Back to newsfeed


France Info | French Animation Studio Behind the Visual Success of the New Ninja Turtles

Radio France Info’s Matteu Maestracci interviewed Mikros Animation’s Paris teams about their work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.

9 August 2023
Kevin Simmore, Lead FX chez Mikros Animation (Matteu Maestracci)

Cowabunga! The new adaptation of the adventures of the famous pizza-loving, kung fu adept turtles stands out for its original graphic style, closely resembling comics. Its animation and visual effects are the work of a Parisian studio. This cool, dynamic, and modern version, with its hip-hop and cosmopolitan ambiance, is arguably the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles adaptation since the renowned animated series of the late 80s, which was, little-known to many, a Franco-American production.

It’s a repeat performance, if you will, for the year 2023, as the studios at Mikros Animation, based in Paris and Montreal, have handled the visual animation of the film, including special effects, in collaboration with Hollywood studios Paramount and Nickelodeon. Previously, they worked on animated projects like Alexandre Astier’s Asterix, SpongeBob SquarePants, and even Paw Patrol: The Movie.

Marie Balland supervised this daily production: “Right from the start, the design images provided by Nickelodeon were really exciting and innovative. We brainstormed to figure out how to bring that to life in 3D, and the result is truly evident because it works well. It’s quite fresh and unexpected for 3D visuals. So, it’s really cool to see it come to life on the big screen for an hour and a half.”

Inspired by the Original Comics Mikros’ two main challenges were, on one hand, to animate the film in both two and three dimensions, and on the other, to remain faithful to the visual style desired by the directors, an original style heavily inspired by the original 1984 comics created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

“Often we talk about stars aligning to describe a film’s success, and here that’s the case.” Julien Meesters, Head of the Creative Department, “We have a studio that truly handed the reins to its creative team to write a story and create an original version. It took a certain courage,” explains Julien. “The screenwriters also crafted a modern film with strong creative choices. And finally, a visual intention closely tied to the story. When you align these three elements, it creates a film with a distinct identity. For me, I no longer see a finished product or the result of work, but a film that gives me enjoyment for what it is.”

Visually, what the film offers stands in contrast to many animated productions for children or teens from the United States or Japan in recent years. Kevin Simorre, Lead of Visual Effects, hopes that this film will become a model. “We’re in a time where we can experiment with graphic styles today,” he says. “And everyone who has seen the film acknowledges its distinct quality. In this sense, I hope it remains in people’s minds and becomes a reference. If it becomes dated in a few years, that’s not a problem. The most important thing will have been to evolve the culture of animation.”

Visit the France Info website for the audio version in French.