‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Trailer Analysis, Photos, & Video

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 3rd, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

Love it or hate it, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back thanks to director Jonathan Liebesman and producer Michael Bay. For months fans have pored over concept artwork, a kid’s costume mockup, and toy photos for the faintest sneak peek at what the filmmakers had in store for viewers in the upcoming live-action reboot. Recent TMNT marketing from Toy Fair 2014 offered encouragement that, at the very least, the Turtle designs were better than many expected – but, without seeing the characters in motion, it was still hard to get a firm handle on how the “more realistic” designs would look on screen.

That is until Paramount Pictures released the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer – which gave us a clear look at both Leonardo and Michelangelo along with new details about the revamped origin story. The trailer released to contentious responses but what did the Screen Rant Underground podcast team think of the trailer? Check out our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer analysis video feature above.

Understandably fans are split on Liebesman’s relaunch of the TMNT live-action franchise, especially after the casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil and rumors of an alien (not Teenage or Mutant) background for the heroes caused backlash shortly after the project was announced. Still, the teaser trailer is just that, a teaser, and the studio has a long way to go before release – meaning that some major concerns (the quality of the CGI characters, especially) could be cleaned up before the actual launch.

tmnt movie trailer 2014 shredder 1024x422 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer Analysis, Photos, & Video

tmnt movie trailer 2014 ooze 1024x422 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer Analysis, Photos, & Video

Nevertheless, the teaser did give us some interesting details to chew on – most notably the revelation that Eric Sachs/The Shredder (William Fichtner) was partly responsible (along with April’s father) for the creation of the Turtles. Sachs presents the revelation as though his intentions were noble, though his actual reasoning for creating the Turtles is still a mystery at this point. Maybe they were simply an unintentional byproduct of a super-soldier program or some other experiment?

Either way, the Turtles appear to be a major force in the film – larger in size than select cartoon installments depicted. Some viewers might initially scoff at the unique accessorizing of each mutant hero but it’s actually nice to see the individual Turtle’s personalities explored beyond simple archetypes (the smart one, the brave one, the snarky one, and the comedic one), weapon preferences, as well as colored masks. The original live-action film focused heavily on Raphael but characters like Donatello and Michelangelo were mostly brushed to the side (in terms of actually exploring the characters); hopefully, Liebesman gives each Turtle opportunities to shine – and, while it might be seem goofy to see Donatello running around with a tech-pack on his shell, it’s still exciting to think about what inventions the brainy hero will actually get to use in battle.

tmnt movie trailer 2014 donatello 1024x422 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer Analysis, Photos, & Video

tmnt movie trailer 2014 leonardo 1024x422 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer Analysis, Photos, & Video

tmnt movie trailer 2014 michelangelo 1024x422 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer Analysis, Photos, & Video

Of course, there are plenty of other hints about what we could see in the film hidden in the trailer, not to mention where the reboot series might be headed in future installments, so make sure to watch our video break down of the trailer – and, stay tuned to the site for future details (and trailers).

Do you think our theories are right on target, or are you hoping they’re off the mark? Be sure to share your own insights or theories in the comments.


MORE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teaser Trailer


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will open in theaters on August 8th, 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

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  1. i really liked the trailer and i like the turtles appearance… im also very much enjoying teh fan hate hahahaha… its hilarious. seeing people say it ruins their childhood is classic. those people probably never picked up the comic book for the turtles either

    but they got their way with some stuff. the teenage is back in the title even thought the turtles look like they are in their late 20s… whatever their age is it definitely aint teenage.

    im excited for this movie. the trailer only disappointed me in the fact tht it was too short

    • With turtles, it can be a challenge to determine one’s age right off. My turtle (a red eared slider) is 14 and already growing a moustache in, but box turtles, for example, always look younger than they really are.

      On a more serious side, I am definitely into the way the characters are looking; they look quite formidable to me.

  2. It’s funny watching people hate on this trailer and the turtles. Sure, I think the turtles look like a Shrek/ET love child but look at the premise of the movie. It’s about mutated turtles… it’s supposed to be silly. Can’t wait to see it in August.

  3. Well being a life long TMNT fan this trailer has changed my mind from “I don’t care! @#$% Michael Bay I am going to boycott this movie” to a more meh, let’s wait and see type of mindset.
    Still don’t like Megan Fox as April. This teaser shows just how bad of an actress she is.

    • Agreed

  4. is Master Splinter going to appear on this one?

  5. Seriously, I like how this is moving.
    Really hoping Splinter could show up.

  6. woulda been cool to have Sho Kosugi as Shredder tho

    • Whoa. Nice Kosugi drop. I would’ve totally second that.

  7. Leo does look badass but looking at the still I’m not a fan of the shell it looks like a backback as apposed to something attached to his body if that makes any sense? other then that it looks a lot better then i thought it was going to be, and i think William Fitchner will be very good he always plays a very good badie. i hope the full trailer will show us splinter and maybe more of the brother vs brother dynamic that makes the Turtles so fun.

