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TMNT is the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie to be done in complete CGI, released in 2007. It is also a continuation of the first film trilogy that began in 1990, being a sequel (of sorts) to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. It was directed and written by Kevin Munroe and produced by Imagi Animation Studios.

After training in Central America at the request of Splinter (Mako), Leo (James Arnold Taylor) returns home to New York and reunites with his brothers Mikey (Mikey Kelley), Donny (Mitchell Whitfield) and Raph (Nolan North), who have grown estranged from one another following their last adventure.

Meanwhile, super wealthy mogul Max Winters (Patrick Stewart) has gained possession of four stone statues, one of which was retrieved for him by April O'Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar). We learn that Winters is a warlord made immortal thousands of years ago upon contact with a rift in dimensions and that those statues are his generals, who were transformed into living stone. Winters also has hired guns in a reformed Foot Clan led by the mysterious Karai (Zhang Ziyi). As all of this is happening, monsters are starting to appear all over the city.

The Turtles must overcome their personal differences and become a whole once again to get to the bottom of things and quite possibly save the world.

The film also stars Mako as Splinter and Chris Evans as Casey Jones.

TMNT provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: April O'Neill for the first time in film. She is shown to be trained in ninjitsu and later holds her own against the Foot as easily as the others.
  • An Aesop: The film’s main themes are about how family needs to communicate with each other and understand that their actions can have serious consequences for others, especially if they lash out in anger.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The first film in the series to be one as opposed to live-action.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The little-known prequel comics (issue #1) are this in terms of the Nightwatcher character. You'd never know that Raphael got the suit from an old vigilante that he failed to save. By extension you also wouldn't know that as Nightwatcher, Raphael is a Legacy Character. It's like a side of depression fries to that milkshake of family strife the movie exhibits, isn't it?
    • Aguila is the only one of the Stone Generals whose name is ever said on-screen in the film. The names of the other three generals only appear in the end credits and supplemental material.
  • Alternate Continuity: While technically a sequel to the live-action trilogy with Broad Strokes applied, the multiverse scene in Turtles Forever would later outright confirm this film to be a completely separate continuity (though the events of the previous films could've still taken place to a degree given that the Shredder's helmet is visible and it resembles the one he wore in the 1990 movie).
  • Ambiguously Related: The bio text of Karai’s action figure described her as The Shredder’s daughter, but no clear indication of this is made in the film, and the reliability and canonicity of said bio text is debatable. note 
  • Anachronism Stew: The four ancient Aztec generals from 1000 BC had SPANISH names. The Spanish language did not even exist back then. And the Spanish language did not arrive to Mexico until after 1492 AD. Also possible example of Spexico.
  • Answer Cut: Leo's questions about his three brothers each getting an answer from April depicting Donatello's job as a technician, Michelangelo as a birthday kid's entertainer and Raphael as the nocturnal Vigilante Man Nightwatcher (which everyone except Casey is oblivious to).
  • Badass Family: Winters/Yaotl and The Stone Generals.
    • And, as always, the Turtles, Splinter, Casey, and April.
  • Badass Normal: Casey Jones, April O'Neil and Karai.
  • Battle Trophy: Splinter has a trophy shelf displaying various keepsakes from previous films.
  • Battle Couple: April and Casey.
  • Battle in the Rain: Leo and Raph's climatic battle, after all the tension between them in the movie and the revelation that Raph is the Nightwatcher, takes place on a dirty rooftop at night, in the rain, echoing the sadness of the scene; that in the end, all the issues between the two brothers has led to this.
  • Bear Hug: When Mikey wakes up and sees Leo had come home, he stumbles off the couch and tackles his big bro with a hug.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Tie-in materials states that the 13 monsters inspired real-life legends of mythical creatures, such as Bigfoot and the Jersey Devil.
  • Berserk Button: Leo picks the wrong taunt when arguing with his brother Raphael, causing them to fight each other.
    Leonardo: You aren't ready! You're impatient, and hot-tempered, and more importantly... I'm better than you.
    Raphael: [laughs] Oh, you know something, big brother? [pulls out his sais] I'd have to disagree with you on that one.
