A number of stories featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would make good film adaptations, but The Last Ronin, released in 2020, is the most recent and prominent example.
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Not only is it dark territory that brings the Turtles to their darkest point, it also shrinks their ranks to the loneliest number of ones – hence the title – against impossible odds.
Well, a YouTube content creator and animation studio took the bare background of the story and adapted it into a short film of such incredibly detailed quality and quality that you’ll be amazed they didn’t go through the Hollywood system to do it. .
Appointed TMNT: The Last Ronin Animation, the animated video shows the last surviving turtle after losing everything. He mourns his fallen brothers and his “father”, Master Splinter, as he remembers their defeat and prepares to end it all by committing hara-kiri.
He only stops when he passes out and has a vision of his three dead brothers. Comic book readers – and not to mention those who scour spoilers online – will know that the Last Turtle Standing is a Michelangelo whose joy has completely vanished following his personal tragedy.
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The short was directed by YouTuber Magnus Edlund, creator of the Speedokaggen channel. He produced and directed the piece while assisting with VFX animation with animator Robin Andersén and modeler/rigger Kristian Howald.
Everything was done in-house with everyone involved in performing multiple tasks. Sound designer Andrej Kotevski Lindwall also provided the voice for The Last Ronin/Michelangelo.
A special dedication to Last Ronin craftsmen Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird and Tom Waltz for their hard work on the dystopian story and the years they have committed to publishing TMNT content.
“Thanks!” he says, “This movie is dedicated to Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz and everyone else who worked with TMNT.” He adds, “Thank you so much for all the joy you’ve given us turtle fans.”
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The Last Ronin Animation arguably deserves to be on the list of things that make Turtle fans happy somewhere near its inspiration, which we may not have seen last time.
Although Eastman called the story “a sort of Dark Knight Returns ending story” in an interview with CBR this year, he also said “the door is open to go somewhere else.”
After all, it ends on a “To be continued…” note, and Waltz promised that more would come from the “Ronin-verse”. He recently told CBR, “Oh…hold on, sports fans. I can’t give specifics yet, but suffice it to say that we’re not done with what we now lovingly call “The Ronin Verse.” Big announcements coming soon!
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