Review: Nick TMNT #28 "Invasion of the Squirrelanoids"

Nickelodeon made sure that we all knew that season two of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was going to be filled with Mutants.  The end of the first episode hinted at what the first mutant we were going to see was going to be in this long hunt for all the mutagen canisters.  The big question was ahead of us is how dangerous is these mutants going to be, and will any of them become friends to the Turtles?  We got our first real taste of just what the Turtles could face in episode 2 of the season with "Invasion of the Squirrelanoids".  Here is my review of this hyperactive mutant mess of pure gross tales.

The Turtles are on the hunt for the lost mutagen canisters.  Donatello’s tracker is having a hard time picking some up, as there’s too many out there.  Michelangelo is amusing himself with a comic book, which causes him to scream out scaring his brothers.  When they realizes it’s just a comic book his brothers get after him.  Raphael is in his face about it being a horror comic and how Michelangelo is going to be up scared all night again.  Donatello’s tracker goes off and he shouts for Leonardo to stop here.  As they get out they find the mutagen canister, with a man up against the wall as a squirrel is looking at him.  Confused by this the Turtles question the man's fear, till the squirrel looks at them and growls with a long tongue.  The Turtles scream as they watch the squirrel run into the guy’s mouth.  Michelangelo wants to know if he can scream in horror.

This is a fun intro setting up each of the important things about this episode.  Michelangelo and his comic, the ooze getting around the city and the squirrels going into people.  With the big deal Raphael made about the comic, you just know that it’s going to be a lesson within the episode.  The fun thing is Michelangelo reading horror comics is another great nod back to the 4Kids series.  In the episode “Notes from the Underground” Michelangelo had comics he was reading to get ready for their monster hunt.  Something I do notice is this is the movie theater from “Never say Xever” where the Turtles are hiding as April tells them where they’re going.  The homeless guy here has been seen a few times through the series.  One of the details that I really think is funny that they added, is when the guy passes out from the squirrel going into him and he looks like he just died… they added a fart noise.  A funny yet small touch they put into the scene.

After the intro the Turtles are in an alley putting the homeless guy onto the Shellraiser.  Michelangelo is protesting this idea as he compares this to his comic book.  To Leonardo and Donatello’s surprise Raphael agrees with Michelangelo.  Not about the comic book, he agrees that it is a bad idea to bring this Homeless guy back to the lair.  He uses Splinter as his leverage to convince Leonardo.  Donatello and Leonardo bring up that this is their fault and responsibility, which is Leonardo says he’ll deal with… the scene changes to the lair and Splinter staring right at Leonardo as he tries to explain.  Splinter is not please, as Leonardo tries to joke about what is going on.

I like that Raphael is also seeing that it’s a bad idea to bring the guy home.  I really find it funny that Raphael is the one to bring up Splinter.  I can see where Donatello stands though, he has a lot of weight on his mind emotionally because of this mutagen problem.  Most likely he’s the one who wants to make sure everything it causes is fixed fast.  Which makes the team up work wonderfully here, and is very well written.  I am just glad that Michelangelo was not left alone, in standing against this idea.  Splinter’s reaction is well animated in the lair.  As well as the other Turtles watching as Leonardo starts talking to Splinter.  I really love how Donatello holds the ooze canister far away from everyone with that grabby stick.   Showing the caution being used with open canisters.

The Turtles get the man into Don’s lab and Don starts to check him over.  Leonardo comes in saying Splinter will be meditating.  Donatello scans the homeless guy and it shows on his computer screen.  Michelangelo realizes there’s two heads.  Raphael figures he’s going to head out of the lab, though the homeless guy wakes up and starts to talk gibberish.  Michelangelo says he can talk crazy and goes over near the guy translating him for his brothers.  Mike informs the others that the squirrels been chasing him for days now.  He thinks he’s going to be okay.  Leonardo is at least  glad that no one will believe a crazy guy talking about Turtles in the sewer.

At least Leo is concern about having the guy down here.  I like how Michelangelo’s comic matches up to what Donatello’s doing with the guy on the table.  This is a fun scene as we see them trying to figure out what is going on.  Just wondering how Michelangelo learned to translate crazy.  It seems to be a handy skill.

The guy then spits out two squirrels.  The Turtles are in shock seeing two, as Michelangelo points out this happened in his comic book.  The man wakes up more and gets scared.  Raphael goes to show him the way out.  Leonardo and Donatello decide they need to catch the two squirrels and the chase begins.  The Turtles chase the squirrels through the lair.  Having to split up as one goes into Michelangelo’s room and another one goes into the Dojo where Splinter is.

This scene is filled with too many great moments for me to go through them all.  As we see a bit more of the lair, including the bedrooms.  Personally I loved seeing Michelangelo’s room.  The left over pizzas, the toys, comics and even a Chris Bradford stand up.  Really surprised he still has that stand up and it’s not filled with target markings.  The underwear thing with Mikey is kind of silly, I’m sure that the Turtles often wonder what it would be like to be human and Mike may just see that as a human thing and have some curiosity towards it.  Really my favorite part here is just seeing Michelangelo and Raphael relaxing together, kind of hanging out in Mike’s room before they remember what they’re suppose to be doing.

Leonardo and Donatello catch the squirrel in the dojo as it lets out a loud noise waking Splinter from his mediation.  As they’re informing Splinter of what’s going on, Mike and Raph find the squirrel in Mike’s room.  Raphael attacks it, only for the squirrel to run right into his mouth.  Michelangelo lets out the best scream ever of “Raph”.  Upon research they find that the squirrel is doing the same thing in Raph as it did in the man.  Great comedy occurs during this scene. 

I truly think that Greg did a great job on his cry for Raph when the squirrel runs into Raphael’s mouth.  It came out great, and I’ve had to watch that scene a few times just to enjoy the emotion poured into Michelangelo’s cry.  This is a fun scene as the brothers know what is going to happen, if Raph wants to believe it or not.  So they tease him.  Doing the brother thing.  They know the man got out without being hurt, so their concern was not on a high level.  This could of been treated more serious, if they did not already go through this.  I love the way it was handled and think the Nickelodeon crew really was having too much fun with this episode.

Once the squirrels are spit from Raphael’s mouth the power goes out and the squirrels begin to glow.  Michelangelo assures the others that this is bad.  Splinter runs in, informing them that this happened with the squirrel he had as well.  The three glowing squirrels round around the lair with the Turtles trying to find them.  Splinter tells them to split up, as much as Michelangelo protests.  During the search they find that the squirrels have now grown in size.  When the squirrels take off, Splinter tries to get his sons to go after them.  The Turtles do not like this idea.

Again, full of comedy.  Really good scenes, with reactions to these oversize squirrelanoids.  I liked how much more of the lair you get to see here, as Leonardo was going up the staircase that sits above their living room.  I like that Mike didn’t want to be alone, so he followed Raphael.  And I love the reactions each of the turtles give after Splinter’s speech about being brave. 

We see Metalhead searching the sewers.  The Turtles are watching from the TV.  Though before Metalhead can be of any real help it is attacked by a Squirrelanoid, having his head ripped right off.  The Turtles scream. 

This is where I’m going to leave off, if you want to find out how they handle the big fight against the Squirrelnoids, catch the episode.  A lot more laughs, a lot more action, and teamwork.  A fun episode all around, great for re-watching. 

Have you seen “Invasion of the Squirrelanoids”?  What was your favorite scene?  All reviews, comments and questions welcomed below!

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