It might have started out as a joke by the creators, but when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie hit the big screen in the early 90s, it was anything but a joke to the people who lined up to see it in droves. Let's be real for a minute, based on how popular TMNT was during the 80s and 90s, is anyone actually surprised that the movie was as successful as it was?
Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo were everyone's favorite (or at least top 5) Saturday morning superheros, so when they went big screen, everyone took notice.
As fun as the movie was to watch, there was a lot going on behind the scenes that you likely didn't realize. So here are 9 facts about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies that you didn't know.
1. The movie was set in New York City but it wasn't filmed there.
Though the shots that dealt with the iconic aspects of New York City were actually shot there, the movie itself was filmed in North Carolina. North Carolina actually allowed the director to close down entire streets for shooting. They also gave them a huge discount on what it would have cost to film the movie in NYC.
2. It was wildly successful for an independent film.
In the history of independent film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tops the list as the most successful indie film ever produced. It cost the production company $13.5 million to make it, and got a return of over $200 million for their investment.
3. Splinter was a puppet.
The puppet that the director used to act in place of Master Splinter took a lot of work to control. It actually required three people to be working it at the same time in order to it to work properly.
4. The fight scenes were pulled off in a unique way.
The fight scenes were some of the best parts of the movie. But when they hit final production and editing, the scenes had to be sped up. That's right, they were filmed in slow motion because the turtles costumes weighed so much, it would have been impossible to film them at normal speeds.
5. Corey Feldman got screwed by producers.
Even though he was one of the biggest actors of the 80s, when Feldman signed on to be the voice of Donatello, he was paid a ridiculous $1,500. As he was just getting his life back on track after a battle with substance abuse, he figured the part would be a good way to make some quick money.