Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Nickelodeon edition

I’ve watched 3 episodes of this third version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show. On the plus side, it’s better than the 2nd cartoon version. And it’s waay better than the live action series (ugh!). Altho’ I’m a fan of hand-drawn animation, this CGI show looks good. The voice actors (Rob Paulsen, Mae Whitman especially) do a good job.

I won’t mention the movies.

On the minus side — and I’m clearly biased — it’s just not as good as the first version (my show).

I know, I know: this show goes back to the Turtles’ origins, when they were still coming together as a team. I know: this version focuses on the “teenage” part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so of course they’re dissing each other. And of course the Turtles spend more time fighting each other. It’s what kids do, right?

But criminey! April’s been captured by “the Krang” (and that’s another thing!) for two episodes and the Turtles are battling each other, giant plants and spiders?

Since I’ve started selling Ninja Turtle scripts, I’ve had the chance to go back and read the ones I wrote, as well as others. They’re more fun. Instead of cel animation being a limitation, it gave room for writers to make the dialog funnier. Banter beats bashing, in my book.

And the first show had a layer of story mostly for the grownups. Parents would come up to me at conventions and panels and tell me that they sat down with their kids to watch, expecting to be bored, and instead found themselves laughing out loud. The kids might not get the “adult” references, but they still made the show a phenomenon.

I’m a big fan of “breaking the fourth wall” (having the characters talk to the audience, or comment on the fact they’re in a cartoon), and the first TMNT used to do that a lot. This version? Not a bit.

Just one more thing: “the Krang.” They’re just robots. I bet we’ll get none of the great relationship between Shredder and Krang that was a feature of the 1987-2006 TMNT.

I’m beginning to think I’m starting to sound like the geezer yelling: “Hey you kids! Get off my TV!” So I’ll quit.

 

2 thoughts on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Nickelodeon edition

  1. Children’s action cartoons sure have changed a lot since the late 80s and early 90s. History and individual tastes will determine the relative strengths and weaknesses of the eras, but I’m glad that the TMNT franchise has continued to both survive and thrive across the generations.

    Here’s hoping Kevin McGill and I can schedule an interview with you sometime for our TMNT Fan Commentaries series. I’m sure it will be a great opportunity to educate fans about the way writers such as yourself worked on the old shows!

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