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VIDEO ESSAY: Ninja Turtles: Generation Y in a Half Shell

The Turtles were in a pop culture class all by themselves. After emerging as an overnight sensation with comic book fans (Ninja Turtles’ creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman only printed 3,000 copies of the original black and white magazine-style comic book in 1984), the Ninja Turtles quickly became a phenomenon both onscreen (its popular animated TV series debuted in 1987) and off (Playmates Toys began producing Turtles action figures in 1987, becoming regular “must-haves” for the youth). Considering all of this Turtlemania, it’s remarkable that Barron’s live-action Turtles film was able to thwart the “Saturday morning” innocence of its source material and create a dark, atmospheric film which dug a little deeper into the themes that would interest its target audience—Generation Y.

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