|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|
|Created by||Lloyd Goldfine|
Christopher C. Adams
David Zen Mansley
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||166 (List of episodes)
1 DVD film
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||4Kids TV (season 1–6),
The CW4Kids (season 7)
|Original run||February 8, 2003– November 21, 2009|
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was an American animated series, mainly set in New York City. It first aired on February 8, 2003, and ended on February 28, 2009. The series marked the revival of the franchise by Fox, with the help of 4Kids Entertainment, as a Saturday morning cartoon in Fox's Fox Box programming block (now known as 4Kids TV) The TMNT 2003 TV series was produced by 4Kids Entertainment, 4Kids Productions, and Mirage Studios, which each owns one third of the rights to the show.
The 2003 TV series differs from the 1987 TV series significantly. While still a Saturday morning cartoon, the show bears more resemblance to the original, "darker and edgier" comics, published by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's Mirage Studios. Many of the elements of the series are taken from a failed CGI pilot. Gone are a childish Shredder and his inept mutant/alien associates. Raphael is now a more serious and intimidating character. Most of the concepts and characters that were created for the 1987 TV series such as the Technodrome, Dimension X, Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang, are all absent from this series.
April O'Neil is not a reporter. Instead of being a Caucasian meek and becoming a mutant fly, Baxter Stockman is a black, overconfident egomaniac and becomes a cyborg. Leatherhead is a bright scientist and an ally of the turtles with nothing to do Louisiana. The Triceratons play a much larger role in the series. Most characters are portrayed as more serious in this series; however Casey Jones is the only one that becomes much less menacing, to the point that he is often used as comic relief.
The new series also includes a main plot and several sub-plots running throughout, with revealing hints which developed as the series unfolded. Although many of the episodes are stand-alone, each usually has a key element that relates to the plot as a whole; furthermore, there are frequent two-to-four-episode continuous stories. Most characters introduced in stand alone episodes are eventually seen again. (For example, the "green man," the Garbage Man, Savanti Romero, Nobody, etc.)
The science fiction elements that were in the old cartoon are still present, with robots, aliens, and journeys through time and space. In addition, the 2003 TV series has supernatural elements to it. This includes things such as travel to other dimensions via magic, and the presence of supernatural creatures, such as the "original" Shredder, who is a demon.
A considerable change to this show is the number of deaths that occur over the series. People have been killed on screen while others have died off screen or else have been implied to have died. Examples include Hamato Yoshi, Casey Jones' father, Yukio Mashimi, and Tang Shen. Another example is in Season 2 where Zog the Triceriton apparently kills himself by jumping into a fire with the Shredder. In the episode The Trouble with Augie, a large pile of crane shows that people have been killed and eaten by the reptilian creatures called the Brotherhood, who are themselves suggested to have been killed by giant bug-like monsters at the end of the same episode. The fifth season shows the apparent deaths of the Shredder and his heralds. The show has been changed so an older audience is drawn in easily with things such as when a group of vigilantes try and blow up New York City as well as when the Earth launches a nuclear attack on the Triceritons. There is much more violence and darker themes. There were a few cases where characters who were thought to have died are revealed in later episodes to have survived such as the Fugitoid, Leatherhead, and the other heralds of the Ninja Tribunal.
In the 2003 TV series, the four Turtles personalities are in some ways different from the 1987 TV series in an attempt to follow the Mirage Comics versions of the characters more closely. All characters are more fleshed-out and more sensitive, and have a stronger family bond.
Leonardo is more skillful and meditative than in the 1987 TV series (where he was slightly serious, but occasionally did silly things whenever his brothers did) and much more concerned with honor (as depicted in any episode with Karai) and protecting his family; episodes of the 2003 TV series that focus on The Shredder and ninjutsu also focus on Leonardo.
