It’s been said before but I’ll say it again. If you were a child in the late eighties or early nineties, count your blessings. One prime example of how lucky we were was growing up with live-action-martial-arts-superhero gem known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie.

The comics and animated series had been around for years, but the 1990 big screen blockbuster brought things to such a REAL level. It catapulted the Turtle’s story from cartoonish to something gritty and dark. Most people I talk to are still in agreement TMNT: 1990 is not a kids movie. If you haven’t watched the film since childhood, give it a viewing and see for yourself. Sure, it’s packed with silly moments and has action sequences featuring men in rubber turtle suits doing karate, but there’s so much more to this movie. SO much more.

It’s interesting that most of the things I was into as a kid, I still love today. Especially when it comes down to the real impactful stuff, like TMNT 1990. What makes this film timeless is that it didn’t play down to kids and I assume was intended for a much wider audience. It had the visuals, dialogue, atmosphere and attitude of some crimewave action movie you’d catch on TV in the middle of the night but this particular story happened to be about superhero reptiles. There is serious depth to the story and characters, all while never straying from the course of having fun. TMNT is also packed with the most impressive amount of violence in a PG movie probably ever.

As a pint-sized, 5-year old TNUC, when I first heard about the movie I was naturally excited for the mere fact that it was the Turtles and I needed to consume anything that involved my heroes in a half-shell (especially pizza related things). However, up until that that point it had only been the cartoon series and toys.

After seeing the movie, I couldn’t get enough and eventually wore out my VHS copy. Suddenly the world of TMNT felt 10x more lifelike and relatable, as the Turtles faced realistic-looking street gangs, punkers, city life, teen angst and the annoyance of late delivery pizza.

I’ll never forget the visuals that dug deep into my brain and remained there still to this day. Specifically crime-ridden New York City, the sewers, Domino’s Pizza, Casey Jones, underground secret hang outs, Raphael in a trench coat, Raphael’s attitude, that little TV being stolen from the lady’s fire escape and teens smoking cigarettes/skateboarding/gambling and drinking ALL the Pepsi they could handle. This visual feast was something I cherished over and over again. Even small things in the movie like the Foot Clan “wallet snatching” during the opening. My friends and I used to pretend doing this all the time. My folks were probably questioning how impressionable I was.

One staple of the film which I really didn’t sit back and appreciate until years later is the music. You want to talk about depth and drama in this “kids” movie? Have a listen to the amazing score by John DuPrez and prepare for chills.

Now here comes some good news. For the first time ever, the official and complete score to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released by Waxwork Records this year. Sourced from the original masters, the complete film music by DuPrez has been re-stored and re-mastered. This special release marks the very first time the score has been released on Vinyl or CD.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Original 1990 Score Features:

  • The Complete 1990 Score by John DuPrez
  • Available For The First Time In Any Format
  • New Art by TMNT Co-Creator Kevin Eastman
  • 180 Gram 2xLP Colored Vinyl
  • Poster Illustrated by Kevin Eastman
  • 1990 TMNT Movie Poster Postcard

Listen to the score in the video link above, then grab the Vinyl here or CD here. If you’re a fan of the movie, this physical release is worth every penny.

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