Apart from contemplating whether to see any component of Barbenheimer in the theaters, I didn’t have anything I was planning to see until my kids announced they were unanimous in wanting to see the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film aka “Wait, there’s another TMNT movie?!?”
This was a surprise because, to the best of my knowledge and theirs, they have not seen any previous TMNT movie. They also have not been around long enough to want to check out “the latest Seth Rogen movie” which I am sure is a thing — and more power to Mr. Rogen for working to to make it a thing (seriously, check out IMDb: that dude’s busy). Anyway, my kids assured me they were sufficiently “ninja adjacent” to enjoy the film. We went… and really enjoyed it.
One of the aspects of the film I noted was the animation style, which reminded me tremendously of one of my favorite animated features of recent years, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and its follow-up from this year, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
The style, which somehow seems to combine the best of photo-realistic computer animation with the rough edges of handmade drawings feels ideally suited to bring superheroes to the big screen: not too slick, not too flat, very human.
In a year where it was a bummer to learn the “Spider-Verse style” of animation came at a cost to the animators, it was very nice to hear that Seth Rogen, a producer of the TMNT film, went to noticeable lengths to make sure the animators were not overworked. On the indie side and in the shadow of the current strikes, it’s always nice to hear that people can make art in a sustainable, sane way (probably because there always seem to be legions of people who refuse to admit that’s even worth pursuing).
So kudos to Seth Rogen and everyone who supported a more humane way to work feverishly on such human expression. Maybe take a break? Because it’s clear you all are planning a sequel.