Basically I didn‘t want to write about comics and their movies again. But certain things happened recently so I saw myself being forced to write about this topic again.
I mean, cartoons and comics always were a part of my life! A huge part. I always say that the TV raised me and not my parents (and you have no idea how true that is). Watching cartoons all weekend and some hours after school was normal for me. And just like every other boy in my school I loved the Turtles! And I am not talking about any random raptile (I mean I later had snakes as „pets“) but about the „Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles“. That was their European name, because the term „Ninja“ was thought to be too violent for poor European kids. TMNT was awesome, it was colorful, funny, had cool actions! TMNT was just the right thing for a <10-year old boy. And who did not have a crush on April O‘Neal?!?!?!?!
Well, many years later I saw the early 1990ies live-action movies. As I mentioned in the Muppets article some weeks ago, Jim Henson’s creature shop even did the puppets for this movies. Whatever, as a kid I loved, I adored, I enjoyed, I dunno what else I did with the three Turtles movies. I can still speak certain lines along. Then in 2005 or so, German TV broadcast the new TV show in the kids-block. Unfortunatly we only saw the first 2 of 7 seasons of that. In the meantime I learned that TMNT started as an underground comic in the USA and even read some of them (I now have them all, thanks to the interwebz!). The 2003 TV-show is based upon the comics much more than the original series. In 2007 there even was a new movie in the cinema. Completly computer animated but as awesome as the 2003 TV-show. I actually like the 2003 show better than the old show. I dunno why, maybe I grew up and the darker undertone in the 2003 installment fitted me better than this funny little piece of kids entertainment. Who knows?! I won‘t be talking about the Power-Rangers-like TV show that came up in the late 1990ies, it just sucked.
Well… and short time after I started reading the original comics about 2 weeks ago… I can‘t even talk about this. It hurts. I mean, I heard that somebody was planning to do a new live action movie. I‘m not sure if I already heard who wanted to do it, and if so I seem to have forgotten it for my own good. Well, IDW Publishing relauched the comic franchise with a new #1. They created a new origin story with a lot of ideas I knew from the movies. But I was interested in the original comics. And I found them online. Thanks to the internet you can get everything. I mean, this stuff is more than 25 years old and I didn‘t want to spend tons of money for black/white comics. I was so pleased with the first books and I guess I‘ve read the first 20 books in a row. But when I started dreaming of them I had to do a short break of them.
Anyways, I was looking for the last issue that came out on like March 21th and accidently I found a news about the upcoming movie. I was confused. I thought they had skipped the plans to do a complete movie in favor for the new cartoon series on Nickelodeon (TMNT now belongs to VIACOM). The first word I read was „BAY“ and I was like „OH NOOOOOOO, NOT HIM, PLEASE!!!“ and then I read the news that came up with like a day before: Michael Bay wants to make the Turtles to aliens. And I was like:
There was a keynote or so where he actually tried to promote this idea and the whole internet must have been like I was!
Bay’s statement was „Chill!“ He mentioned we hadn‘t read the script, and it would make perfect sense, he had talked everything through with one of the inventors of the franchise. As Kevin Eastman sold all the rights to the Turtles some years ago, it means that Peter Laird must be OK with the idea. I mean, I will link some interesting comments on this matter I saw on Youtube.
Here’s Blunty3000’s comment on the matter:
When I first heard what Bay wanted to do, I said on Facebook (and I quote myself) „Bay is butt-fucking“ my childhood!“ Blunty’s right when he says that Bay is doing nothing to the stuff we liked in the old times. It is his vision (or the vision of the screenwriter) and maybe some new ideas can even improve an existing universe.
Well, as far as I remember this only worked once: „The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“ always was changed and adapted to fit the medium it was on. Compare the radio play, the books, the TV show, the textadventure and the Disney movie and you will find many differences, new story lines, new characters, new monsters/aliens whatever. And it worked everytime.
I mean the Turtles franchise never was out of the minds of the kids. The Turtles always were there in the last 25 years. With TV shows, toys, comics! So I guess Laird doesn‘t need to bring them back with a blast, like maybe Akira Toriyama had to do it with Dragonball. This is another example. Toriyama worked really close with the screenwriters and producers and supervised everything. And he actually said something like „You have to see Dragonball Evolution as a different approach or an alternate universe“ I don‘t remember exactly. But as a hardcore fan you want to see what you know from your childhood on the big screen. That is why so many people feel „raped“ by Bay. I mean, I even felt „butt-fucked“.
Here is another statement from Youtube.
He’s got a good point: If you make the Turtles aliens, it can not be the Mutant Ninja Turtles anymore. Everything that is left over are „Teenage Aliens“!! No more Turtles, no more Ninja and, first of it all, no more Mutants! Barely Teenage Aliens! Well, that basically sums it up. It will end in a hell of a shitty movie! Bay also did the Transformers movies. I‘m not too familiar with this franchise. But except for certain aspects he did a quite good job in my opinion. And I am a man, I love it when stuff blows up and when Megan Fox lays on a motorcycle. But I mean, I‘m trying to think myself into the place of Peter Laird. The big producer/director Michael Bay standing in front of him, talking about the story and his ideas for the movie, throwing stuff into the air and shouting „KABOOOOOOOOOOM!“. Would you say „No I want it differently, I want it like the original“? Of course you have to adapt stuff to the „now“. Stuff that worked in the 1990ies may not work today.
But what if the guys at Universal suddenly had made the Hulk pink or so, just because pink is fashionable at the moment???? So the Turtles being MUTANTS is a basic element just like the color of the Hulk, how stupid it may be! I mean, Blunty is fully right in his point, we have to think before we react and just because something new made of stuff from our childhood, how important it may have been for us, can‘t spoil what we‘ve experienced already! But movie makers have to understand, that they take a certain responsibility when they work with a franchise with such a high popcultural meaning like the Turtles.
I‘m really expecting this movie fearfully. I mean, I sort of enjoyed the Dragonball movie too in some way, cause it brought many ideas to live action I always wanted to see on the big screen. But it simply was not what I expected. The transfer from cartoon/comic/game to a movie always means a lot of compromises, especially when it comes to money and special effects. But please, making „Teenage Mutant Ninja/Hero Turtles“ into „Teenage Aliens“ is not a compromise at all.
Follow the little raping BAY!!!