Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
In 2002, 4Kids Entertainment
acquired the license for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and debuted their
own cartoon the following year. Compared to the original
1987 cartoon, it was a darker, more serious take on the franchise that
brought it closer to its comic roots; however, it wasn’t without its own kind
of humor. The series initially aired on the FoxBox/4Kids TV programming
block on FOX until it was discontinued in
2008, prompting its move to The CW for its
final season on The CW4Kids
programming block. Ultimately, a combination of low ratings and co-creator Peter Lairdselling
the franchise to Nickelodeon saw the end
of the series, but not before 4Kids delivered one final parting gift.
The meeting of the generations.
marked the 25th anniversary of the Turtles franchise, 4Kids wanted
to do something for it and conceived of an idea to bring their Turtles in
contact with the 1987 incarnations, as well as the original
comic versions. Originally, they planned to make it part of the final Back
to the Sewer season, but decided to make it its own standalone film
entitled Turtles Forever. Itsaw the 1987 Turtles shunted to the
2003 universe when a dimensional teleporter malfunctioned during a fight in the
The 2003 Turtles became aware of their capture by Hun (Greg Carey) and the Purple Dragons gang
and rescued them; leading to an encounter with 1987 Shredder (Load Williams)
and Krang (Bradford Cameron). Shredder hypothesized that there might be another
Shredder on that world and sought to ally with him to defeat the Turtles once
and for all. However, 2003 Shredder (Scottie Ray) found his counterpart
insufferable and took over the Technodrome and its horde of Foot
Clan robots for himself. 2003 Shredder discovered that there were multiple
dimensions with even more Turtles that could potentially disrupt his plans, and
theorized that he could end them all by destroying the universe he deemed
“Turtle Prime”. The 8 Turtles made their way to Turtle Prime where they
encountered their 1984 black and white, grim and gritty counterparts and proceeded
to battle 2003 Shredder for the fate of the entire multiverse. The film ends
with a cameo from creators Kevin
Eastman and Laird as they prepared to publish the first issue of Turtles
12 Turtles to save the world.
styles for the 1987 and 1984 Turtles were rendered as close to their original
ones as possible, while the 2003 Turtles sported a different design than what
was currently seen on their show. For the final season of the 2003 series, the
Turtles were modified to closer resemble the ones seen in the 2007 theatrical
unity”. For Turtles Forever, the Turtles were given a slight
redesign of their appearances during the Fast
Forwardstory arc. Other incarnations of the Turtles, including
the original live-action
films, TMNT, and various other interpretations from the “Guest Era” of the comics
(a span of the original series from #22-44 that weren’t made by Eastman and
Laird and later deemed non-canon) also made cameo appearances during 2003
Shredder’s villain monologue. The only one absent was the live-action Ninja
Turtles: The Next Mutation, which was famously despised by
Laird. Adrian Marquez Barrios
served as the lead character designer, with further designs by Danny Kimanyen, Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez.
Poster for the film.
A rough unfinished
version of Turtles Forever was shown at San Diego Comic Con in July of 2009. A
limited theatrical release was planned for October 29th, but a
dispute between 4Kids and Fathom Events
ended that plan. It instead made its debut on television on November 21st
on The CW4Kids following a 25th anniversary Top 10 episode countdown;
although, this version was shortened with the removal or reduction of several
scenes. Initially billed as a one time only airing, it was split up into three 23-minute parts
and aired weekly between November 28th and December 12th.
The uncut version of the film containing 12 extra minutes was put up on the
4Kids website on December 16th. The film aired again on March 20th,
then May 29th, and then on August 29th and Thanksgiving
Day on Nickelodeon.
2003 Shredder--outside of his human armor--is not amused by 1987 Shredder.
Forever was generally well-received by fans of the 2003 show and the
franchise as a whole. However, some fans took issue with the portrayal of the
1987 Turtles. They were depicted as unable to take anything seriously, ineffective
in combat, and obsessed with getting pizza no matter what. It got to the point
that the 2003 Turtles got frequently exasperated while trying to reign them in
as well as their constant need to give noogies and the fact that 1987 Raphael
(Sebastian Arcelus) kept breaking the 4th wall (as was done
frequently in the original show). The
1987 series actually began as a more action-oriented show, but concerns over
the violence were raised and forced the show to tone it down. That necessitated
the inclusion of often silly alternatives to straight-out violence, such as
slicing open a fire hydrant to hit foes with water, or causing a foe to fall on
their own by being pushed into some kind of pratfall. The final season also
took on a much darker and serious tone, attempting to turn Shredder back into a
genuine threat. But, the 1987 Turtles were allowed a redeeming moment crucial
to the outcome of the final battle in the film.
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