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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Who Is Genghis Frog?

As the Turtles return to the big screen in Mutant Mayhem, they’re bringing the lesser-known Punk Frogs with them.

At long last, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise will be receiving the same level of attention and reverence in adaptation that its peers have earned. The inexplicably beloved ripped mutant animal trend is seeing a resurgence, and the Turtles will drag their less-popular friends along with them. Stand-up legend Hannibal Buress is set to bring Genghis Frog of the Punk Frogs to the big screen.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s upcoming film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem represents a return to form for the franchise. Though the cartoons have been consistently excellent, TMNT movies have been a mixed bag. Mutant Mayhem may be the moment Turtle fans have been waiting for, but it’ll definitely be a highlight for Punk Frog fans everywhere.

Who is Genghis Frog in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Genghis Frog, along with his brothers Rasputin, Attila, and Napoleon, are the Punk Frogs. Like most Ninja Turtle characters, they were introduced as a monster of the week for the 1987 cartoon show. The Punk Frogs don’t look like punks in the least, they all dress like stereotypical surfers. Their weapons set them apart from the Turtles by being far more brutal. They sure cut a silly appearance with their beach boutiques fashion and massive medieval weapons. As almost every aspect of their presentation would suggest, they have a familiar origin story.

The Punk Frogs are Shredder’s answer to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were once normal frogs who lived in the Florida Everglades until the familiar glowing mutagenic ooze transformed them into their muscular bipedal form. Thanks to a device that tracks mutants, Shredder discovered these newfound talents and took them under his wing. Mirroring his rival, Shredder named the frogs after his heroes, who happen to be warlords and tyrants. He then gave them weapons, trained them in martial arts, and convinced them that the Turtles were evil. After a brief confrontation, the Punk Frogs change their opinion on the Turtles and help them lure Shredder into a trap. After that rousing success, they left New York City and returned to Florida, only visiting their reptile friends from time to time.

As with most TMNT lore, the more recent IDW comics take a different approach with the Punk Frogs. They’re still mutant frogs, but they were transformed by a Mutagen Bomb that affected an entire town. As humans, they were punk teenagers with a tight bond. Transforming into frogs tightened that connection and turned the group of friends into more of a street gang. In their first full appearance, they burn down the Turtles’ dojo with a Molotov cocktail. They behave like a rival faction, waging war on anyone who dares to enter their turf. The Turtles find themselves evenly matched in combat, leading Mikey to attempt to seek peace. It’s much more nuanced than the moral coin toss of the Frogs’ first appearance.

How could Genghis Frog change in Mutant Mayhem?
The Punk Frogs as a group won’t be appearing in the upcoming TMNT film. Only Genghis Frog is confirmed for a feature film debut. The Punk Frogs rarely get enough time to show themselves off individually, but their personalities are mirrors of that of the Turtles. Attila is clearly the Leonardo of the group, always serving as the leader, but the other three have trouble being consistent. Genghis Frog is most frequently seen as the Michelangelo of the Punk Frogs. He squares up with the party dude in the 1987 show, and he’s the one Mikey chooses to reach out to when he pleads for peace. If Genghis Frog mirrors Michelangelo, the film has picked a solid portrayer.

As a standup comedian, Hannibal Buress is known for his smooth delivery. He’s relaxed while remaining absurd in his imagination. As an actor, he takes on a lot of comedic bit parts. He held down a reoccurring role on Broad City for five years, earning himself a lot of attention. His biggest film part is probably his role as Peter Parker’s gym coach in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which he’s taken on twice. If Hannibal is in the role, it’ll be played for laughs.

Mutant Mayhem clearly has a lot packed in. Baxter Stockman, Bebop, and Rocksteady seem to have the villain game covered. Most of the Mutanimals team pops up in one way or another. It’s hard to tell who will be an ally and who will be an enemy in this new outing for the beloved Turtles. Genghis Frog could be a minor player in the film or a close friend of the group. He could be an early threat or a dangerous foe. The Punk Frogs began as a dark mirror of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and as one of their number finally makes the leap to the big screen, they’re still muscling in on turtle turf.


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