My younger self is pleased to see that the Ninja Turtles are still culturally relevant for today’s youth. They were a big deal in my own youth in the late 80s and 90s, including a fun cartoon show and some great videogames by Konami. Anyway, when given a chance to review a new DVD release from Paramount and Nickelodeon with eleven episodes from the current series, I was intrigued.
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Super Shredder is a two disc release with six episodes on disc one and five more on disc two. As far as the series lineup goes, these are episodes from Season 4, Episodes 20 thru 26, and the fifth and final season starting on March 19th, episodes one through four. It’s pretty cool and unusual for me to review a TV show with episodes that haven’t even aired yet, so I’ll make sure to avoid spoilers for those last four episodes. Of note, there are zero special features on this DVD release, but, given its $10 price, you’re basically paying slightly less than one dollar per episode — although, these are in SD as opposed to HD.
As the release title would suggest, these episodes span a story arc with Super Shredder, who some TMNT fans may remember from TMNT II the movie back in the early 90s. Shredder chugged a lot of mutagen in the movie and that’s what he’s done here, too. While recovering from his latest defeat and getting small doses of mutagen from Stockman to heal, Shredder’s impatience grows and his thirst for vengeance runs rampant. He forces Stockman to give him more and more mutagen, changing Shredder into a hideous beast with a primal mind bend on revenge. Splinter, April, and the Turtles encounter Super Shredder and Elite Footsoldiers, they manage to survive, but Splinter goes missing.
The second episode, “Darkest Plight,” sees the turtles descend into the abyss from which they saw Splinter and Super Shredder fall in hopes to find Splinter. Some spooky, not-so-kid-friendly scenes involving Splinter and Victor Falco (who I had previously no knowledge of) see Splinter having to deal with head trauma and the mind games of Falco. Meanwhile, Tiger Claw helps Shredder, but Shredder is only more determined to get more mutagen to accelerate his revenge. Fast forward to the episode ‘Requiem,’ and, spoiler-alert — both Splinter and Shredder die. Is this the end of the saga? Hardly — the show was signed off for another twenty episode finale season, and as mentioned earlier the first four episodes of that season are on disc two in this release. Seeing as those episodes have not yet aired, though, and they won’t for another week, I’ll avoid any spoilers here. I will say that these four episodes are strong outings for the series, with some especially tense battles between a lot of different characters, old and new.
In sum, the Super Shredder DVD release is fairly priced at $10, despite not having any extra features. I will say, and this is probably common knowledge for current followers of the show, that these episodes are not particularly ideal for young children under seven or eight to watch. Some of the animations, as evident from the box art of Super Shredder, and some of the dialog is a bit mature as far as that age group goes. Anyhow, that said, if you’re eager to see the opening episodes of season five but don’t want to wait for them to air, you might want to pick this release up on the 21st of this month.