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Old 07-27-2019, 03:49 PM   #1
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How well do you think this show has aged?

I personally think it has aged quite well for the most part. Sure, the way some characters dress and the art screams a bit of "turn of the century", and obviously you don't see anyone using social networks or smartphones, but asides from that, the show holds up well, imo.

I'd say the Guardians being some sort of Matrix reference is what I find to be the most dated thing about this show. Younger people probably aren't aware of how big the Matrix movies were for a few years.

I guess the show no longer looks that impressive in terms of continuity either. But when it came out there was no youtube or proper streaming services as we know today, and if you missed an episode then you were screwed and had to better pray that you missed a filler episode. That's what made this show a bit hard to follow at times. I might have been a kid, but sometimes I overslept on weekends and sometimes I didn't have a spare VCR to record episodes. Plus, there were no proper DVD releases. It was like, 3 episodes per DVD. Also, sometimes I simply just couldn't watch the Saturday morning episode because I had travelled abroad on summer vacation or I had to study for a school test on Monday. I guess the fact this show came out in a time where you still couldn't afford to miss episodes also makes it a bit dated?

But overall, I can watch the show fine and not feel like it's something ancient, even though it debuted nearly 2 decades ago already and finished about a decade ago. Other than the fashion and the Matrix references, it doesn't look too dated or too old like the Fred Wolf series does, for example.

What do you think?
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Old 07-27-2019, 05:31 PM   #2
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Alright, so here's the short version of my opinion:
  • Better than the Nicktoon, much better than the Fred Wolf cartoon, subjectively better than Rise but has more objective flaws.
  • Adaptation is about as good as can be expected given the target audience, aside from obvious liberties.
  • Starts a little wonky but gets better in the first season, quite satisfying throughout seasons 2-4, 5 is weird and 6-7 just devolves it into a generic action cartoon.

To be more elaborate I think the other Turtle cartoon it's the most similar to is the 2012 Nicktoon. Now the latter largely aimed to do the same thing, rework a bunch of old TMNT material into a coherent storyline. The main difference in approach is that the Nicktoon picked whatever to rework (arguably a little too much from the Archie/FW versions) and ending up straying so far you wonder why they even bothered looking into older material, while the 4Kids show exclusively either took something from Mirage's comics or made up something new. While the difference in terms of adaptation could be argued, it's more important to discuss the actual quality of the shows themselves. On that note I think the 4Kids show has a much more clear direction, most plotlines were finished to some extent and it rarely ever felt like you were just watching filler, while the Nicktoon moved along in a bizarre and somewhat repetative manner. While neither show had a very high budget, it's pretty clear that the Nicktoon was much more restricted by it as they often ended up forcing the characters to go back to the same locations over and over again, while the 4Kids cartoon never really had that problem. I realise that's because of the difference between traditional animation and CGI but it is still a noticable problem.

Comparing the show to the Fred Wolf is basically pointless. FW TMNT was essentially a bad comedy that only adhered to a bare minimum of faithfulness to the source material due to contractul obligations, a major character like Casey only appeared to market his toy and that's it. As adaptations the 4Kids show is clearly the more faithful show. In terms of quality the 4Kids shows wins by the default, as it was made in a time when blatant animation errors wouldn't pop up every five minutes in every episode, it's absurd how awful 80's cartoons can be. The 4Kids show knows how to keep the scripts well paced, while the FW show struggles with filler scenes in a sad amount of episodes. The FW show is pure garbage, the only fair comparison is to TNM and that show is literally only worth bringing up to point out there's technically a worse TMNT show than FW.

When it comes to comparison to Rise, I have somewhat mixed opinion. Subjectively my problems with Rise is that it's simply not what I want from TMNT, the 4Kids show is a much closer representation of that. The 4Kids is simplt the better adaptation, while Rise pretty much only does it's own thing. On the other hand I can't say the 4Kids show is objectively better, since it has animation and storytelling problems I simply don't see in Rise.