Raphael is much more angry, emotional and self-centred. He is the only Turtle to be shown crying to date and the most likely to cry out in dismay when a brother is hurt or in danger. He is a cynic and sometimes cocky and petulant (in the 1987 show, he loves to make jokes and is more friendly), but is shown to deeply care about and be very protective of his family and friends. He and Michelangelo are always at each other throats, but Raphael is usually the first to leap into action when Mikey is in danger. He always seems to be the one who's got his brothers' backs but seems to have a much less complicated relationship with Leonardo compared to the comic book series, even though they come at odds on occasions.
Michelangelo is a bit more outrageous and takes the role of the comic relief. He is the most childish of the four, even going so far as to adopt a superhero persona for himself (Turtle Titan), but is still not an opponent to be trifled with. Through a combination of skill and sheer dumb luck, Michelangelo was crowned the Battle Nexus champion and was able to successfully defend the title despite his flaws, and is, at least until the next tournament, considered the greatest warrior in the Multiverse by those in the series (other than his brothers, Draco and the Ultimate Ninja) who took part in the Battle Nexus by virtue of his victory. According to the Turtles section of the Fox Kids website when the show was aired on the Fox Saturday morning block, Michelangelo is the turtle who possessed the most sheer potential out of the four and the most athletic. He retains his trademark weapon nunchaku all through the series unlike in the 1987 TV series. The website further stated that it was only his free spirit, lack of maturity compared to the other three and lack of intense focus on a study of the martial arts (such as that possessed by Leonardo and Raphael) which kept him from reaching that potential. Despite this, his skills are considerable, as demonstrated in the aforementioned victories in the Battle Nexus. Although the Turtles are fifteen years of age (as said in their toy bio), Mikey is often shown as the 'younger' brother in the quartet due to his fascination with pop culture, superheroes, and videogames. He was most often seen in the company of Donatello in the series, however he has had a few episodes to himself or alongside only one other member of the regular cast for the majority of the length of the episode, such as in the episode The Unconvincing Turtle Titan where he takes on the role of Turtle Titan.
Donatello is still the most intelligent Turtle but with a more emotional compassion for humans. When the Turtles pair off, the most likely combinations are Leonardo and Raphael as one pair, and Michelangelo and Donatello as the other — often due to their personalities. Despite this, the show explores each relationship more with each season. (For example, in Season 3, Leo and Mikey are the only Turtles with significant roles in "Nobody's Fool," Raph and Don team up in "H.A.T.E", and Mikey and Splinter work together in "Touch and Go.")
As in the original comic and live movies, Splinter, the Turtles' sensei and foster-father, is depicted as a rat who has been mutated to a humanoid form, instead of a man who has been mutated to rat form as in the 1987 TV series. Splinter is also less calm and more prone to wry humor and direct fighting than in any previous series.
Major TMNT ally Casey Jones is given a larger supporting role, unlike the original 1987 TV series where he was just a minor recurring character, and the 2003 TV series also shows him having some romantic feelings towards the Turtles' other major ally April O'Neil; just like in the original comic books and the first movie.
April herself is initially Baxter Stockman's lab assistant and later the owner of an antique shop, instead of a TV anchorwoman. She has also been studying Ninjutsu under Splinter and is now capable of holding her own in a fight. She is also a helicopter pilot and has computer skills which she uses to help Donatello. Unlike the 1987 TV series she rarely becomes kidnapped.
The original show's catchphrase, "Cowabunga", is joked about several times (with Raphael telling Michelangelo not to say "cowabunga" anymore). The "Turtle Power" catchphrase has been left out of the 2003 TV series. During the "Fast Forward" season however a new catchphrase, "It's Ninja Time", is introduced.
Baxter Stockman is African American (as is his comic incarnation) instead of European American. Rather than being forcibly mutated into a half-human, half-fly mutant however he is slowly but surely mutilated by Shredder every time he fails a task for his evil master, turning him into a cyborg and ultimately a brain in a jar.
