Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012
A three season retrospective.
I think the 2k3 series is always going to be the one that appeals to me most. That said, it followed the comic's lead in throwing in a lot of different fantasy and sci-fi elements, perhaps to its detriment. An advantage of the 2012 series is that it's a lot more focused, with few fantasy parts and almost all of the science fiction elements relating directly to the Kraang. This gives the story a more consistent tone, as well as allowing for a lot more focus on characterization, resulting a series that feels a little more personal than its predecessor. Unfortunately, this show has a bad habit of forgetting its own plot lines. The Kraang invasion is largely ignored for the first several episodes of season 3. I don't mind a little detour, but the invasion should have always been at the front of the characters minds, with updates on the situation each episode. The Turtles should have spent that portion of the season preparing for their return, instead of it all happening in one episode. Mutagen Man has vanished from the show, despite Donatello's guilt at his mutation. These are the most blatant examples, but they aren't the only time the show has introduced a new plot development only to nudge it to the side. The show's connection to merchandising hurts it too. Many characters are introduced just for the sake of it, and then swiftly forgotten about. It's fun to see updated and more serious versions of the mutants from the 80s show, but too little is done with too many of them. Even the main cast has characterization problems, mainly Casey Jones being more shallow and less likeable than his previous incarnation, and perhaps featuring the worst version of Michaelangelo that has ever been written. When the show's good, it's really good. But unfortunately, it suffers from several persistent problems that the writers seem incapable of overcoming.
My favorite of the two incarnations I've seen
I grew up with the 2003 Turtles. They were cool, they kicked butt and had a cool, dark atmosphere. The show delved into some dark themes and went to some crazy places, including the future. For a long time, they were MY Turtles. As such, when this new incarnation was announced, I didn't expect much. How could it be better? Turns out it is, for a few key reasons. The Turtles have more diverging personalities in this incarnation, rather than being a pre-packaged unit as in times of old. Yes, each of them had one defining trait that set them apart, but other than that, they all liked the same things, talked the same way and so on. Not so here. For example, here Leo is not only the most responsible one, but is also a huge fanboy of what amounts to this universe's version of Star Trek, to the point of quoting some lines and coming off as a huge dork at times. Each of them have these little quirks and each of them will make fun of or be annoyed with the other's quirks. They also are multi-faceted characters. Mikey seems like the typical goofball he's always been at first but it's revealed subtly that all he really wants to be noticed and have friends, which is difficult when you're a mutant freak. This not only makes them feel like different people…er, turtles, but also like real brothers (as a side note, these are easily the most teenage of the versions we've seen). Also, the show has a great sense of humor, which leads to the show being much more fun to watch. It's one of the only cartoons left where I find myself laughing fully at it. The fights are smart, have great choreography and have a real sense of strategy. Even better, the show does a great job of making you feel that the Turtles are LEARNING as time goes on. The continuity is great as well and events actually matter rather than being one and done. And the theme is awesome! Yes, the show can be silly a lot of the time, but it has its dark moments as well, and for me, the silliness just adds to the fun. I'm watching a show about four overgrown turtles using ninja weapons and fighting mutants and ninjas. A little silliness is warranted. Overall, not only am I more invested in the Turtles here, but I'm having a much better time watching them. If you've been on the fence about this show, I recommend you give it a shot. It's a fun show if you're willing to not be a stickler about it.
TMNT season 1&2
Season 2 ended, so time to say what I think. First season was great. Turtles them self are best incarnation I seen so far (I know two previous cartoons, movies trilogy and Archie comic), however my favorite characters are Splinter and Karai. Splinter's the best Old Master I ever seen and Karai was so unpredictable and funny, much more interesting then her bland counterpart from second cartoon. Plot focused on what Turtles are know for: fighting Shredder and his ninja, aliens from Dimension X and whole bunch of mutant. Stuff we know and love. Even CG (that I'm not a fan of)looks good. Turtles look different from each other and fight look very impressive. And then second season came. My good, what happened? First off all Turtles turned into morons, screwing up time after time. Mike became pretty much too dump to live, Raph stopped being snarky bastard, now he just gets angry all the time. And Donny had a cute crush on April in season 1, but in this he's just a creepy, obsessed stalker. Only Leo and Splinter stayed more less the same. Unfortunately I can't say same thing about Karai, who from fun and crazy became all serious and angsty. Casey Jones debuts, but honestly I'm not impressed. His kinda annoying. Plots are also weaker then previously. Some of then are just ok, other are stupid or boring as hell, while other can be really bizarre (in a bad way) like turtles getting stuck in LARP game or having hallucinations through mushrooms. Fight are still good, but that can't save the show. Season 2 suck and I pray that third will be an improvement.
