Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) or in the UK earlier known as the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (TMHT) are a group of fictional characters. They are four mutant turtles, who were taught how to be ninjas by a mutant rat called Splinter. The TMNT were created in 1983 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, making their comic book debut in 1984. In October 2009, Nickeloedon purchased the rights from Mirage Studios.
Background information[change | edit source]
The turtles are named after famous artists from the Renaissance period. Their names are Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo. They live underground in a sewer under Manhattan, and try to keep themselves hidden from people mankind in general, fearing humanity would never understand. While helping their friends, they often end up in trouble fighting crime and villan. Their enemies may vary from inner town street gangs to extraterrestrials. There are a few humans who know about them, a woman named April O'Neil and a man named Casey Jones, and some other people, depending on version. Some versions also use Casey Jones' grandmother's farmhouse in Northampton in Massachussetts as a hangout for the turtles.
Splinter's origin differs between versions. In some versions (Mirage, 2003, movies), he was originally a pet rat of Hamato Yoshi, ending up mutated. In other versions (1987 carton, Archie and the 2012 cartoon), he was originally a man, Hamato Yoshi, who ended up accidentally touching the ooze, and turned into a humanoid rat.
In the 1987 cartoon, their main antagonists are a Japanese ninjutsu master, Shredder (Oroku Saki), an extraterrestrial called Krang, and two mutant punks, Bebop and Rocksteady, while in the 1984 Mirage comics, Shredder ends up killed by the turtles in the first issue. Krang's appearance is inspired by the Utroms, an extraterrestrial race in the Mirage. The Utroms, however, aren't villains.
Characters[change | edit source]
Turtles[change | edit source]
- Leonardo – The leader of the group. Leonardo wears a blue mask. He uses two, long and razor-sharp ninjakens as weapons. They can slice through anything solid. He is the oldest of the four. Leonardo was named after Leonardo da Vinci.
- Michelangelo – The jokester of the group. Michelangelo wears an orange mask. He uses a pair of nunchakus. He is the youngest of the four Turtles, and often provides the comic relief. He usually speaks in a Southern Californian accent. He is named after the Italian artist Michelangelo.
- Donatello – The scientist and genius of the group. Donatello wears a purple mask. He uses a bo staff. He is the least violent turtle, preferring to use his knowledge to solve problems. He is named after the Italian artist Donatello.
- Raphael – The rebel of the group. Raphael wears a dark red mask. He uses a pair of sais as weapons. He speaks in a Brooklyn accent. He is named after the Italian painter Raphael.
Others[change | edit source]
- Splinter – The Turtles' teacher (sensei) and adoptive father. Splinter is a Japanese mutant rat. He learned the ways of ninjutsu from his owner and master, Hamato Yoshi. In the 1987 TV series, Archie Comics series and the 2012 TV series, Splinter was Hamato Yoshi mutated into a human-like rat instead of being just Yoshi's pet.
- April O'Neil – A former assistant to the scientist Baxter Stockman. April is the brave human friend of the Turtles. April first met the Turtles when they saved her from Baxter's Mouser robots. She goes on many of the Turtles' adventures and helps them by doing the work in public that the Turtles cannot. In the 1987 TV series, Archie Comics series and the three movies after it, April was a television news reporter. In the 2012 cartoon series, April is a teenager who is rescued by the Turtles and later is given some basic training in being a ninja by Splinter.
- Casey Jones – A vigilante who has become one of the Turtles' closest allies. He is also the love interest to April. Casey first met the Turtles after having a fight with Raphael. Casey fights crime with a mix of sporting goods (baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, cricket bats) while wearing a hockey mask to hide his identity.
- The Shredder – A villainous ninjutsu master called Oroku Saki. He is the leader of the Foot Clan. In every version of the TMNT series, he has been the main enemy of Splinter and the Turtles. Shredder prefers to use his armor instead of weapons in some versions.
- Karai – A female high-ranking member of the Foot Clan. She has appeared in several different TMNT comics, cartoons and movies, as well as in multiple video games. In some versions of the character, she is closely related to the Shredder as his granddaughter or adopted daughter.
First appearance[change | edit source]
Merchandise[change | edit source]
There were many items based on the show including food, video games and toys. Starting in 1990, three live-action movies were made. In 1997, there was a live-action television series called "Ninja Turtles: The Mutation", which was not very successful. In 2003, a new animated series based more on the original comic book than the other series and an animated movie came out in 2007. Finally, the 2003 season came to an end, and a new series, the "Back to the Sewers" aired in late 2008-early 2009.
In September 2012 another cartoon series began. It takes inspirations from both the Mirage comics, and the 1987 cartoon series. Michael Bay will be producing a reboot of the film coming out in August 8, 2014.
References[change | edit source]
- TMNT Origin Story, official site. Retrieved 2007-11-16.