All Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies ranked in order

A picture from the 2014 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Image via IMDb)
A picture from the 2014 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Image via IMDb)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, first created as a black-and-white indie comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984, surprisingly gave rise to a widely popular and profitable movie franchise. It began with the eponymous blockbuster film in 1990 and has spanned over 35 years to the delight of fans.

The story of the four crime-fighting mutated Turtles and their equally mutated rat mentor, Splinter, still continues to enthral viewers with its over-the-top antics and adventures. Turtle-mania has spread to multiple generations since the 1980s and led to the release of numerous films with different iterations of the story over the last few decades.

Read below for further details about the seven films in the franchise.


List of all Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies ranked in descending order of release

1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

A screenshot from the trailer of the 1990 film (Image via Warner Bros.)
A screenshot from the trailer of the 1990 film (Image via Warner Bros.)

The first superhero film in the franchise strikes the right balance between the gritty storyline of the comic books and the kid-friendly, lighthearted elements of the cartoons. Steve Barron's direction and the ingenious puppetry from Jim Henson's Creature Shop made this film a huge success upon its release on March 30, 1990.

The movie revolves around the origin story of Splinter (Kevin Clash) and the four Turtles. April O'Neil (Judith Hoag), Casey Jones (Elias Koteas), and The Shredder (played by James Saito and voiced by David McCharen), along with his Foot Clan, come together to tell this simple yet effective story.


2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)

A screenshot from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (Image via 20th Century Studios)
A screenshot from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (Image via 20th Century Studios)

Following the first film's massive success, its sequel was released a year later on March 22, 1991. The film, directed by Michael Pressman with a screenplay by Todd W. Langen, did not share the darker tone of its predecessor and received mixed reviews from critics.

Building on the previous film's story, the Turtles discover that a certain 'ooze' created by Professor Jordan Perry (David Warner) led to their radioactivity. Unfortunately, Shredder gets his hands on the ooze and turns into an even more menacing nemesis, the Super Shredder (François Chau).

Most of the first film's voice cast returned as Leonardo (Brian Tochi), Michelangelo (Robbie Rist), Donatello (Adam Carl), Raphael (Laurie Faso), Splinter (Kevin Clash), Shredder (François Chau), and April O'Neil (Paige Turco). The film also introduced new characters - Keno (Ernie Reyes Jr.) as the Turtles' human friend and Tokka and Rahzar (Frank Welker) as the Shredder's mutant henchmen.

Lastly, Vanilla Ice rapping the iconic Ninja Rap at a dance club during the film's climax stands out as one of the film's best moments.


3) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)

An image from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (Image via IMDb)
An image from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (Image via IMDb)

The original franchise's third outing replaces the familiar setting of New York City with an obscure village in 17th-century Japan. The film is written and directed by Stuart Gillard, and its plot focuses on the concept of time traveling. Furthermore, the absence of animatronics in Jim Henson's Creature Shop (the first two movies) is felt as the film's animatronics are visibly stiffer and less impactful.

The story revolves around a mystical scepter known as the Sacred Sands of Time, which takes the Turtles and April (Paige Turco) back to feudal Japan in 1603. There, they get involved with the village people's fight against a corrupt daimyō. Meanwhile, four Japanese Honor Guardsmen, who are accustomed to the 20th-century lifestyle by Casey Jones (Elias Koteas), take their place in the 20th century.


4) TMNT (2007)

A collage of images from the 2007 movie TMNT (Image via Warner Bros.)
A collage of images from the 2007 movie TMNT (Image via Warner Bros.)

Fifteen years after the end of the trilogy, the franchise was rebooted with its first animated film, TMNT, in 2007. Kevin Munroe wrote and directed the film in his directorial debut.

Rotten Tomatoes described the film's synopsis as follows:

"Splinter, the rat sensei, senses something amiss in New York City. His disciples, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo have grown apart since their last adventure. The teenage terrapins must somehow renew and strengthen their bond if they are to have any hope of defeating an evil industrialist's army of ancient monsters."

The franchise's familiar characters return with a brand new voice cast - Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor), Raphael (Nolan North), Donatello (Mitchell Whitfield), Michelangelo (Mikey Kelley), and Splinter (Greg Baldwin, Mako Iwamatsu).

Patrick Stewart's business tycoon Max Winters, also known as the immortal warlord Yaotl, and his group of revived ancient monsters serve as the film's antagonists. In this reimagination of the classic comic book, April (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is in a romantic relationship with Casey Jones (Chris Evans).


5) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

A screenshot from the trailer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Image via Paramount Movies)
A screenshot from the trailer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Image via Paramount Movies)

This movie is the first live-action film released since the end of the trilogy in 1993. In this Michael Bay production, the Turtles almost take a back seat to Megan Fox's April O'Neil, who is positioned as the film's main attraction. Also, Splinter and the Turtles are created using motion capture CGI for the first time in the Turtles film's history.

The plot focuses on April and her cameraman Vern Fenwick's (Will Arnett) investigation into Foot Clan and its leader Shredder (Tohoru Masamune). Shredder's companion is the businessman Eric Sacks (William Fichtner), who previously worked with April's father. During her investigation, April learns about her father's 'Project Renaissance', which was responsible for creating the crime-fighting Turtles.

The movie is directed by Jonathan Liebesman and written by Josh Appelbaum, Evan Daugherty, and André Nemec.


6) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)

A still from the 2016 movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Image via IMDb)
A still from the 2016 movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Image via IMDb)

The 2016 live-action film, produced by Michael Bay and directed by Dave Green, is a sequel to the 2014 reboot. Its screenplay is penned by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec.

The Turtles Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), and Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) join April (Megan Fox) in saving Earth from the slimy-brained alien from another dimension, Krang (Brad Garrett). Helping Krang in his evil plans are Shredder (Brian Tee), Dr. Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), and comic book villains Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen 'Sheamus' Farrelly).


7) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)

A still from the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Image via IMDb)
A still from the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Image via IMDb)

Director Jeff Rowe's animated film is considered among the best reiterations of the Turtles film due to its stylized animation, tight screenplay, and visual performances. The movie's superior animation technology is credited to California's renowned Nickelodeon Animation Studio.

The film's synopsis by Rotten Tomatoes is as follows:

"After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers. Their new friend, April O'Neil, helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them."

The voice cast features Micah Abbey (Donatello), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), and Brady Noon (Raphael) as the titular Turtles. They are joined by an ensemble supporting cast that includes Maya Rudolph, Paul Rudd, Jackie Chan, Rose Byrne, John Cena, etc. Lastly, The Bear alum Ayo Edibiri voices the character of April O'Neil, while Ice Cube voices the mutant villain, Superfly.


The beloved movie franchise has earned more than $1.3 billion worldwide.

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