Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Won’t Have Any ‘Boring’ Scenes: ‘The Movie Is Crackling With Energy,’ Says Seth Rogen – Exclusive Image

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

by Ben Travis |
Published on

Pause any frame from the trailers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, and you’ll see an image filled with artistic flourishes. The animated overhaul of TMNT, directed by The Mitchells Vs The Machines co-director Jeff Rowe and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, has a visual style all its own – with an energy you might immediately associate with the Spider-Verse movies, but bearing a distinctive scratchy, scrawly pencil style. Channelling both the sketchy, lo-fi energy of the original off-beat Turtles comics, and the youthful exuberance of its central quartet of characters, Mutant Mayhem has been imagined as a lead-on-paper doodle come to vivid life.

The result should be another animated movie this summer that pushes the art form in a new direction. “The film itself is permeated with this teenage energy – where you don’t stay in the lines, and you’re pushing harder on the stuff that you like, and you’re impressionably scribbling in the background,” Rogen tells Empire. And once they saw what was possible visually, it upped their writing game too. “We started to write to the animation style,” he says. “It needed to capture that – we can never have boring scenes, because the movie itself just seems to be crackling with energy.”

Rogen and Goldberg’s love of the Ninja Turtles goes back to their shared childhood, as major fans of the animated series. “Part of the reason I did karate was because of the Ninja Turtles,” says Rogen. “Me and Evan both did karate together. My dad got me nunchucks that I cracked my head open with, because I was obsessed with the Ninja Turtles, and Michelangelo specifically.” In its own way, the Turtles formed a cornerstone memory for the duo’s nascent friendship. “Seth had just got these nunchucks,” Goldberg recalls. “He was like, ‘Yo, check this out, I want to show you this awesome move!’, and just immediately shattered a huge chandelier from his parents’ house into a billion pieces. It took us, like five hours to clean.” Laughs Rogen: “It was instantaneous. It was as though what I was trying to show him was my abilities to destroy a lamp.” If the four Turtles need back-up, they know who to call.

Empire – August 2023 – Rebel Moon newsstand cover

Read Empire’s full career-spanning interview with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg – talking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, their life-long friendship, Superbad and more – in the Rebel Moon issue, on newsstands from Thursday 6 July. Become an Empire member to access the digital edition in full on launch day, or pre-order a print copy online now here. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem comes to UK cinemas from 31 July.

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