Finally found a way to explain it.
1987 Turtles was the kid. It was silly and uninhibited in it's silliness. It was goofy in ways that were both fun but in retrospect maybe a little embarrassing. 2k3 was the very serious teenager. You remember when you were a teen and you didn't want to be associated with any kid's stuff and everything was so dramatic? In retrospect, this phase of your life will inevitably be a little silly and embarrassing to your adult self. Thats what this show was like. 2012 is the grown up who has readmitted some of the stuff from it's childhood but approaches it with a more mature sensibility. 2012 understands that seriousness does not always equate to maturity or quality. Its the best of the three. In the interest of accommodating some of the comments that were made, the example that stands out to me is I Monster. See, Splinter in this version (as in the 87 version) was a human with a family before becoming Splinter note . And it struck me just how much it must suck for him to have lost all that even if he had four cool sons now. Well, I Monster addresses it. That episode is all about dealing with Splinter's loss and how that wound has left him vulnerable to the fear of losing more. He's isolated in the sewers and in this episode he first faces the possibility of the turtles leaving him some day, then the possibility of them turning on each other and him losing his very mind. It brought a tear to my eye when Splinter said to the Rat King "I'm nothing like you." in a wavering voice that betrayed the fear that he might be exactly like him. And while things seem wrapped up at the end of the episode, the issue of Splinter's loss is not dropped. The fear of loss, a fear of the future is always present. The Turtles and Splinter can only get through today with the simple acknowledgement that they need each other right now. Most of this isn't spelled out. Its there for the adults in the audience who know this fear. That's how you write a kid's show for adults.
Great, Good ~ Borderline Meh
Background: They fight the Kraang, the Foot & some monsters in this one. Pros: 1)Expansion of turtlepedia: more focus on mutagen/more obscure mutants, certain characters reimagined or interlocked with previous incarnations, new humans 2)Acceptable intro to newbies 3)Some fuel for thought moments 4)turtles = unmistakably easy to distinguish 5)Splinter at his best/worst points in the show 6)morals! because kids learn from cartoons =S Not worthy of complaint: We've come to a technological standpoint when 3D animation can improve between seasons, but the CGI isn't the most notable aspect about this show when compared to the best & the worst as much as it might stick out to people who prefer 2D. Subjective/Personal Cons: 1)"Certain characters [only] interlocked with previous incarnations" ~ way to keep the nostalgic viewers at bay 2)Teen Titansque cartoon, as if that hasn't been done before nor being done enough currently -_- ; it's an improvement on neither style nor trend. 3)writing: has the potential for dumbing things down? did that already happen? (characters, dialogue & story went into consideration) 4)humor: often awkward and excessive, generally not my cup of tea 5)the safe, balanced approach to TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES => love it or leave it because you want to see something passionately executed or something genuinely different. This show => same old schtick with a slightly different, amalgamated flare held back by a fervent need to subtly & simultaneously please everyone? (children, first & foremost). <pandering maybe> ~Perfectly fine from a marketing point of view, yet whenever that's really noticeable in tv shows you have to let the writing and/or visuals convince you of something worth viewing, especially if there's some love for the property. 6)little to no innuendos unlike some other contemporary cartoons I like this show, but it doesn't hold my interest as much as I would like it to. Had to marathon the whole season. Hopefully later seasons show a boost in quality, story & character-wise.
My favorite incarnation
I don't necessarely think this is the best incarnation(at least not yet),but is the one I like more!Why?Because this is the first time I feel like I'm watching teenagers:they actually seems like young people that are becoming adults,Also,I love the fact that they go to the trouble to give all of them a unique look. This series also has the best version of Leonardo ever,and marks the first time he surpasses Donatello as my favorite turtle: he is adorable in his passion for "Space Heroes" and I like that,as much as he respects Splinter and wants to make him proud,he is not above not listening to his order just like a boy would. And finally,there is the Shredder I had always wanted to see:he is not the amusing buffon of the first series or the alien of the second(seriously,who's idea was that?):he is a powerful,menacing and credible villain that the turtle still can't hope to beat.I'm very happy to know it has already three season planned,because he has so much potential.
