A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze is the 1991 sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. There is martial arts-style violence, but none of it is graphic or gory, and there also are comedic pratfalls. Younger and more sensitive viewers might find the mutant wolf and snapping turtle scary. Parents may enjoy this kitschy movie as much as kids, since it gives them a chance to take their kids down the proverbial memory lane to show them a world when jeans were acid-washed and Vanilla Ice was actually a successful hip-hop artist instead of a B-list celebrity.
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Not only is the movie's juvenile dialogue unbearable for adults, but the turtles' dopey and casual attitude towards physical violence makes them poor kids' role models.
What's the story?
After foiling a massive television theft and break-in attempted by dozens of young ninjas, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael) return to their hideaway at TV newscaster April O'Neil's (Paige Turco) Manhattan loft. O'Neil is doing a report on a toxic waste cleanup led by Professor Jordan Berry (David Warner). Berry and his team uncover the ooze that the TMNTs come to learn is the same toxic ooze that created them. Unfortunately, their arch-nemesis Shredder also realizes this and sends his team of young ninjas (the same ones who were stealing televisions) into Berry's lab to steal the last ooze container. Having accomplished this and taking Berry prisoner, Shredder finds a way to turn that ooze into two vicious mutants -- a mutant wolf and a mutant snapping turtle -- who are unleashed to wreak havoc in New York City. It's up to the TMNTs to find a way to stop these mutants before they destroy a club in which Vanilla Ice is performing.
Is it any good?
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2: THE SECRET OF THE OOZE isn't exactly timeless, but it does have a kitschy charm to it. That's either in spite of or because of the dated early-'90s fashions and the climactic scene taking place at a Vanilla Ice concert (where he performs the theme rap from the movie soundtrack). Aside from this, there's nothing in particular that distinguishes this film from other TMNT movies and TV episodes. All the usual clichés are in effect, from the massive pizza consumption to the catchphrase "Cowabunga, dudes!"
If anything, this is an opportunity for parents to share with their kids what was popular in the world of children's entertainment when they were kids -- especially in light of new TMNT movies coming out these days. As characters, the Turtles are as likable as ever with their New Yawk accents and bravado. But parents are just as likely to find this nostalgic sense from the TV show and the original movie that had come out the year before.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what kids' shows and movies parents liked when they were kids. How are shows and characters such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the late '80s and early '90s similar to and different from current favorites?
In 2014, there was a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Why do you think Hollywood has an interest in bringing back characters that were popular decades ago?
How are messages concerning protecting the environment shown in this movie?
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