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VIDEO: We Wish You a Turtle Christmas (1994)

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We Wish You a Turtle Christmas is the purest combination of both terrible and awesome. A direct-to-video holiday special where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sing Christmas songs about pizza and… other things, it’s one of the greatest Christmas specials ever.

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  • I can’t imagine why the producers didn’t have access to the much superior costumes from the “Coming out the shell” concert.  Or better yet, from the movies.  The props and costumes weren’t destroyed, were they?

    • $36060516

      Most likely money.  Different companies licensed the rights to the comic book character Turtles for the concerts, the movies, and this special, I’m assuming, and didn’t want to share the props they spent money and time on building, or demanded more money than the holiday special guys were willing or able to pay.  I could be wrong.

      • Cecil_Trachenburg

        Exactly.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Most likely this was a last ditch effort to squeeze a few more dollars out of a dying franchise. I’m sure the costumes and props would have cost more to rent then they wanted to spend.

  • Muthsarah

    Actually, that’s Michaelangelo doing the opera singing, but…yeah…I guess I just said that.

    WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?  I’m…really…really torn on this.  $5000?  That IS actually pretty good.  Those costumes must have taken half that, so kudos on the production scouts and lighting technicians for choosing this for their community service.  That said, this has got to be one of the biggest pieces of crap I’ve ever seen reviewed here or anywhere, and I’m hearing about it for the first time.  How did they even license the turtles for that amount of money?  Are they not counting that towards the budget?  Did they just make the movie and plan to sort out the rights later?  I just can’t accept that the filmmakers were playing this straight.  They MUST have been trying to make their own Star Wars Christmas Special.  That was made in the 70s, so you can probably blame cocaine for that one, but this?  The filmmakers must have really, REALLY hated their audience.  And their film studies professor.  And everyone else.

    Anyway, this is the exact type of movie I most enjoy being reviewed.  Just…so, uniquely, spectacularly godawful.  It hurts. But in a good way.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Is that orange? My vision must be going. It’s hard to tell them apart sometimes without the weapons. I’ll never understand why they didn’t give them some colors a little further apart.

      Its hard to see in the 18+ year old VHS but the close ups of the costumes show how worn out they are. I think they may have been slightly modified ones left over from the Coming out of their Shells tour. Unfortunately, much like the Star Wars special, no one wants to acknowledge this thing so getting any info is rough.

      • Muthsarah

        Pretty sure that’s him.  Also, da one ‘ats complainin’ about Mikey’s singin’ is tawkin’ wid a New Yoak accent.  Thats…whadda ya say, shoathand fa’ Raph.

        EDIT: Just like Jamaican for Leo….

  • FantasyMissionForce

    I thought Leonardo was the leader?
    Also, they look more like Nicki Minaj to me.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Yeah, I messed up. Damn cold medicine made me loopy.

      Yikes, as if Nicki Minaj couldn’t be any more terrifying.

      • The_Stig

        Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (that’s a fact, jack!). Raphael is cool but rude (gimme a break!), Michaelangelo is a party dude (Partaaaay!)

  • Sofie Liv

    Erh.. Leonardo is the leader not Raphael, so Leonardo should have been in charge of the present.

    But to be fair, shouldn’t each of them have gone out to get a prison themselves? I mean dude, he is their father, show a little appreciation.

    okay okay! I know I know! they don’t call him “father” and he doesn’t call them “Sons”  in the 80’s show nor the old movies, but that’s how I grew up with them damn you, and he did raise them didn’t he?

    All that put aside, I enjoyed this video! this was a lot of fun to see what they did back then to get some extra cash out of stuff, and I do find it fun to slowly discover how absolutely huge the turtles were back then.. and well.. I as a person absolutely hooked on the newest show (just see the long face-book conversation I had about it the other day -_-;) I am curious to hear what long-time turtle fans think of it.. if they would even be willing to sit down through several episodes of it.

    And you are wrong, yeah this show may be about giant talking ninja turtles, but a teenager being cultured in opera??? A teenager whom out of all possible music types decides to learn how to sing opera.. dude, show some restraints! You are cracking my suspension of disbelief! …. XD

    • Muthsarah

      Raph is indeed the leader.  “Turtle Power” says so.  Who are you going to believe: every TMNT comic book, cartoon, and movie that has ever come out, or a twenty-year-old cash-in rap song?

      P.S. “Present”, not “prison”.  Sorry to correct, but with the holidays coming up an all, it might be important. :p

      • Cecil_Trachenburg

        The funny thing is I was listening to the theme song the night I was putting this together because, well, its awesome. (the old cartoon)

        Good grief though. My geek esteem is shot for the week.

      • Sofie Liv

         pff no, I give me parents prisons all the time, prisons complete with guards, hand-cuffs and electrical chair, don’t you?

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      /shakes head

      Good grief, I know that. Splinter taught them to be ninja teens (He’s a radical rat!) Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (That’s a fact, Jack!) Raphael is cool but crude (Gimme a break!) Michaelangelo is a party dude (Party!)

      I blame the cough medicine. I’ve been a bit loopy the past two weeks.

      The funny thing is in the end, they all end up getting him a ton of stuff. So, why wouldn’t they have just all bought him something in the first place? Because then they wouldn’t have been able to make this whole production, silly!

