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Martin the Warrior
February 8th, 2003, 11:11 PM
The last of the planned '80's revivals (the first two being Transformers: Armada and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles premiered this morning on the Fox Box (if you missed it, it repeats next Saturday at 8:30 AM EST, with the new episode airing at 10:30 AM EST).

I was a huge fan of the original TMNT cartoon/comic books, although my interest has waned over the years. Still, it was a toss-up to see whether this series would be categorized in the He-Man side of things (very well done revival) or the Armada side of things (horrible).

In the end, it's much better than Armada, but not quite up to He-Man's level.

The animation (same studio that animates He-Man, if I'm not mistaken) is extremely well-done, stylistic, atmospheric, and fits this incarnation of the Turtles. While still being aimed at kids, this is obviously a more mature take on the concept, more in line with Eastman and Laird's original story than with the old cartoon and Archie comics. One of the more noticeable changes is that the new series seems to be serialized in the way anime series are, or so the episode guide suggests. This episode was little more than an introduction-- reintroduction, as the case may be-- to some of the key characters (though not all). Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael are covered, of course, as is Splinter. We also see the introduction of the Mousers, although their significance is not yet known. Beyond that, however, a fleeting glimpse of the Shredder as Oroku Saki is all we get, at the very end, at that. The plot has barely begun.

To someone used to the original series, the voices are the first thing one notices. None of the previous VAs are used, which requires some adjustment. There is some awkwardness to the performances, but the new actors seem capable enough that they'll grow into the roles. Nothing as disconcerting as Cam Clarke as He-Man (ironic considering Cam Clarke is the quintessential Leonardo). Splinter's voice is obviously a young man trying to sound old, sad after the great VA the original series had, but is something we'll no doubt grow accustomed to. As for Shredder... it's still too early to judge his voice, especially since we haven't seen him in costume.

Some major changes have been made from the last series, though. The first is that Foot Soldiers are now actual men, not robots, more in line with the movies and the Mirage comic. The second is that (though she didn't appear in the first episode) April is no longer a TV reporter, but instead the lab assistant to Baxter Stockman (who may or may not turn into the fly-mutant). Third, it doesn't look like we'll have the... abnormal... villains. In other words, no Bebop or Rocksteady, no Krang, and (most likely) no Technodrome. Fourth, the version of Splinter's origin where he was the pet rat of Hamato Yoshi is used, rather than him being Yoshi himself.

I'm not exactly displeased with the first and third changes, as I find the idea of, shall we say, "street level" Turtles fascinating and worth exploring. The less alien/alien technology involved, the better. It helps set this series apart.

As for April.... too early to judge. I'll have to see how it plays out next week. At the moment, I'm more curious how she'll sound, as she's voiced by Veronica Taylor, better known as the voice of Ash in Pokemon.

If anyone recalls the last few years of the old cartoon, they'll remember that Michelangelo inexplicably stopped using his nunchuks in favor of an odd, shell-shaped grappling hook. As such, it pleased me to no end to see the nunchuku back in his hands, spinning away. I'd say the new series also has the characterization down pat, from the playfulness between Mikey and Don, the moodiness of Raph, to the goody-good Leo. Michelangelo's one liners actually had me chuckling more often than not and he's certainly a lively character.

All in all, I enjoyed the series, it was a trip down memory lane, and had everything that made TMNT such a great show in the first place. I look forward to later episodes.

One exception, however, being the opening. It is, hands down, the most awful, horrendous, and ill-fitting opening I've ever seen. In some ways, even worse than the live-action "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation" theme song/rap. Saddening, considering that the original series opening/theme song is (in my opinion) one of the greatest of cartoon history.

Slagar the Cruel
February 8th, 2003, 11:42 PM
I left sticky-notes all over my room to help me remember... but in the end... I forgot! :eek: Thank goodness it's going to be repeated... I'm extremely interested in this. I've been a follower of TMNT for a long time.

