Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Where Did My Cuddly Guys Go?

So the first TMNT trailer broke today – if you’re a fan you probably were already aware. If you missed it, take your first peak at the future of the Turtles:

They definitely have a higher budget than the older ones!

Spiffy side effects aside, there are two key features in this trailer that need discussing: the Turtles new look, and their new origin story.

Origin Story

Longtime fans of the TMNT franchise are up in arms over the changes to their origin story. From the trailer it becomes clear that the Turtles were created by April O’Neil’s father in conjunction with the Shredder (weird). Honestly, that’s not too far off from the current story being published at IDW.  -As Comic Vine points out:

“First and foremost, this isn’t the first time April’s father would be linked to the ooze. In the most recent comic (by IDW Publishing), it was revealed that April’s dad previously worked with Baxter Stockman at Stockgen.”

Adding Shredder into the mix is just a logical step to interconnect all of the characters and make the story more personal for everyone.

Let’s also talk about the point of origin stories for a second. Origins stories are central to most superhero characterse. The stories are meant to establish background, motivation, and evil/good leanings. The original TMNT origin story has morphed over the franchise’s history more than once. In the original comic by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, the ooze that mutated the baby turtles came from aliens. The 90’s movies decided to skip the extra-terrestrial angle and simply claimed that the ooze originally came from Stockgen, no aliens involved. TurtleOoze

This origin story featured in the trailer includes the key elements: Stockgen + Ooze, only adding in the Shreeder and a new motivation for the Ooze’s creation into the mix. As an origin story it still explains how the TMNT became turtles, their heroic motivations, and interpersonal relations. In fact, as origin stories goes it does better to initially establish the Turtle’s purpose in life. Did it never seem strange to you before that the Ninja Turtles decided to fight crime? I mean sure, there was Splinter’s rivalry with the Shredder – but if we’re going with the movie origin story it’s hard to believe that a rat had the brains to form a rivalry to begin with.

So let’s be real – as long as there is ooze, Ninja Turtles, Splinter (strangely absent from the trailer), and Shredder, I’m in. Plus, this origin may mean it’s easier to add Alopex

New Turtle Look

This is a much more subjective opinion. Everyone is going to have differing opinions on how the ninja turtles should look. For me personally, I prefer the cartoony cute turtle look. I grew up with the cartoons, I grew up with the terribly awesome movies, and I expect my trurtles to be adorable and goofy not all mean and sinister looking.

If I was April in the trailer (and I’d sure as hell be a better April than Megan Fox) I would scream and faint when I first saw the turtles too. If I had my way, the Ninja Turtles would only be drawn by Ross Campbell and this movie would make CGI characters based off Ross Campbell’s work. He draws the most adorable (sometimes sad) turtles. Exhibit A:



I can’t describe how much I love this cover by Ross Campbell. Mikey is so sad, and the orange leaves, letter coloring, and bandanna really bring the whole picture together. He’s capable of drawing some good action too. Exhibit B:

Ross Campbell Leo and Raphael

Brothers fight, it’s not always cute, but Campbell really captures the youth of the Ninja Turtles without making them overly sinister. Exhibit C is a picture of Alopex, just because I love her:


This is just the style I like though, and I realize many may like the more “kick-ass” version of the TMNT that the film presents. It’s not my style, and I hope the tone of the movie can differentiate itself from the style. If they’re trying to Batman my Turtles I will cry. Without humor, love, and kindness the Ninja Turtles aren’t really themselves. I’m interested in seeing how this develops further, and right now I think we can continue to feel guardedly optimistic about the return of TMNT.


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