In the world of animation, few franchises capture hearts like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Cinesite‘s recent collaboration with Mikros and Paramount Animation on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM has brought these heroes in a half shell to life like never before!


2023 Paramount Pictures

In crafting 21 minutes of captivating animation across its Vancouver and Montreal studios, Cinesite takes immense pride in the dedication and top-quality work of its artists.

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies counted on Cinesite’s animation team to mimic Mikros’s style, but also to add their own artistic touch to the project. Under the guidance of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg from Point Grey Pictures, directors Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears, the production radiates excellence, with Producer Barbara Zelinski leading the Cinesite animation team.

Central to the film’s allure is its visual style, as Eric Cheung, Cinesite’s Feature Animation Supervisor on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM, explains:

“Our goal was to capture the essence of a comic book through animation techniques. Using animation on twos, infusing motion with a timeless quality. The animation primarily follows a pattern of every pose being held for an additional frame, giving it a more appealing and classic aesthetic. This approach allows animators to concentrate on spacing, breakdowns, and the chosen style. Similar to other contemporary animated films, this technique is chosen to give the movie a traditional and captivating appearance.”

Adding Charm through Imperfections

Eric shares an intriguing anecdote from testing. When precision clashed with the film’s intended style, Animation Director at Mikros, Jacques Daigle, suggested a creative solution – using the left hand or even a mouse. This unique approach aimed to capture the film’s charming imperfections.

Cinesite’s VFX Supervisor, Chris Kazmier, provides additional insight into what distinguishes this film from its previous iterations:

“This version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is notable for embracing a youthful and angsty style. The characters aren’t super skilled; they’re relatable and real, just like the visual style. They’re not portrayed as muscular superheroes, but rather as scrawny turtles with high-pitched voices, truly embodying their teenage identity. This authenticity is resonating with audiences, as seen in the positive response from early reviews.”


2023 Cinesite

Drawing Inspiration from Creative Realism

Eric explains how the team were able to get creative when it came to choreographing some of the action sequences.

“For the Splinter knife fight we worked from storyboards of the actions but were also given some freedom over the choreography. We researched and referenced a lot of Jacky Chan’s movies and took clips from that. We edited them all together to show Jeff and Kyler before implementing them into our shots. For example, Splinter’s very first contact with multiple guards consisted of at least 8 clips from 8 different Jacky Chan movies and the animators stitched those moves together and then tweaked them so they would work for a rat!”


TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM was released to theatres August 2, 2023.