Animation Talk Stuff

Animation Monday: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Yes; the four green mutated turtles we all know and love are back again.  Nickelodeon has started a new series featuring Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and their sidekick April O’Neil who is a kid in this new series.  This is the third time this animated series has returned to the airwaves.  And I am going to give my opinion after watching the premiere episode.

The first animated series premiered in the 1980’s and it was awesome since I was a little kid to see them each Saturday morning.  And the second animated series premiered in the 2000’s and was not that successful.  So Nickelodeon is banking on this series to bring in the ratings the network desperately needs.   The premiere of the show ranked as the week’s top telecast with kids 2-11 (2.1 million — more than half were boys) and was the No. 1 kids program on basic cable, with 3.9 million viewers for the week.  This is no surprise as a new show always gets a lot of ratings.  But will the high ratings stick for this remake?  When I watched the premiere you see the four turtles who are 15 with their master named Splinter.  Splinter tells the story on how he and the turtles became mutated after touching the radioactive goo.

The turtles get permission to go above the surface for the first time ever and they are exposed to their favorite food ever; pizza!

And the pair also meet April O’Neil who is a kid in this series.  In the past series April was an adult.  And after some animated action the turtles rescue April.  I thought the computer animation was kind of blocky.  The background animation looked like that classic video game animation.  It had no feel and it kind of sucked!  I figured the background animation would have a better feel to it.  Sure most of the series takes place at night; but even at night you can make the buildings and the street lights look more real.  And the animation of the turtles did not look good at all.  It looked like the turtles put on those shells like they are clothing for people.  And the heads of the turtles looked like weird triangles.  I did not like it at all!

From Nickelodeon.

The storytelling was good but I have one big problem.  The popular catchphrase ‘cowabunga’ has been replaced with ‘booyakasha!’  Hey; Nickelodeon was thinking “let’s make our ratings even worse my making fans angry at us!”  When you reboot a popular series you don’t need to replace something that has become engraved into the American culture.  I believe this move from Nickelodeon was a wrong move!  Also the opening sequence to the show is a rap song.  Here is that video:

To be honest; I liked the opening sequence to the first animated series better!

Sure this series will be popular with kids and mostly boys.  But if this is the best Nickelodeon has got, no wonder their ratings are bad!  If Nickelodeon wants to reclaim first place it needs to come out with original shows that kids and adults will love.  Some good examples of this are “Phineas and Ferb” from Disney and “Adventure Time” from Cartoon Network.  Nickelodeon was the first place to see cutting edge shows that anyone would enjoy to watch.  Today Nickelodeon has become an advertisement to sell toys and to make lots of money for Viacom.  I guess I am going to continue to avoid watching this network except for “The Legend of Korra.”

Here is a great infographic showing 25 years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles history!

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