Hanging Brain

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was my thing. Just like any red-blooded American boy I loved me some G.I. JOE and just like any advanced sentient machine boy from a war torn planet in a distance galaxy I loved me some Transformers, but Ninja Turtles was my thing. I ate, slept and breathed Ninja Turtes. Two of those I did quite literally. I horribly disgusting Ninja Turtles cereal, which was basically Chex with rejected Lucky Charms marshmallows, and a Ninja Turtles sleeping bag. If they had sold green canned air with tops in a choice of four primary colors, I’m sure I would have inhaled nothing but. [Side note regarding the Turtles Cereal: They got away with it just being Chex by referring to those pieces as “Ninja Nets.” You know… all those nets they were always throwing around. I think Donatello was the one with the net. Or maybe that was Zeppo.]

From ages 7-10 I spent a good 2/3 of my day as a Ninja Turtle. I had 3 close friends and we each adopted a Turtle persona for recess, which we kept for several years. There wasn’t any fighting over who would claim which turtle. It was just clear. I was bossy and an insufferable know-it-all, so I was Leonardo. Cody was the most violent and we all agreed his wild flailing of the limbs most resembled actual karate, so he was Rahpael. Rob was the smartest and the most sensitive, so he was Donatello. And… fuck me in the sewer lair, I don’t remember who was Michaelangelo. That’s going to bother me. Anyway, we played TMNT at recess every day. We kept up our story lines and picked them up where they left off each day. We wore various bits of costumes at home, and tucked plastic weapons into our belt loops. I even had a blue Leo mask with a green snout on it that smelled like the inside of a tire. We watched the episodes hundreds of times. I had 6 VHS tapes with 2 or 3 episodes each that came from Burger King and played them to the point of ruin. Each and every birthday and Xmas from those years was nothing but Turtles wall to wall. One kid would get a new vehicle or playset and the rest of us would assemble it and place the decals while he enjoyed a piece of cake or a round of TMNT 2 on the NES. One year, Rob (Donatello-Rob from earlier) got the Sewer Lair Playset (probably the rarest turtles playset next to the Technodrome… NO ONE had the Technodrome), and we treated it as if his parents had just given him a car with machine guns mounted to the hood. I eventually got the Turtle Blimp (probably the rarest vehicle in the line), so my status as Leonardo, Chief Intolerable Asshole of the team wasn’t revoked.

I say all of that to say this: I don’t know if I care if Michael Bay fucks up the Ninja Turtles by making them aliens instead of mutants. Sure, that would basically shift the entire original purpose of characters (regular, ordinary creatures are elevated to extraordinary status through an accident of science), but that doesn’t really have any effect on how much I enjoyed them as a child or how fondly I remember them today. You might call fowl, but this is different them George Lucas going back and altering/invalidating my memories through meddling with existing films. And it’s different than Michael Bay taking a steaming cyber-crap all over Transformers since that franchise has never payed any real attention to it’s own continuity (SHUT UP WILLIS! I’VE DONE MY HOMEWORK!) to begin with. I think the only reason people my age were mad at him for Transformers is because he was making the first official live action version of the series. Ninja Turtles already had two great live action movies (we do not speak of the third one… what third one?), which almost perfectly encapsulated the spirit of the franchise in the 80’s and early 90’s and brought to life the version of the Turtles that I grew up with. Sure they were cheesy, but so was everything else back then. And if you’re still upset, remember that the movies strayed pretty far from the cartoon origin story by making Splinter and Hamato Yoshi two different beings. Do you remember the scene where the rat learns kung fu? That shit was ridiculous. [UPDATE: is has been pedanted pointed out to me NUMEROUS times that the first movie followed the origin from the comics and it was the original cartoon that deviated plot-wise. Well, that just further proves my point that nothing is sacred in the TMNT franchise, so any changes made to the origin are fair game.]

The thing about Ninja Turtules is that unlike almost every other franchise from the 80’s, it never went away. It would go off the air for a year or two at most before it came back with a new incarnation. There were multiple cartoon shows, some continuations, some reboots. There was a live action show, For a while it was about alien Triceratopses, and one of the most recent cartoons took place over 100 years in the future. The only thing Bay talking about changing is literally THE ONLY THING that hasn’t already been changed. The weird thing about Ninja Turtles is every kid who was 8 years old at any point between 1987 and 2012 could have grown up with them, but not necessarily the same ones you did. Hell, I haven’t even mentioned the comics. I say let Bay do his worst. My bandanna is still blue, my katana is still plastic and my memories are intact. Cowabunga, you Fancy Bastards.

COMMENTERS: Feel free to weigh on on the aliens vs. mutant debate.  Which Turtles were YOUR Turtles? What was your favorite Turtles toy/ coolest one you never owned? Mine were the rubberized figures released after the first movie. They were more flexible and had realistic skin. What was the weirdest Turtles tie-in product you ever saw? For me it was the “Ooze” fruit pies. I probably ate 100 of them, but damn do they seem toxic in retrospect.

