Back in 2009 FOX ended it’s cult incarnation of the beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, and for three years we were left without the shelled crime fight duo on TV. However, much to most people’s dismay it was announced by Platinum Dunes that a new film under Michael Bay would be in the works. Fans were heart-broken when reports of the Turtles being aliens as well as the name change to Ninja Turtles came about, with most even threatening to boycott/avoid the film.

 

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FOX’s 2003 incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

 

 

Things went from bad to worse when the script for the forthcoming 2014 script leaked. Included were major plot changes from the TMNT Universe, sucj as Raphael replacing Michelangelo as comic relief, the Turtles & Splinter not only being alien, but from another dimension as well, and Shredder being known as Con. Schrader ad an alien as well. Fans were also irate at the announced casting of Megan Fox as fan favorite April O’ Niel.

 

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Nickelodeon’s 2012 incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

 

 

Soon after all of the debacle from Bay’s TMNT film, Nickelodeon announced that it had acquired the television rights from Mirage to produce a 26 episode order of an new half-hour series to premiere in prime time. After character designs and CGI animation leaked early online, the new series was met with a mixture of feelings such as joy, anger, and curiosity with the latter being the strongest of the three.

 

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The 2007 CGI TMNT film.

 

 

After all many were worried if a CG-animated series could even work after what happened with the 2007 film. Which didn’t do that great with box office numbers and did even worse with the film critics. Though the new series wasn’t met with nearly as much disdain as Michael Bay’s film. I admit I was one of the few who was on the fence about Nick’s then upcoming incarnation as well.

 

 

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The Turtles raising shell for Shredder.

 

 

Soon after all of the debating and curiosity over the new series, the series premiere came and went. And what were the results from fans who saw the new show? Shockingly enough it was almost universally positive from both critics and fanboy/girls of the series. Those who saw the premiere loved it and even praised the writing and new direction Nickelodeon had decided on taking the series. In fact the premiere ended up reaching 3.9 million views and was met with critical acclaim, which prompted Nick to almost immediately renew it for a second season, with a third soon following months later (season 2 hadn’t even debuted mind you).

 

 

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The Turtles in a Kraang HQ.

 

The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was strange indeed for starters, these versions of the iconic characters were legitimately teenagers, including human favorites April O’ Niel and Casey Jones (who was oddly voiced by Nick Alumni Josh Peck),  there were also odd casting decisions such as the aforementioned Peck, Jason Biggs of American Pie fame voice leader Leonardo, and others. This didn’t stop the series’ success as it has been on a critical joy ride since it premiered.

 

 

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The Turtles with Mutagen.

 

 

Nick’s TMNT has been a surprisingly fun ride with some unexpected faces returning to the franchise such as Baxter, Slash, Mutagen Man, Leatherhead and others. The Kraang which serves as comic relief next to Mikey their overexerted sentences and quips have brought many  of the show’s laughs. The pacing of the show is well placed as well, the writers know when too much is too much, and when there isn’t enough as far as story progression goes, but sometimes they go slower than necessary, a lot of this can been seen close to the half-way point of season one, for example there will be 2-3 silly episodes aired at a time instead of something along the order of one silly episode then one that relates to the canon story. Though this could mainly be due to the fact that some of these episodes have aired out of order, for season one anyways it is currently unknown if season 2 has faced this issue.

 

 

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Shhh, quiet Mikey!

 

 

For one and a half seasons Nick’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has brought a lot of fantastic things, from great comedy and writing, to down right awesome action scenes. The incredible voice acting and episode plots are another plus, and again I have to praise the all around Direction Nickelodeon has taken the series.  I hope we get to go beyond three seasons like the incarnation before it, but Nick generally doesn’t like to go over 60 episodes for most shows, unless of course they’re a ratings monster like SpongeBob SquarePants. Otaku Dome gives season one of TMNT an 88 out of 100 and season two part one a 93 out of 100.

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