Before I get to the review, I think it's necessary to explain my backstory with the Turtles. When I was a kid, I discovered the 2k3 show and loved it. I didn't follow the show much, but I was really into it nevertheless. I started getting back into it when the TMNT movie came out, even if it wasn't that great. Eventually I started watching the show again, I realized it was even better than I thought as a kid. I say this to explain that yes, I am biased, and this is coming from the point of view of a guy who wants his Turtles dark, and dealing with heavier stuff. So I'm just gonna say it, I think the new show has some problems (especially casting Jason Biggs), but overall it looks good and I think it has potential. Just to get the problems out of the way, the voice acting is 50-50. Raph, Leo, Splinter, Shredder, and April sounded fine, but Don and Mikey did not. I love Rob Paulson's work, but every time I hear Don, I think of Peck from Backatthe Barnyard. It just doesn't work. Neither does Mikey's voice actor. Speaking of Mikey, that brings up another problem: everyone seems to hate him. Even when he's proven right about the robots, the others don't apologize for not believing him, they just insult him some more. I'm sorry, but I thought they were supposed to be a family. They certainly don't treat Mikey that way. Even Splinter got in on it. Sure, he could be annoying, lots of Nick shows have annoying comic relief characters, but at least he still helped out. That also brings me to the humor. It's also 50-50, but that's par for the course. Anyways, the developing story arc with the Krangs looks really interesting, and I really want to see how that ties in with the Turtle's origin. The Shredder sounds awesome, thanks to Kevin Michael Richardson, and the villains, aside from Stinkweed, seem interesting. Raph, Leo, and Don seem like solid characters that will be interesting to watch develop. April doesn't have much to do here, but she probably will later, and Mae Whitman makes her scenes count. The animation is pretty good, and the backgrounds have a lot of detail put into them. The fight scenes are pretty good as well, with each Turtle having their own unique fighting style, a necessity brought on by their weapons, but a nice touch none the less. Overall, the show's potential makes up for its flaws.
I have some problems with it, but overall, a decent show.
I'll admit that after how awesome the 2003 series was, it will be hard for the current show to live up to it, or for me to take it on it's own merits instead of comparing the two. But despite some of it's faults, I think it's an entertaining show. One thing I dislike is their portrayal of Mikey. I think that he's become way too stupid to be endearing, and while Greg Cipes fits the portrayal, he still sounds younger than I'd prefer Mikey to sound. The way the others treat him is a problem too. Getting frustrated at his antics is understandable, but arguing over who has to team up with him is just mean-spirited. I've noticed that there seems to be a lot more bickering between the brothers than in other series. While that's just how a lot of siblings are, it sometimes feels like the turtles aren't as close as they should be. Splinter is perfect though. He's everything Splinter should be. Though he hasn't done a whole lot yet, I think this show might have the creepiest portrayal of Shredder ever. I was a little disappointed at hearing that Kevin Richardson would be voicing him (not that he's not great, it's just I would've preferred someone a little more obscure), but it works because his voice allows him to be soft-spoken without losing any of his menace. One thing the '03 show has ruined for me is that I find it hard to shallow him constantly letting his lieutenants go unpunished for their failures. He doesn't have to multilate them, but they usually only get a stern talking to when they screw up. Speaking of the bad guys, I feel the mutants in this show aren't as cool as the ones from previous series, although I'm not sure if that's because of their designs, or the art style in general. Xever is notable for being cooler BEFORE he got oozed. The fight scenes are usually entertaining, and while I don't usually like the show's style of visual humor, there's still a lot of great jokes (I personally think the sociopathic Captain Ryan is one of the best bits on the show). While the show may still be finding it's footing, and perhaps it'll iron out it's flaws as it builds it's mythology, I'd say it's worth a look for any turtle fan.
Karai's Vendetta: April's big Change
Spoilers! April O'Neil, everygirl student, and the first teenage april in the multiverse wasn't exactly getting a lot of focus. Rather, it was the turtles who would get episode focus. However, April took a HUGE step forward in her Character Development this episode, showing the off screen training she's been getting, while at the same time putting some realism, and 2 VERY important plot twists on the field. Shredder, in interrogating a Kraang, learns of the importance of April, and so wants her kidnapped to draw out the turtles. Meanwhile, the turtles seek to shut down the downed kraang ship which was converted into an undersea lab, guarded by a loc ness monster. This is the funny part of the episode, with the turtles causing an explosion, Donnie's phone going off after talking about being sneaky, MIKEY being the one to defeat the monster, and of course, some silly comedy with the debut of the turtle sub: a submarine that must be started by peddling bikes, which in turn moves the metal flippers until the engines are charged enough. (I won't dare spoil the last gag it has) It's fun, but the real meat of the episode is around April. She goes to old character Myagi's resteraunt, with a request for good old Pizza Gyoza. However, Karai follows her there, and I love the way most of these early scenes are in silence, letting the tension between what is and isn't being said build between the two. I also found it interesting she referred to the turtles as her "brothers" on impulse rather than her friends. However, the truth is quickly revealed when we see what Karai got to eat: Turtle Soup (Which might also double as a Mythology Gag as 1st cartoon shredder was always talking about dining on turtle soup). They give chase, and April even tries out Miwa's special fan. However, it's made VERY clear that Karai is simply the better fighter, and gives April quite the beatdown, until April's able to use splinter's lesson on "unbalancing the enemy" to get room to escape. However, this then leads to our big change in the status quo: April's moving in with the turtles in order to stay safe away from both Foot and Kraang alike. It's a pretty emotional moment about April not wanting to be forced away from everything. Also, she's not affected by Kraang acid. This is bound to be an episode we'll be coming back to for quite a while this season.
