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Old 09-25-2018, 02:09 AM   #1
tekering
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Back from a 30-year absence!

Bear with me here, gentlemen: I’ve finally been approved to post on these forums, and I’ve got lots I want to say.

I’m probably too old to be here. As a child of the seventies, my obsessions were Star Trek, Battlestar: Galactica, Star Blazers, The Black Hole and Star Wars… If it wasn’t space opera, it didn’t interest me. Certainly, nothing involving bad-ass martial arts on the gritty streets of New York would’ve caught my fancy then.

However, by 1986, Transformers: The Movie had turned a children’s cartoon into something gritty and bad-ass, and James Cameron had proven that space opera could be gritty and bad-ass with Aliens. It was the right time for me to discover Eastman and Laird’s gritty and bad-ass Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I still treasure those original issues today.

By 1987, it had to be gritty and bad-ass to interest me at all, and Predator and RoboCop were exactly that. I remember reading the editorial in Mirage comics that TMNT was being produced as an animated series, and expectations were high; a gritty and bad-ass cartoon? This could be cooler than Galaxy Rangers!

See where I’m going with this?

Suffice it to say, I was appalled by TMNT ’87. The Turtles were cute, not cool. The humor was childish, the characters were shallow, the action was moronic, and Krang took the Utrom concept from the comics and shat all over it. I was disgusted. The merchandising, the toys, and the Jim Henson movies only made it worse, and I washed my hands of the whole franchise.

I hated the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

So, for the last thirty years, I’ve ignored TMNT entirely. I never saw The Next Mutation, the 4Kids TV cartoon, the 2007 CGI movie, or the new live-action films, and I’d never even heard about the Nickelodeon series… not until a junior high student of mine showed me a clip on his iPad last month.

“When I was your age, the Turtles were cool,” I started to tell him, like any cranky middle-aged man would talk to a teenager. “They ARE cool,” he insisted. “Just watch.”

TMNT cartoons never felt right to me — and live-action TMNT never worked, either — but CGI is uniquely suited to the concept. The lighting is moody and evocative, the movement is dynamic and exciting, and the production design is simple but impeccably detailed at the same time. The quality of the animation amazed me — even surpassing Star Wars: Rebels — and the character designs are perfect. Finally, the Turtles are cute AND cool! I was hooked immediately.

Still, I wasn’t prepared for the depth of characterization, the quality of the writing, the talents of the cast, or the spectacular action sequences. And the humor! This show has me laughing out loud every episode, something a TV series rarely ever manages to do. This show is so much fun to watch!

So, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve shown it to any student, friend or colleague I can, and reactions have been enormously positive across the board. I’ve prepared class presentations about the evolution of the franchise, and solicited opinions from adults totally unfamiliar with TMNT. I’ve compared other film and TV adaptations, and found them all lacking (although the CGI film from 2007 was pretty good).

I’ve also bought over two dozen action figures, and boy, are they a mixed bag…!

Anyway, this show has made me a TMNT fan again, and I can’t wait to see more of the series. It disappoints me to know it’s already over — and even more disappointing to see what’s replaced it — but for now, I’m looking forward to enjoying the remaining hundred episodes or so. Honestly, I haven’t seen a cartoon this good since The Maxx.

For those of you who enjoy it as much as I do, does anything else on American TV compare?
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:20 AM   #2
newfan
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Welcome to the drome! Always nice to see another fan of the last show, I came in to the franchise because of that one (but I have explored and appreciated other versions too)
Enjoy the your time here.
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:27 AM   #3
Powder
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Welcome to the boards. There are plenty of fans in your age bracket on & off the site, no worries!

Anyway, all that you say of the 2012 series is true, it's definitely a standout iteration among the many that exist. Hopefully you enjoy the rest of it as much as you have what you've watched so far. Given what you grew up on, I should think you'll especially dig season 4's space arc. You probably get a kick out of the Star Trek parody series Leonardo watches, eh?

