Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV Poster Image
Violence takes center stage in disappointing reimagining.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

This show intends to entertain rather than to educate.


Positive Messages

Teamwork and brotherhood are strong with the Turtles, but that's less of a focus in this series than in others. Here they seem bent on outdoing each other in battle rather than complementing each other. Violence is always the answer to the problems.


Positive Role Models & Representations

The Turtles insert themselves in battles against villains, and they're willing to endure just about anything to defeat them. They have a somewhat antagonistic relationship, tending to pester each other to extremes and making degrading remarks in a sarcastic way that's meant to be funny (to the audience, that is). Splinter is noticeably different in this iteration, cast as a slovenly bum rather than a mentor and coach to the Turtles.


Violence & Scariness

Pervasive cartoon violence with crashes, explosions, and shockwaves that can hurl bodies across rooms. The Turtles use martial arts weapons but also swords, knives, and anything else they have at their disposal. Some injuries linger briefly, showing the characters with swollen faces, bruises, and bandages. Scary mutant monsters -- some friendly, some not -- of all shapes and sizes.


Sexy Stuff

"Butt" and "stupid."



This series joins a franchise of movies, TV shows, and much merchandise bearing the characters' images.


Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a reimagining of the popular weapons-wielding reptilians' story that features a lot of cartoon violence and action. Explosions, collapsing structures, shockwaves that propel bodies great distances, and marital arts-style fighting are par for the course, and violence is seen as the only means to resolving problems with villains. This series tweaks the characters' appearances and personalities in ways that will be noticeable to viewers who have seen previous TMNT productions, and the result is a visually edgier foursome of heroes. Sometimes the brothers' apparent desire to outdo each other in combat interferes with their ability to work as a team.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySheruKashema December 29, 2018

So stupid it hurts

Nick has done so much better than this. This show is absolutely disgusting compared to the other turtle cartoons that exist and as a fan of everything ever prod... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byHannabarbera January 6, 2020

Better than given credit

Despite the reviews this show is really good! It has incredible animation and great plots that give a super cool spin on the franchise! Don’t be swayed by the r... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 18, 2020

What's the story?

Deep in the sewers under New York City live four mutant turtle brothers -- Raphael (voiced by Omar Miller), Michaelangelo (Brandon Mychal Smith), Leonardo (Ben Schwartz), and Donatello (Josh Brener) -- who are learning to harness their ninja powers and work together as a team in battles against mutant villains. With their human friend, April (Kat Graham), the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hone their skills against the fiercest foes, including Baron Draxum (John Cena) and his minions. The real question is not whether they will withstand their enemies, though; it's how they will survive their teen years and each other as the competition among their egos is nearly as intense as their street fights.


Is it any good?

This chaotic cartoon is a mostly unnecessary and incongruous addition to an already enduring franchise. The characterizations of RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES aren't a satisfactory fit among against the general consistency of the original '90s releases or the amped-up 2014 reboot. The Turtles barely resemble each other for one thing; each one is a different species (what??), they vary greatly in size and brawn, and at times they look almost menacing. Splinter (Eric Bauza), their fearless leader, is more sluggish than sage, and the story itself feels like a total rewrite of the heroes' evolutions rather than a reimagining.

The one factor that is consistent is the chronic violence, and that's something viewers would be happy to miss. Even in 2D animation style, these clashes can be excessive, with bodies crashing into brick walls, falling long distances, and enduring explosions. In addition, mutation is another weapon of warfare that villains use on unsuspecting humans. That said, this show's lifeline is an uber-talented voice cast that does a far better job adding personality to the characters than do their reimagined appearances.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teamwork and achieving a common goal. What character traits are important in a good teammate? When do you see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles modeling character strengths like courage and creative problem solving?

  • Why do you think these characters have maintained their popularity for nearly 30 years? How do they blend reality and fantasy in an unusual way? If you've seen some of their other movies and/or TV shows, do you like the changes this one makes to the Turtles especially?

  • How differently (if at all) do you react to violence in a cartoon and that same level of violence in a live-action production? Was any of the fighting in this series concerning for you? When cartoon characters have visible injuries, does it change the impact of the violence?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love classic characters

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