What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the once-criticized violence in this Turtle soup is mainly martial arts slapstick comedy -- as long as it's the Ninja Turtles embroiled in the combat. When it's humans clubbing or threatening one another, there's a sense of menace (especially when the perpetrators are predator gangs of feral boys). The Foot Clan here is a Hollywood glorification of a street gang, with a secret headquarters filled with adolescent attractions like skateboarding, games, music, girls, cigarettes, and fellowship. Even though it's supposed to be a big lie, the imagery is still like a recruiting poster.
- Families can talk about the armies of "rejected" kids who flocked to join the outlaw Foot Clan. Why would they want to join a gang? It's possible to even use the Turtles as a jumping-off point to teach about Renaissance artists (Donatello, Leonardo, etc.) -- a reminder, like The Da Vinci Code, that the Renaissance is constantly popping up in pop culture. Why do you think that is?