Which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles REALLY Look the Best?

TMNT splash

August 8th will see the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is the fifth feature film to star those characters. The first three films took place within the same continuity, the fourth was an animated reboot of the franchise, and this new fifth one – the most controversial of the lot – begins the series fresh once again, with live-action actors and fully-CGI created turtles.

The biggest controversy surrounding Jonathan Liebesman’s newest iteration of the franchise – aside from the outcry over the involvement of infamous schlockmeister Michael Bay – is the turtle design. In this new film, the central turtles are hulking, eight-foot monsters with flared nostrils, flat faces, and some disturbingly real human lips. Fans took a look at the previews to this film months ago, and immediately whinged about how creepy the characters had become.

Related: Nine TMNT Characters We Want in the Movies

But are they as bad as all that? Indeed, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had a long and varied history, several different continuities, and almost a dozen different distinct designs, if one were to count TV and video game iterations. Starting with the 1987 cartoon show, the Turtles were color-coded to distinguish them from one another, and they each carried a signature weapon, but those details remain the only consistent visuals throughout the varies designs.

Let’s go through all five of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, film by film, analyze the best and the worst aspects of each turtle, and determine – once and for all – which versions of the characters really look the best.


Witney Seibold is a commentator at Nerdist, a contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can read his weekly Trolling articles here on Crave, and follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.