So there are two schools of thought when it comes to April O’Neil from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You’re either a Judith Hoag person or a Paige Turco person. Myself, I’m a Paige Turco person. See in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies there were two actresses who played April O’Neil.
The first was Judith Hoag. She starred in the first live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. She got to wear the iconic yellow jumpsuit, she got to fall in love with the masked vigilante Casey Jones and well, all the important stuff. But Hoag didn’t want to do another turtles movie, in fact in later interviews she basically said she thought the whole thing was ridiculous.
So along comes Paige Turco who starred in the next two Turtle movies. She got to meet Keno? Watch the Ninja Turtles dance with Vanilla Ice and… well have a bad haircut in Ninja Turtles 3.
Still, both women had a shot at April. The question at hand is really, which one looked more like April. To me, Paige Turco did. For starters Paige was attractive and even at 6 or 7 years old I found Judith Hoag absolutely fugly. April in all her previous incarnations had been somewhat busty, youthful and voluptuous. But Judith Hoag? She ended up with a butt chin, gangly limbs and far too many freckles.
When Paige came along I breathed a sigh of relief because April appeared to be somewhat attractive. A lot of fans rag on Paige’s version of April as inferior to Judith’s and although I think that should have no baring on which is the more definitive April, I will say it’s a bit of an unfair comparison. Judith was given a great role with April, but by movies 2 and 3, April was reduced to largely just standing around and laughing at the turtles hijinx and getting kidnapped. Hardly fair. The writers wrote the first April a good script.
In comparisons to the early artwork, obviously Paige wins. April was drawn to be a sexy lady, not a river skank troll. Of course looking back at a lot of the old April drawings by Kevin Eastman it’s pretty obvious at times he’s drawing B-Movie actress Julie Strain or at least channeling her. Luckily for Eastman he ended up marrying her, so I guess it pays off.
Actually Kevin Eastman has floated around the idea that April may not have originally even been intended to be a white woman. And sure enough, if you read the first comic she appeared in, she does have a few features that could make her be some other ethnicity than Caucasian. Although why she isn’t colored in dark like Baxter Stockman doesn’t really gel with that vibe. I think Eastman probably just made that up to sound cool, he does that sometimes.
For my money though, Paige Turco is the definitive live action April. She looks better. Unlike Judith she’s never slammed the turtle movies in the press and let’s face it she went on to have a much bigger career than Hoag and yet she still enjoys her time with the boys in green.
So what say you? Are you a Judith or a Paige April fan?