We have had a set of Turtles for almost every generation of children since the original series, every time they produce yet another series they try to breathe a breath of artistic fresh air into the characters. The story whist keeping the original plot the same which is the age old rivalry of Shredder vs. Master Splinter and his pupils The Turtles, none of the series have since the inception really captured the original success. The success of a show directed at children is measured by the demand for the toy line that is why we see more of Ben 10 and less DC/Marvel animated series or short lived ones. It’s directly linked to toy sales, based on that and the expansion of the toy range I see in shopping malls, I would say this show is already a success and after watching it I can see why. I have never liked any of the remakes of these characters and let’s face it, the shows have surpassed the comic book decades ago just like what will happen with The Walking Dead. The series takes on a life of its own were anything goes as long as it sells merchandise. This review comes into this whole Toyselling machine from Season 2, volume 1, computer animated television series titled TMNT Mutagen Mayhem. As the title says it is Mutagen mayhem as the series is about the Turtles trying to collect the 63 canisters of Mutagen all over New York City, as they scour the city to collect these, new villains emerge from the dark alleys of the city, let me guess, 63 new villains specifically so that there can be 63 new toys to sell. So if you are not familiar with the series or never watched season 1, let me give you a brief understanding of the new series. Congratulations to Nickelodeon Animation Studios for this new series, they actually did read the title of what they were doing. It reads TEENAGE mutant ninja turtles with emphasis on TEENAGE. This series has the Turtles portrayed as teenagers even characters like April O’Neil and Casey Jones are just teenagers. I know mind blown right? Even the way they are drawn and depicted is not as big muscular adult turtles, but lanky awkward teenagers, that’s why the turtles are pupils and not ninjas of Master Splinter. Gosh, I am so glad this has come along to erase the epic failure of previous TMNT shows. They somehow always portray the characters as adults even the original series the Turtles seemed like four immature surfers in their 20’s than teenagers.
The Intro song: I would say, this is also a big feature to any children’s TV show, it needs to be catchy e.g. like Ben 10 and this song is bearable without it getting irritating.
The Foot soldiers: The Foot soldiers have always been these machines clothed in ninja apparel, so that when the Turtles destroy them, children won’t have to be exposed to a Turtle killing a living being…so its ok to destroy machines (what about killing transformers)? But the artists updated Shredder’s army with a look of an army of Terminators or Cyborgs.
The Shredder: Sure he’s the main villain here with an age old feud with Master Splinter, but he takes a back seat in Season 2 and introduces his daughter (Karai) who guess what? Also has an issue with Master Splinter because she thinks he killed her mother. Not much has changed in the look of the Shredder but at least in this one he’s more agile and does some fighting.
The Turtles: I love these new brothers, they got the voice acting spot on, especially the voice of Mikey, if you don’t know the voice its basically voiced by Greg Cipes, who voices Beast boy from Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go!, Sly in Generator Rex and Iron Fist in Ultimate Spider-Man. Greg Cipes is one of those voice actors that you immediately associate with those comedic animated characters, his voice has so much personality and he can have make any animated character come to life. His best role was as Beast Boy, his voice couldn’t have been more perfect than if Beast Boy sprang out of the pages of the comic book and my imagination. He has brought every character he has voiced over the decade to life. This show and the voice actor really brings out the comedic personality of Michelangelo and this plays well with the Chibi style of some of the scenes and animation. I am tired of this trend to push Raphael as a loner Bad-Ass Wolverine type character who wants to lead but not really. In this one they are an actual team who struggle to follow their leader Leonardo. That’s why it’s interesting, their teenagers who are learning and growing into a team of Ultimate Ninja’s. Donatelo (The Famous Rob Paulsen: Best known as the voice behind Raphael from the 1987 cartoon) and Michelangelo seem to stand out as voice actors in this show, and the other 2 don’t really have any defining characteristics except for a different colour eye band. Leonardo is voiced by Jason Biggs but you can’t tell. I enjoyed watching these new turtles, they are fun which is essentially what I enjoyed about the original TV show. There is humour that you will love, even as an adult watching. There is an episode which in my opinion is the coolest and funniest called “Invasion of the Squirrelanoids” anyone who watched Aliens will immediately get the reference, it’s like Aliens but in the Sewers of New York and it’s so over the top its funny. For Mikey fans it’s were his personality shines above all else, every team needs a character like Mikey. The Mutated Villains: I feel like the creators are borrowing too much from Ben 10 type of aliens, they feel more like aliens than humans or living creatures that were transformed by Mutagen into mutants. Forget the bad turtles TV show remakes you have watched before, as a fan you will appreciate that this is not a remake but a prequel to the Turtles we know and love. You can’t have the word Young in Young Justice and depict the heroes as middle age, so like I said before I am amazed about the fact that the characters are “TEENAGE” and before Director Michael Bay destroys your childhood love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in his upcoming movie start watching this series (I don’t know why we keep thinking the next Micheal Bay movie wont suck, I blame trailers). The Kids can’t be wrong in terms of their love for the new TMNT and I for one uphold their choice that these Turtles are great. You will never capture the childhood love for the original series, but boy does this show come close.