Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Cognitive Dissonance

I recently watched the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

I enjoyed it.

And I have no idea why.

I'm a proponent of the idea that humans largely like things due to personal taste--then rationalize their likes (and dislikes) after the fact. An over-thinker like me can create a rationalization in no time flat.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles leaves me blank. I have wanted to write about the phenomenon on my blog for years now. I was waiting until I understood my interest. I still don't. So I'm writing about it anyway.

Why do I (and others) like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

I was a teen when the Turtles hit the big time. I vaguely remember the animated series. I saw the completely ridiculous live-action 1990 movie more than once. I even had a favorite turtle (and still do): Leonardo.

But turtles? I mean TURTLES? I don't even like reptiles. (They're not exactly cuddly--and since Splinter would chew off someone's arm to save his sons, the rat is out too.)

Possibilities: Maybe it's an evolutionary psychology thing--I'm hearkening back to some atavistic memory of evolving from a fishy thing.

Or maybe it's the whole animals-talking attraction thing, but I'm not typically a fan of animal heroes (I never got into Brian Jacques' Redwall series, for example). In general, I prefer humans. (It would be interesting to have a movie where the turtles temporarily become human, just to see who would be cast as whom.)

Another possibility: in the 2014 movie, the turtles are HUGE, making them comparable to the Hulk, (except they talk more). And the Hulk is cool, so that could be one explanation. Yet I enjoyed the 2007 animated film where they are more svelte and lithe. So, now that explanation is out too.

If I had to explain all this to aliens--Humans enjoy this show because...

I would give up.

But I will continue to ponder--and maybe the answer will come to me. For now, this post will have to do.

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