Pizza dude’s got 30 seconds…more like 30 years, Mikey. That’s how old the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is this week. Feels like yesterday when I’d pop in the VHS, hear that Pizza Hut little league commercial, and know I was about to have a blast. I still quote the movie almost daily. It’s simply ingrained in me.
But, most importantly, its shown me this is what “gettin’ old” feels like. As time passes, I’m feeling less like a Turtle Teen and more like Master Splinter. In another 30 years I’ll be in my 60s. Slow down, life. Maybe Mikey was on to something. 30 years did indeed feel like 30 seconds. Either way I hope I get my pizza on time.
Instead of simply posting a finish drawing, I decided to break it down in an informal “step-by-step” and how we got to the finish line, dudes and dudettes. I drew this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sketch using a Wacom Tablet and Photoshop. I worked on it the past two weeks, about maybe 40ish minutes per session.
I usually make a “sketchbook” file at the beginning of the week I use to doodle in my downtime. That’s usually where most of my stickers come from. Sometimes I work longer on drawings. Like this one for instance.
And that was last week’s drawing. I’m not over-the-moon about it, but I just thought it would be neat to see the process since it has a little bit of everything. I’m also teaching a Photoshop class at work and feel teacherly. That’s what I got this week. Cowabunga, guys.
I’ve yet to come across someone from my generation that doesn’t know what Kid Cuisine is. Whether recalling the penguin mascot on the box or the icy blue plastic tray it came in, others recollections of it are surprisingly fond. And with so many iconic childhood brands going the way of the dodo, it’s remarkable that you can still find Kid Cuisine nestled comfortably in your local freezer section.
I know this because I just bought one from my local freezer section.
No, I didn’t buy it because I had a hankering for soggy cardboard cheese pizza. Nor did I get a craving for soupy slimy mac and cheese. I didn’t yearn for spongey chicken nuggets and a “brownie” so hard it could break a kitchen window. I bought it because it featured the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And anyone that knows me understands you can slap a Ninja Turtle on anything and I’ll buy it. Case and point: Kid Freaking Cuisine.
I was never particularly fond of Kid Cuisine. I think I just felt, as a kid, it was my duty to eat Kid Cuisine. It’s right there in the title after all. This time around after a nostalgic conversation with my girlfriend I found myself in the “frozen dinner” section for curiosities sake. Lo and behold, towards the bottom of the freezer they be for a mere $1.97. The presence of Ninja Turtles coupled with the diarrhea the meal would surely cause reinforced my purchase. And to bring everything full circle I realized I could write about this on my virtual tumbleweed of a website. Now as I put this in writing I realize it is very sad.
I put my tray in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I crushed the activity on the back of the box in about 25 seconds. Writing the Turtles names and weapons down? Please! I scoffed confidently. I pondered why I was doing this exactly. That took some time. Before I could come up with any discernible answer my food was about ready. And here it is…
For anybody who wants the details it’s Cowabunga Popcorn Chicken with fries, corn, and Shell Shocked Chocolate Cookies. You’d think a Ninja Turtle themed meal would contain PIZZA. But at this point I realized I was giving too much thought to my frozen children’s meal. I mean, I probably have the longest review on a Kid Cuisine out there right now. And if that’s true, it’s an accomplishment I’ll relish to the grave.
Now, I’m no food critic. I don’t have sophisticated tastes (I took pictures of a Ninja Turtle doll next to a frozen dinner). I grew up on Happy Meals and think Taco Bell is high culinary art. But I do like to watch Gordon Ramsey television shows. So I have some training in that regard.
The tray is blue. Which is fun. Most trays are not blue.
The Cowabunga Popcorn Chicken could be kindasorta maybe passable with a decent dipping sauce.
The Ninja Turtles were on the box. And their logo was on the “cookies”.
Everything tasted like the packaging it came in.
Corn tasted like packing peanuts. The fries were bland mush. The cookies were literally a bag filled with nobody’s favorite part of an off brand Oreo.
I felt sad eating it.
To be frank, it was awful. But it was just a microwavable kids meal for $1.97. And when you’re a kid…you’re picky and your taste palette sucks. So maybe this would be passable to the average 5 year old I don’t know. Taking what I remember about previous Kid Cuisines, I would’ve had a pizza, that weird brownie thing (with some green “ooze” icing) and maybe a Ninja Turtles sticker/trading card/temporary tattoo in the box.
In conclusion, I can’t believe I’m writing about this much more posing it for pictures. I guess it adds to the eccentric charm of my website. I’m not going to recommend this to adults or children. And with the “clean and healthy” eating angle my generation pushes, I’m sort of astonished that these are still around. I’m not saying that because I think you shouldn’t feed trash to your kids, I’m simply saying there’s much tastier trash you could be feeding your kids.
This is just the consequences of being a shill to a brand you love. A slave to my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Cowabunga, dudes. Cowabunga.