UPDATE: My friend Paul gives his pitch for how the alien turtle thing could work and not make his inner 8 year old weep. He wants to believe SOOOO badly.

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104 Comments

  1. When I watched TMNT, it was the more recent ones (from… eh… '03, '04 ish?) all the way until the CW4Kids took it off the lineup (damn you certain parts of the current lineup!) So for me it was that decade's "original" one, then Fast Forward came in '06, then for a short time Back to the Sewer happened. Then the series started to repeat up until '09 or '10 when they (at the CW4Kids) stopped airing it. And the only reason I know squat about the earlier incarnations was becasue I even watched the "movie" that ended everything, titled "Turtles Forever". So yeah, my knowledge is kinda limited, but as long as we don't invent something that can toy around with memories any time that Michael Bay is still alive, we're good. And besides, I probably won't even see this movie anyways.

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    • Teenage Alien Ninja Sluts is my Lillith Fair tribute band.

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      • This… is not where I meant to put it.

        ..dot tumblr dot com

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  2. You know who else were aliens? The immortals from Highlander….. I have no idea why that is relevant other than it was the first thing I thought of….

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    • you seriously had to bring that up after the years of therapy and treatment i needed to erase that abortion from my memory…

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  3. My brother was a massive TMNT fan (he got our parents to okay painting his room "ninja turtle green" which, in retrospect, was probably green screen paint) and so I grew up very exposed to them. I grew up with a Walkman with 2 tapes worth playing, the sound track to the 2nd Ninja Turtles movie and Jon Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet. Both of which got played to oblivion and back(I don't know what that adds, I just find it funny). Even though I had such exposure to the series, it was never really my favorite, so I can't really speak as a fanboy on this matter. Them being aliens isn't that big of a deal to me but Michael Bay directing it is. We could end up with a good, totally over the top but fun, action movie. Or we could end up with an action movie with action scenes and a plot that are both all but impossible to follow and/or full of holes. I suspect it will do fine at the box office just like all his movies seem to do, but I haven't seen a movie in the theater in a good 2 years and I don't see this being the one to change that.

    Also Joel, your childhood sounds freakin' awesome. I either snuck in Micromachines/Legos or ran around the playground pretending I was playing Doom (though I can't, for the life of me, remember what I "shot" at. Since I know it wasn't kids on the playground).

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  4. I grew up on the original cartoon back in the 80's but checked out the first rebooted version. I enjoyed it's sort of dark edge with the decapitating shredder and stuff. But then it turned out that Shredder was actually a Krang-like or Tony Harrison(Mighty Boosh) alien in a mechanical body. Then it got progressively madder than a bag of badgers until I decided maybe it's time to focus more on my college work than rebooted cartoons from my youth.
    Speaking of rebooted 80's cartoons. How awesome was the He-Man reboot from a few years back?

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    • Oh my gosh, the Cartoon Network He-Man was wicked sick. It was like some John Woo action cartoon. The storyline was just starting to get crazy (the Serpent King) when CN cancelled it, like the cancelley cancellers that they are.

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  5. I'm late 80s/early 90s. TMNT was the shit in our house. We watched the cartoon, loved the movies, had the toys, pretended to be the Turtles. My brother was a Ninja Turtle for Halloween until the costume stopped fitting him. We even had a 3D comic-style coloring book!

    I didn't care about Transformers. Never watched it as a kid, so I really know JS about it. But for us, it was the Ninja Turtles, Darkwing Duck, and Batman. I haven't heard a thing about DWD since I was a kid, and Batman has been "raped" so many times (Bat nipples, WTF) that it hardly phases me. Okay, well, doing that Robin costume for my mom's friend disturbed me a little, but I swallowed it and took his money.

    But, no, don't fuck with my Turtles. It's one of the few innocent and non-repressed childhood memories I have left, and I'll never forgive Michael Bay if he turns it into one of his bastard children. I'll never be able to look at my brother as Donatello again (http://twitpic.com/8z9brk).

    Like I posted on FB yesterday: Michael Bay needs to stop killing Saturday morning cartoons. Also, he needs to be cock-slapped. With a cock made of C4. He needs a face full of exploding Cock-4.

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    • I have Darkwing Duck on DVD…now I wanna go watch it.

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      • I kinda actually see Michael Bay doing a Darkwing Duck movie now.

        That last paragraph is pure gold though. And I felt it deserved more than just a thumbs up.

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        • Don't give him ideas–and thank you!

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  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjaCeSq4cbc for those of you not familiar with Tony Harrison from The Mighty Boosh(Cult British comedy series about the adventures of a fashion victim, a jazz enthusiast, a shaman and a gorilla. Plus a shitload of other batshit insane characters)

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  7. Ah, you people who grew up in the 80s with your giant transforming robots, and your mutant ninja turtles. What silly cartoons you watched, with completely implauseable things in them.

    As opposed to the shapeshifting telepathic Martians and magical purple unicorns in the much more sensible and down to earth cartoons of the 2010s. I'm so glad we've moved on from the crazyness. I mean how would Optimus' command solutions hold up today in this complex ladscape of helicopter tortoises and zeta travel?

