Late last year, Nickelodeon revealed that they would be airing the first two seasons of the 2003 TMNT series in a special holiday event on their Nicktoons channel. At the time, we were hopeful that a high viewership would convince the company to release the series on DVD. After all, previous releases were a mess and some volumes are now next to impossible to find. Unfortunately, although we can now announce that Nick has finally decided to give the 4Kids fans some new DVDs, they won’t be coming without their fair share of issues. In fact, fans who currently own the previous releases from Funimation may just want to hold on to those copies.
In a press release from Nickelodeon, it was revealed the other day that they would be producing two DVDs featuring episodes from the first season of the 2003 series. This confirms that they will not be doing season sets – at least not yet – and with their behavior concerning the home video releases for the current TMNT series, fans may not want to hold out hope for anything more. What’s worse is that the two DVDs they are planning to release appear to be re-releases of previously existing Funimation volumes.
Here is the official press release from Nickelodeon:
“When four pet turtles were bathed in ooze, they began to mutate and became the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Raised in New York City sewers by their foster father and martial-arts Master Splinter, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael wage war against crime. They stop evildoers in all forms, whether barbaric gangs, lowlife crooks, deranged cyborgs, or even the crime syndicate The Foot, led by their archrival, The Shredder.
The search is on in this totally rad value-pack! A Mousers attack has separated the Turtles from their master! But they get more than they bargained for when their search for Splinter leads them to a building connected with their mutation. Also, it’s total Turtles action when Leo, Raph, Donnie, and Mikey return to New York with one goal in mind: to destroy the Shredder once and for all. And this battle promises to be a fight to the finish!
The classic 2003 series of the hot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise returns to DVD with Volume 1 and Volume 2. Each single-disc volume includes 3 first season episodes filled with all the ninja action and comic-book adventure that TMNT fans love…released in time for summer and available at hot, low value pricing!”
The first DVD will be titled NYC Showdown and the second is The Search for Splinter. As TVShowsOnDVD pointed out, the premise and titles for these releases are very similar to volumes 7 and 8 of the original DVD sets. In fact, one of the titles is exactly the same as its previous release. Nickelodeon isn’t even trying to hide the fact that they are essentially just re-releasing the previously mismatched and incomplete DVD sets that fans have been stuck with for over a decade.
To make matters worse, each DVD set is said to come with only three episodes of the series, while previous releases had four episodes. If possible, it appears that Nick might be producing even lazier and cheaper releases than Funimation originally crafted 11 years ago. Fans of the 4Kids series were hoping that they might finally get the whole thing in season sets, but it would appear that Nickelodeon has no interest in doing this any time soon.
If their releases of the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series are any sign, it could be a few years before we see a Season 1 set, and even then it may just be a compilation of these DVDs. Fans of the 2K12 series are already left wondering where the blu-ray releases are, as it is a television show produced in high definition and has yet to see a high definition home video release. To put it simply, this is yet another sign in a long history of poor home video productions which suggests that Nickelodeon has no idea what they are doing when it comes to the home video market.
Harsh criticisms aside, fans of the 2K3 series may still want to pick these DVDs up, if only to upgrade from their current overplayed copies of the same volumes they previously had. If your current Funimation DVDs are starting to show signs of wear, it might be worth it to take advantage of these re-releases, especially since high sales will definitely inspire Nickelodeon to keep working with the series. Who knows? Maybe they’ll finally give the fans what they really want somewhere down the road, but for now we’re stuck with this. Be on the lookout for these “new” DVD sets in stores on June 9th, 2015.
What do you think? If you’re a fan of the 2003 TMNT series, do these releases come across as a slap in the face or a welcome addition to your library? Are we being too harsh on Nickelodeon? Let us know in the comments below!