Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 3 DVD, 1989
by Scrooge McSuck
We all know the story of the Turtles, so I don't need to go into a rant once more. For those unfamiliar with the reviews, this is Volume 3 of the TMNT Original Series DVD releases, and contains the first 12 episodes from Season 3. For reference, here's a list of the previous DVD episodes list...
Volume 1: (Season 1)
1. Turtle Tracks
2. Enter The Shredder
3. A Thing About Rats
4. Hot-Rodding Teenagers From Dimension X
5. Shredded and Splintered
187. The Beginning of the End
188. The Return of Dregg
191. Mobster From Dimension X
192. The Day The Ear Disappeared
Volume 2: (Season 2)
6. Return of the Shredder
7. The Incredible Shrinking Turtles
8. It Came from Beneath the Sewers
9. The Mean Machines
10. Curse of the Evil Eye
11. The Case of the Killer Pizzas
12. Enter: The Fly
13. Spinter No More
14. Teenagers from Dimension X
15. Invasion of the Punk Frogs
16. New York's Shiniest
17. The Cat Woman of Channel Six
18. Return of the Technodrome
Episode #19: Beneath These Streets:
Where we last left our Heroes in Half Shells, they had sent Shredder, Krang and the Technodrome packing to the earth's core. This plot introduces the most often used scape-goat of the TMNT Series.... the Pneumatic Modules. Feeling confident in their success, the Turtles lounge around watching TV, angering Splinter. Splinter proceeds to wipe the sewers with them to prove a point, and gives them more excercises to do. Because we need a storyline, Shredder plans to steal a mechanism to give energy into the system of the Technodrome, to bring it back to earth. While the Turtles go out for some fun, Splinter is left on his own to foil the evil plans, and is knocked into a coma with the device. After several exchanges of the equipment, the Turtles get posession of the Medi-Laser Gun and revive Splinter, and sending Shredder home to Krang, a failure once more.
Rating: 7/10 - A rather weak episode to return the series with, but it wasn't too bad. It's now a lot more noticable that comedy is taking over the #1 spot in the spot over action. The more of Shredder/Bebop/Rocksteady, the better says I.
Episode #20: Turtles On Trial
While enjoying an professional wrestling match (looks like Cowabunga or whatever the wrestling turtle was), Michaelangelo turns on his favorite show, "On Trial" hosted by Clayton Kellerman, an obnoxious TV host who does nothing but whine about thinga. Just their luck, his target of the show are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While the Turtles are busy trying to smooth things out with the jackass, Krang plans to return to earth to destroy them. With help from his Stone Warriors (sorry Traag fans, he isn't here), and minimal help from Shredder, Krang steals some kind of war machine that will blast the Turtles into the skies. After clearing their name is a failure, the Turtles once again foil the plans of Krang, sending him back to the Technodrome... but not before he gets his ganglia stuck on a piece of chewing gum. HIGH-larious!
Rating: 6/10 - A very weak episode. Not much in terms of action, the comedy is rather limited, and the storyline sucked. I think we got the point that people don't trust the Turtles, but did we need another episode making that the center of attention?
Episode #21: Attack of the 50-Foot Irma
The first episode to be based around a minimal-supporting-character. Shredder is up to no good again, attempting to steal a meterorite that crashed to earth to power yet another invention of Krang's that will help them out of the shithole they're in right now, which causes the person to grow to an immense size. While April and Irma are arguing over Irm'as diet, a Module crashes through the ground, sending April into the air, while Irma had run off to get ice cream. When she returns, she gets blasted with the ray, and slowly gets bigger until she's taller than some of the largest buildings. Nothing much of note happens until the Turtles make a super-giant pill to make Irma go back to normal, screwing over Vernon's hot news report in the process.
Rating: 6/10 - Wow, this season is really not starting out good. When will television producers learn that no one wants to see an entire show based around a 3rd-string character, especially when it's an animated show? I can understand it when they have to make 3 7-minute shorts, but this is inexcusable!
Episode #22: The Maltese Hamster
I'm sure we all know what this is a parody of, and if you don't, you go to hell! You go to hell and you die! It seems as if the local Mafia... er, Mob has struck a deal with the Shredder, since they are using high-tech weapons only found in the Techonodrome. Slowly but surely, the Mob mutant-naps Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, and Splinter, leaving Donatello to rescue them, with only the help from April, and a horrible impersonation. Donatello finds out the Mob is after a special statue of a Hamster that April had bought, and need it to complete a transaction with Shredder. Now, why would Shredder need THEIR help, when he could get it by himself? Logic in Cartoons. Anyway, Donatello easily outsmarts everyone, making Shredder believe the Mob turned on him, and steals back his weapons. The Turtles make sure the Mob is taken care of, and destroy the statue, which hid a formula to create a super fuel.
