While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II was a decent sequel to the first, I was never that enthused about seeing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. In my opinion, the past was one place the Turtles didn't need to explore in film and with the Turtle craze almost over at that point, I didn't see the film until it had been on video for a while. Though I'm still unsure if traveling in time was the best idea for TMNT III, it was certainly a better idea than featuring a fight between the Turtles and the Foot again.
In feudal Japan, Lord Norinaga is under attack from rebels within his empire. His son, Prince Kenshin, is with the rebellion, and when he accidentally activates the family scepter, he is whisked to the present and April to the past, as she's holding the scepter in the present day. To save her, the Turtles go back in time. Things get slightly more complicated when the scepter is lost, and with only two and a half days left to find it, the Turtles must also find a way to make peace between the rebels and Lord Norinaga's men.
If TMNT III does one thing right, it's the fight scenes. In TMNT II, the turtles fought with cold cuts and yoyos – basically anything except their weapons. Thankfully, they make a return for III, and while not spectacular, the fight scenes are definitely an improvement from II. However, where III suffers the most is the overly juvenile nature of the Turtles, which gets to be annoying rather quickly for anyone over the age of twelve.
TMNT III is presented in both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 full frame on the same side of the disc. The transfer is quite good, with only some minor print flaws visible throughout. Colors throughout are bright, with natural flesh tones, and decent blacks.
TMNT III is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Stereo Surround, both in English. The 5.1 mix makes good use of the entire front soundstage with effects, music, and dialogue, though there is little in the way of directionality. Rear channels are only employed for ambient effects and noise. Dialogue throughout is crisp and clean with no distortion. Optional English subtitles are included.
The trailer and a dull promotional game, 'Pick That Flick,' round out the disc.
While the weakest in the trilogy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III does have its moments and is worth seeing for those nostalgic few who wish to revisit their youth or to expose their children to family fare from the nineties. New Line's DVD presents the film with a good audiovisual presentation, and with a low MSRP, fans should consider adding this one to their collections, despite the lack of extras.