I have not been in the Christmas spirit this year. I’ve sifted through my Grinch-like hate, but it wasn’t until today that I realized why–that life was preparing me for the grand moment in which I would experience the animatronic nightmare that is “We Wish You a Turtle Christmas.”. It was like my brain tapped into a psychic wavelength that knew that something awful was going to make me groan and squirm my way through Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Christmas hell.
Terrible Christmas specials are nothing new. I live for the Star Wars Christmas special and Alpha’s Magical Christmas is, admittedly, a guilty pleasure, but TMNT is on a whole new level of direct-to-VHS insanity.
I mean, just look.
Look into his eyes.
That is Raphael-Satan, and he wants your pepperoni pizza-flavored soul.
The IMDB page’s description was enticing.
Who could not resist the promising tale after reading this grammatically incorrect summary? AmIright?
With that, I was determined to watch the special. For science. But it only took me two minutes to realize that science can go to hell if this is what must be endured. So, with all that said, I will present my findings to the worst piece of 90’s television to be produced.
Chapter 1: They’ve Forgotten to Get Splinter a Gift
The beginning to the video features a slow-mo montage of what you are exactly to see because, you know, it’s not enough to see all this once.
When we actually get to their turtles, they waste no time to jump into their song with their first song, “Deck the Halls with Pepperoni,” an idea that sounds as terrible as it does putrid. But apparently, this is Leonardo’s favorite song, and he’ll be damned if you won’t hear him sing in his terrible Brooklyn accent. Note: there is no decking the halls with said pepperoni, thank God.
Also, Raphael just keeps walking in front of the camera like a douche.
After the rambunctious singing, they realize that Splinter doesn’t have a gift! Oh no! Here’s a question: in a world where you live under the sewers with your 3 brothers and one rat-man, how do you forget any of those people when you are doing Christmas shopping? Yet forget they do.
Chapter 2: They Hit The Town to Try to Figure What to Get Him
In order for us to understand what “hitting the town” entails for our masked warriors, they skip and sing “Up in the Sewers and To the Streets,” a riff on “Over the River and Through the Woods.”
On their way, they run into a bunch of kids. I say kids, but I mean hooligans. After all, these junior monstrosities are away from their families on Christmas Eve playing rambunctious music in the streets.
This is possibly my favorite sequence of the video right after “The Wrap Rap” (covered later in this article), because of the hidden gems. Take, for example, the kid that Raphael spins with and then throws to the side. The kid almost slips and dies.
Or when the turtles give a nice ol’ Hitler salute.
The dancing is very 90’s and very awful, but nothing could possibly prepare you for when Michelangelo sings a slow and painful rendition of “Little Town of Bethlehem” that they cleverly changed into “Little City of New York.” According to Raphael, Michelangelo turns into “that opera guy again,” prompting me to not only wonder how many times this has happened before, but also to think about how much Michelangelo’s opera face looks like Freddy Fazbear from 5 Nights at Freddy’s.
Then they find the perfect gift that prompted all this pain. What is this gift, you ask? A framed pepperoni pizza. Obviously.
Chapter 3: Some Rapping
After finding said gift, the turtles head back home and wrap and, well… rap.
I would like to say that I have memorized the entirety of “The Wrap Rap.” This song is 90’s gold, the kind you only encounter in after-school specials. Thanks to the lyrical stylings of Leonardo, I can now annoy my entire household for this Christmas and every Christmas to come by simply rapping, “I take a lot of pride when I put the gift inside of the Wrap Rap. WRAP RAP!” Take that, Bing Crosby!
Every time they go through the chorus, they also do this weird finger thing.
I don’t understand what it means or why they do it, but I can’t help thinking of the director zooming in on their hands during filming and saying pervy things like, “Do that finger thing again. Slowly. Slower. Now faster. Again.”
Chapter 4: Their Kid Fans Join Them and Lots of Singing, Dancing… and Shenanigans Ensues.
For the rest of this video, the kids are just chilling in the sewers with Splinter and the turtles. I guess it is Christmas Day, after all, and who else will take the trash-can clanging children in?
We’re immediately treated to Splinter singing. Yes, he sings too. And he sings a rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas” that includes the turtles giving him 4 manhole covers. And they actually are holding manhole covers.
When that’s over, Splinter reminds us what this has all been about (something which I couldn’t decipher):
“Remember, my sons, that your love for me is the greatest gift you can bestow and the only gift I will never need.”
Michelangelo immediately responds by, “Uh, does anybody, like, want a pizza?” Way to go, 90’s.
Then the kids sing “We Wish You a Turtles Christmas.” I have no idea what this means, and I don’t think the kids do, either. Seriously, look at them. They have no idea what they’re doing.
Then the credits roll, playing “We Wish You a Turtles Christmas” all over again.
At the conclusion of this video, I grunted and exclaimed loudly to all my friends through Snapchat that this is the most bizarre Christmas experience I have ever had. Writing this article, I have had to review the video repeatedly, and now Raphael-Satan is forever ingrained in memory.
But in a bizarre turn of events that I can only assume is a consequence of Rastafarian Stockholm Syndrome, I have now been filled with the Christmas spirit.
All praise Raphael-Satan.