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  8. In the UK the word Ninja was regarded as unsuitable, so everything was rebranded as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. I was a huge fan too – I think I even have my comic collection in a jiffy bag at my parents house somewhere….

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  9. I’m convinced Michael Bay just misheard and thought someone said Turtlewax. He just wants to get his car buffed is all! By a scantily clad, desperate for a career actress true, but still. He’s going to be really disappointed when he discovers what he’s actually signed up for.

    I watcher Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles too – apparently the word Ninja was too violent but them actually beating people up in the cartoon was fine. Yet strangely Samurai Pizza Cats was an acceptable title. I guess the way of the samurai is filled with honour, and – you know, killing yourself. Whereas the way of the Ninja is filled with sneakyness and stealing other kids lunches.

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  10. It is absolutely eerie how clearly I remember the smell of those plastic snout masks with the attached bandanas. I'm a late 80s/early 90s TMNT kid, and the best toy I had, hands down, was the pizza thrower tank. I also vividly remember, for who knows what reason, having a set of cups that I think came in Burger King kids meals, with each of the turtles on them.

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  11. Weirdest Turtles tie-in? Oh Lord, I know. Does anyone remember the Turtles rock concert/ninja-fighting stage show tour thing? In the ads for it they show them rocking the mics with screaming fans in front of them and one girl shouts in ecstasy, "I TOUCHED HIS SHELL!"

    I chuckled at the mention of you vs. the furry horde, and then I saw that you're up against motherfriggin' Lackadaisy. *salutes* Godspeed, sir.

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    • I voted for Lackadaisy because it's an incredibly detailed art style and telling a story in a time period that nobody else is doing. Kinda a Girl Genius of the prohibition era. They could be human, cats, or naked mole rats for all I care.

      For what it's worth, though, it was a tough decision. All the comics I like seem to be paired off with each other.

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    • yes. they even appeared and performed on Oprah. My mum taped it for my brother, who also had the cassette they released. My brother was a huge fan and even had the elusive techodrome.

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  12. I'm going to have to say the old, serious as you can get with mutated turtles, black and white comics. I was shocked to see the characters when I caught a recent cross-over, Power Rangers-style, reunion show.

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    • I have to agree, I much prefer the original B/W comics, which were really more about martial arts and science fiction than the "wacky weirdness" and "surfer dude" mentality that seemed to be all over the cartoons and live-action adaptations.

      Dave Sim (creator of Cerebus) used to tell a story about a friend of his who had gotten a TMNT signature for his kid. Sim asked him which one — Kevin (Eastman) or Peter (Laird, the two creators of the comic)? His friend answered "Donatello. Who the fuck are Kevin and Peter?"

      Yeah. Call me a grumpy old man, but give me the old comics any time. I LIKED THEM BEFORE IT WAS COOL, DAMMIT.

      cheers,
      Phil

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      • Indeed, if the masks are any color other than red, you're not seeing the real TMNT. I certainly liked the first movie and the 80s TV show, but the original comics were always the best.

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        • Yeah, the origianl comics were awsome – I still remember walking into the Silver Snail one afternoon and seeing the swarm around the racks and the colour cover in orange and white. I was surprised to see a comic and black and white but the line work and story had me hooked from day one. When it came out latter I got my hands on the RPG but never could get any of the miniatures until years latter I lucked out at a GenCon discount bin. As for the RPG by Palladium, my gamer group went kinda crazy and made a team of mutant weasels whose are enemies were the Scare Bears. Little did we know that a latter supplement would have those self same bears, though much less scarey than the ones we dreamed up. Ah, good times …… and I'm rambling ….. ah well. …

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  13. Actually, the live-action movie was based on the original pre-cartoon TMNT comics, in which Splinter WAS, in fact, a rat pet of Hamato Yoshi who learned ninjitsu in his cage by mimicking his owner's training. Never was a human. Also, April was a lab assistant working for Baxter Stockman (as in the '03 cartoon), and Shredder died in the first issue, just a one-shot villain. So for the record, the CARTOON actually took WAY more liberties with the canon than the movies did.

    That being said, like you, I grew up thoroughly immersed in the animated TMNT, from the moment they came onto the scene. And to this day, I still keep current with the TMNT and watch every show and buy all the core figures (well . . . not Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation . . . even I have standards). Hell, I build my own custom figures and vehicles! I'm really looking forward to the new Nick series.

    Regarding the Bay movie, as with all film adaptations of properties I love, I'm adopting the usual "wait and see" attitude. Maybe the alien thing will be subtle. Maybe he's just playing up the "alien ooze mutated the Turtles" bit (which is, again, from the original comic), and we're going to see Utroms and Triceratons and Fugitoid in this version instead of Shredder and the Foot Clan (which would likewise be more faithful to the original comics). I think Bay is right, people need to chill. There will be plenty of time to rip him a new asshole AFTER the movie comes out and we KNOW it sucks.

    Besides, could be worse: could be Tim Burton fucking up my Turtles.

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  14. I've never seen *any* TMNT incarnation! Animated/comic/movie/etc. but, I own the entire comic series "Adolescent Radioactive Kung Fu Hamsters"!

