The world of comic book movies has changed dramatically even in just the last decade. Hollywood went from regularly producing movies like Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer to the start of the "it's all connected" Marvel Cinematic Universe, the World of DC and its billion dollar dramatic movies like Joker, and even the outright ending of 20th Century Fox's X-Men series. Even with all of the offerings that we have now thanks to advancements in visual effects and studio interest in investing huge budgets into comic book properties, sometimes you just can't beat the original, like the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film which debuted in theaters thirty years ago today.
It's hard to imagine that no studio wanted to make the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in 1990, but it's true. Disney, Columbia, Warner Bros., and Paramount (who would eventually fully acquire the brand back in 2009) all passed on the project fearing that they would make the next Masters of the Universe or Howard the Duck. They'd all be jealous when the box office returns back in early April of 1990 though as the film would go on to become the highest grossing independent movie of all time after its theatrical run. After bringing in $202 million, the film would hold that title until another earth-shaker was released: 1999's The Blair Witch Project.
With thirty years now in the rear view mirror, fans of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie have taken to social media to pay tribute to the film while showing off how much of an impact it has had on them in the decades since. We've collected the best for you to read below!
Iconic is an understatement.
It’s been 30 years since the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie and this iconic entrance. pic.twitter.com/0RO50p5MoW— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) March 30, 2020
Artist Jody Edwards!
30 years ago today, I was sitting in a theatre, watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brought to life on the big screen.— jody edwards (@jodyvanb) March 30, 2020
That 9yo girl would be thrilled to know she grew up to officially work on the property. Thanks to Nickelodeon/Viacom and IDW for the opportunities. #TMNT pic.twitter.com/TOAF07NZU1
Noted TMNT fan, Dinosaur Dracula
Happy 30th birthday to the Ninja Turtles movie.
And also to these Ninja Turtles pork rinds. pic.twitter.com/l5IV8i4epk— Dinosaur Dracula (@DinosaurDracula) March 30, 2020
Pizza dude's got thirty seconds
This importance of this scene with the two of them in the moonlight is overlooked. They are the comic relief, but Donatello reaches out to Michelangelo to discuss something serious (the inevitability of losing Splinter), and Mikey dodges the question. It's too hard to talk about. pic.twitter.com/FK9S6mFgZc— G 😇 (@chrellsangel) March 30, 2020
Not a day!
Saw it in the theaters opening weekend! I can't believe that was three decades ago. Sigh. And they don't seem to have aged a day. Maybe because "Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles" doesn't really have the same ring to it. pic.twitter.com/Kgs4NYFwtG— Dan Brooks (@BatDan96) March 30, 2020
Put it back in theaters
30 Years Ago today, I saw my very first movie in a movie theatre. The energy was electric. Audience screamed and cheered when the title card appeared! One of my finest early movie experiences. Thank you, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. #TMNT pic.twitter.com/ug6Nx8K7t4— Matt (@themattprov) March 30, 2020
30 years ago today, the #TMNT movie released and blew me away seeing what through my childhood eyes, were the first real life looking Ninja Turtles. Still a fascination today and a movie that always brings a smile to my face.. Cowabunga! pic.twitter.com/nDhchcwBSC— Jason from the Basement (@JasonfromTB) March 30, 2020
30 years ago today, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was released in theaters. Fantastic practical effects, puppets & fight choreography. Great April O’Neil & Casey Jones in Judith Hoag & Elias Koteas. One of the best comic book films of all time. pic.twitter.com/1VzihFwDnI— The Post-Crisis Version of Nick Vargas (@Nv2187) March 30, 2020
Indie Darling: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
As every major studio passed on the idea at first, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was technically an independent production which was eventually released by upstart New Line Cinema. Grossing $201 million worldwide, TMNT was the most successful indie movie ever for nearly a decade.— Retronauts (@retronauts) March 30, 2020
TMNT Birthdays were clearly radical
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March 30, 1990 - I had an awesome 8th birthday! We went to the cinema to see the ninja turtles in live action on the big screen! I love this film to this day and have a son now who also loves the turtles! Crazy how popular they have remained for all these years. Thanks for everything Turtes! #ohihadthat #oihtpodcast #oihtyoutube #oihttoys #collecting #collector #memories #nostalgia #retro #fun #80s #90s #childhood #popculture #film #tv #tmnt #ninjaturtles #playmatestoys #pizza #movies #30years #anniversary #teenagemutantninjaturtles
Even me, I am a fan.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.