Home Blog Nickelodeon’s TMNT – First Impressions

Nickelodeon’s TMNT – First Impressions

by Zach Gasior

On Saturday, September 29th at 11 AM, we got our first official look at the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series crafted by Nickelodeon. Long time fans feared severe changes to the formula, but although we were all nervous, there was also a sense of hope in the air. Thankfully, most of the fans I spoke to didn’t seem too upset by what they got. Sure, there were some pretty big changes to get used to, but for the most part, this is still the TMNT we know and love. That being said, the changes that they made to this series were pretty obvious, and left a lot of fans scratching their heads. Let’s go over some of the biggest things we’ll have to get used to:

TMNT on Nick, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nickelodeon

Donatello is Raphael – Okay, so most of us probably knew by now that Rob Paulsen was going to be playing the role of Donny this time around, but that didn’t stop us from getting a bit confused from time to time. The differences are particularly noticeable when both Raphael and Donatello are talking with each other, but to be fair, Paulsen approaches the new character with an obvious level of professionalism. Even though long time fans will be saying “that’s totally Raphael,” with the language used and  the slight variance in vocal tone, Paulsen owns the new character and makes it work.


Splinter looks Younger – Past representations of splinter have all given the character a certain sense of age and wisdom, but this new Splinter almost seems young and inexperienced. His long beard is also a rather strange choice, and regardless of where you stand on the issue, seeing him as a proper mentor is going to take some getting used to.


The Krang – Well, at least they implemented the story of Krang in some way, right? Actually, while many may cry foul, I like the decision to make these monsters from Dimension X the first big enemy in the series. It makes for a fresh take on the material while still being somewhat respectful of the origins.


Donny Loves April – Okay, so a little puppy love isn’t exactly a foreign aspect in the franchise, but it’s still a little weird to see Donatello pining for a teenage April O’Neil right off the bat. I’m still not sure how I feel about this, and I truly hope they don’t build too much on the notion of Donny falling for April.


Mikey is an Idiot – Michelangelo has always been the fun loving type in the group, and he’s always acted a little goofy. However, he’s never really been a complete and total airhead, either. In the new series, Mikey is portrayed as unwise and unintelligent, with his bandanna inexplicably being the shortest of all four turtles. One has to wonder if Nickelodeon did this to try and reach out to a younger audience, but either way, it’s a strange choice that really does change one of the main characters in a pretty big way. It’s one thing when Donny sounds like Raphael, but when Mikey isn’t even acting like himself, that’s a bit weird.


The Music Sucks – Okay, so maybe it’s not the worst score ever, but it’s definitely not as creative and inspired as the music from the original series. The music is mostly inspired by a hip-hop beat, which seems to be more of an attempt to pander to a certain crowd than to actually make something memorable and interesting.


Most of these probably sound like horrible changes, but they honestly aren’t that bad. In the grand scheme of things, these are minor quibbles that don’t really affect the quality of the show all that much. True, this is a lot different from the TMNT we grew up with, and it’s even quite a bit different from the 2003 series. However, the changes made have been mostly respectful of the origins and haven’t been so disturbing that they might ruin it for a large group of fans. Nickelodeon’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series might not be what some of us wanted it to be, but it’s still pretty darn good. Personally, I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do with The Krang and Shredder, but what did you think? Were you impressed or disappointed? What were some of the things you liked or disliked about the show? Let us know in the comments below!

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Moreno October 3, 2012 - 4:10 pm

Everything was alright (even Splinter)…but Mike??? It’s my favorite turtle, and what have they done to it? Being funny is different from being retarded, stupid. I really hope they fix that. Aside from that, everything was ok.

admin October 4, 2012 - 1:16 pm

It should be fixed!

mr maczaps October 4, 2012 - 2:07 pm

I did find that Mikey was pretty stupid in the show and that bothered me because Mikey is my fav Turtle.
The opening credits music wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great either. It did have a bit of the old/classic theme in it.
The Krangs are odd, and I’m not fond of their way of communicating.

admin October 4, 2012 - 6:59 pm

I understand your frustration as Michelangelo is many peoples favorite. Hopefully things change a bit.

Ryan October 6, 2012 - 11:41 am

Perhaps they will throw in some character development.

MysteryGirl October 6, 2012 - 1:38 pm

Mikey is my favorite turtle too, I acutally like the 2012 show better. And the music isn’t that bad, I mean we all have different opinions but I like how they made Mikey its funny. He’s the life of the party.

admin October 9, 2012 - 1:13 pm

very happy you like it!

Vi11AiN6 October 15, 2012 - 3:56 pm

I thought Mikey carried the show!, sure he’s an airhead but he’s the youngest turtle and I think he has more personality than everyone else. I am enjoying the new series.. It’s for kids because it’s Nick!! You want gritty read the IDW comics and THOSE have some pretty major changes too!

admin October 16, 2012 - 1:15 pm

Vi11AiN6, totally agree with you about Michelangelo. The comic series is amazing!

NoneYaBiz October 29, 2012 - 1:40 am

I think Mikey is hilarious. I’m a long-time fan and I embrace the fact that Mikey is now somewhat an idiot. Though, in the 2nd episode, he states that his brothers think “he’s some kind of bonehead”, which kind of says he is somewhat decent. And I love the little anime bits sprinkled in, like the large, sparkle eyes, or the head veins.

admin October 29, 2012 - 6:26 pm

It is tough to see Mikey as the undervalued brother especially as he an amazing martial artist. We are happy to see you like the new series enough to watch it! Enjoy it dude.

AprilONealFan1 November 23, 2012 - 12:43 pm

My Favorite Character In The Show Is April And My Second Favorite character Is Donnetello. I Heard That Donnie Has A Crush On April. They Seem Like They Are Perfect For Each Other. Apriltello!

admin November 23, 2012 - 2:17 pm

Apriltello!!! That is one of the funniest things, great one! April is showing a lot of courage to be fighting with the Ninja Turtles in this new animated series.

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