    Leonardo: Don't do this, Raph.
    Raphael: I'm done taking orders. [Leonardo pulls out his swords and begins fighting with him]
  • Big "NO!": Raph gets one when he returns too late to stop the Stone Generals from taking Leo.
  • Blinded by Rage: When he catches up to The Nightwatcher on the rooftop, Leonardo immediately notices what a short temper his opponent has and takes advantage of it, taunting him and beating him at his own game. When Leonardo discovers to his surprise that The Nightwatcher is his brother Raphael, Raphael then lets his anger toward his brother get the better of him and almost kills him in their second rooftop fight.
    Leonardo: Funny thing about anger. Let it consume you! And soon lose sight of everything!
  • Bond Breaker: Leo's extended training trip drove the brothers apart. Even when he returns, time has taken its toll on all of them and they aren't able to function as a team anymore, the biggest conflict being between Raph and Leo. The tension between them finally blows out into a no-holds-barred fight after it's revealed to Leo that Raph is the Nightwatcher. A fight which, to be quite honest, was a long time coming between the two. The brothers finally reconcile during the final battle, after saving Leo.
  • Book Ends: The film begins and ends with the turtles running across the rooftops at night, both being narrated by different characters.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Leo and Raph's argument. On Leo's side, he's right that Raph's activities are risky because they draw too much attention and could risk the family's exposure and discovery by their enemies and the outside world. On Raph's side, he's correct that with Leo gone, the Turtles ceased their crimefighting and someone had to step up to patrol the city. Raph also is correct that Leo's absence meant that the family needed time to repair its bond, let alone respect Leo's authority again, but he fails to realize that Leo is being pressured into fixing things quickly and the actions he takes (such as no fighting) are demands thrust onto him that he cannot change or argue with. Both Turtles fail to acknowledge that their combined poor communication skills are what led to things getting this bad and that both of them should’ve worked together to heal. Ultimately, they both lose their tempers and descend into a brutal fight.
  • Bowdlerize: Due to the ongoing bans on nunchaku at the time of the film’s release, Mikey is never seen directly fighting with his during the film. Even during the giant battle with the Foot Clan towards the end of the film, the camera pans away just as his weapons would’ve become visible.
  • Broad Strokes: The events of the first three movies, as applied here. It was basically confirmed by Word of God that, they did happen, just not in exactly the same way.
  • Cain and Abel: Leonardo and Raphael, with Leo being worshiped as a hero in South America and Raphael being labeled as a hero by some and antagonistic vigilante by others during his job as The Nightwatcher. Then there's their already strained brotherly bond eventually turning into full blown sibling rivalry culminating into a fight which ends in one of the two brothers almost getting killed by the other.
  • Call-Back: Casey shouts "Two minutes for high sticking!" after hitting a Foot ninja in the face, which was one of the "penalties" he used on some thugs in the first film.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At one point, Casey accidentally breaks a vase in Max Winters' home, causing an alarm to go off and several metal security doors to close and keep people from leaving. Later, seeing the Foot Clan coming to fight the turtles in Max's home again when they are hopelessly outnumbered, Casey breaks another vase deliberately, causing the doors to shut once more and keep the Foot Clan out temporarily.
  • The Climax: While technically, the climax is when the turtles battle the stone generals and attempt to close the portal threatening to release an army of monsters onto the world, it really feels more of Dénouement. The real climax is Leo and Raph's fight, as the conflict between them is more at the forefront than the plot of the villains. Ultimately, after the blowout between them and Leo's subsequent capture, the two brothers finally find it in themselves to reconcile during the Final Battle.
  • Composite Character: April is technically the same character from the previous three films, but she draws much more on her 2003 incarnation given her fighting prowess and more serious relationship with Casey.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Splinter's trophy room contains a whole collection of references to the previous films. Shredder's helmet and staff, a Foot Ninja mask (based on those worn in the previous films, as opposed to the more modern members led by Karai) the T.G.R.I. canister, the Time Scepter, Walker's hat, Lord Norinaga's helmet and the armour of the Honour Guards whom the Turtles took the places of in the third film.
