The Good

A very well constructed show that managed to elevate the medium of children's cartoons.

The Bad

I would have loved some commentary tracks from the Turtles.

Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael are back for 39 shell-kicking episodes in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 4! In trying to save the city from evil forces like Shredder, Krang and others, these Humanoid turtles who were taught the way of the ninja by Hamato Yoshi are pulling out all the stops. This 920 minute DVD sees our friends get into all kinds of capers, but they always seem to rely on one another to get through each and every impossible situation. Featuring such episodes as "Tower of Power," "The Lost Queen of Atlantis," "Shredder's Mom" and "Son of Return of the Fly II," our lovable pizza eating group has never been more fierce or powerful.

What makes this show work is the dazzling animation and the writing. While it may not win many literary merits, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have stood out because they are so interesting. Even their name is interesting and it's not surprising that it has captured the imagination of kids (and parents) of all ages. No matter what situations Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael find themselves in, these characters always know that they can rely on one another. The fact that they also employ amazing physical moves and weaponry only adds to their mystique.

While some people have derided this season as not being as good as the others (with Shredder and Krang in Dimension X, what can you expect?), I found that this introspective approach on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles worked. Sure, the Turtles get into their fair share of fights but we also get to see them in funny situations and they do make a pilgrimage to Dimension X. I think people were upset because it doesn't seem like what happens in Season Four meshes with everything else going on within the show. However, if you love the Turtles I don't see why you wouldn't love this full season DVD release.

Features

The Shredder: Inside the Turtle's Most Fearsome Foe

The Shredder himself James Avery is on hand to discuss the Turtle's biggest nemesis. He talks about this character, what he's tried to bring to the role and why he thinks Shredder is how he is. Anybody expecting some amazing insights into this character, I would say that you get them and you don't. Avery seems to have had a lot of fun voicing this role and helping it remain the iconic piece of pop culture that it is. What I liked is that he has really taken Shredder seriously, but not to the point where it seems absurd. This is definitely worth watching if you have followed the show and even if you haven't, you should still give it look.

TMNT's Recipe for Their Favorite Cowabunga Pizza

Underneath the Shell with Krang and Slash

Pat Fraley is on hand for this segment and, in much the same way that James Avery does on The Shredder: Inside the Turtles Most Fearsome Foe featurette, he breaks down this character. However, he seems to have a bit more fun with it than James Avery as he talks about the motivations of Krang and why he does the evil things that he does. Fraley discusses voicing the character and what he thinks Krang brought to the show in regards to making life difficult for the Turtles. Again, if you are a big fan of this show I would say certainly watch this. If not, maybe just skim through it.

Video

1.33:1. When you consider how many episodes are on this DVD (there's 920 minutes of content!) it could be seen as forgivable if a few of them weren't 100% up to par. Well, from what I saw you never have to make that concession. The compression is such that it remains very strong over all the episodes. Even as it moves from scene to scene, from post production effect to post production effect, I never noticed any muddiness in the compression. In fact, this show is so colorful and looks so good, that it actually exceeded my expectations based on some of other late 1990s animated shows I have viewed.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0. The audio for this release was good but I really didn't notice much about it that stood out. This isn't bad, it sounded as good as I remember it sounding when the show played on TV, I just know that a lot of people that like this show are really into it. It hits that demographic that wants the next generation DVD players and the HD TV screens. Truthfully, unless a release like this was put in that format, one of those TVs seems like it will sadly magnify any thing that isn't 100% up to par. As I mentioned, the audio was solid just nothing that really grabbed me.

Package

The packaging, which features a plastic yellow, purple and green embossment of Rapheal's face is really cool. This easily opens up and we can access all 5 discs. There are materials telling us what episodes go on what discs, and they even make it very easy to find the special features. What I was the most impressed about is how, at first glance, this release seems like it might be hard to wade through. Then, once you start working your way through all the discs, everything is quite user friendly and easy to navigate. Great job, Lionsgate!

Final Word

I was pretty impressed with this release just from a presentation standpoint. Having followed this show a little bit over the course of it's initial run, I found that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 4 would be great to own simply for nostalgic purposes. What grabbed me the most was the packaging. Yes, this is shaped in such a way that it isn't going to fit very easily into the rest of your collection. However, it's highly colorful and it looks really cool. Shaping it like one of the Raphael's head is also a good touch and helps to give it a nice collector's feel. In addition to this, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 4 is a 5 disc set! This means that all the episodes on here are going to look really good because they didn't compress 15 or 20 of them on to one disc.

This release feels like a collector's edition. It has an almost event-like quality about it about and it seems to deserve people's attention. This show is so full of quick, fast paced action stories that it almost doesn't matter that there doesn't seem like there's that much happening. In some ways, I think certain fans also found the episodes in this Fourth Season to be a bit strange. What grabbed me the most was just the whole idea of this box set in terms of what it represents to fans. From what I gather, Lionsgate has never before released this show in episodes comprising one entire season length box-set. I can safely say to all Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 4 delivers in every way.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released .