Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (also known as Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for its fifth season) is an American action, adventure, comedy, CGI rendered computer-animated television series based on the fictional superhero team. It aired on Nickelodeon in the United States from September 29, 2012 to November 12, 2017. It's the third cartoon series based on the TMNT, after the original series in 1987 and the version in 2003.
Why It Rocks
It is a great way to introduce people to the TMNT Franchise.
Great animation which improves as the series goes on, with the character designs being faithful to the original source material, and the new designs aren't too bad.
Like 2003, It is a great example of why not all reboots are bad.
It's one of the darkest incarnations of TMNT only behind the first five seasons of 2003, with complex storylines and dark moments that can appeal to adults., which is rare for many kid's shows today.
The series, while it is fairly dark, doesn't forget to have the cheesy humor the Turtles are known for and it doesn't try to be extremely edgy.
The baby turtles are adorable.
It actually took the risk on having the villains successfully win in the Season 2 finale when the Kraang took control of New York and in the Season 3 finale when the Triceratons successfully destroyed the Earth, in which the Turtles have to deal with the consequences.
As the series goes on, the plotlines get more interesting by the second, with lots of continuity and story arcs.
Decent musical score.
Awesome and exciting fight scenes that feel distinct and unique.
Awesome voice acting.
Great villains such as the Shredder, the Kraang and the Rat King to name a few.
Even the Super Shredder is a huge improvement to his appearance from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. And only mutates into a bulky humanoid mutant with sharp claws from his entire body.
Many emotional moments, such as when Leo got injured, when either of the turtles die, the deaths of Splinter and his funeral, the destruction of Earth, Splinter saying goodbye to his family before ascending back to the afterlife, the ending of Carmageddon, and also the entire episode of "Lone Rats and Cubs" which focus on the birth of Splinter's heartwarming fatherhood to the turtles after they were mutated.
The updated TMNT theme song is catchy.
An epic series finale that is really emotional.
Speaking about series finale, it should be noted that all the season finales are great.
The 1987 Turtles make an appearance in two crossovers in the veins of Turtles Forever, and this time are voiced by the original actors.
Lots of references not just to the 1987 cartoon, but from all of the Turtles lore to be found throughout.
The Turtles are still likable and memorable characters with interesting personalities and flaws.
Arguably has one of the best versions of Splinter (who is based on the 1987 tv series as Master Hamato Yoshi) due to his well-told origins and extremely personal connection to the Shredder since they were raised as brothers, and emotional fatherly relationship his sons, his daughter, and April, as well as despite his strict and stoic nature, can still act as a comic relief.
A shocking plot twist when it was revealed Karai was Splinter's long lost daughter, Hamato Miwa, with some subtle hints in Season 1.
The main characters are somewhat flanderized from their previous incarnation such as Michelangelo turned into a childish dimwit.
Baxter Stockman has become a Butt-Monkey in the series compared to the 2003 counterpart where he said that all his life he has been laughed at, mocked by the turtles and tortured by the Shredder.
April O’Neil can be considered a Mary-Sue at times to some people as she knows how to fight many enemies with Martial Arts despite being a Teenager with very less time of training and the moment when it reveals she has psychic powers with very little hints rather than revealing that she’s a half-alien/half-human mutant with little detail how which doesn’t make much sense. Plus, she is very unlikeable when she plays with Donnie's feelings.
It has some scary or violent moments that can frighten younger viewers, like Splinter's death, and Tigerclaw losing his right arm by Alopex.
Characters from previous media such as Alopex, Mutagen Man or Mona Lisa are one-off characters, appearing only once or a few times before never being seen again, which is a wasted effort putting them in.
Some terrible designs, such as the designs of many of the mutant villains such as Spider-Bytze, Dogpound and Fishface, which look like toys, or with some designs that are gross for no reason, for example, Baxter Stockman or most importantly, Baxter Stockman's mutated henchmen, or are just simply terrible, like Hun, who looks like a discount Jackie Chan at worst.
The romances aren't always good, such as Leo and Karai, which gives a major incestual tone considering Karai was actually Hamato Miwa, Splinter's daughter, and Leo is Splinter's adopted son.
The animation, though great, does have some ugly moments, especially the mutations and parts of Season 1 due to the outdated rendering.
Can get really disgusting for no reason at all.
The show does give too much focus on Leo way too often. One example includes in "Owari" when Leo killed the Shredder on his own rather when all his brothers were defeated rather than with help of his brothers.
At some moments, the characters can be very unlikable, especially Raph.
Splinter’s strict personality and beating his sons can make him unlikable at times.
Some of the plotlines were never resolved, like the one with Timothy, also known as Mutagen Man, or what happened to Casey's family.
The series somewhat declined in Season 5 (Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) despite it receiving mixed to positive reviews, some fans consider this Season not needed at all, saying that Season 4 could've ended the series. Likewise, Season 1 while well received, it is arguably considered to be the weakest season due to how underdeveloped that season was.
Speaking of which, Tales of the TMNT did not end the series on a high note at all. It just consists of bizarre side stories for the characters. While it did had a decent crossover with the 1987 series, and redeemed Bebop and Rocksteady in the end, there was no ceremonious way to conclude everything, unless you count the post-apocalypic finale.
Does overplay Splinter's death way too often. For example in the Season 2 finale when Splinter was thought to be dead but was actually alive, and then dies in the Season 3 finale which was reversed in "Earth's Last Stand", then dies 11 episodes later.
Speaking of which,
The love triangle, while providing many hilarious moments, can get very old when it all could be resolved if April either tells she isn't interested in either of them, or tell who she is really interested in. She pretty much know how they feel about her. Which is the problem, it brings out the worst of Casey, April and Donnie.
The series contains plot holes or inconsistencies, especially the fifth season, for example;
Mona Lisa decides to stay on Earth; after that, she was never seen or heard of again.
Chompy does not make some appearances, despite the danger presented in his sewer home, Raphael does not even rescue or at least mention him.
Tiger Claw doesn't bother to get revenge on Alopex after losing his arm; Neither him nor the Turtles even mention her at all.
Contradictory to the previous crossover, the 1987 Turtles are again portrayed as incompetent in the three-part final episode and had to be trained, despite the fact that they were able to defeat Krang Subprime alongside their counterparts.