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Old 10-16-2019, 11:40 AM   #1
Donnie
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The Evolution of the Turtles' Physical Traits

The days of all 4 Turtles looking the same are over. In the Mirage comics and in the OT, the Turtles' bodies basically looked exactly the same. They were all around the same height with relatively the same muscle tone. The only way to tell them apart, physically, was their weapons or belts in the comics, and in the OT it was their bandanna colors or silly initial emblems on their belts. The toy line gave them their own skin colors which was great, but that never translated to the OT and the comics were black and white.

Nowadays, the Turtles look very different from one another. Gone are the days when they all looked similar. I don't necessarily think this is a good thing. Certain traits now seem inherent or embedded in specific Turtles physical makeup, and it seems like, with the exception of Leonardo, the other three have been pigeon-holed into certain molds.

I say with the exception of Leonardo, because he is consistently the "average" or "normal" Turtle, of average height with relatively few changes to his physical traits.

Since the 1990 film, Michelangelo has often been viewed as the "youngest" brother, and therefore the shortest and (sometimes) stockiest. Mikey being the short Turtle has translated into the films, the 2012 show, IDW, and Rise.

Donatello's been pigeon-holed into being the tallest and lankiest Turtle (2012 and IDW), catering to that stereotype of the tall, lanky computer nerd in his mom's basement. I also find it funny how Don is the only one ever to be given glasses (the Bay movies), catering to the same stereotype, yet there are plenty of people who wear glasses that don't fit that mold.

Raphael's been typecast into the bulky, super muscular Turtle who loves working out and being buff (2k3, 2012, IDW, Rise). Again, this caters to the stereotype of meatheads in the gym who are easily angered and need to have big muscles to feel better about themselves.

I'm not saying that these physical differences in the Turtles don't add for extra dynamic in appearance. They do. But, there are other ways to change up their looks, like giving them different bandannas and accessories, without necessarily changing their body types (like they did in Next Mutation). I hate to think that Mikey will always be the short one, Don always the tall and lanky one, Raph always the meathead. I'd like to see a return to the original, normal-bodied Turtles whose body types don't differ too much from one another.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:15 PM   #2
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Turtles in Time

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The toy line gave them their own skin colors which was great, but that never translated to the OT and the comics were black and white.
You could choose those colours in the Turtles in Time video game.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:47 PM   #3
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I somewhat like them looking a little different from each other, but extreme differences are a bit much. And now we've got the likes of 'Rise' making them different species to they can excuse going even more extreme.

I'd prefer variation in their looks to be mildly different, like siblings typically are. Not exactly the same, but you still see those shared traits and slight variation of them. I mean, sure, go ahead and vary their height and build, but only mildly.

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I also find it funny how Don is the only one ever to be given glasses (the Bay movies), catering to the same stereotype, yet there are plenty of people who wear glasses that don't fit that mold.
As a wearer of them, it's forever an irritation that they're almost always used as some stereotype indicator and the "cool kid" is never the one with them. I don't mind them on Donnie, but their obvious reason to use them is annoying.

It would be much cuter and less insulting as a person with glasses if it instead turned out that, say, Leo or Raph use reading glasses at home, sans any "nerd" nonsense.

Dumb thing is, if they ever wanted to show Donnie with some kind of glasses on sometimes, safety glasses are a thing that totally make sense for him and an obvious choice.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:59 PM   #4
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I never cared for the varied physical looks of the turtles, it oddly makes them less like individuals since they get stereotyped often. Blah!
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:47 PM   #5
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I never cared for the varied physical looks of the turtles, it oddly makes them less like individuals since they get stereotyped often. Blah!
Agreed! I don't mind a little bit of this or that in the face, but nothing is worse than physically making each of them more like caricatures of what fans think they represent.

"Angry one" = big and muscled, scars, chips in shell.

"Leadery one" = super cut, lean, bits of samurai armor.

"Geeky one" = gap in tooth, skinny, glasses, tech stuff, etc..

"Party dude" = shorter, wide-eyed, "soft"-looking. Accessories.

Angering. A 15 year old red-earred slider looks pretty much like any other 15 year-old red-earred slider. And they would all have exactly the same training regimen from Splinter, sitting down for the same meals at the same time.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:03 AM   #6
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But Andrew! But... but individualism! And self-expression! And personality! Don't you want to ascribe these totally human qualities and traits onto completely not-human characters because deep down you see them more as your own self-insert fanfic character than anything else?