    • *backpack

  8. The costumes of the turtles do look pretty awesome and I was actually expecting Megan Fox to be worse but she came out as somewhat decent to me, still not good or good enough, but not ridiculously bad. Fitchner is looking like he’ll be great but one thing that is lost to me is the martial arts feel from Shredder and his Foot clan. They’re pretty much just creepy army soldiers to me, nothing more. And after someone in the video said Oroku Saki then whatever the new name is, it really made me wish they stuck to the oriental Asian version of the Shredder. I’m not a Michael Bay hater or anything but this movie feels way too much like a Transformers movie, which doesn’t bode well for me. In the end, I was initially uninterested in the film, despite me being a huge fan to, let’s see if it’ll at least have a couple of moments.

    • Costumes?
      Those aren’t costumes.
      The actors wore a motion capture suits, while the special effects department later added computer generated imagery over them.

      • Lmao >< that was a dumb mistake. Don't know why I wrote costumes when I knew it was motion capture aha.

  9. When reading articles about genre properties I find the use of “realistic” funny.
    Just how “realistic” can a story be about 4 turtles and a rat mutating into bipedal creatures that are named for classic artists, dress in ninja costumes, and are taught by a rodent with the wisdom of an old “ninja” master.
    Add into the mix the admission of the original creators that the whole concept came about during an evening of chemical “enhancement” and it gets rather silly to say anything about it is realistic.

    • It can be as realistic as the movie’s world building allows it to be. We all know a certain idea can be impossible, but what happens when said idea actually occurs in the real world is what can make the movie still seem realistic. For example, Chronicle took a crazy idea and made a movie that in my opinion is realistic because it asks the question: what would teenagers really do with this kind of power?

  10. I… I don’t like any of the designs T_T

    And probably useless of me to say this, but who are they targetting this movie to? Kids, or die hard fans (as in adults)? I read a twitter user showing the trailer to their kids, and they are scared instead, so I decided to show this to my nephews too… and their reaction are similar. To sum up, they are NOT interested to see this because it looks too gross and creepy… I mean, they were expecting something like the Nickelodeon series, which they like a lot.

    I think judging from that reaction alone, I can already predict that this movie is gonna divisive to audience. Kids want to see the Nickelodeon’s version on the big screen, not this one. And that makes me among their group as well…

  11. Looking at the close up face of Michaelangelo, he surely looks human enough. I’m guessing while they may not have changed the turtle’s origins to alien, I bet they’re gonna make them actually human mutated by that TCRI substance.

    • That was the premise of either a one shot of the comics or partial cartoons. Bebop & Rocksteady were once human. Its not a far off theory.

  12. Im an old Eastman and Laird TMNT comic book fan, back when it was a B&W oversized comic and later in color. I was never a fan of the cartoon, but I know that is the version which the majority want to see. For me, they should all have red masks, look physically similar but not the same and their weapons, fighting style and dialogue gave them their uniqueness. Even in B&W you knew who Raph was, same with the rest.

    TCRI being included is great as that is a huge part of their origin. The Shedder feels rushed, Mousers should have been first. With Stockman and April in his employ. That was an amazing storyline with real tension. I’m sure the cartoon had some version of him, but I doubt they brought what the comic did. The comic didn’t pull punches of kiddify it.

    The movie looks good, the CGI, etc. My biggest problem is with the shells. They look nothing like the original drawings.

    • That reads way too negative. I think Bay and Co. did a good job and targeted the right fans. An R-rated, for violence, TMNT movie would not make much money. Especially if it bore no resemblance to what they majority of fans expect.

      • From a marketing standpoint, I can understand why they would make them look differently but I do understand where you are coming from (I still have a first edition issue number 2 and I actually never watched any of the cartoons just the movies and played the Palladium TMNT rpg). Diversity just helps kids, general public and toy sales, I think.

        • Palladium TMNT rpg. I was a otter, what about you?

          Yup, the kiddified it. I agree it makes sense for the bottom line, as much as I loathe what that cartoon was it is the reason this movie is being made.

          • I think I was on a canine kick during my Palladium gaming period; TMNT I was a chihuaha (I think in response to the big Coalition dog boy I was in Rifts).

    • As someone who has read the older B&W comics I would highly recommend checking out the early 2000s TMNT cartoon series. You would be surprised how closely it followed the stories in the comics. Of course they took many liberties, but it all worked very well and wasn’t so slapstick and goofy like the original cartoon.

  13. I thought the trailer looked interesting. It seems about as faithful as possible to the source material and I think it’s a step in the right direction. Looks like Bay finally got one right.

  14. Again, I am very weary about Shredder’s line about creating the turtles with April’s father. Sounds like they’re planning on making Splinter her dad.

  15. I maintain that Shredder was talking about the OOZE and some plan he had to create evil mutant henchmen (passing them off as “heroes”) and NOT that Shredder created the turtles themselves. He and April’s father were involved with the ooze somehow and one canister fell in the sewer (by chance) and created the turtles. Watch the trailer again. His words do not suggest that he created the turtles themselves if you look at it that way.

