In the weeks leading up to the release of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, news has been breaking of certain changes that have been made to the formula. Thankfully, most of the changes are small and probably insignificant, but one of the things that caught my eye was the fact that April O’Neil will be a teenager. It’s not like they’ve turned the turtles into aliens or anything crazy like that (I mean really, who would do something so foolish?), but this is a rather significant change to the original story of the TMNT. To be fair, they have a legitimate excuse for doing this, as Executive Producer Ciro Nieli explains further in recent comments about the show:
“When I remember April, there was a lot of ‘I’m going to work now, don’t mess up the house.’ We’re really playing on the idea of the turtles being teenagers, so it just felt appropriate that if April is going to be a fully functioning member of the crew, she should be a peer.”
While Nieli brings up some interesting points about April’s function in the original series, long time fans may still be disappointed. After all, it’s not like she never had time for the turtles, and for many of us she was our first example in film or television of a somewhat strong, independent woman. Making her character a teenager doesn’t necessarily make her more weak or less independent, but it does change certain dynamics about her character that have always held true. That being said, this wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve ever seen her character change a bit. After all, in the original comics April O’Neil wasn’t a reporter, she was a computer programmer. However, she was still an adult, and she was still a pretty powerful female role model.
We’re not quite sure yet how this change will affect her character in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, but I’m still pretty hopeful that Nickelodeon’s reboot will remain mostly faithful. Certain aspects of the story may be different this time around, but we’re not talking about Michael Bay level modifications or anything. Still worried? Check out this short clip from the show to ease your concerns, and prepare for its release on September 29th. We’re almost there, TMNT fans! Let’s get pumped!