I will be complelely honest. I'm a secret Ninja Turtle nerd. Having grown up with the 80's series full of toilet humor and pizza, I always knew what it was about. Say Hero Turtles and I could sing you the theme song.
However, it was never my favourite. My favourite and what I see as 'My' Turtles are always the 2003 series (forgetting Fast Forward ever existed.) Why, you ask? When there's so much nostalgia in the 80s series? I am just still so happy with how they brought it up to date and made it more realistic. No reboot of Ninja Turtles will go by when there's not a point where 'insanity' happens, like trips to other dimensions or Hero Frogs, but, it's all part of the creativity.
So, combine my nostalgia with my love for the new and you can guess that I was excited for (another) Turtles reboot. I waited...over a year after I read about it, keeping myself on the fence because, as willing as I was, I felt like nothing could top My Turtles. When the trailers came, I was still unsure, worried about the almost anime elements of the screenplay and the way the animation was made. Cartoon to CGI is a big change. Some fans out there won't like this purely because it IS CGI. I am not one of those. Everything has to be watched once. I suffered the entire season of Fast Forward and will never do it again, for example.
Remaining in limbo about my feelings, I was naturally looking forward to its debut. With big names like Jason Biggs and Sean Astin in the roles of Leonardo and Raphael, it really had a lot to live up to.
So, it gives me great pleasure to tell anyone who has not yet seen an episode that it really does not disappoint. The first episode had my full attention which is no easy task! Everything about this series works, with three major links: 1, Theme, which ties into the original 'Heroes In A Half Shell,' 2, Donatello's voice. Rob Paulsen actually played Raphael in 1987! And all these years on, it's easily recongnizable. 3: The end of the title sequence, depicting the image of the turtles from the comic.
Everything in this series is brought up to date, and is not goofy or childlike, my two main concerns that it could be. For me, the '03 series added a maturity and danger to the Turtles that the 80s series really lacked, yet keeping the sarcasm and fun. This does all of this with a refreshing new twist. The dialogue is naturally aimed at the younger generation, but is not too immature that the older fan cannot enjoy.
The storylines (so far) are really strong. Again, there's a few silly moments, it's going to happen, and I wont fault it for them. Sometimes things can be a little obvious, there's a big setup in the beginning and almost a moral at the end of every episode, yet it's never cheesy.
This series brings an adolescence to the Turtles that we've never really seen before, allowing them to act like normal teenagers yet still be our mutant ninjas we love. Also explored is Donatello's liking for April. April is a teenager in this series as opposed to being a working adult, again, a fact I mulled over, but it's presented well and works.
One huge surprise for me was Raphael. When I read Sean Astin would be voicing him, I said 'that can't work.' He's amazing. I really did not think he could pull off the rough and tough attitude of Raph. He really can.
Perhaps some downers: Splinter isn't the grey rat we know and love this time, it took me a while to adjust, however, they're trying to make him look like a realistic pet rat.
A big time *sob* for me is no Casey Jones. The good news, though, he will be in season two.
Teenage April could be a negative. For my money, it is not.
I give this a 4*. Please, if you're a classic Turtles fan, try it.