Friends, would you believe that today marks the 30th radical anniversary of the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze? I am having a bit of a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that this movie is now three decades old, as I remember clearly being excited about seeing the film and continuing to celebrate my love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I have shared in past articles how my friends and even some members of my Family were all about ‘Turtle Power‘ at the time, but there was another reason I was anxious to see the movie. In the trailers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze, it was revealed that none other than David Warner (The Omen, TRON) was cast as the scientist who is tied to the origins of Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Master Splinter.
Due to the massive and unexpected popularity of the 1990 live action film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze was rushed into production almost immediately, being released a little less than a year after the first movie. As I’ve read online, it seems that Golden Harvest, which was one of the production companies that backed the first three live action films was concerned that the popularity of the Turtles might end as quickly as it began – so they wanted to strike while the iron was hot. They really had nothing to fear though as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze managed to rake in over 132 million dollars on a budget of 25 million – that surely bought a whole lot of pizza.
As I understand it, the original intention besides having the Shredder return for revenge was to have this film serve as the live action debut of Bebop and Rocksteady, the mutant henchmen who serve the Shredder. It looks like it was TMNT creators Eastman and Laird who didn’t agree with that idea, they also didn’t think the Shredder should return for the sequel but their concerns were overruled by the producers on that latter issue. That is why Tokka and Rahzar were created for the movie, to serve as the mutated muscle for the leader of the Foot Clan. You might be interested to know that the legendary Frank Welker (The New Scooby-Doo Movies, The Transformers) voiced both of the new characters. On the subject of voice actors, were you aware that Kevin Clash (Elmo of Sesame Street) was the lead puppeteer and voice actor for Master Splinter?
Of course how can we possibly celebrate 30 years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze without shining the spotlight on the “Ninja Rap” by Vanilla Ice. I was able to catch the first matinee showing of the movie before I had to head to work, and I can tell you the theater was absolutely sold out, not a vacant seat to be had. When Vanilla Ice appeared in the film the mostly juvenile audience in the auditorium lost their minds, screaming and clapping their hands in excitement.
So, here is to three decades of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze. Now get out there and join the celebration by picking up a giant pizza and showing off your best “Ninja Rap” moves!