VanessaNB
February 9th, 2003, 12:56 PM
Oh poo, I missed the first half. Can't be that bad of a thing, if the opening was so "horrendous":p I liked watching it, the little effect things, like narrowing the screen during fight scenes, that looked cool. Splinter looked neat too, with that robe thing he wears, and I've never seen my pet rats use their tails like that.
I used to watch the original all the time, I practically worshipped the Ninja Turtles (I was only 5 or 6), but now I can't tell the turtles apart. *sigh* I do remember a talking pink thing, like a brain, using something as a body...or it could've been a different show.
I'll try to catch the first episode again this Saturday, considering most of the other Fox Box shows aren't worth much.

Lord Servone
February 9th, 2003, 04:30 PM
I missed the show this Saturday as I was at a speech competition...Anyway, I did see the promotional stuff for it though...at least on one, where you had to name the four turtles....I thought it was kind of stupid as one does not need to watch out for them to get the names of the turtles...though, I guess, you'd need to get them in order...


I do remember a talking pink thing, like a brain, using something as a body...
That would be Krang and he was on the original TMNT show... he was a mutant brain...

I think it has to be better than the last few seasons of the show... those were awful. Don and Mike (I think it was them) kept turning into giant bezerk freaks and then there was this kid who turned into a yellow freak too...it just kept getting worse. That live action turtle show wasn't too good either...in fact, it was terrible...just terrible.

I'm kind of disapointed they won't be using the mutated villains and the sort...I really liked a lot of those characters. Anyway, I'm going to have to try and tape it next Saturday, both shows. I was a big fan of the original...

Lord_TBT
February 10th, 2003, 12:00 AM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I had no idea about this.
I wouldve watched, but from what you say it sounds like they butchered it.
In other words, no Bebop or Rocksteady, no Krang, and (most likely) no Technodrome. Fourth, the version of Splinter's origin where he was the pet rat of Hamato Yoshi is used, rather than him being Yoshi himself.

Theres no ninja turtles without Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, or the Technodrome. What about Shredder? And what the heck is the storyline then if the villains arent the same? Sounds realll butchered.
Ninja turtles was the point of my existence in my youth. That show is much much better than any japanimation crud nowadays.
Ninja turtles is definately way cooler than something like dbz.

Speaking of old school cartoons, my dawgs and I were chillin the other night, and we found some ren and stimpy cartoons that my friend had taped in the early 90s! That was when MTV was actually MTV. You shoulda seen some of the stuff these people were wearing in commercials and stuff. That typical early 90s guy look with the long hair, jeans, tshirt, and plaid shirt over the tshirt, like Kurt Cobain. AND IF YOU ASK WHO KURT COBAIN IS YOU ARE TOO YOUNG TO BE ON THE INTERNET. Talk about one of the best cartoons ever drawn...so so so hilarious. and twisted.
And we also made a startling connection! The voice of Stimpy is also the voice of the professor guy on Futurama!


And another great old cartoon would definately be Rocko's Modern Life.

I pity the generation who missed these gems. And you can't say your a ninja turtles fan unless you owned action figures. Ninja turtles action figures definately were the best. I bet I could still find some right now.

Martin the Warrior
February 10th, 2003, 05:18 PM
Vanessa
but now I can't tell the turtles apart.

Simply remember that Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines, Raphael is cool, but crude, and Michelangelo is a party dude. ;)


Servone
I think it has to be better than the last few seasons of the show... those were awful. Don and Mike (I think it was them) kept turning into giant bezerk freaks and then there was this kid who turned into a yellow freak too...it just kept getting worse. That live action turtle show wasn't too good either...in fact, it was terrible...just terrible.

Agreed. And trust me when I say this is much better.


TBT
I wouldve watched, but from what you say it sounds like they butchered it.

Not at all. The opening song is the only thing I'd describe as "butchered".


Theres no ninja turtles without Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, or the Technodrome.