Rise Of The Turtles -or- For The Love Of God Michaelangelo Shut The Hell Up
So the new Turtles series has debuted, and optimists are few in the sea of rabid fans denouncing change. But this reviewer is no elitist, and he's going to share his experience on the episode alone. As it should, the pilot serves as intro to the ninja turtles, and meet mainstay characters like April O Niel and Master Splinter, the android-piloting Krangs and The Shredder. The plot involves our heroes, fresh from training, preparing for their up-and-coming adventures whilst showing snippets of backstory, one of which stumbles into the present courtesy of the infamous can of mutagen. Whilst these elements are essential to turtles lore, the show unfortunately decides to borrow from other cliches. IE April (now a teenager) witnesses her father being kidnapped by a mysterious organization, and the turtles vow to save him. This a common writing tool that gives her cause but eliminates the need to write for an authority figure. Slapstick and manga sight-gags are heavily presented, and needless to say are of the YMMV variety. So lets talk about our heroes. There's budding leader Leonardo, geek Donatello, hot-head Raphael, and Michaelangelo. Dear FREAKIN GOD, Michaelangelo. This annoying incarnation goes beyond having an irritating voice. There is hardly a moment where this ungodly combo of Flanderization Turned Up To Eleven WON'T crack some unfunny joke or slapstick gag that goes on for too long and ends up with his brothers groaning at the stupidity they just endured. Every single joke halts the episode so that the viewer can take in every wacky second, utterly demolishing the episode's pacing and flow. Small comfort comes in the form of Rob Paulsen, voice of classic Raphael. His deadpan snarkiness is present, recalling old memories from this classic turtles fan, and though there is a massive disconnect hearing it come from DONATELLO, he does do a fine job. Leonardo and Raphael have your standard no-nonsense leader/tough guy voices respectively, and don't stand out too much from the rest of the cast (though that may be a good thing). The show can go anywhere from here; it might even become one of the best TMNT shows in existence, but cliched writing, over-reliance on stupid humor and horrendous pacing has turned me off from caring in a way few Tv shows have ever done.
It Came from the Depths
This episode was awesome. Mikey's thoughts about Leatherhead was really interesting to watch, and the jokes always made me laugh. From everybody being surprized about Splinter saying Mikey made a wise choice, to Don's constant bad luck. This is also the first episode where I didn't hate or even dislike Mikey. His perspective of giving Leatherhead a chance was a great way to move the plot, and Leatherhead was a really interesting character, being abused by the Kraang to the point where he goes into a rage at the mention of their name. The plot isn't to complicated, but not that basic either. Raphael, Leo, and Don are trying to find a power source that the mutant alligator Leatherhead was keeping from the Krang, while Mikey communicates with said mutant. When the older three come back, and Mikey tells them he released Leatherhead from his chains, their reactions are hilarious. After two or three freakouts from Leatherhead, he tells them his story. He was owned by a kid as a baby, but his parents forced the child to throw Leatherhead away, was caught by the Kraang, mutated, and experiemented on. Wow. Wolverine has competition for the worst past a fictional character could have. I don't know that much about Leatherhead in the other adaptions, so if his past was as sucky their as it was here, I'm really missing out on the turtles. He explains that he stole the Kraangs power source for their portal, and would defend it with his life. Before that scene happens though, Leatherhead flies into a rage when seeing the power source. Splinter saves the turtles, and forces Leatherhead to leave. Mikey follows him, so his older brothers try to save him. The Kraang come, Leatherhead says he trusts Mikey, gives Mikey the power source to protect, and he holds off the alien robots while the turtles escape. When I saw Leatherhead beating down all the krang droids I decided he was my favorite character in this new adaption. He just looked so Bad Ass. Especially in the end with the last two Krang droids. This is my favorite episode so far. The humor was great, Leatherhead in a very interesting character, the fight scenes were pretty good, and the plot was well written with relation to the characters, and just plain awesome moments. Characters:A Plot:B Writing:B+ Delivery:A+ Overall:A
