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Don’t Judge a Turtle by Its Shell: ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows’ and Reboots

We all have our obsessions. Some of us even have multiple. For me, it’s mostly Star Wars and Harry Potter, but not many people know about an obsession I’ve had that goes all the way back to some of my first childhood memories. That obsession is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was created with one major purpose in mind–to sell toys. That was it; however, it’s turned into so much more – from many different comic book storylines and movies, to multiple videos games and even a successful television reboot in its fourth season on Nickelodeon. Needless to say, creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird went well beyond their vision of a short comic book series and some action figures.

With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows opening in theaters last Friday, the questions still remain: Have we simply become a society with a media outlet that’s largely based on reboots? And if so, can we safely assume that the most-often-rebooted franchises came out of the ’80s and ’90s? 

Fans have argued against this new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise as a poorly constructed representation of their childhood, and even in a review on, one critic states, “Nostalgia is often used as a mandate for spectacularly lazy filmmaking.”  In these newest TMNT reboots, our band of brothers appear to be so muscular that they look nothing like their counterparts from the original ’90s films, and even just the other day, a fellow coworker and I were arguing about the Turtles‘ current look.  His argument was that if filmmakers can’t make TMNT look like what its largest fanbase remember them as, then what’s the point?  I tend to disagree.  Just because something looks different, doesn’t mean it’s bad; one can learn to appreciate both.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I think the writers have accurately depicted each of our pizza-loving heroes in a nostalgic representation. Will Arnett is also an excellent addition to the story, but he’s just hilarious in anything he does. Blogs have confirmed that Casey Jones makes an appearance in Out of the Shadows, and if that’s true, I like how the current screenwriters are taking their time to introduce important characters in a proper manner. And I’m sure we’ve all heard the rumors of a popular Turtle villain who may also make an appearance in this new film, but you’re all going to have to go see it before I give away any spoilers.

In the meantime, I think we can all agree to not judge a Turtle by its outer shell. After all, we’re fans of a franchise that surrounds the concept of Turtles–who happen to be mutants–who happen to stop growing as teenagers–who happen to master the art of ninjutsu. Splinter forbid they look weird, right?


Joshua Desjardins, Fanbase Press Contributor



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