You and your logic.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:46 AM   #7
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I suppose like probably many other fans from my era, I'm accustomed to the turtles that look alike and/or their classic look; that was a different route I wish Nickelodeon & Michael Bay hadn't taken. 2k3 gave different skin tone, slight height differences in latest seasons, but nothing too drastic, same with the live-action flicks. 2007 & Injustice 2, those are great looks.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:16 AM   #8
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People have asked me stuff like "how do you tell them apart" and I'm like uhhh they are individual personalities? Same way you tell humans and animals apart.

Still wanna see a comic where the Mirage turtles pretend to be one turtle and totally **** with someone though.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:57 AM   #9
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People have asked me stuff like "how do you tell them apart" and I'm like uhhh they are individual personalities? Same way you tell humans and animals apart.

Still wanna see a comic where the Mirage turtles pretend to be one turtle and totally **** with someone though.
Maybe not Mirage but the Archie comics had the Turtles do that to Splinter, Donnie would make all the others' homework and deliver it Splinter pretending to be Mikey, Leo or Raph.

Both Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird have said that they found the different bandana colors a good idea since it made the Turtles stand out from each other, since we were basically dealing with identical Quadruplets.


But that identical twins don't always end up looking alike happens in real life.

These are Robin and Maurice Gibb of the BeeGees, identical twin brothers but while they share similar looks, they don't look like they would ever pass off as the other.


Maurice (with the hat and Glasses) and Robin Gibb, Identical twins but you couldn't tell at all.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:35 PM   #10
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I agree. The TMNT have looked more and more different as they've been adapted. In The Next Mutation they wear their bandanas differently and look very individual or personalised while the 2003 TMNT each are a different shade of green. Thankfully there was only four and not fifty.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:21 AM   #11
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Having watched the 1990 movie again, I was struck with how much the creators of the 2012 series went for the Movie look.


Leonardo

Both incarnations of Leo have the double straps which go around his right shoulder, also the brown elbow and Knee Pads are the same, the biggest differences design wise are the fact that 1990 Leo doesn't have the bandaging around his feet, the belt is higher up almost at chest level and the fact that 2012 Leo has both swords at same angle, rather than having them crossed over around his back.


Raphael

With Raph, the main design differences are in the fact that 2012 Raph's carapace has that crack and that he sticks his sais on his back rather than in front. Note, again no bandages around the feet of the 1990 Raph.


Michelangelo

Again with Mikey, the biggest difference is the lacking of the bandages around the feet of the 1990 version and the fact that the tails of his mask are a lot longer. But other than that 2012 Mikey and his 1990 counterpart are mirror image looks-wise. Even down to the freckles, which Ciro Nieli admitted were a key part of the look he wanted to have for Mikey.


Donatello

Again the bandages around the feet aren't there but the biggest difference between 1990 Donnie and his 2012 counterpart is that the latter has a gap tooth and is taller than the others. Other than that, he doesn't look that different from the 1990 movie Donnie, the big wide strap around his right shoulder, even the shaft which holds the Bo-staff on his back is the same.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:19 PM   #12
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I love those replica models. Really accurate. I hope they do TMNT as well.
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:53 AM   #13
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Agreed! I don't mind a little bit of this or that in the face, but nothing is worse than physically making each of them more like caricatures of what fans think they represent.

"Angry one" = big and muscled, scars, chips in shell.

"Leadery one" = super cut, lean, bits of samurai armor.

"Geeky one" = gap in tooth, skinny, glasses, tech stuff, etc..

"Party dude" = shorter, wide-eyed, "soft"-looking. Accessories.

Angering. A 15 year old red-earred slider looks pretty much like any other 15 year-old red-earred slider. And they would all have exactly the same training regimen from Splinter, sitting down for the same meals at the same time.
I think this worked well in 2012 because it was a kids show made for their parents, but Iím bummed that this may now be a constant.
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:03 AM   #14
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I can appreciate the views on the stereotypes (okay for me when my fav comes out preferable IMO), so far as them having some variation though, I like that, just wouldn't care much for it being to a great degree.
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:30 AM   #15
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I think the farthest they should have taken it was the 1990 movie differences in physical traits. I liked their different facial structures in the movie too. Raph was a bit more muscular, Mike was a bit shorter, and that was pretty much it. But overall I prefer if they all look pretty similar--it just helps them feel more equal and doesn't typecast them to the same degree. Once we got to skinny tooth-gap glasses Don and brick $hithouse Raph I feel they took it too far. They are underestimating our intelligence and kids' intelligence. Archie readers knew Raph was the tough one even though his build was exactly the same. Argh.
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:13 PM   #16
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I liked it when it was more subtle. I didnít mind it in 2012, but I hope they go back to something like that or less. Itís cool for Rise maybe since itís kind of all about being ďextra,Ē but in our next show or movie, I hope itís toned down.
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