Space Ramblings

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Anyone who has a deep emotional connection to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise and is upset that Michael Bay is raping their childhood needs to move on. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began life as a parody and with continuing cartoon series on TV it can survive whatever Bay in his role as producer does to it. Probably.

Unlike John Carter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a reliable movie and TV brand. There have been TV shows and movies based on that title going back over twenty years. That makes it a compelling brand and raises the question of why anyone would buy a brand and then trash the name recognition for it.

The last turtles movie decided to jettison the title for the cooler and more compact TMNT. Its performance was decent enough, considering the budget, but not the kind of money Bay is hoping to pull from this. The title change, which depended heavily on image recognition probably didn’t help it perform.

What does changing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Ninja Turtles gain? It weakens the name recognition and doesn’t add anything. Ninja Turtles isn’t going to be taken any more seriously. If you’re going to make a movie about ninja turtles, whether they’re aliens or mutants, you might as well stick with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Michael Bay loves alien invasions like candy, but it’s just common sense that the version of the story that has been tested for over twenty years is the one that works. There’s no point in changing it, because there’s nothing to be gained from the change. You don’t make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into a movie because you want to make a serious story about alien invasions. Goofiness is the whole point of it. Take that away and there is no point.

But the Hollywood model now is to just snap up and develop every available IP into a movie. And then figure out what the movie should be. That’s how we got Battleship the movie. But it’s still a stupid approach to take with a viable active IP like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which isn’t just a board game sitting there waiting to be optioned.

Does it rape anyone’s childhood? Kids care very little about most of the movies being made today and adults too attached to the things they liked as kids need to move on. The Star Wars experience that many of them had isn’t going to be repeated for kids today and that’s the real crime. John Carter had a shot at doing that. Whatever crap George Lucas, J.J. Abrams and Michael Bay pump out won’t.

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