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    • But did you ever read "Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos"? :)

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      • What about "Middle-aged Radioactive Samurai Hamsters"?

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        • There were two other parodies, at the time (I worked in a comic store), but this one was actually good. btw, this series is real. I wasn't joking!

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  15. What part of "mutant" does Bay not understand? Also, ninjas, turtles and probably teenagers are likely exclusive to earth.

    If there is a positive side to the TMNT being reborn as aliens, it's that the way will be open for them to meet another anthropomorphic animal fighting team.
    The Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles Meet the Thundercats. Or in the spirit of the above comic, the Thundercat Hos.

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  16. Of course Bay is making them aliens. Terrestrial nunchucks don't explode.

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    • In that case, they ought to make it Teenage Alien Invader Ninja Turtles…

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  17. Actually, the movie series followed the original comics more than the cartoons, which were kinda goofy compared to the gritty comic book they were based off.

    I'm going to put some TWENTY FIVE YEAR OLD SPOILER SPACE HERE…

    In the comics, Hamato Yoshi and Splinter were two different beings, April was a computer programmer, and Baxter Stockman was black. Oh and The Shredder died in the first issue.

    On top of that, it was revealed that the "Ooze" that transformed the turles was from a corporation secretly run by aliens that would, in the cartoon, become Krang. So, there are your alien origins.

    Thank you, fandom, for not flying off the handle once again.

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  18. all i know is that michael bay is gonna throw some racially stereotypical characters in, make all the supposedly smart characters insanely stupid, make the storyline as ridiculous as he can (considering the subject is talking turtle-men that is) and add lots of SPLOSIONS.

    oh and if he can find a way to recycle shots from his previous movies, than he will

    god he's awful

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  19. Uh, having Splinter be a pet of Hamato Yoshi IS the real orgin of the character, the cartoon changed that because having that orgin would require Yoshi to be murdered by the Shredder, and frankly, the only one the 80s cartoon Shredder was a threat to was himself.

    That said, I liked the cartoon as a kid, but it did NOT age well. Ive always prefered the original black and white comics, though the 2003 cartoon did a good job adapting it too. Also, if Michael Bay screws this up as badly as it looks right now, I will turn his skull into a chalice.

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    • Uh, 2 people already pointed this out but, uh, thanks for driving the point even further home. Uh, uh.

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      • Ha-ha, FIRST!

        What, you thought people actually READ these comments before posting their own?

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  20. Michael Bay, raping your childhood one franchise at a time.

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    • I read that as "rapping" and realized how bad ass that would be.

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  21. Lair
    Lair
    Lair
    Lair
    The Sewer Layer would be the best part of the hobo cafeteria's lasagna.

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    • GOT IT
      GOT IT
      GOT IT
      GOT IT
      I got it.

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  22. As someone who first found TMNT through the Palladium RPGs, and then went back into the comics, even if it was completely true to the cartoon, I'd already feel like I'm being re-raped by Michael Bay in the same hole Archie raped me 20 years ago, so … I guess what I'm saying is, it's too late. Your childhood came pre-raped!

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  23. I loved me some turtles back in the day. That stuff was highly immitatable. Got all my best ninja moves from it. I still remember when my parents got me my first turtles action figure. It was Donatello. I identified with him; smart, reclusive, used a weapon easily recreated by a seven year old. But I had always wished to be Raphael, since he was the cool one. So I took my time, honed my wit, and now I can't relate to people on a personal level. Turtle power!

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  24. Why is everyone so mad about changes to the Daredevil origin? Is Mark Waid's book really that good? (Seriously the origin of the Turtles is pretty much they were the pet turtles he was carrying when he got blinded.) Anyways joking aside, does anyone remember the episode where they found the planet of turtles?

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  25. calling it right now the name is going to be Teenage Alien Innerspace Ninja Turtles or T.A.I.N.T. for short and our heros will be from one of Uranus's moons

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    • And they will be fighting Klingons.

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      • I would curse black venom if this happened, because I'd have to watch it ironically at that point.

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  26. If he changes them to aliens….why would they be turtles? Are the aliens…okay, no, I really don't get it. If they're aliens, how can they be turtles?

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  27. Oh Michael Bay. There is literally nothing you can't destroy. You long ago got tired with blowing things up in your god-awful movies. The empty hole in your heart that yearns for destruction couldn't be satisfied by mere cans of gas in a car anymore. But then you found you salvation, or so you thought: the destruction of everyone's childhood. But Michael, this too shall lose it's edge. There is one thing you can destroy, Michael, that will never lose that fulfillment you seek. Michael, you must destroy yourself. Please. You don't even have to wait to produce more charred wreckage from people's favorite pastimes. Just strap a bunch of gas cans and detcord to yourself and jump off a bridge with the trigger.

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    • For my money, it's more of a "which came first, chicken or egg" argument.

      If people would STOP GOING TO SEE HIS FILMS, then they wouldn't make money and we could put him out of work, couldn't we?

