Is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles OK for Kids?
The rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie opens nationwide today. This action-packed film is produced by Nickelodeon so it is definitely geared towards a younger crowd. While the film is kid-friendly it does lack depth and may leave you wanting more.
Director: Jonathan Liebsesman
Stars: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner
Duration: 101 minutes/ 1 hour 41 minutes
How Violent is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
1- Minor scenes involving altercations (a punch is thrown, or characters wrestling)
2- Fight scenes that include weapons but no blood
3- Fighting is present throughout the film and include weapons and some blood
4- Fighting scenes are particularly brutal and can be shocking
5- Violence is one of the central themes of the film
The movie is produced by Nickelodeon so parents don’t need to worry about much violence. Even though the film looks tough up front, the fight scenes are more bark than bite. From the trailer below you’ll see there are guns that are used, but only one person is hit and no blood is shown. The fight scenes are more sound than sight, you’ll hear a lot of fighting sounds followed by someone falling or getting flung into a wall.
Is there profanity?
1- Characters call each other names
2- Some foul language damn, son of…
3- A few uses of cursing
4- The F word is used at least once
5- Multiple curse words are present throughout the film
There is some profanity in the film, but the words used are minor and used sporadically. The main characters mildly harass each other telling one another to ‘shut up’ or calling them an ‘idiot’. They also use phrases like ‘we’re gonna kick A**’ or ‘I’m a bad a**’. There is one scene where it sounds like the ‘S’ word is used, but it is not, and I don’t think younger audiences will even notice it.
Is there explicit content?
1- Mild romantic scenes may be present
2- Some suggestive or scandalous scenes
3- Explicit scene but does not include bare assets
4- Bare ‘privates’ are seen
5- Sexual scene is present
There is flirting throughout the film as Megan Fox is the main actress. In one scene she leans out of a car to take a picture and the camera is behind her, and the male character makes a mildly suggestive comment.
After the movie ends there is brief scene where the turtles use a billboard of a female model’s brassiere as ‘camouflage’.
Is there any drug use?
Weirdly, yes. While it’s not hard drug use, at one point the characters are drained of energy and the only way to rejuvenate them is to give them adrenaline. Now scientifically I get it, yes that is a logical thing to do, but this is a movie for kids. Why they didn’t use this opportunity to use pizza to re-energize them is beyond me.
Also, the villains in the film are planning on releasing a toxin on New York City, and at one point to show off what the toxin can do, they administer it to a minion. You briefly see the skin of the victim discolor and start to transform but this is not intense.
How educational is TMNT?
1- Good morals could be taught
2- Based on a book, strong morals and life lessons throughout the film
3- Several discussions could be had around the film and its themes
4- The film has historical or educational significance
5- Education is a theme in the film
If you know anything about this series you know that the turtles are brothers. Like brothers they bicker and argue but several times the importance of sticking together, and fighting for each other is present. One of the turtles is also very tech-savvy and nerdy but still just as cool as the others.
Your child should see this film if:
- They’ve enjoyed the previous comics, films, or cartoons. The film has the same spirit as the previous installments and doesn’t stray far from the original story. Turtles are mutated, mutated turtles grow up, teenage mutant turtles learn to fight, teenage mutant ninja turtles protect New York.
- You’re looking for a fun summer movie. The violence really isn’t that bad, and there is a lot of comedy that your kids will enjoy throughout the movie.
- They’re interested in special effects and motion capture. The film was produced by Michael Bay, who is infamous for his use of special effects, which are impressive in the film.
Your child shouldn’t see this film if:
- You’re looking for a film with more depth. The movie is fun, and action packed but there are some glaring plot holes and character decisions that will leave you scratching your head.
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After you’ve seen the movie please leave your comments on our review below.
Peter Spain is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a manager at K12. A graduate from George Mason University, Peter has worked for several years in the education and entertainment industry. He strives to make learning fun for children by contributing to the games and activities section of the site, and keeping an eye out for advancements in edutainment.