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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3: The Greatest Adaptation of The Franchise – Ever [Review]

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Based on characters created by Kevin Eastman and
Peter Laird, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an animated series on Nickelodeon starring Sean Astin, Seth Green, Greg Cipes, Rob Paulsen, Hoon Lee, Josh Peck, Mae Whitman, Nolan North, Kevin Michael Richardson and more.

Four ninja turtles, mutated by a mysterious alien substance, must rise up out of the sewers and defend their city against evil forces from both the past and present.

After the invasion of The Kraang, the turtles are forced to leave the city and take hold in April’s cabin out in the woods in order to come up with a plan and take back their home. The first story arc of season three is amazing. It’s loaded with horror film references and tons of moments that will scare the absolute crap out of your kids and I know a lot of you will use your children as an excuse to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — but at this point — it doesn’t even matter. This series holds up on it’s own and I’d proudly watch it by myself as a 30-year-old man without feeling sad inside. This new Nickelodeon series is the absolute greatest adaptation of the franchise – ever. Hands down.

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Memorable villains like The Creep (inspired by Jason from Friday The 13th) or the Nightmare Beavers (Freddy Krueger) owned the first half of season three while memorable partners emerged like Mondo Gecko and Muckman later on. The creative team truly dug into the massive world of TMNT and adapted some of the best characters in brilliant and faithful ways onto the show. Rocksteady and Bebop! The warthog and rhino are finally here and they did not disappoint. JB Smoove’s voice is too good.

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One of my favorite episodes of the season was during the second half in the ‘turtles in time’ arc where we got to see a flashback into Splinter and Shredder’s past. It was one of the finest moments of the series and probably the strongest written animated episode that I’ve ever seen on television. For a ‘children’s’ series, TMNT does not hold back and it really raises the stakes significantly when it has to. There is death, there are consequences and emotions can run high just as much as the laughs can. Mikey had some of his greatest moments this season. When the Triceratons try to take a glimpse into his mind…… Amazing. Ice Cream Kitty? Yeah he’s still around to increase the happiness factor of the show in every single scene that requires MORE ICE CREAM KITTY. I love that little guy.

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Crognard The Barbarian was the best show within a show yet, paying homage to Conan, He-Man and The Thundercats. That little white ghost thing – Spooch – is classic. The final episode of Crognard is legendary too. The sudden and shocking end was one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year and much like these goofy animated shows that the turtles watch — an all too painful glimpse into what is happening in their world as well.

The two-part season finale ‘Annihilation: Earth’ was an epic conclusion to an astounding and jampacked 26-episode season. Was it similar to the Invasion two parter of season two? Sure it was, but the ending…… That ending was jarring. You will not and cannot see that coming. I loved the unlikely alliances coming together to battle the new alien threat. Seeing Muckman, Slash and Leatherhead fighting alongside the Turtles and then witnessing villains turned allies doing battle in order to save Earth — just pure awesome.

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However — not everything was as it seemed. People die. This is an animated series and characters do perish in what is one of the most stunning season finales of an animated show that I’ve ever laid eyes upon. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is such a great experience for a fan who grew up with the comics and original animated series all those years ago. I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s the best incarnation of the Turtles that I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see how they pull off a fourth season after what happened in that finale…. Good luck team – you’re gonna need it.

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