The Shredder was the primary villain in the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, and made a cameo in the fourth movie.
In the first movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Oroku Saki and Hamato Yoshi (Oroku Nagi is not mentioned) lived in Japan and were both in love with the same woman, Tang Shen, but Tang Shen only loved Yoshi. Rather than fight Saki for her hand, she persuaded Yoshi to flee to America, Yoshi and Tang escaped to live in New York, but Saki found them. Out of hatred and jealousy, he murdered Shen first alone in her home and waited for Yoshi to get home from construction work. During the fight, Splinter, still just a pet rat, escaped from his cage and bit and clawed all over Saki's face. Since then, he has carried a scar on his face. In return, Saki took one swipe at Splinter's ear with his katana, slicing a part of it off. After this incident, it is said that Saki is never heard from again. The comic book adaptation of the film retains the original story behind the creation of The Shredder, with Nagi being slain and Saki coming to America to seek vengeance.
Years later in New York, Saki, alongside his second-in-command Tatsu, had formed the Foot Clan, a gang of street kids and gangsters trained in the art of Ninjutsu and started what was called 'the Silent Crime Wave' where no one so much as saw what was being stolen. Saki essentially becomes a Fagin-esque crime figure. A brutal and Machiavellian leader of a ring of child thieves, he manipulates and recruits troubled teens and teaches them ninjutsu to turn them into a group of skilled thieves and assassins. As their leader, Saki took on the persona of "the Shredder," and became a fearless "benevolent" cult leader. He rewards the teens with a hideout that includes a skateboard park, cigarettes, junk food, music, pizzas, soft drinks, guitars, comics, TV sets and arcade games. Although he has no regard for the youth that do his bidding, he corrupts old Japanese concepts of Bushido in order to make himself appear as the "benevolent leader", such as promoting one student to a full-fledged member in front of all members by saying "Money cannot buy the honor you have earned" and helping the recruits gain a sense of belonging by saying they are here "because the outside world rejects you", which was the problem Danny Pennington had faced.
When reporter April O'Neil started talking about the Foot on the news, the Shredder sent the Foot to force her into silence. She was rescued by Raphael, but one of the Foot followed them back to their lair. Later, while the Turtles were hanging with April in her apartment, the Foot attacked and kidnapped Splinter. Then they found and attacked Raphael to near death and sent him crashing through the roof of April's 2nd Time Around store. After a big fight with the Foot, the Turtles, April and Casey Jones escaped to April's farmhouse, but not without the Foot accidentally setting April's apartment and antique store on fire first before withdrawing as they heard the FDNY and NYPD approach. Shredder imprisoned Splinter in his warehouse hideout. Shredder tortures him regularly to get information about the Turtles and their techniques.
Sometime later, the Shredder found April's artwork of the Turtles from one of his fellow members, Danny Pennington, signaling that the Turtles were back. The Shredder sent the Foot to the Turtles' lair and sent Tatsu to kill Splinter. The Turtles managed to defeat the Foot, and Casey Jones defeated Tatsu and rescued Splinter. Eventually, a furious Shredder finally appeared and had a dramatic rooftop battle against the Turtles. Upon hinting that the Shredder had already killed Splinter, Leonardo lost control and went at the Shredder head on. The evil ninja tripped him up and aimed his yari at him, telling the Turtles to toss their weapons or he will kill him. Even after the Turtles threw down their weapons, the Shredder intended to kill Leonardo anyway, but Splinter, freed by Danny Pennington and Casey Jones, finally arrived, revealing that he knew who exactly the Shredder was, and himself to be the same rat that clawed Saki's face so many years ago. The Shredder removed his mask to reveal the scarring, which confirms his real name was Oroku Saki, and charged at Splinter in a blind rage, intending to spear him. Splinter, however, whipped out Michelangelo's nunchaku, wrapped it around the Shredder's yari and sent him over the side of the roof. Still hanging on to the yari, the Shredder threw a tanto at Splinter. Splinter caught the knife, but he had to let go of the nunchaku that was holding his spear, making the Shredder fall into a parked garbage truck. Casey Jones pulled a lever, activating the crushing mechanism and the garbage truck's hydraulic press apparently ground the Shredder to death. The viewers are then shown a closeup of the Shredder's helmet being crushed. The NYPD arrive soon after to apprehend the Foot and confront the teens, who decide to repent for their actions under the Shredder's leadership and confess to the location of the Foot Headquarters, allowing New York's Finest to apprehend many of the Foot Ninja.