To call this series' toyline a mixed bag is an understatement, there are probably more misses than hits, unfortunately. On the bright side, a set of adult collector aimed figures that are 100% screen accurate, fully articulated, & accompanied by a bevy of accessories were made. Look up "Revoltech TMNT". Living in Japan you should have a decent chance of getting a set as they were produced there & were recently re-released.

As a fellow big-time Mirage fan I am shocked that you don't like the first Henson film. Aside from April being a reporter & The Foot a path for wayward youth, it adapts aspects of early issues quite faithfully. The cinematography & visual ambiance are stellar, characterization's spot on, it's easily the best TMNT movie.

As for as other shows comparing to this one, I don't know of any.
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:46 AM   #4
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Yeah, you're definitely not the oldest person around here, there's plenty more in your age group...I am not one of them.


There's plenty more in the Mirage run if you're interested since it carried on to the early 2000's. Just...tread lightly, it's a bit of a mess.

The IDW comics are also pretty amazing if you enjoy the last show and Mirage, since for me it overcomes the weaknesses of both and relishes in their strengths.

So if you're able to expand a little more, totally go for those.
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:57 AM   #5
tekering
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Thanks for the welcome, guys. I'm looking forward to catching up with the franchise... at least, what Mirage did with it.

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Originally Posted by Utrommaniac View Post
The IDW comics are also pretty amazing if you enjoy the last show and Mirage, since for me it overcomes the weaknesses of both and relishes in their strengths.
Excellent, thanks for the recommendation.

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On the bright side, a set of adult collector aimed figures that are 100% screen accurate, fully articulated, & accompanied by a bevy of accessories were made.
Oh yes, I love the Revoltech Turtles.



I'm especially happy I found a skateboard for Mikey!



NECA's Mirage Turtles are still my favorites, though.


Last edited by tekering; 09-25-2018 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:09 AM   #6
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Well, again...buckle up for Volume 4 when you get to it...

Tales of the TMNT is easily Mirage's best, though.
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekering View Post
Suffice it to say, I was appalled by TMNT ’87. The Turtles were cute, not cool. The humor was childish, the characters were shallow, the action was moronic, and Krang took the Utrom concept from the comics and shat all over it. I was disgusted. The merchandising, the toys, and the Jim Henson movies only made it worse, and I washed my hands of the whole franchise.
>Trashes everything that was the building blocks of the franchise's mainstream popularity
>Praises the overrated 2012 Nick show, which would not exist without any of the former.

Yeah, we're not going to be friends.

Last edited by ZariusTwo; 09-25-2018 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekering View Post
Suffice it to say, I was appalled by TMNT ’87. The Turtles were cute, not cool. The humor was childish, the characters were shallow, the action was moronic, and Krang took the Utrom concept from the comics and shat all over it. I was disgusted. The merchandising, the toys, and the Jim Henson movies only made it worse, and I washed my hands of the whole franchise.
If that's all you saw of it, you should've. The cartoon is horrible and bares no resemblance to the "real" Turtles. The second and third movies are largely embarrassing to watch, and even the first one sells itself way short.

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Thanks for the welcome, guys. I'm looking forward to catching up with the franchise... at least, what Mirage did with it.
That's really the only aspect that's worth checking out in 2018, IMHO. Even stuff like IDW is TMNT jambalaya, with mostly Fred Wolf stuff in play... like a fanfiction of someone who used to be balls deep into the toys and old cartoon as a kid.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:32 AM   #9
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the Jim Henson movies only made it worse, and I washed my hands of the whole franchise.
Regarding your thoughts on the first tmnt movie by steve barron

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I respect what FW cartoon did for the turtles franchise but it is the most overrated and hard to watch of the 3 turtles cartoons.
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Old 09-25-2018, 01:09 PM   #10
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Welcome, and welcome back! Nah, never too old, but I do envy your having been old enough to enjoy the original comics. (But not the feeling over the first cartoon like I kind of feel over the newest one. )

