Today it’s World Turtle Day and we think there’s not enough appreciation for those delicate, beautiful creatures that rule land and sea. Last month we celebrated World Penguin Day with a countdown of our favourite penguins in pop culture and we thought we’d do likewise again.

A small disclaimer before we proceed, for the sake of simplicity, we’re defining turtle here as inclusive of all chelonians, meaning sea-dwelling species and tortoises are present.

These are our favourite turtles from the movies:


5. Morla (The Neverending Story)

Morla, known as The Ancient One, is a giant turtle who, because of her size, is mistaken for a mountain. She lives in the Swamps of Sadness and helps Atreyu by sending him in the direction of the Southern Oracle. In our youth, we were amused by her ridiculous sneezing, which would blow Atreyu metres away, and her slow-paced manner of speech.


4. Master Oogway (Kung Fu Panda)

Master Oogway may be a thousand years old, but he is a total bad ass. In Kung Fu Panda, he is credited as the founder of the Valley of Peace, the creator of kung fu, and the developer of the Dragon Warrior legend, so it’s quite the CV. Not only can he totally beat the s*** out of you, he is also full of good humour and wise sayings, including these words of wisdom he shares with Po:


3. Speed (The Swan Princess)

Voiced impeccably by Steven Wright, Speed the turtle was one of three companions to Princess Odette, the others being Jean-Bob the frog (John Cleese, another great casting) and Puffin (Steve Vinovich). Speed is distinguished by his chillaxed attitude and sarcastic, sharp wit. He’d relentlessly tease the naïve Jean-Bob but is always a fiercely loyal companion.


2. Crush & Squirt (Finding Nemo)

Crush and Squirt were one of the best things about Finding Nemo. The father-son pair have a ‘go for it’ attitude towards life and are inspired by the ‘Californian surfer dude’. They meet protagonists Marlin and Dory and help them get to Sydney via the high-paced thrilling East Australian Current (EAC). Marlin adapts a less stringent attitude towards parenting having met them:


1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The superheroes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (published, refreshingly, by neither DC nor Marvel but actually Mirage Studios) have been adapted for film (in 1990, 1991, 1993, 2014 & 2016) and TV (1987-1996, 2003-, 2012-) time and again because they are just so darn likeable. Their team comprises Donatello, Leonardo , Michelangelo and Raphael, and they work tirelessly to protect New York’s citizens, unbeknownst to them (again, a bit different from your average superhero) as they live underground in the sewers. And they love pizza, which is just all the more loveable.