Rating: 8/10 - So sue me, I thought it was a very entertaining episode. Sure, it was a cheap parody that most people probably wouldn't get, and the storyline made zero sense for why Shredder needed anyones help, but still good nontheless, and so far, the Season 3 Episode of the Year™.
Episode #23: Sky Turtles
Excuse me while I'm a little bias towards this episode, since I've had it on VHS for years when I first got the tape from Burger King back in 1990 (along with other tapes with April Fool, Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers, and another I forgot). Makes me wish they didn't kill off the Burger King Kid's Club Kids (who didn't love the video game addict, cripple, mexican, black guy named after the Steven Speilberg shark movie, dog, nerd, and lesbo?). Anyway, onto the episode... Shredder and Krang have invented an anti-gravity device to fuck with the city of New York, causing things to fly around aimlessly or come crashing to the ground. Probably the funniest episode, especially the scene where the Turtles trick Rocksteady into their van to steal his anti-gravity boots, resulting in them knocking him out by tossing one of his socks on his face. Despite a last ditch effort to send the entire city into the sky, the Turtles return to break the machine, bringing the city back to normal.
Rating: 9/10 - Probably my favorite episode on this DVD. All around funny, the plot isn't chopped up into a bunch of sub-plots, and it's an interesting idea. Only problem is, even though they are in the air, how are the Turtles able to avoid being brought down from the blimp? They don't have wings like birds!
Episode #24: The Old Switcheroo
Once again, Shredder and the Mutant Morons are out to steal something to bring the Technodrome back to earth. In the meantime, Donatello's pizza making machine goes berserk, injuring Leonardo in the process. This leads the Turtles taking Splinter with them to put an end to Shredder's newest plan. During the fight, Splinter and Shredder are both sent flying onto platforms, and Rocksteady stupidly blasts a control that makes both of them unconcious. When Shredder comes to, he's a bit too nice and uses much bigger words to insult Bebop. When Splinter wakes up, his angry and loud, and eats pizza. Hmm... oh yeah, they had their minds transfered thanks to that machine. Although both are suspected of being up to something, neither comes to any serious trouble, which leads to another fight with the Turtles. Here "Shredder" talks the Turtles into believing he's Shredder, and they hatch a plan to bring "Splinter" up to retransfer their minds. Things go well, and everyone goes home happy... except Shredder, because Krang hates him.
Rating: 10/10 - OK, I lied. This was probably the best episode of the DVD. A great story, the cool concept of Shredder being nice and Splinter being good, and some good action and comedy. You can't ask for much more than that from a cartoon show.
Episode #25: Burne's Blues
Once again the story is centered around a minor character, but this one is off the walls hilarious compared to the episode starring Irma. Picture it. New York. 1989. A heatwave is making everyone miserable... sorry, was watching the Golden Girls earlier. Anyway, everyones air conditioner is broken, all suspiciously "repaired" by S & K Repairs (I wonder what that stands for...). In the mean time, Burne Thompson is upset about the lack of good stories, so he goes out (with Vernon in tow) to get the dirt on the Turtles. This leads him to being tortured by several Mobsters, who do so by tickling the bottom of Burne and Vernon's feet with feathers. From there, they are abducted by aliens, who look suspiciouslly like Elvis Presley. During the insanity, Shredder's NutriFreeze canisters cause the entire city to be covered in snow, despite being in the middle of a summer heatwave, and thus confusing Burne and Vernon even more. This leads to Burne making his report on TV, making a complete ass out of himself to end the show.
Rating: 8.5/10 - While not one of the most logical episodes, it's pretty funny with all the bouncing around that happens between the characters and the events based around them. Plus Burne and Vernon rule, so huzzah to the Turtles creators!
Episode #26: The Fifth Turtle
My least favorite episode of the Season. The Turtles are being stalked by some annoying little kid named Zach (not to be confused with one of the Nuetrinos of the same name), who is way too obsessed with them, and causes trouble wherever he goes to follow them. He even tracks down their home, something no one else is able to do, so suddenly the Turtles kiss his butt. Shredder sees this kid as a chance to get back at the turtles, but he outsmarts Shredder (WHA?!?!) by destroying some crystals with an annoying siren sound made when he hooks a microphone up to one of the Turtle-Coms. In the end, they give him his own Communicator as an honorary member of the Ninja Turtles.... yeah. Wow, that was really lame.
