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I know believing in mutated talking turtles is kinda silly to begin with but am I supposed to be led to believe there are ninjas from another planet? The rape of our childhood memories continues — Robbie Rist

TMNTI’ve procrastinated writing about Ninja Turtles, despite the madness following  Michael Bay’s announcement of an alien themed reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  In truth, I find the subject a bit intimidating to write about. I’m still a huge Turtles fan. I grew up with the campy 80-90’s cartoon and movies and then got a special treat a decade later when they rebooted the franchise with TMNT.

Not surprisingly the Intarwebs reaction to Bay’s alien origin element has been quite dramatic. But in terms of information, all we have are visionary glimpses at what Michael Bay has planned.

Let’s review:

March 17– Michael Bay talks about Ninja Turtles reboot

March 19– Bay responds to criticism on his blog

Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.

March 27— Bay announces title change

Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie. This script is being developed by two very smart writers, with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles. They care VERY MUCH about making this film for the fans. Everyone on this team cares about the fans. Just give them a chance. Jonathan the director, is a major fan of the whole franchise. HE’S NOT GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.

That’s basically it– that’s all we have.

Sam Saxton http://storyboardcomics.blogspot.ca/

I think Sam Saxton summarizes the entire Internet’s response in his storyboard comic (WARNING–POSSIBLE SPOILERS!).

Side-splittingly funny and terrifyingly plausible! It’s as if you have some sort of telepathic insight into the shallow depths of Michael Bay’s fractured psyche… Your storyboards look more entertaining than the actual TAINT movie is going to be. —madmiker5d4

Despite all this, Bay has garnered the support of several other former Turtles voice actors and writers/co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

Not to be outdone, Bay has Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec working on the screenplay… you know? The guys who wrote and co-produced Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Life on Mars, and Alias?

Ok, history lesson complete. Let’s get on to the fun stuff.

History Lesson

The whole idea of an alien origin has a lot of potential. Surprisingly, despite all the creative freedom on the Internet it’s IMDB that puts it into perspective and suggests,

Aliens invade Earth and inadvertently spawn a quartet of mutated reptile warriors, the Ninja Turtles, who rise up against them to defend the world.

Ultrom Shredder
Ch'rell - Ultrom Shredder : The most kickass Shredder ever!

Has anyone here even watched TMNT? You know, probably the best reboot of the franchise ever?

In this series Shredder’s (aka Ch’rell)  origin is explained as we learn he is a renegade Utrom (read: alien). He’s the most terrifying Shredder of them all– in fact in Turtles Forever he’s so obsessed with destroying the turtles he finds a way to travel between realities (string-theory-style) to find Earth Prime (Eastman’s orignal black and white graphic novel) and kill the original turtles– thereby destroying them in all paralell realities.

If that’s not enough alien for you, the turtles spend the entire 6th season trapped in the future and battling alien races in an interdimensional showdown!

The idea of alien origins for any of these characters is not that far fetched. It’s been done, and explained VERY well.

Now really, that’s all the information we have and the only credible point about Ninja Turtles I can address in this article.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987-1996The real problem is Internet fanboydom, and their sense of nostalgic entitlement.  The original cartoon is not without charm… but it’s done in a style that can not be reproduced today. You wouldn’t want 80’s hairstyles brought back would you?

This is the whole principle behind franchise reboots– putting a modernized spin on something to which we’re attached. And that’s exciting! Look at how well Nolan’s Batman was received at the box office! That reboot reinvigorated the entire franchise, resulting in a series of DC Comics Justice League movies and two Batman video games.

Transformers is another excellent example of a franchise reboot done correctly. Sure, everything exploded… sure there was some overly dramatic sequences and inconsistencies in the storylines.  But I watched all three movies… several times. They were fantastic. I didn’t care about product placement, this was a movie about robots that turned into cars! I mean, how awesome is that? You want to do a frame-by frame comparison with the original cartoon? Because I watched that recently too.

You can't compare these things.

I think Michael Bay is on to something here, and I’m looking forward to Ninja Turtles. If I want to reenvision the turtles beause I end up not liking Michael Bay’s interpretation, I will just rewatch TMNT.  I don’t feel anyone can threaten my childhood memories. I guess I’m a little more resilient than your average fanboy.




Featured Image Credit: nebeszial on Deviantart!


About Post Author


I'm the site owner, and fellow Geek responsible for all this trouble. I play Minecraft. Sometimes I do other things. Seriously. Mostly, I play Minecraft.
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3 thoughts on “Ninja Turtles

  1. Good approach to the article and you hit the nail on the coffin at the end. The only person who can tamper with your memories is you! Right Star Wars Fans? 🙂

    I am looking forward to the new Turtles vision! I for one hope to be shell-shocked!

  2. Before I get started, let me just say that those who use the term “raped my childhood” are incredibly insensitive to what those words really mean.

    Now, TMNT-wise: I got into the turtles in their original incarnation- Eastman and Laird’s original comics, followed shortly by the Palladium RPGs. The cartoon which became the apparently-defining source of the turtles was already a bastardization of the characters I had come to like. Every successive re-write pisses someone off, of course, but do you cartoon fans appreciate that you’re already in the position of, say, someone who might like Bay’s new movie?

    Besides, aliens figured heavily in every version of the turtles. Triceratons from the original comics were awesome.

  3. Triceratons were also featured in TMNT, the 2003-2009 series– and I agree… they were awesome! The guy I quoted actually played Michelanglo from the two live action movies in 1990-1991.

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