There were few things that flooded the mainstream quite like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did in the late 80s. It was an intense and pure attachment to something that I’m sure Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird had no idea would cling to children and adults alike.
Think about it: A story that takes place in modern-day New York about sweet little orphaned sewer turtles that, through mutation, grew into human hybrids of their turtle-selves? Oh, let’s not forget Splinter. A human/rat that taught the young male turtle-boys all about patience, kindness and well, being awesome ninjas. The series was a kid-friendly departure from the much darker comic book start that Eastman and Laird had drawn up but it worked all the same. The villains were over-the-top, the storylines were well thought out and episodic in nature which was a great starter for kids who were looking to engage more with their fandoms.
The 1987 cartoon series was iconic and some episodes were sprinkled with something called ‘Turtle Tips’, cute PSAs to offer kids help with things like bullying, drugs and even natural things like being kind to your parents. The efforts this show took to encourage its viewers to be good and do good for others was a reward in and of itself but toss in a dash of fun toys, awesome promotions with Pizza Hut and eventually live-action movies — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took over our childhoods in a big, radical way!