      I am a long time turtle fan and haven’t seen the new show yet. I’ve been busy and just haven’t had time to check it out. I’m happy to hear that it keeps in the spirit of the old ones but I still am not a fan of Booyakasha over Cowabunga. It’s not a deal breaker though.

      LOL teens singing opera?! What next!

      • Sofie Liv

        Hah, yeah well, I’m sure Raph himself would be happy about it.

        Erhm, in many newer versions it’s an issue adressed that Raphael is kind of an alfa male himself and thinks it’s unfair that Leo gets to be the leader, it’s a consistent character issue! … shut up.

        Well, if you get some time here in the cosy christmas time, lemme hear what you think!

        Teens singing opera!? It’s true! The world IS going under! …. and it’s not like I was in seeing Carmen at Royal albert hall when I was a kid or learned ballet or any-thing like that, no sir, not me…. -_-;

        • The_Stig

          Leonardo is Cyclops, Raphael is Wolverine.

      • Thomas Stockel

         Speaking as a guy who bought the first comic way back when, I always thought “cowabunga” was bullshit.  My Turtles left a trail of bleeding, broken bodies in their wake, fought rat eating robots and traveled to other planets to fight aliens that looked like bipedal triceratops.  There was no Rock Steady and Bebop, god damn it!  I…

        …Okay, maybe that first cartoon really left a bad taste in my mouth.  Like I had been swimming through a sewer.

        I think the Turtles had an act that went on tour, if I am recalling that correctly.  If so I think that is where these costumes came from.  Anyway, thanks for the review, Cecil.  I hope you are over your cold.

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          My first introduction to the Turtles was via the cartoon, which later had me going back and tracking down the comics. While the books are pretty grim and much more serious, I also love the movie/cartoons for being somewhat lighthearted and fun. For me, I can live with both.

          The “Coming out of their Shells” Tour. The suits are similar but different. They either made new ones, or they used damaged ones from the tour. You can get a decent look at them but due to the muddiness of an almost 20 year old DVD, you can’t be sure if they are the same. There is one part where you can see a close up on one of the heads and the latex is very heavily worn. Also, since the creators would like everyone to forget this exists, no one really knows much about it.

          Thanks. I still have a little bit of the cold left but I am much better than I was.

  • Hey say what you want about the jarring music styles, as a music nerd, I appreciate an eclectic taste in music and reggae, rap and opera are pretty poles apart from each other (well maybe not reggae and rap, those go together pretty well. Just look at K’naan and Damian Marley’s ‘I Come Prepared’). I guess the rapping must have left some shred of an impact now that the new show’s theme is a rap version. Never underestimate cult status!

    Still, this was a bit more lenient than James Rolfe’s look at this special but it’s fair enough since a few thousand dollars is pittence in terms of a budget. Booyakasha to them!
    What? We all have to update!

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I liked the mix, it would have been even worse if it was all just one style of music. Although being as how the turtles all had the surfer lingo of the time, a little surf rock would have been appreciated.

      James attacked it fairly. Although, the thing is if not for the internet age this would have long since been forgotten.

      • Sofie Liv

        In the new show Mikey is a break dancer! …. that makes surprisingly much sense.

        Also Leo being a hardcore trekkie, not some-thing you would first assume about him, but makes surprisingly much sense to see in action. I still say though, Mikey singing opera, that’s just weird X)

  • TheCrazyFish

    “This is the kind of thing that just couldn’t happen today. There’s no way anyone would take a beloved  property and make a crappy Christmas special.”

    Really? You sure about that? Trust me, greed hasn’t gone away and neither has shamelessness. The average studio wouldn’t think twice about tossing together some cheap crap and throwing it out direct to DVD. Just ask… well, the average Boother’s DVD cabinet, I’d assume.

    You might be right, though. They wouldn’t make a Christmas special. Today it would be more like “We Wish You a Turtle Non-Specific All-Inclusive Multicultural Holiday If You’re Into That.”

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Oh there is no doubt the endless corporate greed would churn something out. I’m talking about something this low rent. They would do something, give it a giant budget but put no effort into it. Also, yes, they would call it something generic and “seasonal”, all the while singing songs that wouldn’t accidentally offend anyone.

      • TheCrazyFish

         Which, you know, I can understand not wanting to offend people, but when is the last time anyone has actually been offended by that? It’s like, I’m guessing you probably don’t celebrate Kwanzaa. Would you be upset if someone came up to you and wished you a happy Kwanzaa? Or a happy Hanukkah? Or…well, you get the idea.

        For that matter, I know a lot of non-Christians who celebrate Christmas as a secular “gift giving and family time” day anyway.

        • Cecil_Trachenburg

          Never underestimate the power of people who want to complain about something. At a place I used to work, someone put a Christmas tree up that their kid drew for them in school. An anonymous person complained that it offended them because they don’t celebrate Christmas so the person had to take it down. Really? I wish people would just tell anyone who is offended by such a thing to lighten the hell up. What is so offensive in telling someone Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? They are wishing you joy and you are offended.

          The country has turned into a bunch of passive aggressive babies.

          • TheCrazyFish

            Oh and of course, when that person was offended by the Christmas tree drawing, did he/she take it up with the offending co-worker? Of course not! That would be too rational!

          • Sofie Liv

             HAPPY SOLSTICE!

  • katmore9

    Great review! How’d you find this? This just seems SO obscure.