      Yes, I've made the mistake of watching some of the Bay ouevre in the past, and now have been completely walletblocked mentally from giving him anymore money.

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      • Thats the thing though. People LOVE his movies. Regular people, most people, nearly all people think everything he's done has been fantastic.

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        • Thats because regular people are STUPID. Those of us who were fans of the original franchises are less than pleased. Not that I can blame him for catering to the mainstream, considering that the Transformers movies alone have earned infinity billion dollars.

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          • Not just stupid but they have the memory and attention span of a hyperactive caffeinated weasel on a speedball..

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  28. I'll have you know I received the Sewer Playset for my 9th birthday, the Blimp for my 8th birthday, the Turtlemobile for some present at one point, and saved up allowance for 2 months for my very own Technodrome.

    That's right. I had a sewer Playset AND a Technodrome. Take that rolling eye to the face!

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    • My best friend as a pre-elementary child (Alex Musser) owned EVERY MOTU figure ever produced. And my best friend as an elementary-age child (Jesse Taylor) owned EVERY TMNT toy. I am not exaggerating in either case, these kids had wealthy parents who bought them every last toy they wanted, and between the two of them, I basically had the opportunity to play with every toy released throughout the 80s and early 90s.

      Alex had MOTUs you never heard of, like Rio Blast, Extendar, and the Meteorbs, and Jesse had the Party Wagon, the Sewer, the Blimp, BOTH Technodromes (there was the big one, and a smaller, scout version), he even had April's News Van (which was mostly just a green repaint of the Turtle Van). We literally went over the card backs and crossed out every character on every card, up through . . . geez, at least 1993 or so. Then we started getting out of TMNT.

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  29. I'm certain that my "We're turtles when it's not completely impossible because of stupid things like sleep, teachers, or discovering some porn in your friend's dad's office" group overlapped with yours at some point, and I was almost always Mike.

    I still have vivid, heart-breaking memories of the moment I realized the turtles were not real and I'd therefore never get to meet (or be) them. It was during like the second song of the "Coming Our Of Their Shells" tour. I think I went with you? Maybe it was Randy. Maybe I somehow just managed to sneak out of the trailer park alone and slip by the Montagne Center's TSA-like iron defense forces.

    At least once a week, I get April's theme from the cartoons stuck in my head. I still had a few of my VHS up until the last garage sale I had when I finally decided to purge them all.

    I also recall turning to you for consolation when I found out, shortly after I'd moved away, my mom had sold my suitcase o' turtles that had been in the attic. Lesson learned: Kids, when you go away to college, you might trust the 'rents to keep your baby blanket and first teddy bear in mothballs or acetate, but TAKE THE ACTION FIGURES WITH YOU.

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    • Must have been Randy, because I was TOLD I would get to go to the COoTS tour with Rob M. as my guest and my mom failed to actually get tickets. She instead purchased the VHS of the tour which Rob and I watched during a sleepover for my birthday at which he threw up and had to go home. 2nd worst birthday ever.

      My turltes are in MY attic where they belong.

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      • Maybe someday your turtles can resurrect my Bob, Dot, and Enzo from my attic to help save the universe in some sort of madcap odyssey. The first scene might have to be the Leo and Don sweeping the squirrel turds off the moving boxes, unfortunately.

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  30. I guess you weren't kidding about "already lost." You're getting your ass handed to you by the fur-on-rubber crowd. Damn shame, I tells ya – this fine web comic is going to go down in the second round unless some geeks pull it together.

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    • Hey now, not all of us… uh, I mean them… do the suiting. Also it's more like fur-on-foam. So I've heard.

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  31. I wrote a bit about it: http://cliqueclack.com/flicks/2012/03/20/teenage-…. While it's the focus of the title, the post goes into more our fear that Michael Bay doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. And I am truly afraid of what he's going to do with April.

    So yeah, actually less anger about the alien bit, more anger about the hack leading it.

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  32. Aliens, mutants…I just refuse to see any more of his movies until he kicks the meth. You heard me. No more testicles.

    Anyway, I vote mutants. The whole concept was an experiment in an alternative "origin story," sort of like the X-Men in that regard. A parody even, if I recall correctly.

    Turning them into aliens, potentially with a complex background, would pretty much turn them into…well, not teenagers, not mutants, and probably neither ninjas nor turtles. It's all academic, though, as I won't be seeing this anyway.

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    • Oh, and I'm pretty sure Transformers refused to die, too. I remember several reboots from the 90's, and I think maybe this anime-style Transformers show that's on right now predates the movie. I could be wrong on that one.

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  33. Also, I'm much more interested in the new Ninja Turtles cartoon. The cast is strong and they're still mutants and not sluts as far as I know. In other words, Michael Bay isn't involved.

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  34. I guess I'm an early adopter since I followed the first animated series. My brother and I had two of the turtles each and the rest of the characters/setting was made out of… well pretty much anything we found laying around the house.
    The coolest DIY thing we had to complete our play time were the Foot Soldiers. We took a bunch of old action figures from a wrestling TV show and painted them exactly like Foot Soldiers. We also used to beat the crap out of them with our turtles on their own ring.

