August 15, 1988 12:00 PM

All children’s animated series should be this hip, playful and witty. All adult TV series should be this hip, playful and witty. Adapted by David Wise and Patti Howeth from comic books of the same title, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is about four super-reptiles who were normal size and ignorant of martial arts techniques until they fell down a sewer and into some radioactive slime. This 41-minute tape includes the episode where the turtles meet their mentor, Splinter. A Japanese ninja, he has turned into what is perhaps history’s most literate rat. He names the turtles Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello, for his favorite Renaissance artists. They become affable heroes who team with newswoman April O’Neill to fight the Shredder, another transplanted ninja. The turtles’ main pastime is eating pizza—banana-sausage is a favorite. The violence is restrained, and parents should be delighted to find an animated production that respects both their children’s intelligence and sense of humor. (Family Home Entertainment, $14.95; 800-752-9343) Ralph Novak

(Thaddeus Novak, 8, agrees: “They managed to make it both funny and interesting. I like it where Raphael sees the Shredder’s men and says, ‘Where are these guys getting their gear—Mars?’ And by the way, how many programs are there about teenage turtles?”)

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