Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Original Series

1987 TV-Y7 6 seasons

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Original Series

1987 TV-Y7 6 seasons
  • Overview
  • Seasons
  • Details
When this lighthearted animated series -- based on a much darker line of comic books -- introduced the world to a foursome of martial arts-loving turtles, these "heroes in a half shell" were all the rage.
Cam Clarke, Townsend Coleman, Renae Jacobs, Barry Gordon, Peter Renaday, Beau Weaver, Rob Paulsen, Pat Fraley, James Avery, Jennifer Darling
  • SEASON  1
  • SEASON  2
  • SEASON  3:1
  • SEASON  5
  • SEASON  8
  • SEASON  9

Summary of Season 1 (1987) - 1 disc

Four turtles trained by Master Splinter in Ninjutsu emerge from New York City sewers to fight crime in this adventure series. In Season 1, they take on a street gang that has attacked reporter April O'Neil. Together with April, the Turtles investigate a group of robot ninjas, whose uniform Splinter recognizes as belonging to the Foot Clan. Later, the Turtles must rescue Splinter at the Technodrome.
Full Screen 1.33:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
TV-Y7 - This program is designed for children age 7 and above.
age 8+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 8+
age 8+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a CGI remake of two previous animated series about crime-fighting turtle brothers. There's a lot of violence to the show, as the heroes wield ninja weapons like staffs, nunchaku, and sai against the villains' guns and lasers. None of the exchanges get bloody, but aliens and monsters ooze fluids like blood after they're stabbed or dismembered. Expect some surprises and scary moments that will frighten very young kids and the menacing presence of a villain lurking in the shadows waiting to attack the Turtles. Language is also a factor here, since the characters casually use phrases like "Shut up!" or "Stick it in your shell" and "Let's bust some heads" that you might not want your kids repeating. On the upside, the Turtles' imperfect relationship is similar to those of many sets of siblings, and there are some good messages about getting along, resolving differences, and respecting elders to be found in the story.

Sexual Content

One of the Turtles harbors an innocent crush on a girl, but nothing comes of it.


The Turtles are trained in martial arts-style fighting and wield traditional weapons like nunchaku and sai on their enemies, who often retaliate with more modern weapons like guns. There are also plenty of hand-to-hand exchanges, many culminating in the stabbings or dismemberment of the monsters and aliens the Turtles face. It's not bloody in the traditional sense, but the victims do short circuit or gush alien goo that looks like blood. Potentially scary moments involve monsters growling or grimacing or popping into sight quickly.


Name-calling like "idiot," "meathead," and "bonehead," plus "shut up." The Turtles also mouth off with each other and to their enemies with phrases you might not want your kids repeating: "Let's bust some heads," "I'll kick your butt," "Stick it in your shell," and "We're standing here with our thumbs in our noses."

Social Behavior

Kids see the Turtles work through sibling rivalry, jealousy, and power struggles. For them, teamwork is a learned skill they're still trying to master, but there are glimmers of hope that they will achieve that state soon. They're heroes because of the training they've received from their father figure and teacher, and while they're often impulsive, they do try to heed his advice. That said, they always resort to violence to solve problems, even among themselves. Often the brothers mock one of their own who tends to be a little slow in grasping the details of plans.


The show is part of an extensive product line inspired by multiple TV shows, movies, and comic books.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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