This week marks the 25th anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze. A sequel to one of the most commercially successful independent films of all time, TMNT II had big shoes to fill. Unfortunately, following parents’ outrage over the violence in the first film, the turtles were hobbled and not allowed to use their weapons or really fight. Continued meddling resulted in scrapping a plot where the secret of the ooze was actually revealed to be alien robots from another dimension. As it stands, the secret is never exposed in the film and all the ooze does is make things bigger.
Of course, the film was still popular with 1991 kids who couldn’t get enough of the pizza-loving turtles. Add the appearance of one of the day’s hottest rising rap stars, Vanilla Ice, and the film was another hit.
But time has proven a bit harsh on the film as those raised on it were quick to spot its various shortcomings. The ineffectual villains, the horribly unnecessary sidekick (Ernie Reyes Jr.), the complete anticlimax—all have fallen under the microscope of jaded adults who loved this film as children but now must face the cold, honest truth. So it’s been subject to much (deserved) ridicule by the likes of We Hate Movies podcast and Honest Trailers:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze still paved the way for a multitude of knockoffs (the 3 Ninjas franchise, Surf Ninjas, etc.), making the movie nowhere near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to TMNT. That “honor” will forever be taken by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Coming Out Of Their Shell rock tour that happened a year before Secret Of The Ooze was released. Watch the various numbers about pizza, rocking out, and skipping stones below and realize that it could have been much, much worse.