Here’s your first official look at the NEW Nickelodeon version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I posted about potential looks just this past week and speculated what the new Turtles might look like based on the WB Turtle designs. Now however, thanks to a fluff piece article in the Wall Street Journal we have our first official look at the new TMNT. Take a look with thoughts below:


– Okay, first the designs themselves. Because we don’t have any full body shots, but rather in motion type of shots, it’s hard to say what exactly the designs are. To me, they look a bit like the CGI TMNT movie mixed with the 2K3 TMNT toon. It’s not bad in general, but I’d need to see more to make an official opinion.

– For what it’s worth Nickelodeon is supposedly emphasizing that each character have a really defined personality (even though they always have) and a focus on “their martial-arts combat abilities”.

– Speaking of martial arts, Michelangelo doesn’t have his nunchucks. For starters, I’ve always thought the nunchuck ban is stupid. I mean, how is it that a sword, a large stick or a sharp pointed piece of metal less is dangerous than a nunchuck? Certain states have bans on nunchucks, but it’s legal to own a gun in any state. It’s something I’ve never, ever understood. However, it’s too early to call and say for sure that Mikey won’t have his chucks. He doesn’t have them here, but perhaps he still has them, but also uses something else.

– If Nick has abandoned the Nunchaku, I will consider it a huge blow for the franchise. It’s really one of the few battles that Nick will have to fight with the Turtles and it’s something that if missing, will prove that without the creators on board anymore, a certain level of the soul is lost as well. If Nick is simply downplaying the nunchucks as happened in later episodes of the original cartoon, so be it. Michelangelo has had his Nunchaku for the better part of 25 years though, in toys, cartoons and children’s cosplay apparel. Giving up now and changing it would seem, pathetic in my opinion.

– The weapon Mike is wielding is called a Kusarigama. For those keeping score at home this chain sickle is actually MORE dangerous than nunchucks since it has a blade on the end, but I digress.

– The guys have various wraps on them, which seems reminiscent of the “The Next Mutation” TMNT designs. I actually always liked them, but I’m not as keen on them here. It just seems like it’s tacked on, but perhaps with cleaner shots of the hands and feet I’ll change my opinion.

– Don’s bo staff is clearly bent more like a bow and arrow. This could just be bad art that has the bo arching with the “action”.

– Their feet kind of look like hooves. Again, action shot, hard to say, but they’re certainly less defined than usual.

– Mikey’s face looks like a Ninja Turtles Ice Cream Bar, Don is making a goofy face and Leo looks stoned… Raph looks normal. Again, it’s impossible to judge too much on one low res photo, but there definitely seems to be some emphasis on giving everyone a distinct expression.

So what do you guys think? Do the new TMNT look good? Remember, although I’m being critical here I am perfectly willing to accept that this is very early art and not very good (as in angles and such) to really make too critical of a judgement. I don’t hate the new look based on one photo…

13 Responses to First Look At Nickelodeon Ninja Turtle Art

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    The new Nick Turtles are to the classic versions what the Bandai Thundercats are to the originals. Different looks for a different generation. That said, I agree that the whole ban on Nunchakus is plain nonsense. Mike needs his proper weapons and omitting them for the sake of political correctness is a crock of BS.

  • Agreed in general. My hope is that the nunchucks are still around, but perhaps are just being downplayed in some art and stuff. I guess we'll have to see when more is revealed, but the nunchuck stuff has always annoyed the crap out of me.

  • clark says:

    I don't hate anything about the designs, they're familiar without looking exactly like anything previously seen, but like you I want to see some straight up character designs. Do we know for sure that the CGI animation is 3D? I'm just wondering because this image, which I know isn't a screen shot, reminds me of some of the 2D CGI animation I've seen. That could be really cool, if you've ever seen the opening sequence from Kung Fu Panda you know that 2D CG animation can look bad ass.

  • Mecha-Shiva says:

    I think TMNT forever was the final nod to all nostalgia fans.Eh,the Kusarigama is a cool weapon ,too bad mikey can't do the helicopter thing anymore,lol.As long as the toys are cool,I am fine with it.

  • I would imagine true CG is still the plan, but this is just some artwork following the style. I could be wrong, details are still vague at this point.

  • Alex Deligiannis, the character designer for the series responded in a a tweet about the weapons:

    "Regarding the weapons, that’s just one of many images that was used for the composite. Don’t get your panties bunched, it's ok. Promise."

    "Incidentally, what kind of sense would it make to "outlaw" two wooden sticks, but replace them with a swinging blade on a chain? Come on."

    Whether that confirms Mike will still have the chucks isn't certain. I'm thinking it may be a bit like the old cartoon, where they really started to downplay Mike using his nunchucks. He often used a grappling hook, of all things, as his weapon.

  • wesitron says:

    I agree that the bandages looks kinda odd. I guess it depends on the skin to wrap ratio so not too much of the anatomy is covered. I wonder if the wraps will be as unique as they appear, as toymakers' bread and butter has always been that they could reuse the turtles' bodies over and over again since they all had the same basic costumes.

    Neat enough, though. I'd love to see them in action!

  • Mark says:

    I like the new designs. I think its good they hve changed it up a bit. I'm a wrestling fan so I like the wraps. 🙂
    Anyword on new toys for this series? As I need some Turtles since selling my vintage and NECA figures.

  • Playmates has the master license. It's safe to assume that Playmates will roll out a complete line of toys to debut alongside the show. Playmates axed all previous TMNT toys, so they could focus all their efforts on when the TMNT relaunched.

    That's still probably a year away.

  • Russ says:

    Well, the plus side is now Nickelodeon has a new way to market their Green Slime. I mean, you can only ride the wave of "You Can't Do That on Television" and "Double Dare" for so long before they're just throwing the stuff into any pointless scenario( though IMO the former pretty much already *was* that….). At least now they can just refer to it as "mutagen ooze" 😉

  • The Castellan says:

    I've given up on Playmates years ago. 😛

  • Rob_Mac says:

    I remember when the original cartoon switched Mike from the chucks to a rope with a shell on the end. Even back then I remember thinking "he lives in the sewer, at least grab a pipe or something! how are you going to fight evil with a rope?"

  • Tell that to Wonder Woman! But yeah… The grappling hook thing was always pretty lame.

    I do seem to recall in the original TMNT RPG books that Mike was supposedly the most adept at using any type of weapon,

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