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Old 05-20-2022, 09:35 AM   #1
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Was there any backlash or outrage about this series back then?

The 2k3 series had some controversial looking scenes and episodes. Like Leonardo cutting Shredders head off when we didn't know he was an Utrom yet. Or the Same as it Never Was episode. Nightmares Recycled ended up never airing.

You read about how controversial the FW series was at times back in the 80s which is kinda funny nowadays considering how tame that series is. But the UK had a problem with the word ninja and Mikey's nunchuks for some bizarre reason.

2k3 is from a different era, and it was nowhere near the phenomenon that FW and the whole Turtle Mania was. But I wonder if it drew criticism from certain sects of society who thought it was too violent for kids or something.
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Old 05-20-2022, 09:42 AM   #2
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2k3 was never relevant enough for parents to care, all the controversy was on Pokemon/YGO/DBZ for being violent and satanic along with any other "anime" from Japan.

The only conteoversial episode was the Baxter episode where his body rots so it only aired once. The garbage man twin episode with hun got scrapped before it ever got into production but I think it also and a thing to do with costs since that was the Laird funded season so they likely thought just to cancel it instead of changing it.
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Old 05-20-2022, 09:46 AM   #3
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2k3 was never relevant enough for parents to care, all the controversy was on Pokemon/YGO/DBZ for being violent and satanic along with any other "anime" from Japan.

The only conteoversial episode was the Baxter episode where his body rots so it only aired once. The garbage man twin episode with hun got scrapped before it ever got into production but I think it also and a thing to do with costs since that was the Laird funded season so they likely thought just to cancel it instead of changing it.
DBZ was still a hot topic in the US in the mid-2000s?

By the time 2k3 was underway, Pokémon had been around for a while. Was it really angering that many parents still besides the fact it hurt their wallets? Plus, wasn't the height off Pokemonia starting to wear off by then? The 2nd gen games were already out and the 3rd gen games were out I think?

Don't know much about Yu Go Oh tbh. That phenomenon didn't last long imo. I remember it being something kids of my own generation getting into for like a year after they outgrew pokemon. Everyone had YGO cards at some point. But I was never into it personally.

And yes, you're probably right. 2k3 was not that big of a show.
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:25 AM   #4
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The pokemon fad died but it was still a high rated show on Saturday mornings, same with YGO and DBZ was still popular since it didn't come out in the states until like 1999.

But yeah in 2003 anime dominated cartoon blocks and the conteoversy was about how violent they were, perhaps not as much as in 2000 and 20001 but It was still relevant. TMNT 2k3 was just never relevant, its surprising it kept getting renewed but that seems mostly luck that it was Lairds pet Project, the toys were selling well for playmates and 4kids wanted a property they owned that wasn't anime so all 3 parties wanted the show to continue. If not it would've been quietly cancelled after the second season I think.
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:35 AM   #5
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Wow you guys got DBZ pretty late.

And yes, I was honestly surprised 2k3 went on for so long. I initially expected it to last 2 or maybe 3 seasons at best. But clearly it must have sold enough toys to justify it having 7 seasons and over a hundred episodes and having a tie in CGI movie. And speaking of the movie, it didn't cause any impact. Most people thought it was the first Turtles thing ever since The Next Mutation or Fred Wolf. They had no idea about the 2k3 series existence. Which is why a lot of them complained about the lack of Bebop and Rcokstrady and Krang.

And after it came out, no one talked about it again. Left zero impact and no legacy whatsoever.
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Old 05-20-2022, 11:09 AM   #6
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I was aware of the FW cartoon and the live-action movies but had never watched them. I guess I was somewhat surprised when I noticed the show had very little in common with them, in particular April not being a news reporter. I know there were people online who were annoyed at these differences, and unfortunately we still have people who pretend the FW deserves/needs to be emulated, but the show seemed to do fine on it's own. I know some people tried to claim the 4Kids show was "totally forgotten" or never had any impact to begin with after the 2012 show came out because there was more buzz around that one. Of course, hardly anyone talks about the 2012 show either now that it's been over for about five years. Sorry if this is a little off topic, I just find it kind of weird when people talk about this show as if it doesn't have a place in pop culture or even had a larger impact on the TMNT franchise, because from where I sit it clearly still did.

