wars" had were freaking masterpieces compared to this.
The story (I use this term loosely) essentially revolves around the Turtles decorating their Christmas tree, until they come to the conclusion that they forgot to get their Master Splinter a gift. Oh what are these poor turtles to do? Why it's only Christmas Eve, and the stores will only be open for about two more hours, so the turtles head to the surface to find their master a gift. Isn't that nice? Of course, unlike the movies, cartoon, and comic book, the turtles don't bother wearing masks or disguises in this show when they go up to the surface. And, it's not like they're sneaking in dark alleyways like they did on the cartoon series. No, they're walking about in broad freaking day light, and people in this holiday special don't even bat an eye that four giant mutant turtles are roaming the city. Not one blur, yelp or anything. No, people just naturally accept that these turtles exist now, as it would seem in this special. Not only do they walk the streets in broad day light, but they sing various songs too while on their way to the store.
In fact, you almost have to laugh at how Michaelangelo decides to spontaneously sing opera in the middle of time square, as you hear Raphael mutter, "Oh no, he's turning into that opera guy again." Yes, Raphael literally says this, and I have to say it's amazing when you sing so freakishly bad in a musical that even the other characters say your awful. I mean, you'd literally have to be that bad to make that happen. Alas, I know many people would question why would the turtles waste precious time singing on the street, when they only have a couple of hours to buy Splinter's gift. Well, as it turns out, Raphael was thinking the same damn thing, as he's quick to remind Michaelangelo of their limited time.
Of course, another thing that really bothered me was the turtle costumes for this show. Granted, the budget is a mere fraction of what the movies had to work with, but I have to say these costumes give a whole new meaning to the word cheap. The turtles mouths constantly move even when they're not talking, and they look eerily creepy to boot. In fact, you can literally see where the mask and neck of the actor connect on the suit. Then again, I guess one could over look this considering the budget constraints of this show being a measly five thousand dollars. But why are the voices constantly changing during songs? And why does each turtle sound exactly the damn same when they're not singing?
At least in the movies and cartoon, each turtle had their own distinct voice and characteristic for fans to tell them apart easily; outside of their masks. However, in this show, you can literally have the turtles switch masks, and have them toy with the audience by calling each other different names, and we wouldn't know the difference. As for their voices changing during the music, it comes off as being downright creepy at times. At the beginning, Leo starts off with a Jamaican voice, as he sings "Jingle Bells" as they decorate their tree. Yet in another scene, Leo suddenly has a deep African American voice when he sings about wrapping presents. I know maybe in the director's mind this was a good idea, but it comes off as creepy and disturbing if anything else.
However, I will give this film one credit in that it at least sticks to it's target audience pretty well, as there's nothing bad in it for kids; which is more than what I can say about "Star Wars: Holiday Special" with it's controversial wookie moaning scene that's highly suggestive. I won't say what that scene is, but lets just say that George Lucas clearly has issues, and I'll leave it at that. Anyway, to get back to this movie, I'd have to give it a half star out of four. I can see where the director and writers wanted to go with this movie, but poor excuse of a story, and under developed characters really kill this holiday special. Don't bother seeing this unless you're that big of a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" fan.