  16. I think the trailer was not bad. not bad at all. it was better than I thought it would be, however, its just a teaser trailer. seriously heard that at end of this upcoming turtles movie, a gigantic vehicle erupts out of the ground and asphalt. a massive, cylinder shaped drilling machine with large drilling heads on either side. a door slides open and out comes kraang in his robot suit followed by two mutants we cant quite identify. camera pans down through the ground into a deep subterranean canyon where the massive technidrome is lurking. seriously, if any of this is true at all, they’ll be a pretty cool future for this franchise.

  17. 1) There a fans of the comics, 80-90s show, and current show. Additionally, it is important to attract other fans (those not familiar with the previous) to this amazing story- i.e. Eric Sachs vs Oroku Sachi.I believe as producer and lieberman as director need to use all of these stories to create an easily told plot. We have to remember shows and comics often go off and tangents within the turtle universe. I’m glad these are being explored. Also, as far as Eric Sachs is concerned, I think it was a move to show contrast between Karai who is played by Japanese actress. I’m really interested if they do the adopted daughter story or the she comes from Japan to NY to deal with turtles story. I hope the latter.
    2) Since the clan was created out of feudal Japan, which I guarantee the film discusses (notice the background during April and Eric’s conversation) it makes they would discuss bring justice. Think shades of the League of Shadows– using extreme methods to bring “their” type of order. Also, since the “Foot” is a spin off of the “the hand” from Daredevil for which Laird and Eastman were huge fans (i.e. it the young daredevil who accidently causes the TCRI (techno COSMIC research institute).
    3) Most of the villains from the cartoon are from dimension X, so the idea Bay played with aliens makes me thing we will see Krang and aliens in this. AWESOME!!!
    4) I would bet that we see Wingnut (and may be Screwloose), either as coming from Dimension X or the other version in which IT IS APRIL’s FATHER Kirby O’Neil who had been exposed to the ooze…interesting.
    5) Anyone who is saying Bay will ruin this moving is jumping on a “its cool to bash” bandwagon. Read the comics and then realize hes on point.
    6) Last, I think we may be missing a huge plot detail from the trailer. Why are the turtles in snow capped mountains? This makes be believe they are most likely going to Japan, which if they are sticking to the comics brings in a few interesting possible plot points. Possibly heading to Japan and putting a twist on the Gosei Hatsumi who was looking for an astral plan.I think the portal/astral plane might become a focal point of the movie as the “all spark” was for transformers.
    7) There has been talk of a non human character in the movie appearing in the first installment, my bet is on Zog and bringing in the Triceratons into the movie. I would bet money they will use issues #10, 20, 21 for the second half of this fill (which of course is the “return to New York” after Japan. I assume this to be as we see three of the turtles captured while Ralph is with April or we might see him stick to the secret origins storyline.Or Mortu if he follows the secret origins closely for the 2003 series or a mix of both as state before.
    9) Baxter Stockman will be a MAJOR character, may be even more then shredder. Which does make sense following the comics.

    I think Leiberman and Bay will do the TMNT justice.

    • awesome breakdown, most people who hate the trailer dont really know jack about the comics,movies,shows etc.

  18. Eww gross, I hate how the turtles are so big and tall. They should be as short as Megan 5’3.

    Michael Bay, you better not ruin my childhood any further.

  19. Would love to see Bebop & Rocksteady in this new Ninja turtles movie. I for one dont think wiliam ficher is the Shredder…to me in that top picture it looks like he may very well be receiving orders from Shredder(very hard to tell)

    • He’s clearly looking at a display of the armor. Not to mention he’s been officially confirmed to be playing him.

  20. Heres some history on the turtles


  21. SPOILER The turtles will in fact be part alien, part human, and part turtle. Here’s how…according to turtle lore TCRI stands for Techno Cosmic Research Institute, founded by the Utroms who disguised themselves as humans (housing alien lifeforms the same as Krang)and set up their base in New York City. The “ooze” is used to merge human and animal DNA (also according to turtle lore)and is of extraterrestrial origin as it was brought to earth by the Utroms. In the movie when Eric Sachs uses the word “create” he is referring to the genetic engineering of the turtles using the substance labeled TCRI. The “turtles” will not in fact start out as turtles, but be genetically engineered using the “ooze” to merge together the human and turtle DNA. Erich Sachs himself is a Utrom presumably housing the alien being Krang.

  22. They ruined it with those faces and casting megan fox as April. After seeing the trailer it was clear just to what extent this would ruin the movie. Those faces make them seriously creepy and when m.f appeared and my first thought was: “Wait, is this tnmt or a sleezy porn?” She exuberates: I’m here, I’m cheap and I’m ready. Not going to watch the movie and neither will anyone I know due to same as facts above.

    • You shouldn’t be so mad dude. This movie is going to be awesome! :D and Kevin Eastman (one of the original creators of the turtles) is stoked about and was a consultant on the movie. People I am informing of the plot behind it think it is awesome unless they are supernerds…and even then many of the supernerds like it who grew up in the 80s and 90s.

  23. You shouldn’t be so mad dude. This movie is going to be awesome! and Kevin Eastman (one of the original creators of the turtles) is stoked about and was a consultant on the movie. People I am informing of the plot behind it think it is awesome unless they are supernerds…and even then many of the supernerds like it who grew up in the 80s and 90s.