As for backlash about the violence or darker themes? Well I know about Andrew's hyberbolic anecdote in regards to the Return to New York adaptation lacking darker themes and violence, which somehow caused him as a grown year old man to throw a temper tantrum.
But in regards to parents being disturbed by it? Maybe? I know my dad didn't like Pokémon because he thought it seemed like it could promote animal abuse, even if the series is rather cartoonish about it.

I know the thing that really pissed my mom off though was that a comic book tutorial book by Akira Toriyama recommended looking at nude photos of women in order to learn how to draw the female form properly. Which is true but it was framed through a joke about how reading porno magazines makes you a better artist, which she thought was an honest endorsement of pornography.
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Old 05-20-2022, 12:44 PM   #7
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I was aware of the FW cartoon and the live-action movies but had never watched them. I guess I was somewhat surprised when I noticed the show had very little in common with them, in particular April not being a news reporter. I know there were people online who were annoyed at these differences, and unfortunately we still have people who pretend the FW deserves/needs to be emulated, but the show seemed to do fine on it's own. I know some people tried to claim the 4Kids show was "totally forgotten" or never had any impact to begin with after the 2012 show came out because there was more buzz around that one. Of course, hardly anyone talks about the 2012 show either now that it's been over for about five years. Sorry if this is a little off topic, I just find it kind of weird when people talk about this show as if it doesn't have a place in pop culture or even had a larger impact on the TMNT franchise, because from where I sit it clearly still did.

As for backlash about the violence or darker themes? Well I know about Andrew's hyberbolic anecdote in regards to the Return to New York adaptation lacking darker themes and violence, which somehow caused him as a grown year old man to throw a temper tantrum.
But in regards to parents being disturbed by it? Maybe? I know my dad didn't like Pokémon because he thought it seemed like it could promote animal abuse, even if the series is rather cartoonish about it.

I know the thing that really pissed my mom off though was that a comic book tutorial book by Akira Toriyama recommended looking at nude photos of women in order to learn how to draw the female form properly. Which is true but it was framed through a joke about how reading porno magazines makes you a better artist, which she thought was an honest endorsement of pornography.
I don't mean to put down the 2k3 series. I did like it a lot in fact, but from my experience and observation, it didn't seem to have a very large audience overall. Sure, it was popular enough for its time, but to this day a lot of people still aren't aware of its existence.

The Nick series seemed to be talked about more around the time of its debut. Plus it came out at a time where reboots were becoming increasingly common. 2k3 came out at a time where reboots were still not that common and not something the audience generally asked for. The show didn't seem to appeal to those who had grown up with FW TMNT since it was so different. But at least it might have successfully introduced a younger generation into the property.
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Old 05-20-2022, 03:55 PM   #8
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I still say it was cause it was too different for normies. For the average TMNT was the old cartoon and the fact there was a Mirage comic was still a random 'did you know?' piece of trivia.

I'm thinking around that time the He-Man reboot was closer to what people had in mind. It was reboot but it had all the old characters but more bad ass. There was enough to recognize.

The TMNT reboot mostly had the turtles, splinter, April, Casey and Shredder. No technodrome, no Krang, no dimension x, none of the other characters, etc.

Again, that's speaking from a normie perspective.
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Old 05-20-2022, 03:58 PM   #9
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I still say it was cause it was too different for normies. For the average TMNT was the old cartoon and the fact there was a Mirage comic was still a random 'did you know?' piece of trivia.

I'm thinking around that time the He-Man reboot was closer to what people had in mind. It was reboot but it had all the old characters but more bad ass. There was enough to recognize.

The TMNT reboot mostly had the turtles, splinter, April, Casey and Shredder. No technodrome, no Krang, no dimension x, none of the other characters, etc.

Again, that's speaking from a normie perspective.
Yeah I don't think people born in the 80s were generally able to accept the show wasn't made for them. So they rejected the "new Ninja Turtles" because it was so different.

