Is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze your favourite Turtles movie? Want to know more about the film?
Sure you do!
Here are 25 facts about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. Read, digest, enjoy.
1.) The Secret of the Ooze was written by Todd W. Langen and directed by Michael Pressman. The film was produced by Thomas K. Gray, Kim Dawson and David Chan.
2.) For the Turtles sequel, Paige Turco took over the role of April O’Neil, from Judith Hoag who played April in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990). Turco would later reprise the role of April for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993).
3.) The role of Splinter was performed by Kevin Clash, who is perhaps best known for providing the voice (and movement) of Elmo on Sesame Street.
4.) Robbie Rist provided the voice of Michelangelo. Outside of his voice over work, Rist is perhaps best known for playing the role of Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch TV series.
5.) Before taking on the role of Keno, the pizza delivery boy-turned Turtle ally in The Secret of the Ooze, actor Eddie Reyes Jr had already worked on a Turtles film. The actor was previously a martial arts stunt double on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) – he played Donatello.
6.) Legendary voice over actor, Frank Welker, provided the voices of Shredder’s evil mutants, Tokka and Rahzar.
7.) Raymond Serra reprised the role of Chief Sterns for The Secret of the Ooze. Serra previously played Sterns in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).
8.) During the early stages of the movie’s production, the Turtles’ creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman didn’t want Shredder to be the big villain of The Secret of the Ooze. According to his original notes – which were written in 1990 and uploaded to his blog in 2012 – co-creator Peter Laird believed that only Shredder’s helmet should be seen in the movie, providing “a subtle enough way to refer to his ambiguous fate and set(ting) the scene for his appearance in a third TMNT movie.” Laird never showed these notes to the movie’s director.
9.) Laird also wanted the sequel to move away from the more colourful and comedic elements that the Turtles had become associated with during the late ‘80s. He said: “One main concern is that the second (and any subsequent) movie stay as much away from the cartoon show, and as close to the original black and white comics, as the first movie did. We don’t want to see Bebop and Rocksteady, or Krang, or any of the other goofy characters. We feel that there is plenty of material in the black and white books to form the basis for another good movie.” Although Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady were absent from the movie, the film was much lighter in tone than the original film.
10.) In the original comics, the Turtles’ origin is linked to a company called TCRI (Techno Cosmic Research Institute), an organisation connected to extra-terrestrial beings known as the Utroms. However, in The Secret of the Ooze the company responsible for mutating the Turtles is called TGRI (Techno Global Research Industries), a company which is not connected to the Utroms.
11.) David Warner appears in The Secret of the Ooze as Professor Jordan Perry. The character was originally intended to be an alien Utrom, disguised as a human. Speaking in 2012 via the comments section of his blog, Peter Laird said: “There was a brief scene near the end of the movie when Prof. Perry lifts up his shirt and reveals the Utrom within. I think I heard that it was actually filmed, but I’ve never seen it, so can’t verify that. I think it would have been cool to have that in the second movie, as it could have set up a rollicking sci-fi adventure for the third live-action movie.”
12.) At the end of the film, Shredder mutates into a hulking creature known as Super Shredder. Although actor François Chau played Shredder throughout the movie, it was wrestler Kevin Nash who took on the menacing form of the Super Shredder.
13.) The Secret of the Ooze is the only Turtles film, from the original run of Turtles movies (1990 – 2007), that does not feature the character, Casey Jones.
14.) The film’s soundtrack – released on 26th March 1991 – comprised ten tracks and featured artists such as Ya Kid K, Cathy Dennis, David Morales and Vanilla Ice.
15.) As well as appearing on the soundtrack, Vanilla Ice also appeared in the movie. The artist – famous for singing the song Ice Ice Baby – performed the Ninja Rap which appeared approximately 1hr and 9 minutes into the movie… just in case you wanted to relive the moment. And you should.
16.) Vanilla Ice wrote the majority of Ninja Rap rather quickly. Speaking to MTV in August 2014, he said: “I wrote the song in a hotel room using an SP 1200 (laughs) an old-school drum machine. It took me maybe 30 minutes to write it and the rest we completed in the studio.”
17.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze was released on March 22nd1991. Upon its release the film opened at number one in North America.
18.) Although the movie was released to mixed-to-negative reviews, it became a box office hit, taking three times its production budget during its time in theatres. According to number crunching website, By The Numbers, the official worldwide box office takings for The Secret of the Ooze was $78,656,813.
19.) The film’s poster included the tagline Back by Bodacious Demand. Although this tagline was a piece of marketing spin added to create interest for the film, it was also a reference to the fact that the first Turtles movie performed exceptionally well at the box office, taking over $201 million and demonstrating that fans wanted to see a sequel.
20.) A series of Topps trading cards were released to accompany the movie. The set included 99 base cards, all depicting scenes from the movie, along with 11 stickers.
21.) The Secret of the Ooze was dedicated to legendary puppeteer, Jim Henson. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop created and supplied the Turtles, Splinter and all the associated animatronic creatures that appeared in both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991).
22.) Although they were created specifically for The Secret of the Ooze, the characters of Tokka and Rahzar have since appeared in subsequent versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, including the original cartoon and the animated Turtles movie, Turtles Forever (2009).
23.) 25 years on from its appearance in The Secret of the Ooze, Ninja Rap continues to attract fans. Vanilla Ice told MTV in August 2014, “When I go to Russia, China and Europe, I see fans dressed up as Ninja Turtles everywhere. It’s amazing to see the song have such a gigantic impact. Of course, everyone remembers Ice Ice Baby, but the Ninja Rap is bigger than ever right now. GO NINJA GO!”
24.) In recent times, Vanilla Ice has put in a few public appearances alongside the movie versions of the Turtles. Check out his Instagram @vanillaiceofficial to see for yourself.
25.) The Secret of the Ooze was followed by two sequels: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) and TMNT (2007). In 2014, the movie series was rebooted with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).
This post was first published on the Honcho-SFX blog.