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    • Early adopter? TMNT was around YEARS before the stupid cartoon series! I know the kiddies loved them some, "pizza dudes", with four different colored masks but the original comic series, with four red-masked turtles, was incredible. They were NINJAS, they had weapons and killed when they had to. Eastman and Laird CREATED a whole new genre and a thousand Knock-offs. This is what I'd like to see in a movie!

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  35. Oh man, I have loved TMNT since I was…I don't know. Born, I guess. I'm a child of the late 80s, so I watched it on TV and my older brother had a bunch of the older ones on tape. I used to (and still do) shop in the little boys department so I could get sweet shirts covered in turtles and X-wings and all the other stuff little girls weren't supposed to like. When I was in college and saw the box set of the live action movies on sale at target for like $8, I flipped out, even though they DID include the "third movie." It's like winning the lottery, but every bill has a picture of your dad walking out on you. DAMN YOU TMNT3!!!
    Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this new incarnation for the same reasons Joel listed above. It has stuck around and already mutated (HAHAHA) so many times that another version doesn't phase me a ton. And that can't take away from the (likely real) tub of radioactive ooze toys I played with as a child. On the other hand, how can he make them aliens instead of mutants? I could understand the change if "mutant" WASN'T IN THEIR DAMN NAME.
    But I shall reserve any real judgment. Well, most of it.

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    • EXACTLY! It's in the damn NAME!

      I have a fairly high tolerance for tweaking with a franchise like TMNT, Since it's all ready been through so much, and I'm aware that MY TMNT (late 80s/early 90s) was already a pretty big rewrite of the original hardcore comic. series. And yes, no mater what atrocities Bay brings down upon their poor turtle shells, it can't take away my fond memories of hitting each other with sticks and shouting "Turtle power!" as a young boy.
      BUT… Bay of course found a way to make this tick me off despite all that. You can change a lot and excuse it, but when you change things that are an INNATE PART OF THE PREMISE, so much so that it's their DAMN NAME! that's just pissing all over the franchise and showing you have NO respect for it.

      they are MUTANTS not aliens, and they are ninjas not aliens, and they are TURTLES NOT ALIENS!
      If they are aliens, then it's unlikely they are ninjas, since that's an EARTH martial art (unless they are orphan aliens raised on earth by a ninja). AND they sure as hell aren't TURTLES if they are aliens, turtles are an earth species, those will just be turtle like aliens.
      Congratulations Hollywood, you've failed at even staying true to even the basics of the TITLE (I bet they won't been teenaged either).

      I could delude myself with the comforting possibility that Bay just means they will have alien ORIGINS, but not BE actual aliens themselves. But I know that won't turn out true.

      What makes the habit Hollywood has of screwing these things up so frustrating, is that afterwards, most if not all new releases from the franchise will be based on the bastardized movie instead of the classic stories.

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  36. RE: Slurtles:

    On a pub crawl this Halloween I saw not one but TWO sets of girls dressed as Slutty Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'd managed to repress those images until just now. So…thanks for that, I guess.

    (RE: the question at hand, seven-year-old-me loved the original cartoon but, alas, never had the toys. Also, April's manner of speaking confused the hell out of me.)

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  37. A 90s Raphael here, and if I'm totally honest, from all the hardcore Fanboy-in-a-half-shell memories that I have (some more recent than childhood) I have to admit that the best parts of the franchise have very little to do with the boys being actual turtles as much as innocent (albeit well trained and kick-ass) outsiders who physically cannot fit in in human society no matter how much they love pizza and fighting evil.

    On the other more obvious hand, the one thing ANYONE knows about TMNT is the TMNT part, they're Teenaged, they're Mutants, they're Ninjas and they're totally Turtles… as opposed to Teenaged Ninja Aliens. (Unless Michael Bay is going to make them mutated as well as Aliens… maybe they're mutated alien turtles from the planet Ninja?)

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  38. You know those nut-jobs who say Hollywood is promoting a liberal agenda with all its pro-enviroment, anti-corporation movies, like the Muppets and the Lorax, and every other kids movie ever? Nobody listens to that crap, right? Nobody actually looks at a franchise of characters mutated by pollution and says, "You know what, maybe let's not make them the result of horrible human activity, let's… make them aliens. Why should we be to blame? Why are we always to blame for creating monsters? We're the good guys!" That would never happen, because a film-maker understands the message of reaping what you sow, and taking responsibility. You would have to be a complete ass who made horrible, crass films about the joy of destruction… oh, right.

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  39. I didn't have a favorite Turtle. I didn't entirely understand the whole "ninja turtles" concept.

    But I have an awesome Shredder toy collection. And 1 Krang.

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  40. The big question is what will be the new Ninja Rap? If anyone looks up the music video for that song I apologize for the excessive Vanilla Ice thrusting.

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    • Ninja Rap is something that will never be duplicated.

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      • At least it's not Batdance.

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        • You mean the Batousie?

