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Old 09-05-2017, 05:13 PM   #1
neatoman
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Freshly formed opinion of Next Mutation

So I just watched Next Mutation in entirety for the first time. I knew it was going to be bad, I just didn't know it was going to be so fascinating in it's badness.

The typical trappings of bad TMNT are there, the annoying take on the turtles, the frequent non-jokes and the generic stories. What really sets it apart though is that I didn't expect the production value to be so awful, especially in the sound mixing. The lip sync is so bad you frequently see the characters taking with gaping or closed mouths. The Sound mixing includes cartoon sound effects in almost every shot, doesn't matter wheter or there's even a joke to prop up, the sound effects just never stop. What's even weirder is that these sound effects often don't match the actions on screen and just seems to have been put in there because the poor bastard given the job to put them in wanted variety, I especially like the strange inclusion of Donald Duck screaming (no, really, that happens).

As for the characters, not much to say. Most of the previously established characters were just less defined versions of what they were in the movies, Dragon Lord and Wick seems to be an attempt to recreate Shredder and Krang from the FW cartoon or Dregg and Mung (not sure which), Silver is pretty lame despite the gimmick, Queese seems like the writers were unsure if they wanted a good guy or bad guy, Vam Mi is just sad and Pathetic.

I honestly don't have much to say about Venus despite the hate from Laird and the fanbase, most of what she does is being clumsy and having a hard time understanding American expressions. She's just a joke that isn't very funny, not really much to hate aside from the idea of a fifth turtle being pointless, sorry. The characters that are the most interesting to talk about are Shredder and Bonesteel. Now Shredder is the most dignified villain of the show, he is never associated with any jokes and seemed like he was going reclaim his role as main villain in a second season. The problem is that his role seems... odd. The reason he's disposed of so early on if that Venus purifies him of his evil and no longer being he can't lead the Foot which causes them to dissolve, yet when we see him later on as a hobo he's still evil and was already in possession of the item that would allow him to return to power, so why was he even out of the game in the first place? Bonesteel is interesting because he's the only character that has something amusing shining through the bad jokes and ill-fitting sound effects, there's something genuinely amusing about a crazy hobo hunter, not that I ever want to see this character ever again but it was nice to see something that could work through all the nonsense.

And then there's the story, it starts off by establishing Venus and the dragons, after that it's mostly episodic stories about the Dragon Lord wanting to capture the Turtles so he can eat them in hopes of mutating, more so than actually wanting to take over the world. If an episode isn't about that it's about Bonesteel wanting to turn the Turtles into trophies, Silver trying to get rich at the Turtles' expense or Vam Mi trying to reclaim her heart. Structurally speaking, it's not that different from many other shows' storylines, it's just that it doesn't end conclusively since it seemed like they banked on a getting second season which resulted in unresolved plot threads. Was Queese going to turn good? Was "Good Dragon" ever going to start a revolt? Was Shredder going to come back? Who knows? It just ends on a clip show after a pointless vampire arc with little connection to the main story.

Then there's the matter of continuity, was it a continuation of the movies? I honestly don't think so, I think they just used the movies as basis for the status quo because they assumed it was the most well known version at the time (which in all fairness, might have been true). I didn't catch direct any reference to the movies aside from Yoshi's murder, Shredder is alive without any mutation, Splinter mentions a long-standing rivalry with him despite how short-lived it was in the movies, Yoshi seems to have been murdered over a magic shuriken rather than Tang Shen and there's no mention of April or Casey. It seems to mostly be it's own thing.

In short, I see why it's considered the "worst" but I can't really say I'm that down on it. It's too short and divorced from anything else in the franchise to really rub me the wrong way, and it's too inept and bizarre to not be entertaining in some kind of "so bad it's good" sorta way.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:34 PM   #2
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A fair review. I like it, myself, but fully concede its "badness".

I think a great deal of its concepts/characters are ripe for being done justice in IDW.
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:24 PM   #3
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A fair review. I like it, myself, but fully concede its "badness".

I think a great deal of its concepts/characters are ripe for being done justice in IDW.
I'm having a hard time seeing any of these characters being used for anything other than satire.

