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Facts about Michelangelo!

by Kyle Tobey

Everyone has their favorite turtle, but Michelangelo is often the heart that the turtles need.

Mikey made it to the semi-finals in our “Vote for your favorite toy” bracket. Donatello barely inched him out, but this party dude deserves his own time in the spotlight. Here are facts about the youngest turtle.

The character’s name was originally misspelled as “Michaelangelo”, with an additional “a”.

Photo via Paramount

Eastman and Laird were forced to keep the misspelling for nearly the first two decades of the existence of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for reasons of their copyright claim. This misspelling had stuck until 2001 with Volume 4 of the comic series from Mirage Studios, when the spelling was officially changed to “Michelangelo”. The 1996 anime also used the “Michelangelo” spelling. On the TMNT 2007 movie teaser poster featuring Michelangelo, the character’s name is spelled “Michaelangelo”, though the movie uses the proper spelling of the name in its credits.

The comics, cartoon series, and movies, reveal Michelangelo as a master of several related shinobi-iri disciplines of ninjutsu, including Taijutsu (unarmed body combat techniques), Hensojustu (undercover operations and espionage), Intonjutsu (stealth on land), Sui-ren (stealth in watery medium), Shurikenjustu (swords and blades), Kyujutsu (archery), and Kayakujustu (firearms, smoke bombs and explosives).

In season 4 of the 1987 cartoon series, his nunchaku were replaced by grappling hooks.

This was due to censorship. The nunchaku was banned at the time in several European countries due to violence involving people armed with the weapon. This forced the creators of the series to edit out Michelangelo’s weapon of choice. He was armed instead with a “turtle line,” a form of grappling hook which became his primary weapon in the series.

In an interview with Screen Rant, Jonathan Liebesman, who directed Michael Bay’s rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series, revealed that the faces of the Ninja Turtles were inspired by celebrities. Michelangelo’s face was inspired by the comedian Bill Murray.

In almost every incarnation of the character, Michelangelo is a huge comic book fan.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IDW #67, titled “Desperate Measures, Part 1,” his collection included Batman, The Incredible Hulk, and Spider-Man.

Similarly, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IDW #22, he was shown reading “100-Page Spectacular 2012: After the Fire.”  We also got a glimpse of his bedroom in TMNT IDW #65. His collection included Katsuhiro Otomo’s post-apocalyptic series, AkiraIn the 2012 TV series, we learned that he reads Crognarg the Barbarian, and loves cartoon shows, such as Super Robo Mecha Force Five.

Mikey sometimes imagines himself to be a superhero. In the 2003 TV series, he created his own superhero identity “Turtle Titan.” He also befriended Silver Sentry, and other superheroes of the Justice Force.

He is named after the Renaissance Italian artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.

Michelangelo went to visit the artists famous works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2018.

photo via Hyperallergic

When Vanilla Ice arrived at the set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secrets of the Ooze  to participate in filming the rap scene, actor Michelan Sisti, in his full Michelangelo costume, tried to welcome him with a hug. However, one of Vanilla Ice’s bodyguards objected to the sight of a lowly sewer turtle trying to hug his boss. This led to a confrontation that threatened to engulf the set. The entire cast of the movie, including the stuntmen, stood up for the Ninja Turtle, Michelangelo.

The cabinet art for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (arcade game)showed his headband and pad color as yellow.

In the Archie version, one of his many skills is the ability to communicate with animals.

Mikey has always had a special connection with animals. He adopted a kitten, Klunk in the Mirage comic and 2003 series. I urge you to read Tales from the TMNT #9 from the Mirage series. I’m not crying, there’s just dust in my eye…

The spelling mistakes continue in the Atari ST version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989 video game), his name was spelled “Micaelangelo”.

Mikey looks like he’s ready to have some fun and kick some butt. Image Source: Nickelodeon.

In the upcoming series Michelangelo is a Mutant box turtle and an artist and skateboarder. He wields a kusari-fundo. He is the youngest of the turtles.

The back of this card on the original toy reads…


The Wild & Crazy Turtle

Vital Shell: Hard and polished to a waxy finish


Weapons: Nunchukus, Turtle Fist Daggers, Ninja Stars, Kama

Birthplace: Woodys Pet Shop, Pennshellvania

Height: 5′

Weight: 150 lbs.

Age: 15 1/2 (people) years

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