    • It also contains some things from other continuities, such as the helmet of an exterminator-themed mutant from the comics and a destroyed Mouser robot.
    • Tie-in material such as the prequel comics and the novelization make references and features appearances by characters who had not appeared in the movies, but rather the 2003 series, presumably to serve as connection points for kids familiar with that show. In the novelization, Raph mentions fighting Triceratons and Utroms, while the Leo-centric prequel features the Ancient One and the Ninja Tribunal.
  • Dedication: To Mako, who voiced Master Splinter.
  • Demoted to Extra: While not exactly "extras," you can argue that Mikey and Don are supporting characters while Leo and Raph are the main characters of the movie.
  • Designated Girl Fight: The Oner shows Karai taking on April amidst the chaos.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Raphael enters this after he almost killed his brother Leonardo in a fight and then Leonardo got taken away by The Foot Clan and the Stone Generals and he was too late to stop them. Luckily Splinter helps him out of it.
  • Disappears into Light: Max Winters.
  • Distant Prologue: The film begins in 1000 BC with Yaotl gaining immortality and the Generals being turned to stone, along with the 13 monsters being unleashed. The scene then cuts to 3000 years in the present.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Used during the rooftop fight between siblings Raphael and Leonardo.
  • Dreaded Kids' Party Entertainer Job: Michelangelo has become a children's birthday party entertainer known as "Cowabunga Carl" to make ends meet and provide financial support for his family. He suffers quite the amount of Amusing Injuries during a party where the kids take pleasure in beating him up.
  • Empathic Environment: Dramatic thunder, lighting and rain showers heavily from the skies as the hostile tension between the two brothers Leonardo and Raphael comes to a head and they have a fight on the rooftop.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: General Aguila, courtesy of Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • The Gloves Come Off: After Leo learns that Raph is the Nightwatcher, the two brothers get into a gigantic argument that eventually devolves into a duel. Raph, having already lost the vision-restricting helmet, draws his sais, the weapons he's been trained with since birth, and Leo, realizing that Raph is serious, draws his swords, indicating the two brothers are ready to fight for real.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Foot Clan capturing the 13 Monsters.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Raph as the Nightwatcher, many viewing him as an antagonistic vigilante. Raph gets annoyed and calls a restaurant owner out on it after saving him from one of the 13 Monsters, only to be regarded with fear.
    Raph: Why does everyone have such a hard time believing I am a good guy?! I just saved your life!
  • Hybrid Monster: Most of the 13 Monsters.
    • The first monster looks like Bigfoot or a Yeti, but with reptillian spines on its back.
    • The warehouse monster looks like a cross between a cyclops, a centaur, and a minotaur.
    • Raph, as the Nightwatcher, fights one that shares features of the Jersey Devil and a gremlin.
    • We briefly see a monster on the train that looks like the cryptid Lizard Man, but has sloth-like claws and knuckle-walks like a gorilla.
    • The final monster looks like a cross between a Chinese dragon and Quetzalcoatl, but is stated in the commentary to be the Loch Ness Monster.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Leo's justification for leaving his brothers to train when Raph calls him out for abandoning them.
    Leo: Hey, I was training. Training to be a better leader. For you! Why do you hate me for that?!
  • Informed Species: Splinter is supposed to be a rat, but looks more like a fox.
  • Internal Reveal: The audience knows that Raphael is the vigilante The Nightwatcher but his brother Leonardo doesn't and only discovers it himself through the third half of the film.
  • Initialism Title: So far the only film just called "TMNT".
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Even though doing so involved going behind his family's back and running the risk of exposing them all to the public and their foes, which Leo angrily calls him out on, Raph's reasons for making up the Nightwatcher persona and fighting crime as a solo vigilante do have some merit when he points out that crime in the city wasn't going to just stop on its own while Leo was away training in South America, and with the family putting their crimefighting duties on hold until Leo came home, somebody had to step up to make sure the criminal element of the city didn't grow out of control until Leo returned.
