I’m not much of a rabid fan boy about anything.
I’ll usually give anything the benefit of the doubt based on its own merits, though I’m no stranger to the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia clouding my thoughts on updates or remakes, I can usually put any niggling frustrations aside.
Until Michael Bay made the following statement about the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie he’s producing:
“When you see this movie, kids are going to believe one day that these turtles do exist, when we’re done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race, and they’re going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely loveable.”
The key phrase here is ‘from an alien race’. No Mr Bay, they’re not. I was a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan growing up – I had all the figurines, all the archie comics, all the trading cards … hell, I even had all the collectors coins from the newspsper. So I’d like to vent my frustration (surely that’s half the reason of having a blog) and articulate why this is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard (this rant is very similar to the Joaby inspired one I did on this week’s Game Arena Podcast, if you want to listen to the same points drunkenly verbalised).
teen•age?[teen-eyj] of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a teenager.
One of the most important recurring themes from the original Eastman & Laird comics to the most recent CGI movie is that of adolescent change. They deal with all the insecurities and issues associated with that of regular teenagers, heightened by the fact they are outcasts wanting to be accepted by society. It’s one of the reasons they were so relatable to people like me when I was a teenager, going through similar scenarios.
Making them aliens has the potential to eliminate that which made them relatable in this respect, unless the alien civilization they grew up on had identical sociological teenage issues.
mu•tant?[myoot-nt] a new type of organism produced as the result of mutation.
Although they slightly varied from comics to movies, the origin story is consistent on one fact: that the characters were originally normal turtles that were mutated via some sort of ooze. This exposure gave them more physical human like qualities (ditto for Splinter) as well as increased intelligence. This is a fairly fundamental origin story, changing it is akin to suggesting Harry Potter’s parents were aliens from outer space.
nin•ja?[nin-juh] a member of a feudal Japanese society of mercenary agents, highly trained in martial arts and stealth (ninjutsu), who were hired for covert purposes ranging from espionage to sabotage and assassination.
Ninjutsu is a style of martial arts originated from Japan. Not an alien planet.
I know, I know, I’m squabbling with the realism of mutant turtles learning a martial arts compared to an alien race picking it up, but dammit it’s still an Earth based style of combat!
tur•tle?[tur-tl] any reptile of the order Testudines, comprising aquatic and terrestrial species having the trunk enclosed in a shell consisting of a dorsal carapace and a ventral plastron.
They’re god damn turtles. Not aliens. You know, those Earth based creatures that can disappear inside their own shells. They’re Not Aliens.
Just change the name of the new movie to ‘Ambiguously aged extra-terrestrial non-specific martial arts capable turtle like aliens’ and be done with it.