For example, I don't see the point in trying to present Dragon Lord as a genuine apocalyptic threat since he's so damn goofy and incompetent in the first place, not to mention that other characters already fill that role. I see him more as a tool to subvert, deconstruct and mock the trope of apocalyptic threats.
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Old 09-05-2017, 10:27 PM   #4
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I'd personally like to see Next Mutation recut and redubbed into a serious movie.


...hahahah
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:03 PM   #5
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I'm having a hard time seeing any of these characters being used for anything other than satire.

For example, I don't see the point in trying to present Dragon Lord as a genuine apocalyptic threat since he's so damn goofy and incompetent in the first place, not to mention that other characters already fill that role. I see him more as a tool to subvert, deconstruct and mock the trope of apocalyptic threats.
Don't think of them in terms of how goofily they were portrayed, but what they are at their core, conceptually. There's no reason you couldn't make use of the following:

-A nefarious dragon who preys on travelers in the astral plane. Feeds on their life energy. Character (Splinter? Someone new?) becomes trapped there & subject to his will whilst meditating, the turtles have to master the mental art & save their peer. Along the way they encounter various enlightened minds, learn a thing or two both good & bad, fight off his minions (who are a riff on The Rank but not necessarily the same as them), etc. You could even combine this with a loose adaption of Mirage #9 (if only by bringing in the characters introduced there).

-Chinese vampires. In their own right, outside of TNM, they're cool. It's a classic, kooky sort of monster, whose history has long been tied with Kung-Fu. Plenty of possibilities there. Keep the characters as they were in TNM, same designs & purpose, but deadly, with an army of undead hoppers, seeking the heart which would grant the power necessary to (insert evil agenda here). Throw in big ass bat creatures, if so desired. Romp in the forbidden kingdom by night. Connect them with Chi-You for deeper lore. Perhaps in all his conquering, he stole her heart to harness it's strength.

-Mutant hunter. Like that dude who went after Leatherhead in Mirage, or Nickelodeon's The Finger. Works just fine if you want it to.

-Mad scientist, former Null lab tech, morally grey, mentally ill. Could be the one who put Seymour through the worst of his past trauma, wants to finish what he started. Could change the name somewhat, but tie in the original somehow, make it french, I dunno.

-Mafia yeti... Pass.


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I'd personally like to see Next Mutation recut and redubbed into a serious movie.
Andrew's got plans for that, though I don't know if they'll ever materialize. I'd be very interested in that, myself.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:25 PM   #6
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I've defended the show dozens and dozens of times here in this forum, it's cheesy and not great but it has something unique and potential that makes me love it.

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The Sound mixing includes cartoon sound effects in almost every shot, doesn't matter wheter or there's even a joke to prop up, the sound effects just never stop. What's even weirder is that these sound effects often don't match the actions on screen and just seems to have been put in there because the poor bastard given the job to put them in wanted variety, I especially like the strange inclusion of Donald Duck screaming (no, really, that happens).
I don't remember Donald Duck screaming, did you watch the Netflix version that has different music?

Quote:
As for the characters, not much to say. Most of the previously established characters were just less defined versions of what they were in the movies, Dragon Lord and Wick seems to be an attempt to recreate Shredder and Krang from the FW cartoon or Dregg and Mung (not sure which), Silver is pretty lame despite the gimmick, Queese seems like the writers were unsure if they wanted a good guy or bad guy, Vam Mi is just sad and Pathetic.

I honestly don't have much to say about Venus despite the hate from Laird and the fanbase, most of what she does is being clumsy and having a hard time understanding American expressions. She's just a joke that isn't very funny, not really much to hate aside from the idea of a fifth turtle being pointless, sorry. The characters that are the most interesting to talk about are Shredder and Bonesteel.
I agree and disagree, for example I found Silver great and Bonesteel annoying, I wrote my thoughts about the characters on my site. But overall I think the TNM had an awesome rogues gallery and should be used in other incarnations.