The character Leatherhead, who in the 1987 TV series was an evil, Cajun-sounding mutant alligator with limited intelligence, is now a highly intelligent, mutated crocodile whose origin involves the Utroms. He prefers peace but becomes violent when provoked, and is considered by the Turtles and Splinter to be family. For the most part, this depiction is nearly identical his original comic book incarnation with the exception that in the comics he tended to vacillate between ally and enemy, whereas he is a staunch and solid ally to the Turtles in the 2003 TV series.
Aside from showcasing new twists on familiar characters, the series introduces several secondary characters from the comics; such as Renet, a time traveler in training with the personality of a valley girl; the Fugitoid, a robot whose mind is that of the scientist Professor Honeycutt; The Triceratons, a race of Triceratops humanoids who desire galactic conquest; and Karai, who is leader of the Foot Clan in Japan as well as the adopted daughter and heir to the Shredder.
As the relationships and dynamics of the Turtles grow and mature over each new season, so does the legacy and identity of the Shredder. His origins differ considerably from his original comic incarnation and the version of the character from the 1987 TV series. Clues and revelations throughout the series reveal that "Shredder" is really an ancient demon that has inspired many other evil beings to take up the persona. For the bulk of the series, however, Shredder is a human being who is ultimately revealed to be a member of the alien race known as the Utroms.
The character coloring in the new cartoon series is somewhat different from that in the 1987 TV series. Each of the Turtles has a unique skin coloring in the new show, unlike the 1987 TV series wherein they were all the same tint of green. In the new animated series, Leonardo is a basic green (much like the 1987 TV series), Raphael is dark green, Michelangelo is dark green-blue, and Donatello is a yellowish olive-green. These color schemes are very different from the color schemes within both the 1987 and 2003 toylines, which have remained similar. In the toys, Leonardo is olive green, Michelangelo is sea green, Donatello is brownish with a hint of green, and Raphael is basic green.
The Turtles bear their favorite colors on their weapon-handles. Also, the bands on their wrists, elbows, and knee-caps are brown, similar to the original comic book series and films. In the 1987 TV series, the bands had the personal favorite colors of the Turtles, as with their bandannas. On their belts in the 1987 TV series, the Turtles bear their initials. In the live action TV series, they bore their initials on the belt across their torso. In the 2003 TV series, they only bear a knot.
In the new season Back to the Sewers, the Turtles are drawn with irises and now resemble their 2007 movie counterparts. Characters that were in the 2007 TMNT movie such as Casey, April and Karai have been given new designs so they resemble their movie counterparts. Characters such as Bishop, Hun and Stockman have been given new designs as well though they are still similar to the 2003 cartoons original style of them.
Dan Berger, TMNT comic writer, and correspondent to the fan base, confirmed that Peter Laird and his staff had been working hard on a fifth Season for the show that would have resolved the "Ninja Tribunal" storyline introduced in the Season 4 finale, producing thirteen episodes in total, but it was shelved in favor of the "Fast Forward" concept for the following season. This "Lost Season" began airing selected episodes on 4Kids' on demand channels, beginning on August 9, 2006, but the episodes have since vanished. Dan Berger later confirmed in November that the Ninja Tribunal Season has been pulled from the Comcast services, and that the DVD release has also been postponed, with at least one episode ("Nightmares Recycled") pulled from production due to sensitive issues (it dealt with the theme of conjoined twins). The Season had a Region 4 release on March 8, 2007. This release lacks the first episode of the arc, "The Ninja Tribunal", which was not included with the Region 1 fourth Season releases, having been delayed so as to release the entire storyline in a discrete set. However, "The Ninja Tribunal" was later included in the region 4 DVD of Season 4 when it was released on July 4. The Season was released on DVD in region 1 May 20, 2008.
As seen in Fast Forward and Back to the Sewers, the events portrayed in the Ninja Tribunal Season are still canonical, despite the episodes not being aired. The plot of the season revolves around the Turtles (and four other ninjas) being trained by the Ninja Tribunal as "Acolytes" to prevent the return of the original Shredder, who was an ancient demon. However, the Turtles weren't able to stop his revival and end up following him to New York where the rest of the plot revolves around the Turtles.the turtles try to stop the Shredder and his demonic army But when they transform into their dragon avatars the same time Karai drains the Shredder of his energy they beat him. Then they sacrifice their amulets on their necks to bring back Master Yoshi to deliver the final blow.
