(Annecy) Cowabunga! The film Ninja Turtles: Teenage Years, which explores the tumults of adolescence through the famous Ninja Turtles, was acclaimed by the public of the international animation festival of Annecy, confirming the freedoms claimed with AFP by its director Jeff Rowe.

Screened in preview in a version in progress, the new adaptation of the adventures of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphaël must be released on August 9 in theaters.

Produced by Seth Rogen (Superbad, Knocked Up), it follows the high school and prom longings of a sibling of mutant turtles reclusive in the sewers of New York with their mentor, the rat Splinter, who taught them ninjutsu. to defend themselves from humans.

Anxious to be accepted by the latter, the four brothers decide to attack a mysterious criminal organization, helped by their new friend, high school student and aspiring journalist April O’Neil.

The film, distributed by Paramount, is produced by the American chain Nickelodeon, which in 2009 bought the rights to the saga created in the 1980s by comic book authors Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, and has since launched two animated series.

“With Seth Rogen and (his close collaborator) Evan Goldberg, we wanted the characters to look like real teenagers, having them voiced by real teenagers and being naturalistic in their design,” Jeff Rowe told AFP. .

“We also knew that the film had to be different to work, that we took bold turns” compared to the original universe, adds the director. “A lot of people are very attached” to these characters, who had their heyday in the 1980s/1990s, and “we didn’t want to mess it up,” he continues, hoping fans “will get carried away.” .

Combining 3D and various animation techniques, this initiation tale invariably draws comparisons with Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse, which currently fills cinemas, and its Oscar-winning predecessor Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

“Anything different (stylistically) is compared to the Spiderverse”, while the “two films are completely different” commented Jeff Rowe.

“There’s an artistic renaissance going on right now that Spider-Man kind of kickstarted,” he said, predicting “much more creative big American animated blockbusters…” in the future.