    • During their argument, Raph also tells Leo off for just expecting the Turtles to fall in line "like [his] little soldiers" after he's been gone for over a year. Leo did spend a long time away from his brothers, who grew and changed just like he did while he was away, and his absence meant that they needed time to repair their bond, let alone respect Leo’s authority again.
  • Julius Beethoven da Vinci: Max Winters.
  • Kick the Dog: The Vampire Bat, one of the 13 monsters, eats a pigeon offscreen, then smiles menacingly.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When Leo confronts Raph as the Nightwatcher, Raph sticks to the weapons that go with the costume. Raph loses that fight. Then Raph ditches the helmet and switches to his sai once Leo presses his Berserk Button. That fight ends in Raph's favor.
  • Mirthless Laughter: Raphael's laugh after Leo tells him that he's better than him is noticeably devoid of warmth.
  • Monster of the Aesop: Raph is having issues with Leo's leadership. General Aguila and Yaotl are also brothers with similar issues. While Leo and Raph reconcile at the end, Aguila betrays Yaotl.
  • Mood Whiplash: The funny scene with the Raphael and a tiny monster is followed by a scene where Raphael and Leonardo have a falling out and fight, all culminating in Leonardo getting captured by the villains.
    • And in the final battle, we cut from an epic battle to Casey and April arguing about reckless driving, Karai snarking that they seem like they should be more concerned with the giant monster chasing them, the Foot Ninja nods in agreement, back to epic battle.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Raph's reaction after defeating Leo in their rooftop battle. He let his emotions get the best of him, and nearly killed his brother. Leo's capture soon after and his inability to stop it only intensified those feelings.
  • Mythology Gag
    • Casey's "home" clothes consist of a red shirt and dark blue trousers, and he has a slight navy tint to his hair colour; similar to his main design for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003).
    • April's "ninja" outfit is coloured yellow. The colour that her 80's cartoon counterpart is best known for.
    • Winter’s office has a Triceratops skull in it, which might be an allusion to the Triceratons, evil dinosaur aliens that have crossed paths with the turtles in some continuities.
  • Narrator: Laurence Fishburne narrates the film's prologue. Oddly enough, Raphael does the narration for the end of the movie though.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When the diner cook enters the kitchen to see where's the noise coming from, he sees the Jersey Devil creature (which isn't completely seen by the audience at first) and screams. During the scream, it immediately cuts away to The Nightwatcher answering the call for help.
  • The Oner: We get a minute-long shot that follows Casey, April, Mikey, Raph, Donnie, and Splinter fighting Karai and the Foot in that order.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Raph’s disguise as the Nightwatcher is easily seen through by Casey because he looks like “a giant metal turtle”. But Leo needs to knock the vigilante’s helmet off to find his identity out.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Though not outright stated in the film, it becomes clear that this one of the main issues in the conflict between Leo and Raph. Leo's departure and time away from home was obviously hardest on Raph, but they aren't able to fully communicate with each other about it, which led to the gigantic blowout between them when Raph was revealed to be the Nightwatcher and the fight that subsequently followed, all culminating in Leo's capture by the villains prior to the climax of the film.
  • Production Foreshadowing: The red-light devices used to animate the stone generals look a lot like the red core energy devices from Astro Boy, released two years later.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Max Winters is, in fact, Yaotl, cursed with immortality 3,000 years ago.
  • Remake Cameo: A voice-actor example; Jim Cummings voiced the gang leader in this film, who is a relatively minor character. Prior to this, he voiced many characters in the 1987 cartoon, including Shredder in many episodes where his regular voice actor James Avery wasn't available. In fact, he's the only voice actor in the whole film who was involved with the franchise prior to the film's release.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Leo vs Raph after Leo learns that Raph is the Nightwatcher.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: Leo screaming when he gets taken captive by The Stone Generals and The Foot soldiers.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Splinter forbids the Turtles from fighting in the surface until they can act as a team. He becomes frustrated with Leo and Raph's constant argument. But when Leo gets captured, he decided they've been hiding for too long and it's time to take action.
  • Secondary Adaptation: Released in 2007, this animated movie is a Broad Strokes followup to the 1990 live-action trilogy, which itself derived elements from the original comicbook series and the 1987 western cartoon based on the comics, and also taking a few elements from the 2003 cartoon.