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  41. Wow, quite a nostalgia trip. Enough to bring the increasingly famous Rob M. out of his lurking seclusion even! I know Michelangelo was my favorite (he was SO wacky, guys!), but I fully admit that I was better suited to be Donatello. I definitely identify the most with him now as well, plus he had awesome reach in the video games.

    To add to the fond memories, I recall lots of running around with the pizza shooter, flagrantly ignoring its tiny plastic warning not to fire it at actual people. By the time I grew out of playing with it, my pizza ammo stash was down by more than half, as tracking down and recovering the misses proved problematic at times. Heh.

    I also now remember that Second Worst Birthday ever. I think I threw up in your mom's bathtub before my parents made it over to pick me up. I also remember (I'm almost positive this was with you) another time where we used an iron on a bookcase to hold down the corner of a blanket fort contraption, and then pulling it off onto my back when I crawled over the blanket. So, yeah, good times at the Watson house!

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    • Do you have any idea who our Michelangelo was? Was there a rotating cast? Was it Kyle Moss? I have no idea and it's driving me crazy.

      I was there when you got the pizza shooter. It was for straight A's sometime around 3rd grade. I think you had a deal going where you got $6 for every A or something. Damn that was a fantastic toy.

      It was the bathtub, which in retrospect was certainly worse for you than it was for me. Pretty sure it was the gocarts at Slick Trax that made you ill. You got me Space Cadet Raph that year (WHY DO I REMEMBER THAT?).

      The iron incident was certainly at my house. I remember it leaving a perfect iron-shaped welt on your back. That fucker was a good 15 lbs at least, so I know it hurt like a bastard.

      You and I should do a podcast where were talk about specific days from 22 years ago.

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      • Yes, a podcast, that sounds like a thing that once happened. It seems an eternity since I heard tales of ass merkins and nudie cards. Any podcasting would suffice but this sounds like an excellent idea. I am always down for Turtle-talk.

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      • Holy Hell, I remember Space Cadet Raph now. I am astounded that such a detail was lodged all this time in my mental equivalent of an abandoned storage locker, until your comment functioned as some sort of Storage Wars event and dredged it up.

        I remember not liking Kyle Moss (which was unfortunate, since alphabetically we wound up sitting next to each other more or less always), so i doubt it was him. I really could not tell you who though. Maybe I can dredge up a copy of our 3rd grade class photo and see if anything clicks. Then again, maybe I remember not liking Kyle because he got to be Mike. I'll let you know if I crack the case.

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  42. I did in fact get the Technodrome for Christmas one year. No Christmas has topped this since. I still have the thing in my Mom's attic somewhere. My favorite turtle figure looking back though was this Michaelangelo I had that transformed into a turtle. Not a Ninja Turtle, but a little turtle. It was rad because with a can of the Ooze I could reenact his transformation from normal turtle to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or more dramatically have him transformed back into his baby turtle form by some dastardly doings at the Technodrome. Hijinks did in fact Ensue. Then of course some Shredder-whooping would ensue.

    I gotta find those toys…

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  43. I loved the Ninja Turtles!!! I had one of those tapes from Burger King… it was the one in the pink case with the episode "April Foolish" on it… I almost wore it out from watching it so much.

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  44. I long since forget which turtles toys I had. I've all but blocked out the Vanilla Ice moment from Turtles 2.

    But the thing that will live on in my memory until I'm an old man is eating 15 of those turtle pudding pies in one sitting and then consequently puking 15 turtle pudding pies.

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  45. Just some fun memroies about TMNT… In the very early 90's I babysat three little neighbor boys after school who were OBSESSED with TMNT ( and Ghostbusters too). They had a basement full of toys and they would try to slime me every chance they could. We had to watch the tapes of shows and movies over and over. And if memory serves they had TMNT spaghetti-o's (or maybe it was mac'n'cheese?) that their mom bought them religiously. I never really understood all the rage and usually tried to get them to play outside or with their Transformers that I even thought were pretty cool for a teenage girl. I failed miserably at this most days as I suspect most girls did. Moreso than GI Joe or any other stereotypical male toy/cartoon, I don't think TMNT was well liked by us girls. Assuming this is still the case?

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  46. For me it was the original indie ultraviolent Eastman & Laird comics (of which I have nearly the whole run 1st printing) April wore more than a skin tight coveralls. Casey Jones was a Clock Work Orange psycopath. My generation in college from '82 to '90, were appalled by the dumbed down Superfriends version of TMNT in movies and tv. My Ninja Turtles killed people. Characters frakkin died (permanently). There was blood, guts, and soft porn. TMNT was for adults and the creators sold us out for a Disneyfied POS? Can honestly say never saw any movie or tv version of this. We BURNED copies of the Marvel tie-in. Hope Bay gives us the Real TMNT, otherwise it'll just be schiesse.

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    • "There was blood, guts, and soft porn."

      Did you just describe anime?

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      • I don't remember seeing any of that in a Hello Kitty episode ever. Come to think of it, nothing in Pokemon or Samurai Pizza cats either.

        I think you are confusing Bay, Spielberg, et al with animation produced in Japan. I'll take Howl's Moving Castle over Saving Private Ryan any day of the Millennium.

