Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Old VS New

If you know me as a person, you know that I am a massive fan of the Nostalgia Critic. I’m inspired by his comedy and his style of reviews. So, I’m following in the critic’s footsteps with my version of Old VS New!

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around since the 80s and have had quite a few reboots but I’m going to compare the original cartoon with the 2012 version (The Michal Bay movie never happened!)



First things firsts, story. Which had the better origin and better plot twists? In the original their origin is, well, a bit dull. Slinter gets stabbed in the back, though not as interesting as that sounds, and goes to America where they get mutated. In the newer version, Splinter sees his wife and daughter burn in their home compliments of Shredder. This was because the wife chose Splinter over Shredder. With his family dead he travels to New York to start a new life, after buying four baby turtles as pets he sees two men making a suspicious exchange of a green canister in an alleyway. He listens in but gets caught and the canister breaks, after fleeing the mutation occurs. Already that is a much better origin, and that isn’t the full version. However if I told you the full story that unveils in several episodes, I would be spoiling a pretty big plot twist.

Speaking of which, there is a lot of good twists in the 2012 version but this is a spoiler free website. So this round goes to the new.


I was going to compare the animation, but I felt that would be unfair as there have been a lot of improvements in terms of animation since the original, and the original was famous for animation errors. So let’s move on.

The main characters are key in any show, animated or otherwise. With the Turtles being so iconic and internet fans being so protective of their nostalgic heroes, the 2012 version had quite a tough act to follow. But when you get down to it, the original turtles are rather one note. Leonardo is the homebound leader, Donatello is the tech geek, and Michelangelo and Raphael were more or less the same character except Raphael was a bit ruder. Slinter was the wise old mentor. Wow, what detailed characters! It was fine for the 80s but not so much these days.


True, the characters still have their basic roles in the team the leader, the brains, the brawn and the comic relief. However they get more in terms of their quirks and personality. For example Leonardo wants to be the leader because he is inspired by a Captain Kirk character in his favourite show Space Heroes. Donatello is witty and sarcastic but also a hopeless romantic (I’ll get to that bit later). Michelangelo is optimistic, creative and arguably the heart of the team, if not the show. Raphael this the tough brute with a fiery temper but is a rather understanding and sometimes protective brother, particularly with Mikey. He is often the first one to console his brothers and would do anything to keep them save. Splinter is given much more of a character in this version too. He still fills the role of the strict teacher but often teases his sons and is a formidable opponent. Point goes to the new!

This isn’t some fan-made image, its a screenshot from an episode.

Side characters are also an important aspect of shows, but honestly, I’m a season behind on the recent show. Because of this, I don’t know about the new characters so I don’t feel like I can properly discuss this aspect of the show. So, I’m going to compare the two versions of April O’Neil and Casey Jones. In both versions April first meets the turtles after they save them, however in the new version she is the same age as the turtles and her father gets kidnapped which becomes a running plotline. Older April has to get saved all the time, in the newer version, Splinter teaches her Ninjitsu so she can defend herself.  This is one aspect of the show I wasn’t keen on, Donnie’s crush on April. It kinda comes out of the blue, and once Casey shows up there is an almost fight over April. Some fans hate this aspect of the show while others think it’s cute. For me, it gets old. When Donnie gets flustered its rather cute, but two guys fighting over a girl? YAWN.  We see a younger Casey in the recent version and honestly, it’s alright but I have never really been a fan of Casey. I don’t know why, but he always seemed like a pointless character to me. For a slightly more interesting April, I’m going with the new.


Finally, the villains. Oh man, the villains. I could be here all day talking about the darker tone of the villains in the new show, and my love for the campy villains in the original. Krang in the new version is the first antagonist. They keep the basics the same outside of a new body and new way of talking. The bodies blank expression is rather creepy, as are the krang’s design overall. Also, I don’t want to give any of the villain twists away, so I’m not going to tell you. All I can say is this new Shredder has a better motive and is a lot more threatening. Threatening as he might be, my heart still belongs to the old. Point to the old!

I wanted to go on a bit more about the show, but I don’t want to write too much. Maybe I’ll make a part two someday.

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