  • Sequel Hook: Karai mentions that soon enough, the Turtles would have further business involving her and "familiar faces from your past," to which Raphael responds, "She doesn't mean..." While we may never see a sequel, it seems like they planned to make a movie where the Shredder returns.
  • Shout-Out:
    • General Mono was based on Non, the similarly hulking, speechless villain from Superman II.
    • The show Splinter was watching before the news intterupts was Gilmore Girls.
    • In the sewers, you can see an arcade game based on one of Imagi’s first series, Zentrix.
  • Spotting the Thread: Everyone assumes Raph is a bum since he sleeps all day and doesn’t help Donnie and Mikey pay the bills. Leo, when told Raph’s sleeping habits, quickly realizes that if Raph sleeps all day, he must be doing something all night.
  • Still Got It: Master Splinter says this when he kicks a couple of monsters back into the portal. Though, to be quite honest, he never lost it.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: Technically counts, being a Broad Strokes continuation of the previous films.
  • Storm the Castle: When Leo is captured by the Generals, Raph leads his remaining brothers, Splinter, Casey, and April to plow through the Foot Clan and then take on Winters.
  • Taken for Granite: When Yaotl became immortal, his generals were turned to stone.
  • Tantrum Throwing: After Raphael fails to rescue Leo, he ends up knocking down spears and weights as he tries to tell Splinter about what happened.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Raph angrily dishes one out to Leo right before their big fight.
    Raphael: You are so smug, you know that? You think the world revolves around you, don't you? That we couldn't possibly survive without the mighty and powerful Leonardo to guide us through our problems, huh? Well I got a newsflash for you, we got along just fine without you!
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: When an angry Leo goes off to find Raph who ditched the team after their latest argument, Splinter tells him, "you know what you have to do".
  • Too Important to Remember You: When April introduces Casey to Winters, Winters shakes his hand and calls him “Kenny”.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • April is now a full-fledged Action Girl capable of taking on Foot Ninjas alongside the others, and matching Karai in an equal one-on-one fight, having been trained by Splinter during the time skip.
    • The Foot Ninjas as well, which began as a gang of runaway teens and street thugs recruited by the Shredder in the first two movies.
  • The Unfavorite: Raph feels very inadequate when compared to Leo. Splinter eases his worries and tells him that while he might not be Splinter's favorite student, he loves him just as much as Leo and the others.
  • Vigilante Injustice: Leonardo doesn't like the vigilante, Nightwatcher, because he thinks he does more harm than good in stopping the criminals and protecting the city at night. Things get more complicated when Leonardo discovers that the vigilant he hates is his brother Raphael in disguise and they have a fight on the rooftop.
  • Vigilante Man: Raphael whenever he's the "Nightwatcher". Also Casey when he fights alongside him.
  • Wham Shot: In-Universe. After defeating The Nightwatcher the first time, Leonardo is shocked to discover that the unmasked vigilante is his brother Raphael. This leads to an argument between the brothers.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Splinter chides Donnie early in the film for losing his temper and bickering with Raph, since as acting team leader, he shouldn’t get provoked by Raph’s poor attitude. Later, Splinter chews out the Turtles and Leo in particular when they go out to fight against his wishes. When Leo blames Raph, Splinter snaps at him that as the leader, the buck stops with him for not keeping the group under control.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Max Winters, after three thousand years of regret and loneliness, cannot find it in himself to bear the curse of immortality any longer. Unfortunately, his brotherhood do not share this sentiment, but then again, they spent three thousand years as stone statues instead of living like Winters did, so they really aren't in a position to sympathize with him.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Splinter gives this heartwarming speech to Raphael after he failed to save his brother and blames himself for it.
  • You Are Not Ready: Leonardo says this to Raphael after discovering he is The Nightwatcher.


Video Example(s):


TMNT 2007 - Leo Vs. Raph

Raph dismisses the need for Leo's leadership while Leo tries to temper Raph's anger and impulsive decisions.

How well does it match the trope?

4.81 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / FightingTheLancer

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