April O’Neil is Black – Although the character has traditionally been depicted as a redhead, Nickelodeon has decided to give her a slightly different background this time around. Although this will probably change some of her mannerisms, April will still be a friend of the turtles who supports their efforts through thick and thin.
April Has a Bat – According to the creators of this cartoon, April not only has a baseball bat, but she also knows how to use it. In previous TMNT cartoons, April slowly developed into a stronger character. It would appear that we can expect her to start off much stronger than usual in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Raphael is the New Leader – For the first time in the history of the franchise, Raphael is going to be the leader of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He will still be a “meathead,” but the creators of this new cartoon indicate that his brothers have a lot of respect for his leadership.Raphael Now Has Tonfas – In addition to becoming the leader, Raph will also be holding an entirely new set of weapons. Rather than using his characteristic sai, we can now expect Raphael to sport a pair of tonfas. Much like his previous weapon, the tonfa is used for both defensive and offensive purposes.
Raphael is a Snapping Turtle – In this iteration of the TMNT, all four turtles are a different breed. Raphael will be a snapping turtle, a species which is noted for being very aggressive when caught. These turtles are typically at the top of the food chain wherever they live, which is a perfect way to describe Raph!
Donatello Has a Fleet of Battle-shells – The original animated series said it best: “Donatello does machines.” Donnie won’t be changing much in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but he will apparently create a fleet of “battle-shells” to help the turtles beat their foes.Donatello Has a Tech Bo Staff – Although we don’t yet know what his bo staff is capable of, it would appear that Donnie’s weapon is a lot more complex than it has been in the past. All we know for sure is that this has been referred to as a “tech bo staff,” indicating that there’s more to the weaponry than meets the eye.
Donatello is a Softshell Turtle – Donnie’s breed is far different than that of his brothers, but it fits with his character. Softshell turtles have a more leathery shell which is flexible at the edges. It makes sense for a turtle with this vulnerability to use technology to protect himself, and it would appear that Donatello has done just that.
Leonardo is Very Smart – Now that he’s not the leader, Leo is free to let more of his personality shine. The creators of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles indicate that this iteration of Leonardo will be much more intelligent – and slightly arrogant about it.
Leonardo Will Create Catchphrases – In Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo was always coming up with different names for their enemies. It would appear that Leo may take over in this role and create some different catchphrases for the group to use.Leonardo Now Uses an Ōdachi – The former leader of the group will be using a different kind of sword in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. An Ōdachi is a much longer two-handed weapon which was commonly used by samurai. This type of blade isn’t as easy to wield as a standard katana, but I think Leonardo is more than capable of handling himself.
Leonardo is a Red-Eared Slider – Shellheads are probably very familiar with this breed, as the red-eared slider became one of the most popular pet turtles after the creation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the 80’s. These turtles have red marks near their eyes which look remarkably like the masks worn by our heroes in a half shell.
Michelangelo Will Say Cowabunga – Although Leo will be creating new catchphrases, the creators of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have revealed that Mikey will indeed be using the term “cowabunga” instead of “booyakasha.” The more things change, the more they stay the same!Michelangelo is a Box Turtle – Fans will note that this was the breed of the turtles before their most recent changes in this cartoon. Box turtles can hide their body inside of their shell to defend themselves against predators. This species is also noted for eating pretty much anything they can find – a characteristic which is perfect for Mikey!
Eric Bauza Will Play Splinter – If you watched Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you’ll be familiar with Eric Bauza as the voice of the villain Tiger Claw. In Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bauza will take on the role of none other than Master Splinter. According to Bauza, Splinter may be a bit more comedic this time around.
Rob Paulsen is the Voice Director – Long time fans will remember Paulsen as the voice of Raphael in the original animated series. He also played Donatello in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This time around, Paulsen will be providing direction for the voice actors, ensuring that they get the characters right.
Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche Will Play Villains – In addition to directing, Paulsen will also take on at least one role as a villain in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maurice LaMarche, who once played the Brain to his Pinky, will also be providing the voice of a villain in this series.John Cena is the Main Villain – Although we haven’t heard much about Shredder as of yet, it would appear that one of the main villains in this series will be Baron Draxum. This evil doer will be played by none other than WWE Superstar John Cena. Our heroes in a half shell will be tasked with stopping Baron Draxum from turning all humans into mutants!
Andy Suriano and Ant Ward are Creating the Cartoon – Both Andy Suriano and Ant Ward will be leading the charge behind the creation of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Both creators have worked with the TMNT before, and both have a lot of experience in animation with cartoons such as Samurai Jack, The Powerpuff Girls and Camp Lazlo.
Rise of the TMNT Will Hit the Air in Fall of 2018 – Believe it or not, we’re only about 8 months away from the release of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It won’t be long before our heroes in a half shell are back on our television screens!