For whatever reason, there was some sort of strange love that 90s kids had for animals that were able to talk and open cans of whoop ass. It’s likely that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sparked this trend with their magnificent animated series that ran from 1987-1996. Biker Mice From Mars and Street Sharks followed in the footsteps of Leonardo & co. with cartoons of their
own during the 90s. Initially it’s hard to explain the mass appeal of these types of shows but upon examination, it’s quite simple. Many people may have owned turtles and mice as pets, but they weren’t exactly our idea of awesome. Now, when you turn those turtles into teenage mutant ninjas and make the plain old mice, bikers from Mars, it’s a whole new ball game. Hell, sharks are pretty badass as it is but when you make them street savvy, it’s that much more exciting.
Let’s be honest, Street Sharks was doing its best Ninja Turtles impression and that got it 40 jawsome episodes. This series was a lot like that average group of kids who tried to copy the popular group of kids, and actually got by for a short time doing so. The show revolved around four brothers, John, Bobby, Coop and Clint who are turned into sharks by the diabolical Dr. Paradigm. The four Street Sharks enjoyed eating hamburgers, hotdogs and French fries while they shared a strong disliking for pizza, which just so happened to be the Ninja Turtles favorite
thing to grub on — a not so subtle cheap shot by the Street Sharks creators. Regardless of their appetite, many of us enjoyed the show while it lasted. Watching Ripster (Johnny), Jab (Clint), Streex (Bobby) and Big Slammu (Coop) team up every episode to stop Dr. Paradigm from transforming the residents of Fission City into a bunch of mutants provided a great deal of entertainment and badassness.
Biker Mice From Mars offered a different idea that was good for three seasons and 65 episodes. The story revolved around a group of anthropomorphic mice from the planet, Mars who just so happened to enjoy motorsports. Upon reflection, that concept is random as hell but it was still fantastic. When Mars is taken over by a group called the Plutarkians, three survivors named Throttle, Modo and Vinnie manage to get a spaceship and escape but they are shot down by a Plutarkian warship, landing them on Earth — in Chicago of all places. Then the generous mice spent the entire series protecting Earth from some natural resource stealing, punk ass Plutarkians. Not only was the animated series great for entertainment, but it also produced a racing video game for the Super Nintendo that I for one, got thrills out of playing.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the best badass talking animal cartoon of them all, bar none. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello did some serious villain dominating, without ever using their weapons to the maximum potential. As a unit, they were walking around with a combination of ass whipping tools that included katanas, sais, nunchucks and a bo staff. If they actually used these weapons against the likes of Shredder, Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang and Technodrome it would’ve been a blood bath. Regardless of its lack of graphic violence, this was and still is one of the greatest animated shows of all time. Whether it was toys, video games, movies or the cartoon, the Ninja Turtles were a huge part of 90s kids’ childhood. We can take pride in the fact that the animated series we grew up loving, is widely considered the most notable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles concept that sparked the franchise to its phenomenal pop culture status.