Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003, Seasons 1-5)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 2003 American animated television series. It lasted for 7 seasons, or 156 episodes, and ended with a made for TV animated film in 2009.
Why These Seasons Rock
- Excellent animation with very great action and fight scenes.
- It is the darkest 4Kids program ever made.
- The darkest incarnation in the franchise.
- The made for TV animated movie released in 2009, titled Turtles Forever, was exciting because it featured a crossover between three different incarnations on the ninja turtles, the 2003 version, the 1987 version, and the version from the comics. This also gave this series an epic conclusion.
- Very appealing art style and character designs, especially that of Shredder.
- This series incarnation of the Shredder, besides being by far the most evil and threatening, has a unique backstory and is a sociopathic alien named Ch'rell instead of an successor to the original or an immortal.
- Out of all of the TV adaptations of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this one is considered the most faithful to the original comics, and it's creator Peter Laird's favorite adaptation.
- The characters are more complex and interesting than in the original 1987 version. This time, instead of focusing more on comedy until towards the end, the series focuses much more on drama from early on. The biggest example is the turtles having to deal with their appearances, that being the reason that they have to reside in the sewers instead of conversing with common humans.
- Great soundtrack.
- While the characters are more complex in this version, that doesn't mean that the comedy is neglected. The comedy is just as great as in the previous version. If anything this version manages to balance the comedy with the drama much better.
- Good voice acting, with the main turtles all having great chemistry.
- Another thing that this series does more than the previous incarnation of the turtles is going in depth with the martial arts training, which is immensely important as it shows how the turtles become as strong as they do when it comes to combating evil.
- Outstanding pacing.
- The theme song is outstanding.
- The characters are likable, Leo, Raph.
- Villains are the most fierce.
- Memorable episodes such as Enter the Dragons, Exodus, Same As It Never Was, Things Change, Insane in the Membrane, Legend of the 5 Dragons and other episodes.
- The animation style look's amazing. It is praised as the best redesign of the turtles ever made. By 2003 standards.
- Impressive plot twists.
- Impressive character development.
- Memorable Villains like Hun, Bishop, Stockman, Karai, The Foot Clan, and the Purple Dragons.
- The show is like a legacy to Batman: The Animated Series.
- Even though Season 7 was not very well received, the theme song is catchy.
- It's follow up show, the 2012 animated series, was too, well received.
- The series shows that reboots can be done right.
- Seasons 6 and 7 was not very well received and weren't as dark due to 4Kids Entertainment wanting it to be more lighthearted and to be more marketable and "appropriate" for kids. It is another example of executive meddling.
- Some bad episodes like Super Power Struggle.
- Season 6 had an awful opener.
- What the Shell, the line the Turtles use a lot, can be annoying.
- While well voice acted, Michelangelo can get kind of annoying at times.
- Some of the material found from the original comic was removed or altered to tone down it's violent tone.
- Most of the time, only Donnie and Mikey are allowed to hit their enemies with their weapons, whereas Leo and Raph only use hand-to-hand against non-mechanical enemies. This is because, the former two's weapons are blunt, while the latter's are sharp and bladed, and due to censorship, they are not allowed to cut down any non-mechanical foes.
- The Season 5 episode, “Nightmares Recycled” is completely pulled out by 4kids Entertainment because it was too controversial of the idea of Hun and The Garbageman being conjoin into one entity. This is unacceptable as many episodes such as “The Same As Never Was” was green-lit by 4kids and that has dark and disturbing moments as well. Let alone the banned episode “Insane in the Membrane” was banned by 4kids but got aired on Nickelodeon a few years later. The episode wasn’t even released on DVD or on the Internet.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles received widespread acclaim from critics, audiences and fans alike. Many consider this to be the greatest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show ever made. The praise went towards the faithfulness to the source material, the storytelling, character development, action, darker tone, humor, the theme song, background musics, voice acting, animation and appeal to all ages. It currently sits at a 8/10 on IMDb and an 8.8/10 on TV.com. It is considered to be one of the greatest Animated TV shows of all-time. It also garnered high ratings for a 4Kids Saturday morning cartoon and shortly after the premiere became the highest-rated and most popular children's television show in the US.
Google gave it a 97% user score, indicating a 4.85/5.