As most of you have probably seen on the side of my blog, I have been working on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shows, featured as a classic cartoon, a CGI film, a new, updated cartoon, and Nickelodeon animation. Although it’s been hard looking for websites to watch some of these off of, I have managed to actually get to season 2 of TMNT 1987, probably one of my favorite versions of the TMNT universe that I have seen.
Unlike most of the versions of TMNT, some of the characters’ personalities and the story line itself is quite different than what we have seen. The 1987 version follows the four ninja turtles as they come face-to-face time and time again with their master Splinter’s old enemy, the Shredder. Along the way, they meet up with a news reporter by the name of April O’Neil, who tries to convince the doubting public that the ninjas are heroes in the city where crime is imminent. Along the way in the plot, they make their way to the center of the evil, where the evil Kraang and his cronies are controlling the crime rates in New York.
I am rather surprised by the changes in today’s versions of TMNT. Although the animation of 1987’s version wasn’t that great (a lot of times, the turtles’ masks would change and their voices would not match up with the right character.) the characters themselves as well their lines were pretty funny. Pun after pun is stated, jokes are nonstop, and one-liners are hilarious. Seeing what the makers of the original TMNT wanted in the story is rather interesting, especially compared to the TMNT 2012 version currently ongoing. The characters have much different personalities than the original characters.
Leonardo doesn’t nearly have as much leadership roles as 2012’s Leo. He actually doesn’t do a whole lot of talking either. When Leonardo does have some lines, it’s more of pointing out the facts about a situation and telling the others which way to go when they are not sure. His voice is a ton more deeper than I would have expected.
Raphael has a ton more lines than all the others combined. Most of the TMNT versions make Raphael out as moody, arrogant, and very stubborn, but 1987’s version is more witty, sarcastic, and pretty confident, but there really is no sign of an angry attitude in his character. Raphael is the one to make as most puns as he can, which are sometimes super funny and other times something that make you go,”What?” I think 1987’s Raphael is my favorite, though. The consistent amounts of wit and funny lines really makes the show. Though I don’t mind 2012’s Raphael much, I still can’t figure out how a joking character can turn into an angry, pessimistic, and aggressive ninja within just a few years time and some seasons.
Donatello, as usual, is the brains of the group. He’s always trying to fix things up or build inventions, and he’s the one responsible for many of the inventions he created, including a giant blimp. (They use the blimp to get around a ton in season 1, which I consider kind of funny because a blimp is totally secretive and noone will notice a giant blimp with ‘Turtles’ on the side of it.) Besides, Raphael, Donatello has quite a few lines as well. Although he doesn’t crack as many jokes as Raphael, he still has some of those crazy one-liners, but, you know, that’s the show! *Shrugs* Can’t be helped.
Michelangelo also makes quite a few puns. I think he’s more of the hippie kind of dude, similar to 2014’s Michelangelo. His personality and the other version of Raphael are sort of flipped, I think. Michelangelo is quite a go-getter character, and if there’s a fight, he’s in! However, despite the confident personality, he’s still Michelangelo the prankster!
Splinter….ah, Splinter…..I’m not even sure what to say about him because this version of him sort of bugs me and makes me laugh. Really, all he does in 1987’s cartoon is sit in a certain room meditating or he’s getting trapped (very very easily. I mean, that guy hardly puts up a fight!) by Shredder. Half the time, the turtles are saving him! He says a ton of wise things to the turtles but when he’s faced with something he must battle, he just doesn’t fight well! If the ninja turtles are so well trained, why in the world is Splinter getting caught so easily? I just don’t understand!
The 1987 April O’Neil is a totally different character from 2012 as well in certain aspects! Most of the time, when we get to see what April is doing, she’s working at the news station, either fighting with her boss or trying to find the turtles. She’s seems sort of a whiny character to me, though she isn’t exactly helpless either. Quite frankly, I think she’s a good addition to the show. Even though she doesn’t know ninjitsu like some of the other version of April, she uses her wits to carry her through some tough situations.
Aaaaaand the enemies. The leader of the Kraang and Shredder are featured as two of the main protagonists, and the iconic Bebop and Rocksteady are added in as well. I get rather bored with the shots of the enemies talking to one another, because they talk to one another for so long! The thing that is really funny about Shredder in this version is his slight stupidity and helplessness. 2012’s Shredder really seems like a fearsome character-the leader of the crime-but this version makes Shredder out as more of a wimpy character that the turtles are always defeating pretty quickly, and if he escapes, it’s merely out of pure luck.
Overall, I really enjoyed this version. I especially enjoyed the witty jokes said throughout every episodes, and even though the animation isn’t the best, I’d say it’s pretty good for that time! The theme song is pretty catchy as well! I sort of wish 2012 kept the classic theme, but I have to admit that 2012’s theme is really good, too!
Okay, the one thing that seriously has me wondering is where Casey Jones is! There is no sign of him anywhere! His friendship with Raphael in later versions was really cool to see, so it seems like something here is missing! And Karai! Does she not exist in 1987’s version! Where is she?!
Other than 2007’s TMNT (which I need to watch and therefore can’t officially declare as a favorite even though the characters and the story as well as the CGI looks amazing!), I think that this version is a total favorite!
Thanks for reading! I haven’t done a whole lot of rants like this before, but it was fun! Hopefully I’ll be able to do more of these kinds of rants on TMNT as well as more of my favorite TV shows and movies!
Also, if there is a topic you’d like me to consider writing on, feel free to comment below any of my posts! Suggestions are welcome, just please keep it clean!
Have a great weekend!