I kind of liked this episode. The jokes were good, and the fight scenes were awesome. There's some stuff that bugs me though. Mainly, the characters. As of now I think Mikey is becoming more annoying than Amy Rose. And that's no easy feat. And I know it's intentional, but now I'm not even finding it enjoyable. Leo is incredibly bland in this episode, showing no signs of being a good leader nor any conflict. Raph and Donny mostly stay the same for my opinions though. And as for April, they don't focus on her well enough. This was about her finding out about her dad, but she does nothing to affect the plot. Also, what the hell happend to the training Splinter said she was going to take. Nothing was touched on it in either this episode or the previous one. And of course the Splinter lesson. It's pretty much not to get cocky. This thing has been done to death. Honestly, I don't even care about the Splinter morals anymore. It's pretty much predictable, and not touched on well. But the entrance of Shredder was interesting along with Splinter's final words of the episode having great tension. This is also the episode where Chris and Xever turn into a dog and a fish. I can deal with Chris but WHY did they decide to make Xever a fish of all things? And seeing them mutated makes me feel that the writer are Jumping The Shark. I haven't seen Panic in the sewers yet, so maybe it'll change my mind. Still their last contact was with the turtles, not the dog and fish. Chris was headbutted and kicked in the face, Xever punched a turtle in the face, and picked one up. They should have also turned into turtles. Do the writers even read their own scripts? I feel like this episode was rushed. Shredder meeting the turtles was awesome, but that's at the last 5 minutes. The rest was only average. Still, the episode was decent. It had good tension, nice jokes and action, and I find April's father a generally likeable character. However, I feel like the writers wanted to get to Shredder so badly that the rest of the episode was completley rushed, something that REALLY brings it down to me. Like Monkey Brains, there isn't anything special about this episode, besides Shredders introduction, but not anything glaringly bad about it either. Character: C- Plot: B Writing: B- Delivery: C+ Overall: B-
From what I saw in the description, with Mike and Don trying to prove their just as good as Raph and Leo, who are repeatedly rubbing in that they're better than them, I got interested. I always noticed how they're always being overshadowed by the two in previous adaptions, especially in the 2007 movie.(pretty good movie by the way, you should see it) But I was worried it would become a cliche of Raph and Leo getting in peril and Don and Mike saving them. Surprizingly that wasn't the case. They split up into two teams, Mike and Don try to retrieve April's stolen phone from the Purple dragons, and Leo and Raph pursuing mousers that appeared seemingly out of no where, which was really made by Baxter Stockman. The jokes are really good in this episode, with Leo and Raph constantly running away from the mousers, Mikey and Don doing almost nothing but thinking of what to do to get Aprils phone which is guarded by Dogpound, until the very end, and the scenes with Baxter stockman usually made me laugh. The plot's pretty basic, and feels like filler to me until the very end when Shredder said he could make use of Stockman. But all of the characters were entertaining someway, and the dialouge and scenes are done very well. I also like how they didn't go with the cliche of Mike and Don saving Leo and Raph's sorry butts, and the battle is actually done like a team in this episode, unlike Metal Head, Turtle Temper, and Monkey Brains. My main complaint with this episode is that the battle with Dogpound/Chris Bradford was pretty boring to me, and I found the way they beat him a bit of an Ass Pull. But what I like about this episode is that it sends a message stating that the turtles work best as a group, not when divided. Both teams of Leo and Raph, and Don and Mikey got in peril, but when they got together, they kicked some major ass. I enjoyed this episode, and it rivals New Friend Old Enemy, and Never Say Xever for my favorite episode of the series so far. Plot: C Writing:B Delivery:A- Charcters:A- Overall:B+
Now the concept of a simian friend bugs me. We have seen dozens of those in movies and shows such as Dunston Checks In and Speed Racer. So we have yet another cliche, though not as bad as the one in Metal head. The episode starts with Splinter teaching Donny a lesson about taking action, not thinking or something like that. Honestly, I don't really care about Splinter's lessons in the show anymore. Next we see him making a flow chart about possible responses to a response from April about hanging out. This actually provides some funny jokes, like when Leo doubted the scientist disappearence, and Don mannaging to get alone time with April would be on the chart, but it was, to their shock, and in the end of the episode when she replies she has to do training from splinter on becoming a kunoichi, which was also on the chart. Wow. Anyway Don and April talk to a doctor who gives them information, and they run into a mutant chimpanzee. Everything's Better with Monkeys after all. Anyway, Donatello get's totally owned because it could read his mind, and it leaves after seeing April. The monkey's actually a missing scientist. He was mutated, so why can't he talk? Other mutated humans could. After Don gets harassed by his brothers for being beaten down by the monkey right after being