A lot of them also bashed the series despite either not watching it or only watching one single episode and not liking it. People are strange.
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Old 05-20-2022, 04:12 PM   #10
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I liked it specifically BECAUSE it was such a left turn away from the FW cartoon, which I'd mostly outgrown by then. I've got more patience for FW nowadays, and obviously I was a fan as a little kid, but I did go through a period of time in the early-00s when I hated it. So the 4Kids cartoon was more or less exactly what I was looking for.

The lack of Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang was definitely a turn-off for most of my more "casual" friends, though. The ones who pretty much gave up TMNT for Power Rangers in 1993 and never looked back. They were momentarily excited when the news came out of a new TMNT cartoon, but the fact that it was nothing like the original show immediately turned them away. "No Bebop and Rocksteady? What's even the POINT, then? Don't these people know anything?!"

I guess the "broken base" thing technically started when the FW cartoon debuted and was nothing like Mirage, but so few people were even aware of Mirage in 1987 that I'd say the real fracture point came with the 4Kids show. That was where the TMNT fandom truly started being divided into camps.

Hard to believe that at the time there was a strict "No FW-Bashing" rule and people got banned over it. Nowadays it's like 80% of FW conversation is in talking about how it sucked. Although to be fair the "bashing" nowadays comes from a much more adult and intellectual place, with people actually giving reasons and evidence as to why it "sucked", and not just saying it because they liked the new flavor better.
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Old 05-20-2022, 04:49 PM   #11
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Yeah I don't think people born in the 80s were generally able to accept the show wasn't made for them. So they rejected the "new Ninja Turtles" because it was so different.

A lot of them also bashed the series despite either not watching it or only watching one single episode and not liking it. People are strange.
I mean that's pretty much why it was such a big deal that Usagi was in the later seasons, while technically a guest character, he was a familiar face from the old show.
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Old 05-20-2022, 05:23 PM   #12
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I seem to remember people bashing it because they said it "destroyed the FW cartoon". I hate misconceptions like that. The 2003 cartoon wasn't an attempt at modernizing the 1987 series, it was just Peter Laird's wish to have a cartoon closer to the spirit of the Mirage comics.
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Old 05-20-2022, 08:01 PM   #13
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I was a 2000s kid who grew up on the FW DVD releases from the time. By the time I was into TMNT, FF was well underway and my Fox affiliate never got the 4Kids block for some reason. When they moved to CW, that's how I saw S5/BTTS.

Even then, the show was boring to me. Give me FW any day, I prefer Shredder & Krang to, what, Shokanabo? The Elementals? Cyber Shredder? Give me a f*cking break. I had no idea what came before until years later, and for awhile I had completely written 2003 off based on its last three seasons, since that was all I saw. It's funny how that part of show was tonally more similar to FW, but now it wasn't pleasing FW fans or its own fanbase.

I know for a fact that had I gotten there a few years earlier there would've been raised hell from my parents over Bishop getting impaled by a hook, or the humanized monster that was cut in half spilling its entrails. But FF's existence and the lack of earlier controversy implies that the show may not have lost its audience, just its target audience. It certainly had relevance and had a dedicated viewer-base to go on for seven seasons, it just wasn't the "right" viewer-base, and maybe that saved the show from being cancelled earlier.
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Old 05-20-2022, 09:30 PM   #14
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I was a 2000s kid who grew up on the FW DVD releases from the time. By the time I was into TMNT, FF was well underway and my Fox affiliate never got the 4Kids block for some reason. When they moved to CW, that's how I saw S5/BTTS.

Even then, the show was boring to me. Give me FW any day, I prefer Shredder & Krang to, what, Shokanabo? The Elementals? Cyber Shredder? Give me a f*cking break. I had no idea what came before until years later, and for awhile I had completely written 2003 off based on its last three seasons, since that was all I saw. It's funny how that part of show was tonally more similar to FW, but now it wasn't pleasing FW fans or its own fanbase.
What turned you off if you had no experience with the series before? It's not like the Foot Elementals are any different than usual TMNT villains, or even Shokonobo being the type of alien you would always see in TMNT
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Old 05-21-2022, 02:15 AM   #15
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When the 4 Kids TMNT cartoon originally aired between February 2003 and February 2009, moral panic had moved focus from attacking comics, movies television and television towards constantly spitting at video games, and that trend began going on since about Mortal Kombat was released in October 1992. Every school massacre in the late 1990's and early 21st century was blamed on the video games by media, parents, politicians and schoolteachers.