On January 25, 2008, 4Kids announced that they would be airing the Lost Season episodes (excluding "Nightmares Recycled)", beginning February 9, 2008. The season was given the title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Lost Episodes. The final episode aired on May 3.
Fast Forward is the name given to the sixth season of the TMNT 2003 TV series produced by 4Kids. Taking place after the fifth unaired season, it follows the adventures of the Ninja Turtles and Splinter as they are accidentally transported one hundred years into the future by Cody Jones, the great-grandson of Casey Jones and April O’Neil and heir to the O’Neil Tech business empire.
Despite following and acknowledging the previous series, Fast Forward abandons most of its characters and storylines in favor of completely original ones, which include Darius Dunn, Cody’s manipulative uncle and guardian; Sh’Okanabo, a shape-shifting would-be world conqueror; the Dark Turtles, evil clones of the Turtles made by Sh’Okanabo that are working for Dun; intergalactic mercenary Torbin Zixx; and Jammerhead, the cyborg leader of the Street Phantoms gang. Aside from the Turtles and Splinter, the only characters from the previous returning in 2105 are Agent Bishop, who has since become president of the Pan-Galactic Alliance (a galaxy-spanning version of the United Nations), and Baxter Stockman, who survived one of Bishop's labs' destruction in 2055 and secretly spent the last fifty years underground, trying to recreate some of his technology and take revenge on Bishop.
Taking place mostly in 2105 New York City, the series deals mainly with plots such as Sh’Okanabo’s attempts to unleash the "Day of Awakening"; the Turtles’ attempts to expose Darius Dun’s criminal activities, acclimate to their new home and return to their own time; and Cody Jones’ growth. Due to the multispecies population of the future, the Turtles are now free to move about openly and interact with everyday people. The season is lighter in tone and less violent than previous ones, with a greater emphasis on jokes.
Fast Forward spans one 26-episode-long season, although work had begun on producing a ten episode long follow-up season, which would have included, among other things, more Baxter Stockman and a Triceraton version of The Shredder.
In 2007, 4Kids pitched a revamp of the series to Peter Laird codenamed "Superworld", who gave the pitch a 'thumbs down'. 4Kids then proposed a second revamp, called TMNT Overload, which was approved by Mirage, but rejected by Playmates. Playmates then proposed a reboot of the series, called "Ultimate TMNT", which was rejected by 4Kids and Mirage.
On October 24, 2007 Steve Murphy confirmed on his blog that Playmates, Mirage, and 4Kids had firmly agreed on the new direction, which would take place in the continuity of the 2003 TV series and use the "more realistic aspects" of the aborted "Overload" pitch, with character designs similar to that of the 2007 TMNT movie.
Its description is as follows:
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back in New York, ready to race across the rooftops and take on all challengers! Not only are Casey and April back and ready to bust some bad guy butt, but a brand new, super advanced Turtle Lair is under construction (thanks to some hi-tech know-how Donatello garnered from the future), and of course there are all sorts of new heavy duty Turtle vehicles gearing up to roar down the streets of NYC and give the Foot a taste of some serious Turtle. The stakes have never been higher, their enemies have never been stronger... and if the Turtles are going to be triumphant they’ll need to work together in ways they never have before.
Further info was revealed in December 2007, details follow:
When the Turtles return from the future to their present time, Viral interferes causing Master Splinter to get trapped in cyberspace, bits of his data code scattered all throughout the digital domain. The Turtles must find a way to access the virtual realm so they can gather Splinter’s code and save their beloved father before he is lost to them forever...And what good is a digital realm without a super bad guy! That's right; the Shredder is back in new form. In order to save their master, the Turtles must now face... The Cyber Shredder! Now the Turtles must fight on two fronts - cyberspace and the real world. And twice the locations, means twice the bad guys. That's right; the TMNT will be facing off against Hun, the Foot, Baxter Stockman, and some dangerous digital monsters! Get ready, because the Turtles are back from the future, back in action, and back to the sewers!