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Now Shredder is the most dignified villain of the show, he is never associated with any jokes and seemed like he was going reclaim his role as main villain in a second season.
Yeah, there was plenty of potential on a what if season 2 of Ninja Turtles The Next Mutation, I also wrote about Season 2 once. I read a lot of stuff about season 2 but most of it doesn't have a hard source but it's neat to think about from the cartoon sketches of a S2. You also have to remember Saban loved re-using suits of other shows so any Power Rangers monster suit was fair game to be kitbashed/modified into a TMNT villain.

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Then there's the matter of continuity, was it a continuation of the movies? I honestly don't think so, I think they just used the movies as basis for the status quo because they assumed it was the most well known version at the time (which in all fairness, might have been true). I didn't catch direct any reference to the movies aside from Yoshi's murder, Shredder is alive without any mutation, Splinter mentions a long-standing rivalry with him despite how short-lived it was in the movies, Yoshi seems to have been murdered over a magic shuriken rather than Tang Shen and there's no mention of April or Casey. It seems to mostly be it's own thing.
It was definitely meant to be a continuation of the live action films, I write about it on the beginning of my review. There are more links than say the fourth TMNT film that only has the trophy scene as a reference to the past movies but otherwise nothing else fits well.

There's a reporter that appears in two episodes on TV that IIRC wears yellow and the camera gives spends enough time to catch a glance at her so I assume it was an April cameo, both she and Casey were apparently going to appear in S2.

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-Mafia yeti... Pass.
Come on!

A mafia yeti, it writes itself! How awesome that a mob boss is a damn dirty ape.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:37 AM   #7
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I have a soft spot for Next Mutation for some reason. It's a harmless show. Had it stayed on for several seasons and was a success, God knows what kind of effect it'd have on the franchise.

But since it was a one and done season that left no real impact, it's easy to take it for what it is.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:46 AM   #8
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I don't remember Donald Duck screaming, did you watch the Netflix version that has different music?
Was it the Netflix version? Yes, there's no mistaking it based on the theme song. It's why I didn't bring up the eyeholes, I suspect it's been remastered and the holes might not have been as noticable in the 90's when the picture quality was worse.

I don't see why they would add even more or change the sound effects, if anything the Donald Duck sample might casue even more copyright problems, which might have been the point of changing the music in the first place.

Anyway, the Donald Duck sound only occurs like two or three times towards the end and is almost drowned out by other effects, so it's understandable if you just forgot it or just never noticed it in the first place.

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I have a soft spot for Next Mutation for some reason. It's a harmless show. Had it stayed on for several seasons and was a success, God knows what kind of effect it'd have on the franchise.

But since it was a one and done season that left no real impact, it's easy to take it for what it is.
Sure it's "harmless" but it's still pretty bad, I can't hate on it even if I can't say it's good in any way.

I will say this though, it was nice to see what's probably the most unique part of the TMNT franchise. There are no real Mirage references aside from the basic origin story, none of the FW/Archie characters or concepts make a comeback and it didn't have an impact itself. It's really occupying it's own corner of the franchise.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:13 PM   #9
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I honestly can see one liking The Next Mutation as a guilty pleasure sort of show.

Tbh, I don't think there is a point in hating TNM, especially not these days. It wasn't particularly successful as it came out right around the time the TMNT boom was pretty much dead and thus it didn't really damage the property's reputation beyond repair.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:04 PM   #10
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I honestly can see one liking The Next Mutation as a guilty pleasure sort of show.

Tbh, I don't think there is a point in hating TNM, especially not these days. It wasn't particularly successful as it came out right around the time the TMNT boom was pretty much dead and thus it didn't really damage the property's reputation beyond repair.
Yeah I mean it was either this show or Volume 3. The show as a continuation of the movies had potential but Saban's lazy Power Rangers budget and production really tried to ruin the show. Ironically considering the show's success at the time it was Haim Saban that ended up killing the show.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:11 PM   #11
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I'd personally like to see Next Mutation recut and redubbed into a serious movie.


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Andrew's got plans for that, though I don't know if they'll ever materialize. I'd be very interested in that, myself.
I'll get to it.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:35 PM   #12
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looking forward to it Andrew.


Also, if you look at the figures, for the time, I thought they were actually really good looking in terms of design.
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