I wouldn't go that far. The original Mirage comics didn't have them (although Krang was obviously derived from the TCRI workers) and those were still good reads and the movies got by fine without them. If anything, think of this new series as following a continuity akin to the first movie's.


What about Shredder?

He's there, as I said. The Foot is now more of a crime syndicate deal with Shredder being the big man behind the scenes. From the first episode, it seemed obvious that there were at least two tiers of the Foot at work-- a street gang doing standard illegal jobs (taken out easily by the Turtles) and the Foot Clan ninjas (whose fighting skill forced the Turtles to retreat). Shredder appeared only as Oroku Saki in the first episode, but his Shredder get-up was seen in the opening and looked ominous enough, reminiscent of a less-buff Super Shredder.


And what the heck is the storyline then if the villains arent the same? Sounds realll butchered.

The storyline is the same, essentially-- Turtles vs. Shredder. The Foot is far more competent.


That show is much much better than any japanimation crud nowadays. Ninja turtles is definately way cooler than something like dbz.

There's irony in the fact that both DBZ and TMNT were animated by Toei. ;) Toei also did some animation for G.I.-Joe and Transformers.


And you can't say your a ninja turtles fan unless you owned action figures. Ninja turtles action figures definately were the best. I bet I could still find some right now.

I had plenty-- including the Sewer and Technodrome playsets. ;) Even picked up some from this new line of toys-- some nice looking figures there.

Lord_TBT
February 10th, 2003, 07:43 PM
How can you not tell the turtles apart.

Martin please tell me the theme song still says 'were really hip'
in it.


The Foot is now more of a crime syndicate deal with Shredder being the big man behind the scenes

Oh so like the TMNT 1 movie?


There's irony in the fact that both DBZ and TMNT were animated by Toei

I had no clue. However they are animated in the U.S. I know that for a fact. A girl I know's preacher's son is the voice of that Goku person, for real.

And the fact that TMNT animation is/was better and isnt dubbed and doesnt look all japan ????py.

Martin the Warrior
February 10th, 2003, 08:27 PM
TBT
Martin please tell me the theme song still says 'were really hip'
in it.

Nope. If anyone wants to read the lyrics/download an MP3 of it-- http://www.ninjaturtles.com/html/2003theme.html

I won't be held responsible. ;)


Oh so like the TMNT 1 movie?

Pretty much, although it's more of a high-class operation. Shredder's base of operations appears to be a highrise in midtown Manhattan.


I had no clue. However they are animated in the U.S. I know that for a fact.

No, they were animated at Toei-- Japan-- for the American market. Many US shows-- Batman Beyond included-- have/had the animation done overseas, be it in Japan, Korea, or wherever. They're not technically anime and the US voice-tracks/audience are what they're animated for, but the animation is still done over there. That may have changed with the later episodes, but the original ones were done at Toei.


A girl I know's preacher's son is the voice of that Goku person, for real.

Which? Ian Corlett, Peter Kelamis, Kirby Morrow, or Sean Schemmel?

Slagar the Cruel
February 10th, 2003, 08:50 PM
My ears! My ears! :eek: This is worse than the Canadian Dragonball Z theme!

I miss the old theme... it was really hip. ;) And that's a fact, jack!

Treerose
February 10th, 2003, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by Slagar the Cruel
My ears! My ears! :eek: This is worse than the Canadian Dragonball Z theme!

I heartily concur. :eek: That is seriously bad music. ::rubs her ears:: Ack. One can only imagine what kind of mental damage this kind of music does. People who listen to it on a regular basis must lose at least ten IQ points for each minute spent in the vicinity of the stuff... <g> (In which case the composer should have the IQ of a used teabag...)