concerned, they go after it and capture it, giving it back to the doctor. Donatello finds out the human doctor they talked to didn't have a monkey and finds out that he's lying. So the turtles go to him, right when he achieves the ability to read minds from the monkey. The turtles fight, get owned again, and Donny decides to act and not think, where he beats down the doctor. Which I call bullshit on. So many of the moves he used on the psychic doctoor were pretty clearly thought up. Jumping on a wall and rocketing towards the opponent has to have some thought in it. And yeah, the other three are useless again. This episode was ok. The plot was kind of lame but not totally predictable like the other episodes, and the jokes were pretty good. But only Don and April had a point and the other three were useless. A big point of the turtles is that they succed through teamwork, not one turtle saves the day all on his own kind of thing. It's not bad but it isn't that good either. Characters: C Plot: C- Writing: B+ Delivery: C+ Overall: C+
I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman
Plot: the turtles are grounded for six weeks for getting in trouble with Splinter. Raphael decides that they should go outside anyway, and after some hesitation from Leo, they all go anyway. They encounter a guy in a funny looking tech outfit trying to sneak into a building and intervene. After stopping him, they leave behind the Tpod, an MP 3 player Donatello made out mysterious technology he found in the junkyard. Baxter's robosuit fuses with the player and he gains a much bigger, advanced suit. He starts causing serious trouble and when the turtles try to stop him again, they lose. When Splinter catches them coming back from the battle, they confess everything. Splinter is disappointed, but he gives them advice on how to defeat Stockman. The turtles beat him and put him away, and they come back safe and sound. I feel like this episode is going to be very polarizing. This episode introduces us to Baxter Stockman. This character is portrayed a miserable laughingstock who seeks retaliation for all the bullying he's received. So, kind of like the 2003 Baxter only less maniacal.(I'll try to keep the comparisons to other TMNT to a minimum). He's played by Phil Lamarr and the voice he uses is unexpected(Or at least not like any voice I've ever heard him use). But he's not the only thing of interest today. Here Splinter is shown to be a more tough, strict authority figure. I love how every episode has a good moment with him. Now the main plot is kind of cliche, but the episode was still pretty enjoyable. It still has good lines, great action scenes, and some interesting moments. Another thing that will make this episode split the base is that there are a lot more anime gags. I personally don't mind and while they're not constantly doing that, there is more of it here than in other episodes. And now the review's done.
You know, when I found out about this episode, I was interested. The idea of Donatello feeling that he can't keep up often crossed my mind, and the whole useless weapon reminded me of an episode in Yin Yang Yo, where Yang hated his bamboo sword, but learns to have faith in it when the villans of the episode appear. I thought 'this episode seems to have potential.' Then I watched it. It blew. First, there was something that worried me when I saw the released info on the upcoming episode. Don would use a robot to do the battling for him. I was praying that it wouldn't become predictable. I hoped that it wouldn't simply be 'robot goes berserk, Don comes to save the day making the other turtles look uselss' type of thing. But I was right. That is exactly what happened. Don's robot, metal head, get's controlled by the Krang, Don saves the day, and Leo Mikey, and Raph just battle off the Krang droids which isn't even shown. And Don defeats Metal head by tricking it into blasting a pillar, and it falls on it. Any turtle could have done that. Couldn't the writers just have Don identify Metalheads weakpoint, which the others wouldn't be able to do? Second, the execution. Don's reasoning for building the robot seemed so stupid. As I said before, it could have been interesting if he decided to build it since he felt like he couldn't catch up to his brothers. But the way he acts it seems like his reasoning is 'Being a ninja's hard. I'm going to make something to do everything for me, while my brothers risk their lives saving the city from aliens.' The jokes are bland, and the other three do NOTHING for the plot. In Mikey's episode at least Raphael and Leonardo get some Character Development. And in Turtle Temper (the episode I despise to no end) and the Baxter Stockman episode at least Leonardo works on being a leader. But they do nothing here. I do like this episode a bit more than Turtle Temper since the characters don't seem like idiots. But overall, this episode sucks. Characters: C Story: D- Writing: C- Delivery: D+ Overall: D This episode was a huge dissapointment, and I hope the next episode in the series will make up for it. If not, I'm probably giving up on the new adaption all together.
