Wednesday, October 24, 2007

2008 TMNT cartoon series update

Mirage, 4Kids and Playmates Toys have agreed upon a new direction for the 2008 post-Fast Forward television series (Season 8), one that takes some of the more realistic (and less humorous) elements of the "Overload" concept (blogged below somewhere) and marries it to the 2K3 and FF continuity. While I'm not allowed to divulge too much just yet, I can quote this from the actual pitch:

"The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back in New York, ready to race across the rooftops and take on all challengers!

"Not only are Casey and April back and ready to bust some bad guy butt, but a brand new, super advanced Turtle Lair is under construction (thanks to some hi-tech know-how Donatello garnered from the future), and, of course, there are all sorts of new heavy duty Turtle vehicles gearing up to roar down the streets of NYC and give the Foot a taste of some serious Turtle firepower!

"The stakes have never been higher, their enemies have never been stronger... and if the Turtles are going to be triumphant they’ll need to work together in ways they never have before."

The animation style will also be a bit more streamlined or stylized (depending on your point of view) in order to bring the per episode budget down a bit... but it won't be as low as these Mii avatars. I hope.


5thTurtleFan said...

Cool, but what's with this picture? What the heck are those?

m. said...

Some kid's Wii avatars. I think they're each referred to as a "Mii."

kirbyisking'nuffsaid said...

Baby turtles=Bad idea. Brings to mind Scrappy Doo, Godzooky and all the other crappy cartoons that have used this formula before. Juvenile.

m. said...

No baby turtles. No toddler turtles. Like I said, the new direction takes the more serious elements of the Overload concept, dumping the humor (via the toddler turtles). Gets back to the 2K3 storyline, more or less.

Splinter's Iroonna said...

Well, the part about the animation scares me-- how much more can they do? The FF stuff was hard to get used to-- what are they aiming for, stick figures?

And lots of gadgets? I was hoping to get back to the fights that the 2K3 show was so freaking great at!

Still, it sounds like a plan. Congrats on finally getting the next season agreed on.

roseangelo said...

So we don't have to self-animate each episode using a Wii? Whew... ;)

This is good news, though. And it sounds like a good, general concept that doesn't forget that they're ninjas. Well, so long as they don't start relying on all the heavy duty vehicles and firepower more than their ninja skills..

m. said...

I assume that the new updated lair and vehicles are a nod (or concession) to Playmates.... ;)

roseangelo said...

Oh yeah, plenty of toy opportunity there!

Yosef said...

I totally adored the 2K3 TMNT show... But NZ hasn't gone past season 4... I'm kinda glad, due to the fact that I heard FF was pretty bad, on all accounts. Can anyone tell me otherwise?

I'm glad the baby turtles were dropped.

I actually have my own project that would work great as a TMNT arc, which would bring in a lot of new and interesting characters if Playmates were looking to make cash... But I'm planning on using the story/idea as my own series/movie/comic (Obviously without the TMNT in it of course) :)
I always thought I'd be started long before my mid 20s... I guess not. :)

I hope this new series hits the nail on the head like basically the ENTIRE 2K3 series that I saw... That would be superb. I'm a bit worried about the animation cutbacks... I hope it ain't as bad as the 80's one... ;)

WPLJTV said...

Please, for the love of jeebus, get the animation back too how it looked Season 2 up too Season 4. If you want dark stories taken seriously, you NEED good animation too back it up.

A good example would be the Bishop/Baxter episode of Fast Forward. Probably the best animated ep in the series.

kirbyisking'nuffsaid said...

I have pretty much given up on all this.
I'm just going to read my Archies again, watch 2K3 DVD's, pretend FF never happened and buy the Neca stuff.

I hope season 8 will get back to basics.

Hey... maybe in the first episode the Turtles will wake up and realize FF was nothing but a bad dream!

Listen up 4Kids... you can use that idea for free. No charge!

5thTurtleFan said...

I just hope we see the return of Mirage canon characters like Savanti, Leatherhead, Nobody etc.
I hope they adapt Tales of the TMNT Vol2 also.
There's plenty of fantastic ideas to work with in the Mirage universe.

Colliwog said...

I've been REEAAALLY hoping that the new season will be less like FF and go back to the original 2k3 style. Especially the art style of 2k3; the way the Turtles and other characters were drawn with more detail. I'm an artist myself, I love detail.
I agree with Iroonna and Roseangelo- I'd like less high-tech futuristic gadgets, and more natural ninja fighting.
I also agree with 5thTurtleFan about getting back to the Mirage stories. One of the reasons I liked 2k3 so much is because it used the original Mirage stories, as it should.

Alex "Toon" Deligiannis said...

This may not be exactly perfect, but it's definitely somethng to look forward to. I dig the idea of the more "serious" elements of "Overload." Thanks for the update, Murphy. Is there a word on who'll be character designing?

Dierna said...

A new lair?! So they're moving out from under the Castle and Turtle Pond???

Hopefully they'll get back to the past with hardly any missing time and we can get back to having Klunk appear in eps. I miss Klunk...

m. said...

No word yet on who's handling character designs.

Maybe I shouldn't have written "new lair" so much as "lair revamped by Don in a futuristic fashion." ;)

WPLJTV said...

It'll be interesting too see how they expand on the Journal episode.

They now know more about Bishops activities in the past, and what happens too both him and Stockman. Will they try and act on future events, or change things?

Also, Karai supposedly went good at the end of the Tribunal, so it would be interesting too see what happens too the foot.