The Shredder was voiced by David McCharen and portrayed by James Saito. In the Japanese versions, the Shredder is voiced by Norio Wakamoto (1st movie in VHS version), and Hidekatsu Shibata (1st movie in TV version),
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, the Turtles believe that since Casey had crushed him in the garbage truck, the Shredder was dead. It is soon revealed that the Shredder somehow survived the crushing, with even greater scaring done to his face, as pointed out by Tatsu, but unseen by the fans. Upon returned to the Foot's fall back HQ (a junkyard), Shredder was bent on revenge against the Turtles. He revitalized his Foot Clan which was now largely dissolved. He sent Freddy, a member of the Foot to follow April, hoping to find the Turtles through her. When April's team was doing a report on T.G.R.I., the Foot agent found some mutated dandelions and sent one to the Shredder.
Upon seeing this, the Shredder sent Tatsu and the Foot to retrieve the last vial of Ooze at TGRI and kidnap Professor Jordan Perry, and using the mutagen and Perry's research, had a brown wolf and a snapping turtle turned into mutants. However, the mutation did not go precisely as planned, and the new mutants Tokka and Rahzar had the minds of babies. The Shredder ordered Tatsu to kill them, but Perry convinced him to keep them alive since their brute strength would be useful. He soon plays it to his advantage by manipulating the mutants as they imprinted him as their surrogate mother. The Foot captured Raphael and used him as bait to lure the other Turtles; the Shredder had them caught in a net and was about to impale them on a bed of spikes. Splinter arrived to set them free, and the Turtles fought the Foot, Tokka and Rahzar and escaped with the professor.
After the failed attempt to kill the Turtles in the junkyard, the Shredder would release Tokka and Rahzar to "have fun" and do damage upon the city as a means to challenge the Turtles to a final showdown. The Foot spy Freddy then gave April a message for the Turtles: The Shredder would turn Tokka and Rahzar loose on Central Park if they did not accede to a rematch at the construction site (the Turtles accepted the terms because they knew that Tokka and Rahzar would not evade any humans in Central Park). In the final battle which was carried right into a Vanilla Ice concert, the Turtles would defeat the Foot and Tatsu and de-mutate Tokka and Rahzar (with help from Perry). The Shredder arrived with the last canister of Ooze, but the Turtles' ally Keno arrived to spin-kick the vial out of the Shredder's hands, which would be taken away by Professor Perry to be disposed of. Following this, the Shredder grabbed a random woman from the concert and threatened to pour Ooze on her from a tiny vial he still possessed. Keno and Don, however, used the loudspeakers to blast him out of the building and into the docks outside. The turtles followed him outside on a pier, only to find that the Shredder used the Ooze on himself out of desperation and had now transformed into a massive "Super Shredder," a giant-monstrous being with superhuman strength and more spikes on his armor. During his fight with the Turtles, blinded by rage, the Super Shredder started breaking down the support beams of the docks, hoping to bring it all down on the Turtles which then collapses onto him. The turtles escaped by diving into the water, while Shredder finally met his end from getting crushed by the pieces of the pier.
David McCharen reprised his role as the voice of the Shredder (as well as Super Shredder). François Chau physically portrayed the Shredder, and professional wrestler Kevin Nash played Super Shredder. In the Japanese versions, the Shredder is voiced by Takeshi Watabe.
While the Shredder did not appear in the third film he makes a brief cameo appearance in TMNT, the movie opens with how the Turtles finally defeated him, and explained how they went along their separate ways. Karai now leads the Foot Clan and uses them more as mercenaries rather than a street gang. At the end of the film Karai mentioned that they will meet again soon, and that old faces from their past would also resurface, suggesting a return of Shredder. However, the established storyline has been abandoned in favor of a reboot due to the buyout by Viacom. In the end of the movie, Splinter walks towards a display case of past adventures which would include things such as the canister of ooze from the second movie, the Time Scepter from TMNT III and the Shredder helmet, looking like it did in the first Turtle movie.
- Much like his defeat in the Eastman And Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, he is defeated the same way in the first film minus the explosive and with the intervention of Splinter as he did not intervene in the comic.
- It is worth noting that the Shredder's cape and armor also grew when he mutated; this is an uncommon feature to other victims of the ooze.
- Another thing worth noting is that in the first Turtle movie (as well as the beginning of the second when he first escaped the pile of garbage) the Shredder wore red like he did in the Mirage comics. In the second movie he wore purple reflecting the more cartoonish nature of the second film.
- In both movies, he also had a sliver and black cape.
- When he rebuilt his helmet in the second movie, he added buzz saw-like ridges along the sides.
- In the first movie, he used his infamous claw on just the left hand instead of both.