Toy solicitations for 2008 also hint that Ch'rell, the Utrom Shredder, will resurface.
Three samples of a new opening theme song were announced by 4Kids to be under consideration on February 22, with the option for fans to vote on each of the samples and determine an official opening theme song. Six pitches for the theme song were released on February 29, with most confirming that the Shredder will return in some form; one of the themes identify him as "Cyber-Shredder". The voting for the songs ended March 19 with song #5, "RVTheme2008," winning. 4Kids TV now runs two blogs on their website, with the first revealing a component for the Back to the Sewer season every week, while the second blog takes a look into the designs that are showcased in the new episodes, the second blog is updated after every new episode airs. The new series was titled TMNT: Back to the Sewer and aired from September 13, 2008 to February 28, 2009.
The Turtles Forever made-for-tv animated movie aired on November 21, 2009. The movie featured the 2003 Turtles teaming up with their counterparts from the 1987 animated series and the original Mirage Comics, and fighting both animated versions of Shredder (featuring the return of the Utrom Shredder, Ch'rell), Krang, Rocksteady and Bebop, and human & robotic Foot Soldiers.
|Season||Ep #||First Airdate||Last Airdate|
|Season 1||26||February 8, 2003||November 1, 2003|
|Season 2||26||November 8, 2003||October 2, 2004|
|Season 3||26||October 9, 2004||April 23, 2005|
|Season 4||26||September 10, 2005||April 15, 2006|
|Season 5 (The Lost Episodes)||12||February 9, 2008||May 3, 2008|
|Season 6 (Fast Forward)||26||July 29, 2006||October 27, 2007|
|Season 7 (Back to the Sewer)||13||September 13, 2008||February 28, 2009|
There is a Japanese dub by Shogakukan Productions which airs on TV Tokyo. Like the Japanese dub of the X-Men animated series, it remakes the opening animation with new animation (mixed in with the regular animation and footage from the original version) of the characters and changes the theme song. Also, like a typical Japanese series, it has also added ending animation at the end of each episode, which also contains original Japanese animation as well as random footage from some episodes. The series ended with episode 52, with the last part being replaced with "goodbyes" by the TMNT cast, which served as the series finale. The series was then replaced with the Soul Eater anime in its time slot.
A Polish dub was aired on Jetix in Poland, in a slightly censored version made by Jetix UK. The opening and ending sequences are exactly the same as in American version, but the theme song is sang in Polish; since Season 2, the end of opening sequence contains Polish title "Wojownicze Żółwie Ninja", just like 1987 animated series (which was also based on UK version. Interestingly, its name was "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles", so Polish title "restored" the word "ninja"). Currently, TMNT is being re-run on Jetix, but there is no information about any new series airing. So far, 3 Seasons had been aired; Season 1 is available as six separate DVDs, while Season 2 was released on a two boxed sets (3 DVDs each) and 13 VCDs released with local newspapers. All these releases contain only Polish dub as seen on TV.
A Bulgarian dub of the first 2 Seasons started airing on Nova Television on January 8, 2005 every Saturday and Sunday at 09:30. They were repeated two times (on the same television) and later repeats were broadcast on BBT. Season 3 started airing on November 21, 2009 every Saturday and Sunday at 08:30. The first 4 Seasons were released on DVD in 33 volumes, with both Bulgarian and English dub, but no dub on the bonus features (vol. 1-12). Fast Forward also came out on 9 DVDs, although the numbering was continued from 34 (since the last DVD of season 4 was 33). The theme wasn't dubbed, unlike the previous Seasons.