And now (finally) I get to wheter or not the 4Kids is a good adaptation. Is it a good adaptation by any normal and reasonable standards? No. About half the episodes of the first four seasons have nothing to do with the comic and even the ones that do have rather drastic changes. There are also changes that seem rather arbitrary, such as making the clearly human villain an alien. Then by the fifth season, any similarity to the comic has been dropped. What we have to consider though is that it's an adaptation that is:
  1. Meant for a younger target audience than the comic.
  2. Part of a franchise that to this day has very few even remotely accurate adaptations.
  3. Based on an american comic (by default those almost never get faithful adaptations).
  4. Partially funded by a toy company.
With those factors considered it is (somewhat sadly) the most accurate adapation of Mirage Studios TMNT we'll ever get. Now some changes aren't really bad though. I would be a fool to deny that the comics didn't have some very big flaws, these include presenting the events in a somewhat bizarre order and leaving things unintentionally vague. Such problems simply ought to be adressed. In terms of the arbitrary changes, I'll have to admit I don't really mind them but they do cause a drop in accuracy points. Still, this show does still score more of those than most others so far...

As for the show's quality aside from the adaptation aspect... Overall, I like that the storyline keeps going throughout the first 5 seasons without ever getting derailed too hard is something the other shows haven't accomplshed yet and I give it props for that. It's mainly the thing I enjoy about the show, that it could tell an ongoing storyline. There are examples of good action but most of the animation tends to look a bit cheap, though they do seem to be a bit smart in trying to relegate the cheapness where it isn't as noticable. Like all the other shows there's toy marketing involved and I'll always hate that stuff, really takes you out of the show and reminds you of the cynical reasons the show actually exists. It's the absolute worst of it is in the early episodes season 1 where the plot really does take a backseat to show the Turtles skateboard or some crap. To their credit though, the blatant marketing is toned down throughout season 1, they tried their best to actually weave the toys into the story in an organic way and they were often destroyed if they had to market something similar in later episodes.

The big problems do start in season 5 where they stop adapting stuff and takes the show in various bizarre directions. By the final season, the show had simply devolved into a generic action show. The story was basically non-existant by that point and the toy marketing was once again in full swing. They also changed the tone of the show which was not appreciated.

In conclusion, there are problems with it, there definitely are. However, it is one of the few kid oriented versions of TMNT that has something to do with the source material, and it's a lot better written than the other TMNT cartoons. If we keep getting versions that are worse than it, that would make me sad.
Originally Posted by JTH View Post
Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
social networks or smartphones
They weren't that common during the very early 21st century, so what's the problem? I think it would be much worse the opposite way (0:45)
Because of continuity and timeline errors, I've given up writing fanfiction based on the 1987-1996 animated television series. Instead, I'm trying to reboot the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story, something many other fanfiction writers already do:

Hopefully, stories will later appear at
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Original TMNT Cartoon Fan View Post
They weren't that common during the very early 21st century, so what's the problem? I think it would be much worse the opposite way (0:45)
That's exactly what Prowler is saying. Because the show was released before social media and smartphones became as ubiquitous as they are today, you don't see them in the show.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:13 PM   #5
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Once upon a time, on this very day, 2105 seemed so far away...

Experience the TMNT Fan Commentaries!
Check out my TMNT fan comic, "Nothing to Fear"!
View my sketch work!
I'm selling some of my hard-to-find TMNT items!
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by oldmanwinters View Post
Once upon a time, on this very day, 2105 seemed so far away...
It still does, though. That's like 86 years from now on. Unless I live to 114 it's VERY UNLIKELY that I'll still be alive by then

Now, as for the year 2000, that's something clearly some sci-fi authors didn't think much through. You see older works of fiction set in the year 2000 or 2010 or something and things look so futuristic. Flying cars, robots that can talk, laser guns, cities in space, etc. I guess in 1986 the year 2000 felt very futuristic and distant. But even a video game from the mid-90s, Sim City 2000, had a futuristic theme about it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:44 PM   #7
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I think the show has aged well, even though it has flaws already mentioned in this thread. It’s become my favourite version of TMNT over time. Best adaptation of the source material without having to read the comics, something I have no interest in doing. Found the tone and animation style easier to get used to than Batman: TAS which I never really clicked with me until recently for some reason.
Donatello: The tracker! It might work.
*Donatello goes to the back of the Turtle Van*
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Last edited by Wesley; 08-14-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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