"And with an old Renaissance art book I found in a storm drain, I gave them all names... Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo." So speaketh mutated sewer rat Splinter, and thus, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were born, trained in the ways of martial arts by Splinter, then emerging from manholes to deliver justice, turtle-style. The awesome foursome has cowabungled their way through three movies already—and unlike the brand-new TMNT movie, their earlier works were all live action, requiring both extremely advanced turtle make-up technology and tons of pizza.
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (1990)—Turtle fans went crazy for this classic, in which the turtles fight to save New York from the Foot Clan—a gang of ninja teenagers who steal electronics(!) and smoke(!!), and who're led by Shredder, a bad guy dressed up as a can opener. Besides getting all the ninja turtle fightin' action anyone could hope for, fans also got to delve a bit deeper into what makes each turtle tick. (Raphael's intense brooding side is brought fully to light, and Michelangelo, well, he just wants to party!) Throw in reporter April O'Neil (Judith Hoag) and vigilante Casey Jones (Elias Koteas), and after watching this, you'll wish you were a turtle.
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)—The green goo that mutated our heroes falls into the wrong hands, and Shredder uses it to create two mutants of his own! Highlights: the super-powerful "Super Shredder," and Vanilla Ice rapping the question, "Have you ever seen a turtle get down?" Lowlight: no Casey Jones! Instead, he's replaced by a karate-kicking pizza delivery boy named Keno (Ernie Reyes Jr). Not awesome, dude.
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)—The Turtles' animatronic suits get especially cartoonish in this lame trip back in time to ancient Japan. Sure, Casey is back, but it's too little, too late. This one pales in comparison to the first two. However, it was filmed in illustrious Astoria, "The Hollywood of Oregon."