New Friend Old Enemy
I already gone over Turtle Temper, but what about this episode? Mikey tries to make human friends off the internet, and friends somebody called 'Chris Bradford'. He constantly talks about him, annoying his brothers in the process. And of course, he annoys Chris Bradford. But since he works for the Shredder, Chris tries to get info off Mikey. At first it feels like a bit of a Spongebob-Plankton thing, with Plankton trying to get info off Spongebob, but Spongebob obliviously thwarts every attempt. There's also the lesson Splinter teaches Leo, which feels a bit shoehorned in. He pretty much tells him it's not about fairness, it's about victory. This IS a good lesson, but should it really be Splinter to say that? He often talks about honor in other versions, so when I saw this episode it felt weird. Anyway, when Chris, and another guy named Xever kidnap Mikey, they plan on using it as bait. Splinter, Leo, Raph, and Don find out Chris works for Shredder, and go out to save him. Chris, Xever, and several foot ninjas tail them to the sewers. And my favorite part of the episode comes here. The turtles take down each foot ninja Bat Man style. One at a time, and stealthy. And finaly, the confrontation. I enjoy the scene with turtles fighting off Xever, and Chris. It's the first time both sides seemed Bad Ass, as opposed to one side getting completley owned, or the other having an absolutley dreadful villain. (I still hate the Spider Bites episode, and I doubt that will ever change) The action music fits the tone as well, making the fight feel exciting. Though the way they took Those Two Bad Guys down wasn't very satisfying. This was a good episode. The humor was actually pretty decent, the wild takes didn't show up as much, and it actually gives some good Character Development for both Leonardo as a leader, and Raphael being a Jerk With A Heart Of Gold, even though they weren't the centric characters. And this episode actually makes the flanderized Mikey entertaining, rather than just retarded. But there's nothing to special about it, and the plot was very predictable. But I feel like this episode is giving the series hope, and mannages to get me interested again in this new adaption. Characters: B Story: C Writing: A- Delivery: A Overall: B+
This episode... this episode pretty much shattered any of my interests of this new adaption. How they focus on Raphael's temper is incredibly lazy. Let's compare. In the 2003 series, they lecture Raphael on his temper after nearly BREAKING MIKEY'S FACE. Here, they focus on it because he signals some Krang robots. Yeah, didn't Mikey do the same thing last episode? And the villain of this episode is horrendously idiotic. I wouldn't be insulting four mutants who are skilled in martial arts, two of them who could either stab me to death, or slice my head of if I was put in that position. And when he was kidnapped by the Krang, he idiotically thought he could sell the video to them. Oh, and when he first talks to three of the robots, this is what he says. 'Are you guys triplets?' when one of them clearly was showing it's mechanical face. How could anybody be so stupid to think they're human? MIKEY realized they were robots when one of them showed their mechanical face. Oh yeah, and when the turtles confront the guy, they try to reason with him to delete the video, by Splinters orders. Is he forgetting that their whole family is at risk? I can understand not using force, but couldn't they just steal the video?(they are ninja's after all, implying great stealth) Couldn't they bluff him out of it? Why did the writers decide that force, or reasoning are the only two options? Oh yeah, because it's training for Raphael. This WOULD be a good way to train, but seeing as how they could be exposed, that's not the greatest scenario. And the jokes are bland, predictable, and nowhere near entertaining. We also have the introduction of Spider Bites, the idiotic jerk I was ranting about for a while. He has no motives, no purpose to exist, and blames the turtles when he did this to himself when he tried to retreive his phone during the struggle between the krang, and the turtles(except Raphael), but a spider touched him, and he got splashed with mutagen. Why doesn't he just stop trying to get the phone, and get out of their for his life? I don't know, the writing's lazy, that's my guess. I give the episode credit for explaining more of Splinters story, and the guilt he carried on him for years, but that's the only redeeming quality about this episode. Terrible plotline, lukewarm at best jokes, and no point. This episode gets a 'D-'
Yet Another Positive review
the two negative reviews up there confuse me, since this is very well recived elsewhere. like any of my reviews, this will very short. Everything works, it's actually better than the 80's one. all characters very good, humor is kept in check. not too goofy. has some very neat plot stuff, after only a few episode, it's shown to be extremly fun, funny, and good critically as well. Animation needs work though
Adorkable, and promising
