With the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out soon, I thought it would be fun to check out some trivia about the original 1990 live-action movie. I loved that movie, and I recently watched it again with my kids. Yeah, it does not stand the test of time, but it's still very enjoyable, and I loved how dark it was.
I understand that some of you might already know many of these facts, but just in case you don't, here you go!
- This was the highest-grossing independent film of all time, having made over $133 million in domestic box office.
- Josh Pais, who played Raphael, suffers from claustrophobia. After filming Raphael's scenes, he would have to take the helmet off very quickly. He also is the only actor in Turtle costume to also voice his character.
- Jim Henson, whose workshop provided the movie's turtle costumes, was reportedly upset about the level of violence in the finished movie.
- Playmates Toys, the company that produced the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" line of action figures from late 1980s to mid 1990s, declined to produce any movie based toys off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) film due to the violent content language and overall dark tone the movie presented. However, with the lighter tone of the sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) released a year later, Playmates would release the very popular (and now highly collectible) Movie Star Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles assortment.
- The Foot Clan is a parody of the Hand, a clan of ninjas from the Marvel comics.
- It took three puppeteers to operate the Splinter puppet. Kevin Clash performs the puppet while the facial expressions are remote controlled by another puppeteer and the arms are controlled by the puppeteer who works along with Clash during the performances of the puppet.
- According to the audio commentary on the German version of the DVD, the movie was originally planned to be made and released in the mid-1980s, before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) cartoon was on the air. The movie was intended to be a direct comic book adaption, but no studio or country (except France and Germany) wanted to invest in the project.
- During the battle with Shredder, Leonardo is the only turtle to successfully land a strike when he hits Shredder on his arm with his sword.
- In the script and novelization, the young boy that Tatsu attacks was to die from the beating. The sounds of the boy breathing and others saying he would be all right were added at the last minute after the movie ratings board objected to the scene.
- In the original ending, after the Turtles have defeated The Shredder and they are celebrating on the rooftop, a scene was to follow where April and Danny go to a comic book publisher to pitch an idea of walking, talking turtles. The publisher rejects the idea, thinking the idea is too farfetched, all the while unknown to him the Turtles are watching through the building window. Michelangelo seems to fall, but it's revealed he's hanging on the ledge, commenting on what he just heard. The clip can be seen online, featuring the voices of the on set performers for the Turtles, before their voices were dubbed for the final cut.
We've actually posted that last little tidbit before, but in case you missed it, you can watch that deleted scene below. Thanks to imdb!