Tree

~~~~

::turns on some Mozart to cleanse the disgusting, putrid remnants of sound from that horrible theme out of her mind:: In fact... for those poor souls who also clicked on the link and are in need of some of this, too:

http://stage.vitaminic.co.uk/main/coro_e_orchestra_sinfonica_della_accademia_corale_ di_saluzzo/albums/,6411

For total recovery from TMNT music, click on the 4th movement of the 41st "Jupiter" Symphony. Sound quality doesn't appear to be that good, I'm afraid, but hey, anything beats what I just heard. ;)

Speaking of Moz, a nickname of his was "Lump." ;)

Lord_TBT
February 10th, 2003, 11:00 PM
ok i clicked your link
AND I SEE THE MOST JACKED UP LOGO FOR TMNT I HAVE EVER SEEN.

Then I read the lyrics: no introduction of the turtles, IT DOESNT EVEN HAVE 'HEROES IN A HALFSHELL, TURTLE POWER'

aaaaaaaaaaaa

The song is downloading...I will review that on completion.

Ok Completed...listening now

ok what the heck is with the 80s electric guitars and horrible voices. my eardrums this is garbage and so are the lyrics.

VanessaNB
February 11th, 2003, 11:44 AM
Yes! I knew I remembered Krang from somewhere! I think I've still got one TMNT toy left, a turtle that you open into a sewer scene with lots of tiny, easily lost figures to play with.
And yes, I've heard of Kurt Cobain, didn't he die or something?

Lord_TBT
February 11th, 2003, 04:30 PM
DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

*kicks wall repeatedly*

Kurt Cobain was a musical genius, and the lead singer of a an early 1990s grunge band called Nirvana. In case you didn't know what the technical definition of 'nirvana' is, its the word for heaven in India. ANYWAY, this group redefined the culture and music of the 90s.

(Kurt Cobain, by any stretch, has no relevance to a TMNT topic, therefore the bulk of this message has been removed. Try to stay on-topic. ~Martin the Warrior~)

Martin the Warrior
February 11th, 2003, 05:52 PM
Slagar
My ears! My ears!
Tree
That is seriously bad music. ::rubs her ears::
TBT
this is garbage and so are the lyrics.

This is where I say "I toldja so". ;)

LadyBeelze
February 11th, 2003, 07:00 PM
hmmmmmm really? i renember watching tmnt when i was a little thing around 6 or 7 (something like that). Can't renember much about it though except turtles and pizza >_> heh. I might check it out if i have nothing to watch

Treerose
February 12th, 2003, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by Martin the Warrior
This is where I say "I toldja so". ;)

Well, we didn't doubt what you said about it, but unfortunately, music like that has to be heard, not imagined. ;)

Tree

~~~~

"Can this be endured at all? Won't the people kill themselves afterwards?"

~Gustav Mahler, to Bruno Walter in 1908~

He wasn't talking about the new TMNT music, but his Das Lied von der Erde, a work for soprano and tenor and orchestra. He was a superstitious man: no Romantic-era composer had lived beyond writing nine symphonies (Beethoven, Bruckner, and Schubert all wrote 9), and although this would have been his 9th symphony, he hoped to trick fate by not labeling it as such. Later, he felt safe enough to call his next symphony his 9th...but he never got to write a 10th. (Real reason for this is because Romantic composers took the symphonic form so seriously that 9 symphonies were enough to fill a lifetime, especially as composers like Mahler, Schubert, Bruckner, and Beethoven all suffered from bad health, and didn't live very long lives to begin with.)

VanessaNB
February 13th, 2003, 03:15 PM
That bad? I'm imagining it right now, imagining the impending horror on Saturady morning. EEEEE! My ears! Turtles that cool don't deserve this!
Yes I also knew who Kurt was, and what "nirvana" means...

