Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

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Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 11 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
  • a review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 August 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to scary scenes and high level of violence.
Children aged 10–11 Parental guidance recommended due to high level of violence.
Children aged 12 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild science fiction themes, animated violence and coarse language
Length: 99 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Mutant turtle brothers Donatello (voice of Micah Abbey), Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.), Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu) and Raphael (Brady Noon) have spent all of their lives growing up in an underground sewer with their over-protective adopted dad, a mutant rat named Splinter (Jackie Chan). Their one-time venture into the outside world ended up disastrously and so Splinter taught them all ninja skills for self-protection.

Now teenagers, the turtles are naturally curious and keen to venture outside. They meet up with April (Ayo Edebiri), an aspiring journalist, who befriends them. New York City is in chaos, however, as a criminal named Superfly (Ice Cube), helped by his friends, is determined to rid the world of human beings. As it transpires, Superfly and his gang are also mutant creatures and the four turtles must either persuade them to stop their reign of terror, or defeat them. Much mayhem ensues.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Science Fiction; Adoptive families; Ninjitsu; Acceptance.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a lot of violence throughout this movie, including many scenes of the turtles using their Ninjitsu skills of Katana swords, Japanese Sai swords, Bo staff, Nunchucks and throwing stars. There are many scenes of fighting, punching, kicking, explosions and aggression. Some examples include:

  • The opening scene shows a chemist (Stockman) in his lab creating the mutagen when a private squadron employed by Techno Cosmic Research Institute (TCRI) smashes through the door and pins the chemist to the wall. Flying creatures crash through the room, attacking the chief of the squadron who fires at them. In so doing, he hits gas cylinders which explode and set fire to the lab. Stockman is seen lying on the ground.
  • The turtles go into the outside world with Splinter where they are attacked by dogs and people throw things at them. The turtles get thrown in front of an oncoming truck which narrowly misses them.
  • Many car chases with vehicles being thrown into the air and crashing down.
  • The turtles attack a gang of thugs who have stolen April’s scooter. The thugs are mean and vicious and a fight breaks out between them. The turtles use their Ninja skills to defeat the gang who are shown strewn across the ground.
  • The TCRI squadron capture the turtles and knock Leonardo out with a weapon. The turtles are tied to a wall and ‘milked’ for their mutagen. One of them cries in pain.
  • The executive of the TCRI electrocutes the turtles who sizzle and are seen as black and white skeletons.
  • Superfly stomps through the city, smashing everything under foot. He picks up cars and throws them as weapons. The turtles are in a bus, which Superfly kicks over a bridge.
  • The final battle scene shows Superfly crushing the turtles in his hand. Splinter comes to their rescue but is thrown to the ground. People come to the aid of the turtles who manage to throw a weapon into Superfly’s mouth. He explodes.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Many scary-looking characters, such as:
    • a private squadron, who are fierce-looking men with purple eyes, in armoured suits and carrying machine guns;
    • angry people, who are aggressive and nasty to the turtles;
    • Superfly is a huge fly with attitude; his gang are a number of creatures, such as a warthog, rhino, cockroach, frog and a tortoise, who have mutated into large animals in body armour and are fierce-looking;
    • a gang of human thugs, who look vicious and terrifying.
  • The sewers are dark and scary-looking places.
  • Splinter gets the ‘ooze’ on him from the baby turtles and grows into a huge rat.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Test tubes are shown with baby turtles inside. In the attack, they are filled with the mutagen and drop down into the sewers.
  • Splinter takes his turtle sons into the outside world where they are terrified by other rats and dogs barking at them. A man steps on their friend, a cockroach. People scream at them.
  • Characters are seen tied up and knocked out.
  • Ooze falls onto Superfly, as well as some marine creatures, which creates a huge monster-size Superfly/whale type creature that roars. He is taller than the buildings.
  • Splinter looks like he’s dead but he is just very weak.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • The scene where the turtles are captured by the TCRI is particularly disturbing, as they are ‘milked’ for their mutagen and then further tortured with electricity.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Doritos.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Leonardo wants to have a girlfriend. He falls in love with April.
  • Splinter falls in love with Scumbag, a cockroach.
  • When the turtles mention they are afraid of being ‘milked’, they’re told they can’t be because they don’t have nipples.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Splinter and Scumbag kiss on the mouth.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Radioactive ‘ooze’ is used to transform the creatures.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Freaking
  • It sucks
  • Oh my God
  • April is called, “puke girl”
  • Piss me off
  • Shit show
  • Crap
  • What the hell?
  • Butt.

In a nutshell

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is an animated, sci-fi adventure movie, in which the Turtles want to prove themselves as heroes in order to be accepted by humans. The film has quite a few underlying messages about adoptive families and the need to fit in as teenagers. However, it is also quite intense in parts and has a high level of violence. It is therefore not suitable for children under 10 and parental guidance is recommended for children age 10 to 11.

The main messages from this movie are that you can still be a hero even if you aren’t accepted; and the inclusion of others who are different.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • The importance of family
  • Teamwork
  • Tolerance
  • Courage
  • Bravery
  • Empathy
  • Brotherhood.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Splinter was sad when the boys decided it was time to go out into the world. Teenagers need to be able to make some decisions for themselves, even if they’re not always the right ones.
  • Superfly’s mutant gang were intent on killing humans until the turtles showed them another way. They didn’t realise they had a choice but we all have choices to make in life.