A full quarter of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles name is the word “Teenage,” and yet throughout their on-screen history they’ve felt more like Young Adult Mutant Ninja Turtles, pushing into the higher range of the teenage years. That is definitely not the case for the next TMNT film outing, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, as the latest, very stylish official trailer shows off.
Of course, the first thing that stands out in the Mutant Mayhem trailer above all else is just how damn good the animation looks, with a kind of hand-drawn style meeting the frantic style of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse to land on something that feels like a perfect fit for the heroes in a half shell, who have already seen themselves in so many animation styles that it’s really just impressive this feels fresh at all.
The second is the aforementioned feeling that these Ninja Turtles actually are teenagers. It helps that they’re voiced by Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), Brady Noon (Raphael), and Micah Abbey (Donatello), who are all — get this — actual teenagers. However, the way they interact and behave is far more akin to a group of kids just coming into their own and may stem from the screenwriting team of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jeff Rowe, Dan Hernandez, and Benji Samit. That group has delivered some of the better coming-of-age stories of the last few decades, so they know teenage angst pretty well.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is, yet again, a story about the turtles coming out into the open, so while it’s not exactly an original film, it’s definitely a story we’ve seen before. This time, however, they’re facing off against Superfly (Ice Cube), who seems like a riff on Baxter Stockman from the original comics / cartoons but with a bit more street cred. He may not be, however, as Baxter Stockman is in the film as well and is voiced by Giancarlo Esposito, who, given the casting, is probably the real lead bad guy. Superfly and a mysterious syndicate have seemingly organized a collection of other mutants, including Bebop (Seth Rogen), Rocksteady (John Cena), and a collection of other side villains from the original series to take control of all of humanity… or at least New York City.
The rest of the cast is stacked and features Hannibal Buress, Rose Byrne, Jackie Chan, Natasia Demetriou, Ayo Edebiri, Giancarlo Esposito, Post Malone, Paul Rudd, and Maya Rudolph. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem releases in theaters on August 2.