Some Fun Facts About The 1990’s TMNT Movie
So news keeps coming out about the MichaelBay produced Turtle movie that is in some form of production (I’d look it up but that means I would have to type in MichaelBay in to a google search-and I just can’t do that).
However, I did type in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” The Movie and was given a lot of websites devoted to the original film released in 1990.
Yes my friends, these are how articles are born.
So, sit back and enjoy some fun facts about the first live action movie starring those-yes it cliché- Heroes in a Half Shell.
A little back story you ask? Well, okay.
The original Turtles movie came out in 1990 when I was in Fifth Grade. Oh the halcyon days of my youth. All of my friends (Burnsey, Woodrow, TaftMan, Wash-Out, RWM, Double A, and John Philips Soucia) and I couldn’t wait to see this film.
My parents being my parents meant that they all got to see it in the theaters. Me? I had to wait for it on VHS.
There was a ton of buzz about the film both before and after it was released in theaters. Elias Koteas (the guy who was Casey Jones) was a break out for us. Could there have been a better choice? I think not. But that was after my friends had seen it and couldn’t stop raving about the guy in the hockey mask.
Before it was released, the big news was that a big name was cast to voice Donatello. Who? Scroll down and you’ll find out (that is if you have been living under a rock and said rock had an IQ of less than zero.
Who was the “name casting”? Why, it was this guy.
Aside, from being the Corey that survived; which I believe means he won the prize ala Highlander-Yes there can be only one- he was also known as the voice of Donatello
Yes, I remember that this was the big talking point on TV and in the yard in the lead up to the release of the movie. Did this film have other actors? Shit no, it was all about Corey.
Looking back now it’s hard to imagine how big this was. I don’t have to imagine it, because I lived through it. Oh a magical time.
In looking back on the film I got interested in who else was involved in this film. Elias went on to star in some movies and be Christopha’s intervention counselor on a very special episode of “The Sopranos”.
But; what about the rest? Who else was behind the mask; behind the voices of the Green Team?
When I was done researching, I found out that the real cool thing about who voiced what in this movie wasn’t that a Corey was involved, it was who the other voice actors were and what they did before- and in one case during- the film. I found how kick ass Tatsu is in the real life, and I found a great bit of info for the “Before They Were Stars” files. So let’s get started by talking about that last bit.
Do you know this guy?
I love this guy, he’s talented, he’s funny, he’s a favorite actor of mine and he has the single greatest porn name ever: Sam Rockwell
You’ve seen him, if you’re smart, in a dozen movies. He’s played everything from a con artist, to a game show host moonlighting as a hitman, to a two headed three armed galactic president
He also played the greatest red shirt in history in the star trek parody movie Galaxy Quest.
He’s a well respected character actor who flirts with movie stardom often. But he also had a role in the turtle movie.
Yep, Oscar nom’s and memorable roles all started by his turn as a street hood in new york answering to Japanese man dressed up in kitchen cutlery. Thank you turtles.
Pretty heady stuff right? But what about those voice actors? Surely, only Corey is the one I know right? Wrong. You know at least two others if not all three.
For instance, let’s take this guy.
If you have no idea who he is, you may recognize him as this kid.
That’s right he’s Robbie Rist, the cat who played Cousin Oliver. The kid who singlehandedly killed the Brady Bunch, ostensibly before the largest gathering of torch carriers and pitchfork bearers could.
What you might not know is that he also voiced.
Yep, he voiced the most popular turtle out of the four. He also did it for all three live action movies. A feat he shares with the voice actor of-
Everyone knows this sword toting turtle. He’s the leader, he’s the serious one, and he’s one second away from sticking that sword through Raph’s head. But he was also voiced by Brian Tochi.
Yes, that Brian Tochi. What? You haven’t heard of Brian Tochi?
Of course you have, you just don’t realize it. Because this
is Brian Tochi.
Does he look familiar now?
He should because this guy played this guy
and this guy
That’s right Takashi and the cadet that got to ravish Leslie Easterbrook
also voiced the Turtles de facto leader.
So next time you see Leo, remember he’ll “drink to dat”.
But what about Raph? What made him so special?
Well aside from having a temper that would impress the average trailer park male in an episode of COPS. He’s voiced by this guy
This guy is Josh Pais. If you vaguely recognize him, then you probably are mistaking him for Greg Germann like I did.
But if not and you recognize him as a character actor on countless television shows, then yes you watch a lot of Law and Order.
But, the most interesting thing about this is that Raph’s body actor was this guy.
That’s right Raph, was the only turtle whose voice and body were handled by the same actor. That’s double duty and pretty awesome when you get right down to it. In the next three films it never happened again. The voice actor was different from the puppeteer inside the turtle costume.
Oh we are not done yet. The best discovery was when I did some digging around about the Turtle mentor Splinter.
Splinter, the ever wise mentor to the four teenagers, needed three different puppeteers to make him fully work, making him the most sophisticated to work puppet out of all of them.
The most interesting part is that one of the puppeteers was also his voice actor as well. That guy was Kevin Clash.
That’s Kevin, the voice actor of Splinter. But that’s not his most famous role.
Are you wondering why he’s holding Elmo?
Kevin Clash is the reason why Elmo not only became the most sought after Christmas toy in the late 90’s but also got the last 15 minutes of Sesame Street dedicated to him for the last decade.
That Elmo puppet had been around for years, but Kevin gave it the voice that captured America.
However, before he did that, he voiced the turtles master.
So the next time you see Splinter just picture that Elmo voice hovering just below the surface… because it is.
Stay tuned for more fun facts about The Green Machine. Until Next Time, Cowabunga Dudes.