The TMNT’s ‘We Wish You a Turtle Christmas’ Musical Raises So Many Questions [Video]
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Should you ever need a reminder that the 1990s were a strange, strange time, look no further than We Wish You a Turtle Christmas. Released in 1994 at the height of that hazy, pre-Pokemon era when when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise reigned as the most popular thing in the entire world, Turtle Christmas was a 25-minute video in which the Turtles sang Christmas songs about themselves.
If that sounds weird, believe me that it’s actually even weirder. So today, deck the sewer walls and wash that pizza down with eggnog as we take a look back at this holiday classic, and the great many questions it raises just by its very existence.
This is unquestionably my favorite song of the lot, and it also raises my first question: The accents. Why?
I mean, I get the insanely over-the-top Brooklyn accents. The turtles are, after all, cartoon characters from New York, so that’s at least semi-understandable. But once they start singing “Deck the Halls” and go into their equally over-the-top Jamaican accents, I am lost.
Next question: Why can’t Leonardo figure out how to string up Christmas lights? He’s the leader of a ninja team, but he gets tangled up in those things like he’s being trussed up for a human(oid) sacrifice, and when you combine that with his unmoving smile and dead, unblinking eyes, the whole effect is pretty creepy, even with Raphael doing an inexplicable Walk Like an Egyptian dance in the foreground. I guess you can just chalk it up to the fact that Donatello’s the one who does machines, even when those machines are just tiny light bulbs.
Also, why are the Turtles’ shells clearly held together by what looks like a black velcro strap? This one, at least, I have an answer for: Because this thing was shot in about three hours on a budget of $26.
The question I’ve got about this one: How exactly did hip hop survive the ’90s with stuff like this going around? Though to be fair, despite the title, this is less rap and more New Jack Swing, so if you were wondering why you don’t really see Bel, Biv or Devoe around anymore, you now know where to place the blame.
This one actually asks its own question, namely “What Do You Get The Ninja Master Who Has Everything?” To be honest, that might be the single best line in a Christmas song, ever. It’s like the opposite of every sentence in “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” On the other hand, does Splinter really have everything? He’s a four foot tall rat who lives in the sewer, guys. He doesn’t even have shoes.
Also, their reason for rejecting golf clubs: “Splinter’s not athletic.” What? HE’S A F***ING NINJA MASTER! That might be the most athletic thing that it is actually possible to be! We Wish You a Turtle Christmas, I am starting to think you don’t make any damn sense at all.
And finally, the title track:
We Wish You a Turtle Christmas:
This one… man, I don’t even know where to begin. Why are there children hanging out in the sewer on Christmas eve? Related: Could the makers of this video not find children with any rhythm at all? Also, Where do you get a framed pizza? And Who exactly is that pair of Adidas for?
Wait… did they actually take my advice and get Splinter shoes, even though those kicks definitely could not fit on his misshapen mutant rat feet?
Why, It’s a Christmas Miracle!!