Tooncrap #36 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mr. Ogg Goes To Town

An absolutely Oggful Episode
Murakami-Wolf-Swenson: 1989

Written by: Raymond Gallant

It's safe to say that most of the audience that reads my reviews have grown up with at least one of the many incarnations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With over 30 years under its belt, it's kind of hard not to. I was three I think when I first saw the cartoon, and it's one of my earliest cartoon memories. I was definitely hooked from minute one. I watched the cartoon religiously, I had tons of toys and merchandise, I loved the movies...

Except III, that one can go screw...

I, much like many kids of the time could not get enough of the heroes in a half-shell. But now that I'm thirty as opposed to three, it's hard to come back to the original cartoon, and not look at it as, for the most part, kinda bad. Not a horrible cartoon at all, it can still be fun, but it's definitely filled with nonsensical and cliché storylines, corny humor, and damn near every episode suffering from at least one or two animation errors.

To pick a bad episode of the classic series is quite easy as you go further on, and the one I picked is an especially annoying episode by the name of Mr. Ogg Goes to Town, one of the latter episodes of season 3. Season 3 isn't a particularly bad season, but this one is definitely one of the weaker episodes due mainly to being one of the more annoying ones. You'll see why as we review this thing.

And we don't even get off the bat with this review and already there's an error, as it's either Leonardo in Michelangelo's colors, or Michelangelo with Leo's katana blades. For a cartoon which had already seen sixty episodes at this point, you'd think someone would have realized the idiocy of this title card. But then again, I sometimes think the creators didn't care. At the end of the day, all that matters was the ratings and the toy money.

After what is one of the greatest theme songs of all time, we open our episode in the Technodrome, which seems to be undergoing an issue with energy. Krang assures Shredder that he has a fool proof plan to ensure that they will have unlimited fuel. This requires a convoluted way to turn crude oil into liquid hydrogen, the only thing that can power the Technodrome. However, the way to do so requires the help of a being from Dimension Z.

Meanwhile, the turtles are at home watching April O'Neil interview some museum curator about ancient vases from the mystical land of Huyu (Who you, get it?). The turtles believe that this must be the entire collection of previous Huyu porcelain, but Splinter assures us that it isn't, as the Shredder has an even bigger collection of it. According to Splinter, Shredder's obsession started when he turned the Foot Clan evil, he used this army of ninjas to steal as much porcelain as he could find. You know, he also may have stole other stuff, but dammit that porcelain is a big deal to him.

Or maybe Shredder's Huyu collecting was akin to Bleeding Gums Murphy's Faberge egg addiction.

Krang and Shredder get the portal to work for a short period of time, long enough to open Dimension Z, and out of the portal pops the titular Mr. Ogg. Imagine if you will you took Mr.. Mxyzptlk, gave him a warped squeaky sounding voice, and in a chilling coup de grace gave him Pee Wee Herman's laugh. Yep, that's the character we gotta deal with for the next 20 minutes. En-friggin'-joy.

Being a super nuisance, he annoys Shredder, shrinks Bebop and Rocksteady, and turns the Technodrome into the pumpkindrome. This rightfully pisses off Shredder, and since this is still a less politically correct 1989, straight up says he will "destroy that midget". Seriously Oroku Saki, the correct term is "little asshole".

It's fitting that the whole Huyu porcelain was mentioned early on, as Ogg enters Shredder's private quarters, and proceeds to feast upon his priceless stolen art. Shredder wants to dine on midget soup, while Krang uses this as a chance to control Ogg in order to get his fuel to change oil to hydrogen. Krang also tries to trick Ogg into believing that the turtles and the rest of New York drove the Technodrome into hiding under the ground, and being the naive annoyance he is, Ogg believes them and swears his allegiance to Krang and Shredder, heading up to the surface and causing mayhem by turning cars into bumper cars, street lights into rockets, and other such mischief. Meanwhile, the turtles are out on the town...

In what honestly have to be the least convincing disguises in all of creation. I mean, the trenchcoat and hat disguise is a stretch, but plain suits with no facial covering, while still wearing your bandanas? Who exactly would be fooled by this? Also, at this point in the series, the turtles are well known, and more often than not beloved by the city. Mainly to the point that disguises aren't really necessary.

