Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Update

10 Episodes of the Nickelodeon TMNT

cartoon nickelodeon 2012 animated

10 weeks later, and I still REALLY enjoy this version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I thought now would be a good time to check back in with this show. 10 weeks ago, I wrote a review of the first episode of this series, “Rise of the Turtles”, and I have much of the same feelings I did then.

This version has been a great blend of everything that has come before it including the comic, original series as well as the 2003 series. They have purposely left a lot of the mystery in this version so that each revelation feels important. Recently, Shedder’s main henchmen Xever and Chris Bradford mutated into Fishface and Dogpound. Those who collect the action figures (like myself) knew this was coming because of the information on the backs of both of those character’s cards. By allowing to get you to know these characters in the human forms first, this series understands that it will have multiple seasons of stories to further develop characters.

teenage mutant ninja turtles 2012

I recently re-watched every season of the original 1987 TMNT and…it does not hold up very well. It seemed like it said all it needed to say in the first three seasons and everything after that was just repetitive and lazy. I understand I am not the target audience for such a show and that it mainly existed as a way to move merchandise but…it’s one of the most boring shows I have seen in it’s later years. The last two seasons have a bit of a shakeup with a new villain and friends but…it just felt wrong.

The 2003 series, however, benefited from a landscape of better animated series as competition so it needed to amp it up. This was a more action-oriented show and MUCH less repetitive then it’s predecessor. The world of this series felt much bigger and each season had it’s own flavor.

Going back to what I think really works in the new Nickelodeon series, it’s all about balance. The humor, action, and odes to previous efforts are balanced. Also, without deliberately trying to change established concepts, this show seems to be trying to make a big effort in creating new characters. What will divide fans with this show is the amount of new mutants that have been created. When I was a kid, I craved new mutants because that meant new toys. Without new mutants, all you get is endless variations of the turtles (sports, scuba, rock star, even Star Trek!). I really enjoy the amount of new mutants that have shown up thus far.

Here are some of my favorite moments of this series so far:

Episode 3 – Turtle Temper

We get our first new mutant and he is voiced by…Lewis Black? Black’s Vic and then “Spider Bytez” was a great use of his talents. I was genuinely surprised to hear his voice on this show.

Episode 4 – New Friend, Old Enemy

Mikey wants to make his first human friend via a Facebook analog and finds himself tricked by Shedder’s right hand man, Chris Bradford. Bradford looks really cool as a Chuck Norris type and is a perfect foil to Michelangelo’s complete lack of cynicism.

Episode 5 – I Think His Name is Baxster Stockman

Baxter is part of every iteration of the Turtles and his appearance here feels very similar to that of his comic roots. This version is a combination of his comic and 2003 show.

Episode 6 – Metalhead

An episode I was looking forward to since I first saw this series’s figure for Metalhead. It brings up an excellent point…with all the technical know-how of Donny, why is his weapon only a “stick”? That question is answered well in this episode.

Episode 7 – Monkey Brains

More mutants! A tragic mutant that is neither friend nor foe, this episode showed how valuable April can be to the team. In addition, this episode featured two of the greatest voice actors ever: Frank Welker and Jeffery Combs.

Episode 8 – Never Say Xever

A Leonardo episode. Episodes that deal with the struggles of individual turtles were always some of my favorites.

Episode 9 – The Gauntlet

The turtles finally face Shedder and realize they are out of their league. Clancy Brown’s Chris Bradley character goes through a lot in a few episodes but his transformation into Dogpound seems tragic even for someone like him.

Episode 10 – Panic in the Sewers

A rare moment where Splinter doesn’t have it together. His fear of Shedder guides his actions as the Turtles take on Dogpound for the first time. As henchmen go, Shedder’s mutants this time around seem much more menacing then Beebop or Rocksteady ever did.

The tone of this show, level of voice talents, and overall look has me thinking that this show is going to be able to hold its own with the other incarnations of this property. So far, it’s been a shell of a time! I would encourage anyone who wants to keep up with this show and to be able to see upcoming character art and more to click here and sign up! Check out this concept art for the new Wingnut and Screwloose!

teenage mutant ninja turtles nickelodeon


Short Box co-founder, Nick, is married to Sarah and their 1st child is on the way,
Nick uses terms like Comic Book Historian and Geekologist to describe himself but...those aren't real things...right?
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3 Responses.

  1. Joe F. says:

    Hey, great article and sweet sketch of Wingnut and Screwloose! Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Danny says:

    Great Overview so far. This Series is quickly becoming my favourite incarnation of TMNT! Well done Nickelodeon, Well done.

  3. Dotty says:

    This domain seems to recieve a large ammount of visitors. How do you get traffic to it? It offers a nice unique spin on things. I guess having something useful or susbianttal to give info on is the most important thing.

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