Rating: 3/10 - Poor, Poor, Poor. The comedy was laughably bad, the action was non-existant, and the character is such a fucking wuss ("part wimp and part pussy"), that it makes me want to kill all kids like him.
Episode #27: Enter The Rat King
The first non-Shredder episode of the series, If I recall correctly. Instead, we are introduced to a new villain, who dwells in the sewers of the city... the Rat King. After April makes a report on how everyone hates rats for being dirty, dangerous, and "not cute", the Rat King kidnaps her during a lapse of power, and locks her up from spreading her lies about his royal subjects. This leads to April stupidly talking about SPLINTER and how he's a rat, and since Rat King can control all rats, he gets Splinter under his power to assault the Turtles. However, Splinter's mind is too strong, and he comes to his senses, and the Rat King is sent back into obscurity... for now.
Rating: 8/10 - Although I'd rather see Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady, it's nice to see the show producers change up the villain by introducing someone new and believable, without making them some kind of a mutant.
Episode #28: Turtle's At The Earth's Core
This is easily the most bizarre storyline of the DVD. While lounging around, the Turtles feel a sudden earthquake type of experience, but it wasn't an earthquake... it's a DINOSAUR?! The Turtles follow the creature into the park, where a giant hole causes everyone to fall into it. Here we find that Shredder and Co. had gone through the earths core to what appears to be a prehistoric world hidden from the world. Why are they there? To steal a mgaic crystal to power the Technodrome, and in the process will kill off all the life forms in the lost world. However, the Turtles, along with the help of several dinosaurs and "Dippy", they are able to retrieve the crystal from Krang's fortress of destruction and bring peace back to the galaxy.
Rating: 7.5/10 - The storyline is rather pathetic, although the original Turtle comics sometimes take place in fictional planets against mutants of all kinds. The comedy is up their, especially Shredder and his Stooges. Seeing the dinosaurs trample some Foot Soldiers is pretty awesome, too.
Episode #29: April's Fool
Oh yeah, I mentioned this one earlier. April is going to a special mascarade party held by the ruler of Malicuria. However, the Princess isn't in the mood to be a Princess again, so she runs away looking for adventure in the big city instead. Because of April's new look and hair style (which causes the Turtles and Splinter to pop collective boners), she looks exactly like the Princess, and wouldn't you know it, she's kidnapped by Shredder, who is after the King's Lidium 90, to, yup, power the Technodrome. The Turtles make a run-in, but Shredder finally has learned his lesson and decides to just run instead of fight. Things go wrong in the Museum though, as Shredder escapes with the sample, but it's unstable state explodes once it arrives in the Technodrome.
Rating: 9/10 - The bias in me strikes again. There's plenty of comedy, the storyline sounds believable (and has been done to death in television), and the Turtles once again have to run away from everyone by lying that they are just costumes, hence the party.
Episode #30: Attack of the Big M.A.C.C.
The final episode of the DVD, and Episode 12 of the 47 Episode Season 3. While some scientists unvail a new weapon of mass destruction that needs plenty of power to work, a machine comes through a time portal and wreaks havoc by stopping the violence against him. This is MACC, a.k.a Motor-Armoed Computerized Combatant, a machine from 2390 A.D., that hates violence, but is programmed for war. Shredder, of course, tries stealing him, but his first attempt is unsuccessful. In the meantime, MACC is growing unstable, and is again captured, this time for good (or for the next 10 minutes). MACC refuses to attack the Turtles while talking in a horrible Cowboy slang, because it's the only thing to watch during his long treck from the future to the present time. Eventually he goes back to his time to avoid meltdown and destruction of the city, and the evil doers are fucked over once more.
Rating: 5/10 - A very weak episode, with a lame storyline, and not much else. I'm betting the writers dialed this episode in, or the writer really sucked and was hopefully fired for creating such a shitty episode. Where was Fugitoid instead?! He was in the original comics, and it made sense.
Final Thoughts: Once again, there is no Bonus Features, but that's OK. I don't expect any anyway, and the ones we did get on Volume 1 were horrible episode from the unaired portion of Season 9 or 10, Post-Shredder and Entertainment. Like last time, the episodes aren't mind blowing awesome, but they are a good source of entertainment for Turtle fans, and for only $11 and change, it's not too bad of a deal. I'm just a little upset they broke the season down into volumes, much like the current series. Anyway, Solid Recommendation for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - the Original Series Volume Three.