Besides the 33 DVDs (which had regular release and newspaper release in paper packages and slightly changed cover art on some volumes) 8 Special Edition DVDs were released. Each SE contained 13 episodes on a single disc and a sticker. After collecting all 8 stickers the customer could participate in a contest.
Opening theme (Seasons 1-4)
In Croatia the cartoon has also been dubbed, but the opening theme has remained the same. It is aired on Nova TV, and since then the first four Seasons have been aired completely, and the Season 6 (Fast Forward) is on air currently. The first four Seasons have also been released on DVD(dubbed) and the Season 6 (Fast Forward) is also been released currently. The Ninja Tribunal Season has not been aired or released on DVD. "Dnevnik.hr". http://dnevnik.hr/bin/simple.php?name=novafr&page=http://www.novatv.hr/j/serija.aspx?id=12134. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
The cartoon has been dubbed in Serbia, as well. It started airing in 2008, first on B92, where the first four seasons were shown, and after that, Ultra TV picked up the show, continuing to dub, with changing few voices. In the beginning, the opening theme for Fast Forward stayed the same, although it changed during the series. The DVDs have also been released up to Season 2, plus the Fast Forward seson is currently being released once a month.
In Germany the first two seasons were dubbed and broadcast. Even though the 52 episodes were a success RTL2, the Network that broadcasted TMNT in Germany cancelled the series without explanation. Re-runs of the 52 episodes are still to be seen on Jetix Germany.
There are currently no plans to dub more episodes or release the show on DVD in Germany.
In Italy, the series airs on Italia 1. The four turtles were voiced by the same voice actors who voiced the 1987 series. A new song was created for the opening; sung by Gabry Ponte. For the Fast Forward season, another new song was created for the opening; sung by Giorgio Vanni.
TMNT airs on SBS in Korean under the name: 거북이 특공대 Z (Romanized: Geobugi Teukggongdae Z). In English, it means, Turtle Commandos Z. Like the 1987 Series, its series also couldn't use the word, 'Ninja' due to Japanese culture. It broadcasted 52 episodes.
Unlike the original series, which was renamed "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles" due to violence issues, the 2003 series kept the "Ninja" part in its name. Thus, in the UK, Hero Turtles is used to refer to the original series, and Ninja Turtles is used to refer to the current series.
The series has been broadcast and dubbed in Finland for several years now. The opening song has been dubbed and re-dubbed in order of airing of the songs with new lyrics. Seasons 1 and 2 aired normally, but the season 3 was left out for unknown reasons and the broadcasting jumped directly to the season 4, but after several reruns of these seasons the season 3 finally aired. "Fast Forward" was also broadcast before season 3. Season 7 is currently airing on MTV3 while reruns of the previous seasons are airing on Sub Juniori. Currently there is no info on "Ninja Tribunal".
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003–) is an American animated television series set in New York City that continues the adventures of the turtle quartet, based on the comic book series. The new series currently airs on The CW4Kids every Saturday at 9:30am.
(Master Splinter and Ancient One meditating)
(In a flashback where Yoshi and Ancient One are visiting the Tribunal)
(In a flashback where the Utrom Shredder had slain Master Yoshi)
(Splinter sheds a tear)
(The story begins in Yamato, Ancient Japan)
(People are running as the Shredder Tengu destroys everything in its path)
(In the Lap of the Gods temple)
(The Emperor shows them their enchanted armors)
(The five warriors went out to battle the Shredder)
(The battle was victorious when Oroku Saki delivered the final blow)
(A celebration of the five warriors begins)
(Back in the battle was Saki was about to finish the demon)
(The demon's spirit is transferring into Saki's body)
(Oroku Saki laughs evilly)
(The Shredder use his powers to destroy Japan and build an impenetrable stronghold)
(Each of the Dragons went to find the masters of the mystic arts)
(The Shredder use his magic to lift Karai up and slam her into the wall)
(The heralds transform into their original forms)
(The bone demon use the amulet to summon the Mystic Ninjas)
(One of the "Turtles in space" episode, when the turtles are about to fight a giant alien monster.)