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Old 05-21-2022, 01:56 PM   #16
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The pokemon fad died but it was still a high rated show on Saturday mornings, same with YGO and DBZ was still popular since it didn't come out in the states until like 1999.

But yeah in 2003 anime dominated cartoon blocks and the conteoversy was about how violent they were, perhaps not as much as in 2000 and 20001 but It was still relevant. TMNT 2k3 was just never relevant, its surprising it kept getting renewed but that seems mostly luck that it was Lairds pet Project, the toys were selling well for playmates and 4kids wanted a property they owned that wasn't anime so all 3 parties wanted the show to continue. If not it would've been quietly cancelled after the second season I think.
This is basically how it went. The 2003 TMNT cartoon didn't have any real controversies. Even the Baxter episode didn't really...raise that much of a stink since I only found out about it about a year or so ago. Anime did have controversies, so did Harry Potter and Magic The Gathering.

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I liked it specifically BECAUSE it was such a left turn away from the FW cartoon, which I'd mostly outgrown by then. I've got more patience for FW nowadays, and obviously I was a fan as a little kid, but I did go through a period of time in the early-00s when I hated it. So the 4Kids cartoon was more or less exactly what I was looking for.

The lack of Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang was definitely a turn-off for most of my more "casual" friends, though. The ones who pretty much gave up TMNT for Power Rangers in 1993 and never looked back. They were momentarily excited when the news came out of a new TMNT cartoon, but the fact that it was nothing like the original show immediately turned them away. "No Bebop and Rocksteady? What's even the POINT, then? Don't these people know anything?!"

I guess the "broken base" thing technically started when the FW cartoon debuted and was nothing like Mirage, but so few people were even aware of Mirage in 1987 that I'd say the real fracture point came with the 4Kids show. That was where the TMNT fandom truly started being divided into camps.
Yep. I've known people who'd get irrationally pissed off because there wasn't any Kraang, Bebop, Rocksteady, etc. I saw the 2007 TMNT movie get horrible reviews due to this as well. For the 2012 show, people whined about the lack of those characters until they did end up on the show (...I really dislike their take on Bebop and Rocksteady too...). I think there was some backlash over Rise Of not having Shredder and the others until they got shoehorned in as well. The majority of the fanbase make it clear that they want the FW references above all else.
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Old 05-21-2022, 03:21 PM   #17
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"2007 TMNT sucked because no Bebop and Rocksteady and Krang and Shredder!" The same people, when 2016 OotS came out: "OotS only sucked because they got Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang and Shredder all wrong and because 2014!"

2007 didn't fail because it was missing this character or that character. It's because it was all over the map and didn't have a good script.
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Old 05-21-2022, 04:29 PM   #18
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I definitely think 2007 would have done BETTER if it had more familiar villainous characters - again, there was a loud casual refrain of "No Shredder? No Bebop and Rocksteady? What are they even DOING?" - but I agree that was not the biggest reason it was forgettable. It almost certainly would have made more money and gotten better word of mouth, though.

Credit to them for wanting to take a chance on something different, but there's a time and a place for that. The first theatrical TMNT movie in almost 15 years? You NEED Shredder in there, at the very least. Having some made-up rando be the "villain" (and then have him not even be a villain) was a huge misfire on the storytelling end.
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Old 05-21-2022, 04:33 PM   #19
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I don't buy that it needed a non-rando. What it needed was an actual villain we could root against, and root for the TMNT to triumph over. The whole movie didn't have one. Just mute statue things.
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Old 05-21-2022, 04:47 PM   #20
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It would help to have a better story, but the plain and simple fact is that without Shredder the movie wasn't gonna sell any tickets.
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