Yeah, Nickelodeon's first series was so well done and such a shame that it ended already. A good mixing of the serious and the silly. I wasn't away from TMNT as long (almost 19 years), but the 2012 series is likewise what also caught my eye and brought me back, too.
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Old 09-25-2018, 01:57 PM   #11
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You like the dark moody turtles yet ignored 2k3?
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Old 09-25-2018, 02:08 PM   #12
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You like the dark moody turtles yet ignored 2k3?
Why not? I would. 2K3 Turtles are pretty far removed from Mirage, tonally and otherwise (even personalities-wise... like, that is NOT Michelangelo!), despite what people keep enjoying saying.
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:03 PM   #13
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Yeah, but with comics, at least to some degree isn't part of the tone in how a reader decides to hear it? I mean, understandably a cartoon series probably can't go to some of the lengths the comics presumably did, leaves less up for interpretation being a cartoon and all, and have to keep it in the realm of being kid friendly and play to selling to a wider audience.

Maybe it's not just like the comics, but it's certainly the one I'd want another series modeled after. Though I'd gladly take a little more mature version that could be a bit more in tune with the tones of the comics.
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:25 AM   #14
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Why not? I would. 2K3 Turtles are pretty far removed from Mirage, tonally and otherwise (even personalities-wise... like, that is NOT Michelangelo!), despite what people keep enjoying saying.
Well there is one aspect of his character they showcase to the point of nausea
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:31 AM   #15
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Guys let's not get nasty and combative on this guy's introduction thread...even if it's not in the right part of the forum.
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:33 AM   #16
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Hi and welcome back! I was gone from the franchise for probably 17 years until the 2003 series brought me back in 2008. But the 2012 series is amazing and it's by far my favorite iteration of all TMNT media I've been exposed to (movies and television) so far. I have yet to really get into any of the comics, but I will one of these days.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:17 AM   #17
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Well there is one aspect of his character they showcase to the point of nausea
What aspect is that?
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:44 AM   #18
tekering
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Guys let's not get nasty and combative on this guy's introduction thread...
Oh, I think I set the tone for that myself. I encourage critical debate, and I see nothing but mature and level-headed comments here. I'm impressed.

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>Trashes everything that was the building blocks of the franchise's mainstream popularity
>Praises the overrated 2012 Nick show, which would not exist without any of the former.
You're absolutely correct. Were it not for the original cartoon (and the toys it spawned), TMNT would never have established enough market recognition to become a Nickelodeon property.

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Yeah, we're not going to be friends.
I welcome your educated and articulate input regardless.
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:34 AM   #19
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You're absolutely correct. Were it not for the original cartoon (and the toys it spawned), TMNT would never have established enough market recognition to become a Nickelodeon property.
Impossible to reconstruct what alternate timelines of success or failure would have stemmed from the variety of deals Kevin and Peter had in front of them, or the hypothetical ones that would have come beyond that. Particularly had they barred all kiddy stuff until the 2000s... when after X-Men kicked in the door, stuff like Hellboy (equivalent to TMNT Mirage) rocked out just fine.

Given how in 2018 the actual source material has been almost entirely marginalized... I tend to think they didn't make the best choices. But I'm not them and I wasn't in their shoes at those times or under the kind of pressures they were. I can only Monday morning quarterback.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:01 AM   #20
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Hey, guy.

Andrew: Objectively, I gotta say that without the somewhat unfortunate chain of events that have led us to "TMNT is a goofy kids' property and nothing else, forever," the characters and concept would likely have died on the vine. Stuff like "Hepcats" and "Brat Pack" were pretty well-regarded on the indie scene, too, and were quite good, but ultimately nobody really read them and nobody really remembers them.

What TMNT has become disgusts me - and I don't mean "Rise" specifically, although I admittedly can't stand anything about it - but without watering down the basic concept for a kids' cartoon and toy line way back when, TMNT wouldn't have been more than a blip on the radar. The brand's success and longevity go hand-in-hand with keeping it aimed at children. I don't like it one bit, but I can only call what I see.

Impossible to tell for sure, as you say; I just think it took a very specific set of circumstances to create "Turtlemania" in the first place, and that things really kind of "had to" happen exactly as they did to get us to a point. I just wish that point included more product for everyone, not just kids.

I say this as someone who mostly thinks Mirage is a great substitute for Ambien. I know, I'm a weird guy.
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