Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) Rant and Review


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.

latestLeonardo 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.

1173382_1359216879778_fullRaphael 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.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-fred-wolf-season-4-donatello-weird-roomDonatello, 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.

latestMichelangelo 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!

1987_SplinterSplinter….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!

latestThe 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!


5 thoughts on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) Rant and Review

  1. Hey! 🙂
    OK so, I am excited that you made a post for this! 😀 I love the rant stuff; it is super fun! 😀 Look forward to seeing more from you on all the shows, as well as more TMNT! 🙂
    I have not watched this dimension! But there are SO many! 😀
    One thing I love about TMNT, most of the time, is that there are always similarities with each dimension’s turtle, but at the same time, they are different turtles, too. Each turtle is so different in their own way, of course they have flaws, and rough edges- but that’s one of the best parts of them. They’re pretty real, its not like you point at them and say ‘they have no personality at all, 100% cardboard thing, same every time’. Actually, I am so angry at most of the fans, and really, the directors of the 2012 series…
    They had like a little commentary thing, with the writers talking about the characters… And I was so surprised and frustrated, because they actually dumbed each bro down into a box.
    I mean, they did not reach out into the real Leo, the real Raph, the real Mikey, the real Donnie- whatever was the first of stereotype, that’s all it seems some people see them as. I was disappointed to see the writers belittle each bro… I am not hating though! It sounds like it maybe haha but really, it’s not up to me what others think, its fine for me to believe differently. Plus, the writers are picking up the slack in the new season. XD
    But I mean… In every dimension I’ve loved so far (I’ve visioned the 90’s movies, I’ve been watching a sprinkle of like every season of ’03, ’07 movie, ’12 series, 14 movie,), each brother is soooo not what people like to box them into… I hate boxes, and its no different with fictional characters… I mean, sure, maybe that word describe them a bit- but why even leave that as everything?
    Sorry I got distracted. XD
    Speaking of the one liners and puns; Raph loves breaking that TV watcher line huh?! XD From what I’ve seen, 80’s Raph is really relaxed and funny, as well as his brothers. Leo is quite, but when he speaks, its like on point. Donnie is brilliant! 😀 In a quick, cute way, too. And Mikey is like a 2 yr old in a surfer’s mindset, as well. ;D
    I also personally enjoy when April doesn’t know martial arts/ninjistu. I didn’t mind it in ’07 (we didn’t get a lot of it, and when we did, it wasn’t like spot light haha). It seems nicer to me when you can be a part of something without having to just beat stuff up, but use brains and stuff, too.
    Casey does appear in the 87 dimension, but only for a few episodes, and he doesn’t have much of a relationship with Raph or April. As for Karai, I don’t think so! I can’t find anything that says she is in it.
    Its so cool you like this version so much! 😀 As for post ideas… One thing I’ve been wantin’ to do, is to do individual episode posts! 😀 Maybe you would like to try this for any episode? Just an idea haha! 😀
    God bless!

  2. Hey, Angela! Thanks for your comment! I look forward to more TMNT and other shows to rant about!

    Yes, each turtle is different in every version, no matter how close some try to make them to another another version. That’s why I like particular years of TMNT shows. Each one holds new possibility! The fanbase can get rather violent, though, when it comes to defending their favorite version, and yeah, I get it; we have favorites when it comes to TMNT, but the versions all have different directors who views the characters in different ways. I think it’s cool that so many people see these characters in different lights!

    You are exactly right; that is how all the characters are They’re totally different from the newer versions, yet still the same! It’s interesting to see how these characters have been built over the past few years!

    It’s nice to hear Casey will be appearing! Despite the fact he gets rather irritating at times, his character makes for a good addition to the show.

    Ah, good idea! I may do that in the future! 😉 Thanks!

  3. Indeed! 🙂
    Its interesting how each dimension is, such as in 2007, there was no Shredder and the movie took a 2003ish turn; different bad guys and different ways of how things played out. What is also cool about ’03, is the amount of other streams there are. Time traveling, different worlds, cyber space, etc- it all plays such a cool part and a different turtle dimension! 😀 And with 2012, it seems that they’re trying to extend out to the new worlds.
    Anymore, yeah, I do try and stay away from (most if not all) the fans… Of course, there are some people that aren’t so bad… But for the majority it seems that either the fans are super jealous, and love picking favorite dimensions and being super rude and hateful to others because of this. But you can’t really change people, so I don’t let them get leverage! 😀
    It can be interesting to see some people’s views and ideas! 🙂
    Each ninja turtle is their own character; I love finding comparisons that are similar with each dimension’s turtle, but at the same time, they are SO different!

  4. Casey can be seriously annoying in 2012; its one main thing I dislike about ’12. Casey was always a great guy (and not annoying!) in ’07, and ’03… I also hated TMNT ’14 because Casey was not there either, and ‘replaced’ by some idiotic guy!

  5. I have seen that about 2003! I have been starting that, and can’t wait until they get to new dimensions! I also like the fact that 2012’s version is venturing out of New York and into new territory.
    The fandom does get weird! Of course, all fandoms have their mix of weirdos, but when you have fans of different versions of the same show that get rather violent…well, that’s not a normal set of people in fandoms. TV shows and movies don’t have remakes quite a bit like TMNT.
    I am seriously wondering if ’16 Casey is going to be annoying, so I guess we’ll have to sit back and see!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *