The cast of Nickelodeon’s “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” visited New York Comic Con last weekend and previewed a fresh vision of my beloved #heroesinthehalfshell!
It’s been 33 years since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird scraped enough cash together to print issue #1 that gave the world four teenaged anthropomorphic turtles named after Italian artists of the Renaissance trained by their anthropomorphic rat sensei in the art of ninjutsu!
From their home in the sewers of New York City, they’ve battled countless petty criminals, evil overlords, mutated creatures, and alien invaders while attempting to remain hidden from society.
The characters originated in comic books published by Mirage Studios then quickly expanded into cartoon series, films, video games, consumer products, and toys. During the run of the 1987 TV series, Playmates Toys produced hundreds of TMNT action figures, along with vehicles, playsets, and accessories, becoming one of the top collectibles for children.
A brand new line of Action Figures and Playsets from Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is available for Holiday 2018 from Playmates I’ll be reviewing soon!
In this new show, our four turtle brothers with ninja powers encounter new allies and villains and discover a magical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City.
Here’s the Comic Con 2018 Trailer-
Nickelodeon’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles voice cast and co-executive producers gave fans at New York Comic Con a look at what’s in store for the Turtles and April O’Neil during a panel at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Moderated by Mike Cecchini (Den of Geek), the panel featured voice actors Omar Miller as Raph, Josh Brener as Donnie, Brandon Mychal Smith as Mikey, and Kat Graham as April O’Neil, along with the co-executive producers Andy Suriano and Ant Ward, and legendary voice director Rob Paulsen. Special guest Maurice LaMarche (Pinky and the Brain) made an appearance to discuss his role as the Foot Brute.
During the Main Stage Panel, fans were treated to a sneak peek of an episode featuring longtime TMNT voice actor Rob Paulsen. The immediate thing that struck me about the new show was the dynamic art style that Andy Suriano explained was inspired by Belgian Cartoons of the 70’s. Also of note Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) who is Black is cast as April O’Neil, who is for the first time in TMNT is also drawn African American, she spoke about the changes –
“I really appreciate the acceptance by the fans embracing me as April. Not only for the move toward diversity, but also her more assertive role fighting alongside the Turtles.”
Another thing that differentiates this iteration of TMNT is the more mystical elements that are personified in the Brothers new awesome magical weapons. I’ve embedded a video that explains them and their powers
Along with the magical upgrade, hot-headed Raphael voiced by Omar Miller (Ballers) the team’s bad boy, with his aggressive nature, and impatient personality is now the leader and brandishes magical Tonfas that create a mystical shield and augment his strength instead of his trademark Sai.
Leonardo voiced by Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) the tactical, courageous and devoted student of his sensei is taking a step away from team leader. Leonardo still wears a blue mask but now wields a powerful, five-foot-long Ōdachi Sword that creates mystical portals!
This inspired change to the team dynamic is bound to have a learning curve for both brothers who’s rivalry fueled many of the subplots throughout the franchise’s history. This is a total Splinter move! It makes perfect sense. I’m sure for their development as ninja and to strengthen the team, both Raph and Leo need to learn to appreciate each other’s attributes.
Mikey is still a clown and Donnie is still the brains of the outfit and it will be interesting to see how those two brothers are challenged to grow as the show progresses. Here’s a video that introduces the new team the brothers + April-
I interviewed Brandon Mychal Smith (Mikey), Josh Brener (Donnie), Andy Suriano (Co-EP) and asked them about what longtime fans can expect from the newest TMNT show.-
We didn’t break anything from the previous incarnations. It’s a fun, enjoyable experience. Anybody that loves action, comedy, family, pizza it’s all there. We just sprinkle different toppings on it.
-Andy Suriano Co-Exceutive Producer
Well, I’m SOLD!! Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles premiered on Monday, Sept. 17, on Nickelodeon. New season one episodes will continue to air throughout 2018. The new 26-episode series is co-executive produced by Andy Suriano (character designer, Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (supervising producer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) at Nickelodeon in Burbank. Veteran animation industry voice actor Rob Paulsen is voice directing the series.
Here’s the Full Extended Theme Song from Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 🐢 🐢🐢🐢 #turtlepower – art credit / Nickelodeon
All Images courtesy of Nickelodeon