They get confronted by Ogg, who removes the disguises, which for some befuddling reason, somehow manages to reveal their secret identities. He creates giant hammers to attack the turtles, before chasing them with a wrecking ball turned chainsaw. They manage to defeat the chainsaw by luring it into a pond, and confront Ogg once again. He turns their weapons into plumbing tools, and sprays them with chocolate water. Thankfully the corpse of Augustus Gloop doesn't pop out with it.

While Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady steal a little rinky dink wooden boat to commandeer an oil tanker, the Turtles continue their chase on Mr. Ogg, who buries them in the world's biggest sundae. He still swears his loyalty to Shredder, despite only knowing him for all of two minutes beforehand, and punches Michelangelo into a conveniently placed antique shop with the Huyu vases he loves so much.

Donatello also realizes that Ogg can't actually hurt the turtles. He can't make bullets or weapons, but uses ice cream and candy as weapons. Well if that's the case, why did he make a giant chainsaw when he first met you? I don't think it's a case that he can't, it's more a case of how much of a trolling little imp he is. If he honestly wanted to, he could kill every last being, since he's all powerful enough to do so. He just doesn't want to.

It also turns out that much like Kane or the Big Show, Ogg's allegiance can turn on a dial. Or in Big Show's case, whoever can supply the most food. They offer to give him more porcelain if he helps them out. He informs them of the Shredder's plan with little hesitation, and claims to help them out (though he breaks the fourth wall ensuring that it won't happen).

The turtles split up, as Leonardo and April head into the museum. Remember when I brought up how the disguises mean jack all in this series? Well Leonardo just tells the security guard that he's April's cameraman while still in his non-disguised attire. Case in point right there. Leonardo traps Ogg in a sarcophagus, despite the fact that Ogg could easily just teleport out of it considering he's a being of magic. Turns out locking him up angers the imp, who turns the city of New York into a giant fruit bowl.

While the other turtles work on both getting the portal generator and stopping Shredder, Ogg easily escapes, and continues to wreak havoc, turning things into ice cream and nuts. April and Leonardo jump out a window to escape, which is a great thing to teach kids. Meanwhile, Shredder easily captures Michelangelo and Raphael. Leonardo and April find another conveniently placed antique shop, and stall him until Donatello shows up.

Ogg, being stupid and annoying falls for the stalling method instead of disposing of Leonardo and April. I mean, we know he can shrink things and people, it's not impossible for him to do so. But you know, plot convenience. Donatello arrives in time with the portal. We also learn that Ogg's transformations are mostly illusions. Though this feels like a last second thing that really isn't integral to the plot. Hell, if Ogg was just sent back beforehand anyway, you could still explain everything changing back in a less convoluted way.

He turns the illusions back to normal anyway, and is easily duped into the portal with the offer of free fake vases. Meanwhile, there's a bomb on the tanker, and Michelangelo and Raphael are still tied up. Donatello and Leonardo arrive literally out of nowhere to save them. Back at the Technodrome, it turns out that Ogg was full of crap, and the oil changing trick never happened. And the episode ends with Mr. Ogg being angered enough to transform their pizza into mechanical parts.

And that's "Mr. Ogg Goes to Town". This episode was terrible. The action was nonexistent (A staple of many of the more scrutinized by parental groups era of Ninja Turtles), there wasn't really enough Krang and Shredder to be worthwhile, and the villain of Mr. Ogg was annoying. From his voice, to his actions, to just his general trolling and modus operandi. It's a good thing that this would be the only time Mr. Ogg went to town.

But unlike a lot of the bad cartoons I've reviewed, this one didn't infuriate me as much as I just found it corny and sometimes annoying. Maybe it's bias, but I still love the classic Ninja Turtles series despite it's poor holding up. You're not getting Shakespeare in animated form, but overall that was never the point. It was always made as a silly show to sell toys, and for said silly show, it's still fun to watch. Just turn your brain off and don't expect too much.