I'm not going to pretend I'm a Turtles fan who knows everything. I'm a fan, but not a big one. I grew up with the movie(s), and watched the 2003 cartoon as often as possible at the time. I enjoyed the 2007 CGI movie. I'm currently in the middle of watching the 1987 cartoon, and am finding myself enjoying its silliness. I haven't yet read the comic books, though. So as you can see, I'm learning about the Turtles at my own pace. Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical about this adaptation. However, I have found myself loving it. I like the style here, it's a bit unique. The animesque can get a little overboard at times if the camera focuses on it a few seconds too long, but with the style they're using, it doesn't seem very out-of-place. Much better than Ciro Nieli's other project. I'm also liking the attention to detail with the Turtles' designs adding to their personalities. Donatello has a missing tooth (which adds to his Adorkable nature), Raphael's plastron is chipped, Michelangelo's mask has small ribbons (which may be a call-back to the 1987 cartoon), and Leonardo... um... well, from what I can see thus far, he's a brighter green compared to his brothers. I'm also a bit giddy with the Turtles' personalities. They act like how teenager brothers act as they bounce off each other, thus showing their relationship as siblings. Donatello is so far my favorite, due to his shyness, his awkwardness, his boyish crush that I do find rather adorable, his geekness, there's a lot to like about him. I'm so far neutral about the other characters, though they are becoming more promising by the episode. And the two mutations we saw so far are rather terrifying, to say the least. Maybe not bad enough to literally give me nightmares, but if I were to think on it long enough... possibly. Thus far, I am excited for this series, and I'm happily looking forward to more episodes, if at least just to hear Rob Paulsen play a dorky, loveable Donatello. Not that the other voice actors aren't great, Raphael is a close second. So I'm not going to tell you what to think about the series, but you should at least give it a shot, see what catches your eye the most, if at all.
Time for a positive review
First off, I should mention that I'm not exactly a die-hard TMNT fan like some other people here might be. But I'm a child of the 80's so it was kind if impossible not to be exposed to the Turtles growing up. That said, I think it's important to realize that this update of the show, while made by people who are long-time TMNT fans, is primarily aimed at a newer, younger generation of fans who don't have the same expectations and preconceptions that older fans do. Once you understand that, it'll be easier to embrace the MST 3 K Mantra and just go with it. Personally, I'm really enjoying this show so far. I like the different visual style, it doesn't take itself too seriously, and yet there's still hints of darkness here and there. I love that the Turtles all have their own looks, and I even like the idea of April being the same age as them (though she needs more Character Development, and hasn't really gotten a chance to go break out of the Damsel In Distress role yet). I'm a bit worried that they'll slip into a Monster Of The Week formula right now, but it's only been three episodes so it's too soon to tell. Either way, I'll keep tuning in. So would I recommend this show? Definitely yes. I just watched it with my younger brother who was a bigger Turtle fan than me when we were kids, and he loved it. So I'm pretty confident other people will like it, too, if they just give it a chance. Oh, and one last thing; it could have been worse.
Time for another positive review
I'm really digging this new show. So I want to bring balance to the turtle force by giving a positive review myself. If it sounds familiar it's because I made this review first on the Escapist forums. I'll be doing this by character since that's the biggest part of TMNT Leonardo was done well. A lot of the staples of the character as in his leader status, his dedication to the art of ninjitsu, and his relationship with Splinter are still there. Plus they added some other things like him being a bit of a sci-fi geek and a love for making cheesy one-liners. This probably has the best Donatello yet. He actually has more to him than just "does machines". He's a lot more awkward and nervous like someone who spends most of his time fixing things would be. I felt like his personality is more defined than any other version of Don that I've seen. He's voiced by the legendary Rob Paulsen, who has actually voiced one of the turtles before back in the 80's series only he was Raphael. Personally, I think his voice works fits Donatello better. Raphael here was just Raphael. Anyone who's familiar with previous versions of Raph, with the exception of the 80's series, knows who he is. He's aggressive, impulsive, and always looking for a fight. He seems to have a soft side this time since he know has a pet turtle whom he talks to. Michelangelo like the others, I also liked. He's still energetic and fun-loving and doesn't have anything new that takes him away from that. He's portrayed by Greg Cipes and let me tell you, he couldn't have been better cast. Not only has he played another certain green skinned mutant teenager, but his past characters prove he's the best choice for the type of character Mikey is. To cap it off with Splinter, I have to admit I was pleased with him. I may have been skeptical about his design, being the only thing revealed before the premiere that I was disappointed with, but his portrayal really made up for it. His character had depth and dimension and was well-acted. Overall, a pretty damn good main cast. As for the plot itself, it was definitely worth watching. The villains are entertaining and so was the action and humor. If you're the kind of person who likes good character interaction, you might like this 2-parter.