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Deliberatepixel / In Which the Author Discusses Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In Which the Author Discusses Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


This is what happens when I let the blog go on auto-pilot as it's been for the past few months - I miss reporting important news such as the announcement of a forthcoming new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. My sincerest apologies.

Do Eastman and Laird deserve major props for stretching this completely bizarre comic book concept into an even more bizarrely successful and renewable franchise or what? Who ever would have thought this would work? Can you imagine how the first conversations with studio/television/toy reps went?

  • Eastman & Laird: So here's our idea - comic book heroes that are teenage, mutant, ninja turtles.
  • Confused Corporates: Um, what?
  • Eastman & Laird: That's pretty much it. They're teenaged. They're mutant turtles. They're ninja. They fight crime! And self-styled expat Japanese warlords.
  • Confused Corporates: ...
  • Eastman & Laird: And they're all named after Renaissance painters. By their mentor, a giant rat. Who raised them in the sewers. Oh, and they eat pizza.
  • Confused Corporates: We're just not sure if there's an audience out there for this ...
  • Eastman & Laird: No, there totally is! Trust on this one.
  • Confused Corporates: Well, maybe we could think about it ...
  • Eastman & Laird: Check out these toy prototypes! The bright colors! Evil mouse-like robots! Look, here's a pizza shooter - what kid wouldn't want a truck that flings small plastic discs with enough speed to knock out small house pets?
  • Confused Corporates: That's pretty sweet. Okay, let's go with it.*

For the record, yes, my younger brother had a pizza shooter. It was awesome. Also for the record, the ability to knock out small house pets is just theoretical, although I do remember text on the discs warning against pointing the thing at animals or people. So I assume it was actually done in the testing phase. Which was also, presumably, awesome.

Anyway, that was like forever ago, but, zombie-like*, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles keep coming back. I'm a bit divided in my opinion on the prospect of a new live-action film, because, of course, my memories of the original live-action film are so precious. At least, they were until I actually watched that film again recently, after a roughly fifteen-year gap. Some thoughts I had, in no particular order:

  • Wow, this is a bad movie. A really bad movie. Somehow I missed that the thirty-three times I watched it as a kid.
  • I wonder if the "actor" who played Danny went on to do anything else. Let's check! You may think that his largely empty IMDB page is a resounding no, but that's because you didn't click to read his biography. Turns out he didn't act anymore because he's making comics at Marvel. Hey, that's pretty cool. Probably a good move.
  • April. Honey. First off, comb your hair. Secondly, find some adult, human friends. Lastly - but most importantly - don't sleep with the greasy, sweatpants-clad wannabe vigilante/possibly homeless guy. If you had even one reasonably sane female and/or gay male friend around, she/he would tell you to avoid Casey Jones like the plague, and pester you about it until you did so. It would be for your own good. But you don't have someone like that around, because you're too busy hanging out with mutants. You're supposed to be the best television news reporter in the city! Sack up already. (Oh, and please don't interpret that as putting on a bright yellow jumpsuit. That's not what I mean at all.)
  • Speaking of Casey Jones - it's quite unfair, because Elias Koteas is quite a fine actor, but this movie was such a huge impression on my youth that I keep connecting him to this role. In some ways, that's funny. Like the time Casey Jones shot Dr. House.
  • I like the geekier Donatello from the cartoons better than this one. He's rather bland in the film. And I am heartily ashamed I know enough to make that comparison.
  • At least this one doesn't have Vanilla Ice.

I could sum up by stating another turtle-based venture is probably unnecessary, but it was all pretty unnecessary from the beginning. It's well known the type of people who fondly remember TMNT will go to see it regardless, so I can only assume that the creators, in their demonstrated wisdom against all apparent practicality, will push ahead. I guess this assumed audience includes people who write lengthy blog posts on the same topic. So, if you, while sitting in the theater, get hit in the back of the head with a small plastic pizza, I would like to state now that it wasn't me.

* Dramatic reenactment, based on no facts whatsoever. My guess, however, is that it was probably even weirder than this.

* Were the Turtles ever zombies? Because that would be fantastic.



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