Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles1990

Director: Steve Barron
Stars: Elias Koteas, Judith Hoag, James Saito, Toshishiro Obata, Raymond Serra
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 95 minutes

The 1987 debut season of the wildly popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' first animated TV series finally arrives in its entirety on this single disc. And while it's a pleasure to have these long-unavailable episodes in DVD format, the set's lackluster presentation and paltry extras also make it a disappointment for those hoping for a more expansive release. Volume One contains the five-episode "miniseries" that comprised the debut season and explained the Turtles' origins; the episodes are presented with opening and closing credits, though offered as single chapters on the disc. The "bonus" material is four episodes from the series' tenth and final season, which were largely unseen in the U.S. (though some U.K. viewers may have caught them). While interesting from a completist perspective, their inclusion clashes somewhat with the first-season episodes, as the series' look and tone had changed considerably by this point. And when combined with the disc's overall lack of quality picture and sound (video masters appear to have been used), Volume One represents something of a missed opportunity for TMNT fans; however, having the first season on a single disc may be an acceptable trade. --Paul Gaita

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