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        • Considering my ex-fiance is a HUGE Japanese anime fan, I've seen more than Pokemon, Hello Kitty, and Samurai Pizza Cats. Actually, of those three, I've only seen Pokemon.

          I'm hoping you're trolling; otherwise, it sounds like you don't know much about anime. (Tentacles, anyone?)

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          • Hentai is different from anime in the same way that porn is different from movies. Classic series like Ghost in the Shell, Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop were certainly willing to have a bit of softcore but that doesn't make them equal.

            *puts on headphones and grooves to Tank*

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  47. In my opinion I think Michael Bay is getting hate for a couple of reasons. First for making TMNT into TANTLET (Teenage Alien Turtle-like Extra Terrestrials) which people are sort of just scratching their heads about and going "Really?". Secondly I think he is getting the flak for all of the filmmakers,including himself who have taken the childhood of a lot of us and just decided to completely screw with them. With the Spider man trilogy, Transformers and GI Joe just to name a couple that really didn't out how we had hoped. With rumors of the Voltron feature film coming it just leaves one big worry. Are we going to get 5 robot lions or are we going to get 5 large metal lolcats? "I can has Blazing Sword? K thx bai".

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    • Don't forget the various rumors and non-starters for Neon Genesis – I still have nightmares / Hate rages over the rewrite with 20 something pretties in spandex and the bots with teeth.

      Can we just say the Hollywood should NEVER be allowed to get their slimy tentacles on ANYTHING of worth?

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      • Honestly, I think we give Holiwood too much of a hard time sometimes.

        For evry George Lucas who dosn't even understand how his own movies worked; there'se a Peter Jackson seeing right to the heart of a much older trilogy and bringing it beutifully to life.

        For evry Joel Shoemacker and Arnold Swartznigger there'se a Christopher Nolen and Heath Ledger.

        For evry Superman Returns there's an Iron Man.

        For evry Insurection there's a continuity reboot movie.

        Sure, they sometimes miss the point of what makes something great; but sometimes they don't. This is the best time ever to be a nerd, and I'm loveing it.

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        • You are 100% correct. Good perspective.

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  48. No matter what Bay does to it, I will also remain a faithful fan of the Ninja Turtles. I obsessively watched the show as a kid, I ate that cereal, I slept with a plush Michaelangelo. Yep, Mikey was always my favorite. I was fond of the orange associated characters – Hunk from Voltron, Mikey from TMNT, Kento from Ronin Warriors.

    My sister and I had a bunk-bed that we often modified into the Turtle Van by hanging blankets by the upper mattress and keeping only one spot open for the windshield. My older brother and other sister joined us as we role played as the turtles; I was Mikey, older brother was Raphael, older sister was Donny and baby sister was Leonardo. I have no idea why we forced that role on her. I remember once trying peanut butter on a slice of cheese pizza, just because I saw them do that in the cartoon. Pro-tip: Peanut butter becomes a melty, sticky mess when it comes in contact with hot, melted cheese.

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  49. Does he want to make them aliens because he thinks the concept of goo mutating to be a bit far fetched?

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  50. I remember liking TMNT when I was little – around six or seven I think? I was born mid-eighties, so this would have been whatever version was showing in the early ninties I guess. I remember liking Donatello, and I had some TMNT stickers. That's about all I remember. But I was recently staying with my in-laws, and my bro-in-law has a big collection of classic eighties cartoons, including the original first few series of TMNT, so my 3 yr old son became briefly obsessed with them (in between He-Man and Fantasia) and it was pretty sweet watching it again. Krang was the main villain, and since my son loves brains and zombies, he thought a talking brain thing with tentacles was the coolest thing EVER.

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  51. Adolescent Alien Akido Amphibians?

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  52. In my basement right now, I hold both the Technodrome and the Sewer Lair. Upstairs in my linen closet? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sleeping bag, perhaps one of the pilly-est and linty-est pieces of sleeping equipment ever created. The inside was like a sauna on fire.

    You are not alone.

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  53. My fave guy was the alligator Leatherhead. I'll never forget my older brother snapping his tail off because he thought it was twistable. So my Leatherhead had a green flat ass hanging out the back of his jeans wherever he went!

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  54. I’ve said this elsewhere, and I’ll say it again: general mythos drift should be expected and embraced, as new storytellers find new ways to expand the story. What pisses me off is that this is not drift. It is laziness and greed, trying to make money off a preexisting fanbase by slapping a name or label on something without actually using the base of the stories it is making money off of. It’s the same major reason I have for my wrathful disdain to anything Twilight. Calling them Vampires does not make them such, it only treads roughshod over the work of countless other writers on the way to cashing a check. And it’s the same here, these are not the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, calling them does noty make them such, this is only a lazy Hollywood trying to make money without working for it. LAZINESS I TELL YOU!

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  55. I remember working at a music/video store in the late 90s and seeing the "The Next Mutation" video in our stock, and shuddering at the Sassy Spice turtle, or whatever her name was, as the "Poochy" to bring in new viewers. I was traumatized.

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