Ninjas and Pizza
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tells the story of four turtles, who have mutated into something vaguely human, and trained themselves to be ninjas. They are called Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo, named after renaissance artists from Florence. Guided by their master and mentor Splinter (a rat), they eat pizza and try to save the world from the evil Shredder.
Shredder is a dreadful character, though I don't remember whether he's human or not. He wears an armor with lots of metal on it, and has some spiky weapons attached to his arms.
The ninja turtles also have a human helper in April O'Neil, a promising and inspiring journalist.
The actual plot of the story is somewhat unclear to me at the moment. I can only remember certain fragments of the movie. What I do remember, however, is that I've only seen the movie once, and that was in a birthday party when I was 11 or 12 years old. It was a great experience. After the movie we went outdoors and pretended to be ninjas!
All Pizza and Ninjas?
Watching the movie again was quite interesting. As it turns out, I didn't recognize any scenes from the movie. My general description wasn't too far off the mark, however. Pizzas and ninjas are central to the story, but deeper relationships and intricacies exists.
Splinter the Rat learned his ninja skills from watching his owner practice. Once Splinter mutated together with the turtles, he grew to become more human, learned to speak, and became wiser. With his new-found abilities, he started the task of teaching the turtles everyting he knew. Having lived a life of watching a ninja master train, all he had to teach them was the art of the ninja.
It turns out that Splinter's master and Shredder had fought over the same girl a long time ago in Japan. Shredder killed Splinter's master, spurring Splinter to seek revenge. At the time of Shredder's killing of Splinter's master, Splinter attacked Shredder and maimed his face, forcing him to wear a mask for the rest of his life.
Alright! That's enough! Show me the deeper meanings!
The Turtles is a classic story of four friends taking the step from irresponsible youths to confident adults. Through their common experiences, they lose their master and split up the group. Through necesity they rejoin the group, and enstrengthened from this, they go after Shredder and reunites with their master.
The story also involves a lot of young kids feeling left out by society. They band together and perform lots of petty crimes, inspired and organised by Shredder. They try to create a new family, since their parents allegedly don't care about them. One of Splinter's lessons for the kids is that all parents care about their children.
The obtuse meaning underneath the storyline is to stay true to your friends and family. A team is stronger than the sum of its parts.
What's in it for me?
Having grown up as the second youngest of four siblings, it's easy to relate to the dynamics in the group. We we're a quite social group, and took part in a lot of common activities where we grew up. By teaming up and cooperating, we were visible and significant, often setting the pace leading the crowd.
My childhood memory shows how the memories and experiences from the youth don't match up with reality. My story focuses on double meanings, opposites and hidden memories. The Turtles is kind of the opposite. It's a straight forward story, with very little hidden beneath the uppermost layer.