Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teenage Mutant Ninja Alien Zombie Cyborgs



I am a big fan of the heroes in a half-shell and have happy memories of watching the first run of cartoons years ago. I know the theme song by heart and there is still a much-loved plastic cereal bowl in my kitchen cabinet that came attached to a box of cereal. I was in college and I bought it just so I could get that silly bowl and give it to my then boyfriend who was a huge fan of the Ninja Turtles. It is one of the few objects that survived from college into our married life. Sadly, with Michael Bay's recent statements about the remake, it seems that may be all that survives of the original franchise.



The Ninja Turtles are supposed to be mutants trained in the ways of crime fighting by a wise mutant rat. They live in a sewer, eat pizza, know martial arts and talk like teenagers. As I type that I realize just how utterly goofy a premise that is, but they were still fun to watch. They're kind of like all those cat videos. Sure, a cat playing piano is silly, but how can you not like a cat playing piano or a turtle wielding nunchucks? But the turtles have more of a story than Internet cats and you can only mess with an origin story so much before you break it into unrecognizable pieces.

Their origin story is simple. They became the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles after taking a swim in the sewers of New York City and coming in contact with glowing radioactive goo. Until then, they were happy little turtles, munching lettuce and minding their own turtle business. But Michael Bay has announced that the coming live-action movie will feature the turtles as aliens.

They are not the Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles so how does that even work? I mean, what if you did the reverse and suddenly decided Superman wasn't an alien but a guy who fell into a sewer and gained supernatural powers? Yeah, that would mess things up real good, just like it's going to do with the turtles. You might as well make them zombies or cyborgs or some weird combination of it all if you're going to mess with their origin story to such a degree.

All franchises goes through changes, but turning the turtles into aliens is just too much. Maybe change their love of pizza into a love of tacos or update their teenage lingo so they don't sound like they're twenty years out of date. But that's it. I want my Ninja Turtles to be cute little turtles from Earth that have mutated due to toxic sewer goo. I do not want them to come from The Planet of the Turtles.

2 comments:

  1. You know... I get it. I grew up with them too, and I love them and I have all the movies- even the crappy third one where they time traveled because hey- it uses Baltimora's Tarzan Boy.

    I'm just not surprised by Hollywood anymore- and I have come to the conclusion that they don't give a crap- they just want to make money... reinventing things for a "new generation" is in to them... and it enrages us because we are heavily nostalgic and we cling to a time when things were better and simpler. We live in a world where they green lit a Garbage Pail Kids remake... where they disrespect Brandon Lee and remake the Crow... Hollywood simply doesn't care about anything but money- and they are FRESH out of ideas.

    Is it sad? Hell yes. Can we do anything about it? I'm not so sure anymore... and in light of recent global and even local events it seems like something that should be near the bottom of my list... our economy is crap, the unemployment rate where I live is like 12% and Hollywood still makes all the money and makes the dumbest decisions. It's so irritating that I feel like I don't even want to go see movies anymore- and I LOVE movies.

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  2. Right you are that franchises undergo changes. My wife has the graphic novel for the first few bits of the original comic, so my kids can see what Eastman and Laird's original vision was. The Playmates cartoon/toy series took a slightly different direction, and the newer TMNT cartoon simply rebooted and tried to fuse ideas from the comics and Playmates cartoon. I enjoyed both.

    As bad as the first live action movies were (IMHO) I don't recall them taking so much liberty as Bay is trying to do. I think he had hits-and-misses (overall misses) with the Transformers series, though, so my expectations are much the same as far as the Heroes In A Half Shell are concerned.

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