Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an American CGI cartoon series developed by the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in the franchise of the same name. A one hour sneak peek was released on September 28, 2012, while the official premiere aired on Nickelodeon on September 29, 2012. The series premiered in the United Kingdom and Ireland on October 1, 2012 and in Australia along with New Zealand on October 8, 2012.
The show proved to be popular with both audiences and critics, garnering 3.9 million viewers on its premiere night and hit a ratings high for Nickelodeon with boys 2-11, making it the network's top-rated premiere for an animated series since 2009. During its premiere weekend the series reached nearly 12 million total viewers. The premiere's success prompted Nickelodeon to order a second season and third season in February 2013, the network renewed the show for a third season.
The series makes slight changes to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continuity, notably.
Michelangelo's new catchphrase is "Booyakasha!" instead of "Cowabunga!" and his brother, Raphael, also has an un-mutated pet turtle named Spike. The series follows the four Ninja Turtles living in the sewers of Manhattan, where they're being trained in martial arts by the ratlike Master Splinter. Merchandise based on the series includes a new line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles consumer products, and six LEGO sets.
After Viacom purchased the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise in October 2009, a press release was issued unveiling that Nickelodeon would be developing a new CGI-animated television series slated to air in 2012. Though the franchise was brought out from Mirage Studios, the company is still able to publish up to 18, 48 paged black and white TMNT comics a year. Additionally, toy products would continue to be made through Playmates and the rumors of a new live-action TMNT movie were put to rest as the company also revealed that they'd be making a film for 2012 with Paramount Pictures, though the date has seen been pushed back.
DevelopmentAt the time, details on the series were scarce. From March 2011, new details about the show were released to the public. Ciro Nieli, executive producer, cited that the series would be slightly different than past incarnations. The turtles will now have "more individual attributes" that will tell them apart, wereas previously they could only be distinguished by the color of their masks, the color of their skin and their weapons. Also, Michelangelo's traditional nunchaku would be replaced by kusari-gama. Along with this wealth of new information, a first glimpse of the show was released alongside an initial promotional image.
More information was unveiled at an invite-only fan event in March 2010. These details, however, were from a work-in-progress version of the series, and have the opportunity to change in the final product. Some details that have been made known, however, including a teenage April O'Neil, Hamato Yoshi becoming Master Splinter, and The Kraang, an homage to many different entities in TMNT lore (Kraang/Utroms/Foot Soldiers). The series is said to have the dark elements and intense action of the 2003 TV series, but still have the jokes of the 1987 series while still being something of its own.Images of the turtles, Master Splinter, April, Shredder and the Kraang have all been revealed. Some confirmed changes to the series are Donatello having a strong crush on April, Master Splinter being younger and having a more active role in the series, and Splinter training April to be a ninja so she can go out and battle enemies with the turtles. Mikey and Don can also extend their weapons into blades. Leonardo will also still be the skilled leader, albeit younger than Don and Raph, (who will still be a hot-head).
Sometime in March 2011, a micro site for the new series was leaked on Nickelodeon's website. The micro site revealed pictures of April, Shredder, the Kraang, and Splinter with bios for all of them. The site was shut down for some time, but as of June 2011, it is back up and features a personality quiz, bios for the turtles, a newsletter, a new game called TMNT: Dark Horizons, and the new trailer for the series. Merchandise for the series is already starting to get made, including action figures from Playmates Toys which will be released in August 2011, a set of stickers, Halloween costumes, and books based off the series.
An official trailer was released on June 23, 2011 and aired on Nickelodeon the following Saturday. The trailer revealed the turtle's new voices, the animation, and that the theme song of the new show will be a remixed/remade version of the original theme song from the 1987 cartoon.
Jason Biggs originally voiced Leonardo and Rob Paulsen, who voiced Raphael in the 1987 series, portrays Donatello. In June 2011, it was confirmed that Sean Astin is playing Raphael and Greg Cipes is Michelangelo. In August 2011, it was revealed that Mae Whitman would be the voice for April O'Neil. In April 2012, it was announced that Phil Lamarr would be playing the role of Baxter Stockman and Nolan North would be playing a race of aliens known as The Kraang. Actress Kelly Hu confirmed her role as Karai in May 2012.
Nickelodeon has ordered three seasons, all of which will have 26 episodes. Season 1 premiered on September 29, 2012. The premiere of season 2 was on October 12 2013. Season 3 has been announced on February 26, 2013. Season 4 has been announced on June 17, 2014. Hopefully more seasons are announced as well.
- Andrea Romano (Voice Director)
- Ciro Nieli (Executive Producer)
- J.R. Ventimilia (Executive Producer)
- Joshua Sternin (Executive Producer)
- Kenny Byerly (Staff Writer)
- Russ Carney (Staff Writer)
- Ron Corcillo (Staff Writer)
- Peter DiCicco (Script Coordinator)
- Michael Chang (Animation Director)
- Alan Wan (Animation Director)
- Ant Ward (Supervising Producer)
- Alex Deligiannis (Art Department)
- Juan Jose Meza-Leon (Animation Director)