Slagar the Cruel
February 14th, 2003, 11:52 PM
Nirvana redefining our culture? I dunno... I could never understand Kurt Kobain's lyrics. Which is why the Weird Al parody was so funny. ;)

Back to TMNT... I've composed an analysis of the theme song's lyrics. for your consideration.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Introduction. Little to say about anything at this point but the actual melody, or lack thereof.
Turtles count it off!
Count WHAT off? This line doesn't make any sense. Of course, it becomes the cornerstone for the "song".
One, Two, Three, Four!
I assume this is referring to the four turtles. Otherwise it might actually explain the "count it off" thing. Why would the turtles count themselves?
Turtles!
Mutant chain reaction.
Chain reaction? The turtle mutation always seemed pretty straightforward to me...
Turtles!
Livin' underground.
This implies that they're some sort of burrowing monsters. Not that anything in the song is an implication to the true nature of TMNT.
Turtles!
Ninjitsu action.
Right, I get it... they're just shouting "buzz phrases" to catch people's attention now. I suppose that it's the best shot they've got at keeping the viewers from clasping their ears and changing the channel.
Turtles!
It's a shell of a town.
WHAT'S a shell of a town? Ninjitsu action? No towns have been mentioned at this point and the "town" (New York) has very little to do with the subject at hand - the turtles.
Turtles count it off!
Not this again...
One! Live by the code of the martial arts.
Two! Never fight unless someone else starts.
Three! Always stick together no matter what.
Four! If all else fails then it's time to KICK BUTT!
What, so these are the "four principals of turtlism" they're "counting off"? A lousy attempt to inject a moral into the song.
I love bein' (I love bein')
I love bein' (I love bein')
I love being a Turtle!
It's a shame that one of the best lines from the movies (possibly only second to "which one's the ugly one?") has been so thoroughly degraded. In any case, this really makes no sense, as the writer of the song is, presumably, NOT a turtle.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Turtles count it off!
One, Two, Three, Four!
Not only is the song morally wholesome, it teaches kids to count up to four! Over and over!
Turtles!
There's no one better.
Geeze... could they pat themselves on the back any more bluntly? I mean, since they love being turtles, they must BE turtles, right? :rolleyes:
Turtles!
Watch out for Shredder.
How trite. Why don't they put it on a yellow sign? Then change it to "Shredder Crossing"?
Turtles!
They're like no others.
Turtles!
Those teenage brothers.
Now, THAT'S a cheap rhyme. ;)
One, Two, Three, Four!
One, Two, Three, Four!
I wish they'd stop it already...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
Now for the absolute BEST part of the song... a GENIUS decision on the part of the "Composer".

THE END

Martin the Warrior
February 15th, 2003, 03:54 PM
Overall, good analysis. ;)


Slagar
Livin' underground.
This implies that they're some sort of burrowing monsters. Not that anything in the song is an implication to the true nature of TMNT.

I have no love for the song, but this part obviously refers to their living in the sewer, so in this one instance you were a little unfair. ;)

Slagar the Cruel
March 30th, 2003, 12:26 PM
I found an interview (http://www.ninjaturtlesnetwork.com/Interviews/INTERV018.htm) of the music producer for TMNT '03... in case anyone can't believe that a human could produce such a horrid din. ;)

The show itself has been turning out really well... the only thing that kind of bugs me is something about the voices of all the background charcters. They just sound so... subpar. *shrugs* I like the voices of the turtles themselves, though. This Raphael's voice fits a lot better than the old one.

Martin the Warrior
March 30th, 2003, 05:45 PM
The scariest thing from that interview (aside from the many spelling errors)-- "6)TheTheme song. After listening to the one included on the Fox Box promo CD, I'm extremly glad that that one didn't make it. The current one is definetly growing on me."

There was something worse? :eek:

Anyway, yeah, the voices have grown on me rather nicely. Casey is the only one that can still make me groan, along with the quickly played out moral lessons. "This is for my father! ... what are you doing?" "Stopping you from making the biggest mistake of your life." "...thanks." I've got no problem with their being moral lessons (I think that's an aspect missing from most modern cartoons), I just don't like it being driven home with a sledge-hammer to the point of disbelief.

But, the stories and animation are really turning out nice, otherwise. It's almost shoulder to shoulder with He-Man as far as remakes go.

Baby Rollo
March 30th, 2003, 08:08 PM
I actually like the theme song. It has a nice beat to it. It sorta grows on you after a while. Of course it doesn't beat the original.