Tooncrap #36 - Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles: Mr. Ogg Goes To Town
An absolutely Oggful Episode
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
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.
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.