This latest take on pizza-loving, crime-fighting amphibians Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael gathers an ensemble voice cast and prioritises the teenage element of the characters’ much-adapted adventures.
It also boasts a frenetic animation style to dazzle audiences much in the same way that Sony’s recent Spider-Verse movies have.
As it arrives on streaming, what else do you need to know about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem? Well, read on and you’ll get a shell-load of details, including its plot, cast and trailer.
How to watch Mutant Mayhem
Mutant Mayhem reviews
The turtles have emerged from the sewers, and reviews have started to pour in. Better yet, many write-ups are singing the movie’s praises, helping to earn it a 96% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, with Deadline labelling it the “best TMNT movie yet.”
Variety loved the movie’s portrayal of Leo, Raph, Donnie and Mikey, saying they were “presented as endearingly immature and understandably hormonal.”
Elsewhere, Total Film enjoyed the richness of the turtles’ character-filled world, pointing out that “there are so many other mutants in the line-up that most feel like blink-and-miss-’em cameos.”
Read our full review round-up below.
Deadline: Seth Rogen Puts His Comedic Stamp On The Best TMNT Movie Yet (4-min read)
Variety: Seth Rogen-Produced Toon Reboot’s Look Is Fresher Than Its Script (5-min read)
Total Film: "Turtle Power is back" (3-min read)
The Telegraph: A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that’s actually good? Cowabunga to that! (3-min read)
The Independent: Hyper-aware, affectionate and colourful (3-min read)
Mutant Mayhem plot and cast
According to the film’s official synopsis, Mutant Mayhem follows “the Turtle brothers as they work to earn the love of New York City while facing down an army of mutants.”
After years of hiding in the sewers, the turtles will finally venture outside in an attempt to prove their worth and find their place in the world. However, what they actually encounter is a crime syndicate and more mutants than they can shake a broken canister of ooze at.
To deliver his teenage-focused story, Rogen and the film’s creative team enlisted a real teenage cast to help authentically bring their film to life.
The film’s primary cast was revealed alongside Rogen during the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in 2023, with newcomers Micah Abbey playing Donatello, Nicolas Cantu playing Leonardo, Brady Noon as Raphael and Shamon Brown Jr. as Michaelangelo.
Action icon Jackie Chan joins the cast as the turtles’ father figure Master Splinter, with The Bear actor Ayo Edebiri playing intrepid reporter and turtle confidant, April O’Neil.
Elsewhere, the film includes a host of characters that will be familiar to any long-running fan of the franchise.
Rogen joins wrestler-turned-actor John Cena to play fellow mutants Bepob and Rocksteady, respectively. Comedian Hannibal Buress plays Genghis Frog, Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito plays scientist-turned-fly Baxter Stockman and Rose Byrne plays lizard villain Leatherhead.
Speaking of turtle friends, musician Post Malone features as Ray Fillet.
Mutant Mayhem crew
Rogen co-wrote the screenplay for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem alongside his long-time creative partner and fellow screenwriter Goldberg.
You may recognise Goldberg’s name from previous Rogen movies like Superbad, This is The End and Sausage Party.
Together, they joined forces with The Mitchells vs the Machines wrtier Jeff Rowe, and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu scribes Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit, to complete the script for the movie. Rowe went on to direct it alongside Kyler Spears.
The film marks the latest in a long string of big-screen outings for these green-skinned heroes which were first created by comic book writers Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird back in 1984.
In their almost 40-year history, Leo, Donny, Raph and Mikey have taken on many iconic forms - from Steve Barron’s dark 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, complete with prosthetic suits created by Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop, to the nostalgic Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles cartoon show of the early 90’s.
Eastman and Laird’s characters have been reimagined a number of times on the small screen in various cartoon iterations. Meanwhile, their big-screen battles have continued with the animated feature TMNT released in 2007 and two live-action-animation hybrids produced by Michael Bay and starring Megan Fox released in 2014 and 2016.
News of Mutant Mayhem first emerged via Deadline in June 2020, with Rowe attached to direct and Rogen and Goldberg set to write a new script. Shortly afterwards, Rogen revealed that his take would focus heavily on the characters as teenagers, first and foremost.
"As a lifelong fan of Ninja Turtles, weirdly the 'Teenage' part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was always the part that stuck out to me the most,” he told Collider.
“And as someone who loves teenage movies, and who’s made a lot of teenage movies, and who literally got their start in their entire profession by writing a teenage movie, the idea of kind of honing in on that element was really exciting to us. I mean, not disregarding the rest, but really using that as kind of a jumping-off point for the film."
As the script progressed, its screenwriters compared it to coming-of-age classics like Stand By Me and Lady Bird and with the Mutant Mayhem title finalised, casting details soon began to emerge.
Mutant Mayhem sequel
Shortly before the movie’s debut, Variety revealed that a sequel to Mutant Mayhem was already in the works alongside a two-season 2D animated TV series that promises to bridge the gap between parts one and two.
Mutant Mayhem voice actors Abbey, Brown Jr., Cantu and Noon will return to voice the turtles in their new adventures which will reportedly see Leo, Raph, Donnie and Mikey go it alone for the first time.
As per the series’ official description, the heroes in a half shell will be “faced with new threats and teaming up with old allies, the Turtles will discover who they really are when they don’t have their brothers at their sides.”
The series will ultimately debut on Paramount+ but an official air date is yet to be revealed. Meanwhile, Mutant Mayhem director Jeff Rowe will return to helm the movie’s sequel but, like the series, this also doesn’t have a release date just yet.
Mutant Mayhem trailer
Our first look at the movie came in early March, providing our first glimpse at the youthful energy leading his TMNT feature and showing its slick animation style in action.
In late May, we re-entered the turtles' world once more, this time for a full, official trailer. Here, we find the quartet coming face-to-face with teenage concerns - and a giant mutant fly.
“The humans are never going to like us,” suggests baddie Superfly, “so we’re going to let the mutants rule the Earth!”
Action, pizza, new takes on classic heroes... so far, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem looks set to kick start these well-worn characters for a new generation. Even more impressive? We’ve made it through this entire article without saying ‘Cowabunga’ once.
Apart from just then.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is out on digital from 3 October.