Before you accuse me of coming into this post with a bias, let me assure you of this: I did not see the original film until I was an adult. Yes, I watched the cartoon. Yes, I was technically old enough to watch the movie when it came out; however, my parents were protective of what their children watched. They had read in a Christian newsletter (because there were no websites in 1990) that the movie had New Age elements in it, and my parents said we were not allowed to watch it. I will say that the scene where the TMNT conjure up the image of Splinter in a fire is demonic. My parents kept us from watching numerous television shows and movies, and I applaud them for taking a stand.
Now that is out of the way, on to the review!
It pains me to say what I am about to say. I feel that The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were done a disservice by the 2014 version. The storyline is interesting, but the execution is not. The best acting comes from the CGI characters. They are more life like than Megan Fox. The worst part of the 2014 movie is the violence. This movie made by Nickelodeon, a company known to create content for children, is extremely violent. The TMNT are electrocuted and in one scene their blood is purposely and visibly drained. The comedy in the movie is for comic relief. This movie has a serious tone despite the atrocious acting.
The 1990 movie featured creatures created by the Jim Henson Company. The most realistic creature is Splinter. The TMNT themselves loose their magic when they speak. The way their mouths move and the teeth are obviously not real. I’m not saying that the CGI TMNTs never lost their realism. There are many times in the movie where the CGI TMNT look fake/cartoonish, but the Jim Henson creature Splinter is the most real looking and has the most realistic feeling. Brian Henson, Jim Henson’s son and the head of the Jim Henson Company, gave an interesting TED Talk about puppetry and technology, which I think you should check out.