Walters will interview Turtles for Oscar special


HOLLYWOOD -- Barbara Walters has drawn lots of celebrities out of their shells, so the thought of the ABC newswoman interviewing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a short spot on her annual Academy Awards evening special is, in a word, awesome.

Walters gets up close and personal with teen-age terrapins Raphael, Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Donatello on the set of their sequel, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze."

New Line Cinema will distribute the Golden Harvest production March 22 in 2,500 theaters. (Look for hot rapper Vanilla Ice to do "The Ninja Rap" in a special number, with the turtles doing backup dance.)

Walters declined to discuss the interview, but sources say she was to be accompanied by a crew of 25 and three cameras for a taping to air March 26, Oscar night. (Still to be announced are three other heavyweight guests.)

The plan, at this writing, is for a begowned Walters to descend an iron stairway to the turtles' new underground habitat -- an abandoned 1906 subway station, complete with platform and antique subway cars. There, sources say, she's likely to probe such sensitive issues as the fab four's feelings in the event they are snubbed by the Oscar nominators.

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