It’s Christmas Eve, and Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael are about to wrap some Christmas presents when they realize that no one picked up a gift for Master Splinter. Worse yet, everything is closing soon! The only way to rectify this turtlelly terrible situation is to hit the streets and sing a bunch of shitty versions of Christmas songs while they search for gifts.
Released in 1994, We Wish You A Turtle Christmas is a live action, direct-to-video Christmas Special featuring everyone’s favorite pizza eating sewer dwellers, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We’ve seen the Turtles go through a variety of changes since their incarnation back in 1984, with a fluctuation that has ranged from being quite serious to pretty silly. But the Turtles seen in this Christmas special are possibly the most ridiculous they’ve been, being light years away from the heavy metal listening, violent characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.
Currently bestowed with a solid 2 out of 10 on IMDB, We Wish You A Turtle Christmas features the most ratchet version of the turtles imaginable. Their mouths hardly move, and if they do, they certainly aren’t in sync with what they are saying/singing. Furthermore, the voice acting is as broke as M.C. Hammer, but what would you expect from a group of characters covered in visible zippers? Maybe that’s just a part of the mutation.
Terrible costuming and voice acting be damned, for the real bad of this really bad Christmas special has to be the wall-to-wall musical numbers. We Wish You A Turtle Christmas is overflowing with offensively bad music that comes in a variety of awful flavors. Songs range from a reggae tune to a hip-hop song, fittingly titled Wrap Rap, which naturally occurs as the turtles are wrapping presents. There’s a scene where Michelangelo sings an opera song, and of course there are a number of holiday classics, all of which are given a TMNT makeover.
“Deck the Halls with pepperoni
Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la la
Mustard, eggplant and bologna
Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la la”
However, the cream of the crap-crop comes during a moment where I could not help but verbally exclaim, “Splinter, NO!!,” and that comes when Master Splinter spits his version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Which in this case should be renamed The Twelve Hammers I Want to Lodge Into My Cranium Simply So I Can End this Pain Days of Christmas. But as bad as this never-ending song is, however, I am almost more offended by the gifts that the turtles give to Splinter, which include a framed pizza, videos games, a skateboard, yo-yos – you know, the kind of stuff that Master Splinter would love to own if he were a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and not Master Splinter.
We Wish You A Turtle Christmas culminates in an epic musical number ending that features a slew of street kids dancing in the background like generic strippers to the titular song, which seems like a brilliantly thought out idea. I mean, it’s not as if the turtles are trying to keep a low profile or anything. You know, it’s not like they’re teenage mutant ninja turtles who live in the sewers with a human sized rat that wears a robe and practices kung-fu.
In closing, We Wish You A Turtle Christmas is bad on a level that is challenging for my mind to absorb without creating a stream of blood pouring from my nose. But at the same time, I kind of love it, which I guess speaks to my tolerance for shit. I know there are those of you out there who, like me, will get a kick out of this one for how awful it is, but be forewarned, for there are moments where you will question your sanity.
You can watch We Wish You A Turtle Christmas in three parts on YouTube. If you can make it through all three parts, that is.