Vaughn Michael said...
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Vaughn Michael said...
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Vaughn Michael said...

So um what are the other elements from overload...the wacky crazy Internet guy.
Their enemies? Who have we got left like Hun, Savanti, Rat King, & touch & Go?
I really hope they remember things from FF having the turtles get used to the past again would make for good story telling.
I still say "Ultimate TMNT" is so much better of an idea why couldn't they take ideas from that and implement them into 2k3 and FF's story. *sigh*

Heidi said...


I truly cannot wait. More Turtles! Yes, please!

Long live TMNT!

Elizabeth said...

But the animation...You compare it to the Mii avatars. Why not compare FF or 2K3? Are we talking cheaper than?

-desperate for a visual :D

Scott said...

Yeah, could you sneak-peak us a pic of the new TMNT when the first ep is designed by any chance? :p

I agree this all sounds awesome and the only thing that worries me is the cheaper budget.

Are they still going to do 26 episode seasons or are we going down to 13? I would hope we still get 26 ep seasons like Seasons 1-4 and FF.

m. said...

Sorry about the Mii avatars, just my idea of a bad joke. ;)

Only 13 episodes for 2008.

Vaughn Michael said...

yeah and that's pretty bad lol.
boy oh boy I hope the show doesn't look THAT bad.
The shows not becoming a cgi show is it?
And even though it's less episodes 13 is my magic number so I hope this is a good sign. :)

Elizabeth said...

LOL! My expectation for the character design is now relative to Mii avatars. There's nowhere to go but up. XD

Colin said...

I'll reserve my judgement of the animation change till I actually see it. I will say that I'm glad the FINALLY reached a compromise, and I'm glad they're going back to basics.....I think.

Just please don't tell me the Turtles will have battle droids or some other stupid Power Ranger-like crap like that. They're ninjas, Ninjas don't need mech suits.

WPLJTV said...

Say your thanks.. it could look worse than Chaotic :).

Alex "Toon" Deligiannis said...

Exactly. I personally and not thrilled, but I feel that it could have been WAY worse, so I'm gonna be optimistic until I have not choice but to turn tail and stop watching.

~tOkKa said...

-->> ..Please,M ..

.. tell me there will be 'Some' humour..

please.. .. i mean i don't mind if it's stream lined..

..but i actually appreciated the F.F. eps for the fact that they tried to make the Turtles funny again..

.. sorry ..

in a very dark world ..i don't think that's a bad thing. >v<

Vaughn Michael said...

I agree tokka and not to kiss ur ass murph but your episodes of Fast Forward are my faves hands down.I hope we see you writting more episodes.

Leonardo Mystic said...

Please, please, please, don't let the animation of the Turtles look like cotton candy pastels and Lego blocks. I loved the Turtles' chubby round cheeks, and darker colors. Please have that brought back. That's all I ask.

Jonathan said...

I'm actually glad this happened. I'd like to see the series continue and get back to its roots. It wont be all the way like the 2K3 series was (sadly), but IMO it'll probably be close enough that it shouldnt be too big of an issue due to unnecessary gimmickry like FF.

I too appreciated that Fast Forward tried to make TMNT funny again (to some extent) but I've always seen TMNT:FF as the "DBZ Garlic Jr. Saga" of New TMNT. I think thats a fair analogy - a full on seasons worth of filler saga that everybody pretty much tolerated until we get back to the real meat of the stuff. My guess is that by streamlining the Turtles, they probably mean something similar to how the Batman/Superman designs changed when they were resurrected for Kids WB, quite frankly - I think it can work.

The problem with the FF designs is that they were streamlined to the point of feeling slightly odd, plus the addition of those colored chestplates and it just felt weird and gimmicky. BTAS showed that extreme streamlining could be done. It may not have the most desirable effects but i dont think anyone will have to worry about it looking worse than the overly bright and oftentimes gaudy Fast Forward or degenerating into a bad flash cartoon or - even worse - degenerating into the dregs of limited animation that we often got from the later seasons of Old CBS/Syndicated TMNT.

If anything a return to norm will hopefully mean darker colors, or if not, perhaps a more muted palette similar to how BTAS adopted its own "red sky" treatment. (Again, I stress how much I didnt really like the "unnecessarily bright and vibrant happy" that exuded much of Fast Forward's color schematic. For characters that are supposed to be ninjas they sure galavanted around in daylight a lot - and that dissapointed me considering the first five seasons got it right.

As far as content goes: Thank gawd we didnt get Toddler turtles or Baby Turtles. With the Foot involved then that means we're probably guaranteed to get a few loose ends tied up though most were fully dealt with in the "lost season". I'm wondering how much influence the movie and a possible sequel will effect the new season. Laird doesn't seem to want to go the Shredder route, and he doesn't wanna go the Krang route or the Archie either due to the nixing of ultimate, so its only a few distinct places the series can go from here. I'm interested in seeing how they handle it, but at least we won't get any hokey FF type things I think. I figure this season will most likely intertwine the last dangling plotlines of FF with 2K3. Perhaps the Dark Turtles go back to the past with the current ones? No idea what'll happen but I'm glad to see the series continuing all the same. There aren't many good cartoons on the air anymore.

~tOkKa said...

-->> ..part of 'The Ride' .. .. guess.. (like they said up there ^^) ..have to wait n' see..

i am excited to see the design tweaks .. >v<

roseangelo said...

According to Dan's update at, the new art style is going to resemble the Imagi movie.. so it looks like some common sense prevailed. I like the potential that that style has.