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***First of Two Latin Kings*** 10-12-2017 08:26 AM

The Lost Boys
Years ago I read a scholarly article online about how the TMNT are like the lost boys from Peter Pan. The article used a number of examples to aggressively support this thesis. The turtles mostly eat junk food, don't have to go to school (Ninja training doesn't count, if the point is to be outside of society and not have to obey its laws). Splinter isn't really a strict father in the first movie. Raphael doesn't ask if he can go see a movie, he just leaves.

The same can be said for the Foot Clan. I wonder if parents picked up on this, at least subconsciously, and if that contributed to all the protesting they did that led to TMNT II, where there are actual punishments and consequences when they misbehave. There are also proactive measures for preventing problems before they arrive in this movie! These are turtles that parents can be proud of-- they even come out of the shadows and have an ethical encounter with the other (humanity), and it counts even though the assumption is that they are just dancers in costumes and their fight with the hench mutants is just a performance. It is almost surprising they weren't fully clothed throughout this movie to cover their nakedness.

TMNT III once again celebrates the "anything can happen because we are outsiders" idea. Everyone acts childishly in this movie, even the adults. Mitsu is really the only character that is truly reasonable, driven by a sense of honor rather than her id. April bitches the whole time because her vacation is ruined. Casey bitches because he didn't get to go. Kenshin bitches because Splinter won't let him fight the honor guards (he's basically Keno's great grandfather to the tenth power). Hamato Yoshi's ancestor hides the scepter so the turtles will be tricked into fighting in a war that has nothing to do with them. Norinaga's (Nagi?) trades with a pirate he despises in order to be able to continue to terrorize his peasants and farmers. Whit can't seem to decide until the end whose side he's on.

Tarzan's Boy is a great song choice for this movie-- while the series hasn't returned to dark realism (these turtles make the early Fred Wolf turtles look like the Mirage turtles), we have returned to a world of lost boys simply trying to satisfy their ids during a confusing time of life. Since the turtles can't challenge authority figures in their own time they go back in time to do it. Walker is like Hook and Mitsu is like Tiger Lilly. The scepter itself is like Tinkerbell. It has power that everyone wants to possess, but it keeps slipping through their fingers.

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