“Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Designs Officially Revealed
The Rise of the TMNT designs have finally been revealed! Last week, we got the teaser of the Facebook Live, but today, it came. So, without further ado, let’s get into the new designs and all the other info revealed today!
The first design revealed was April O’Neil, played by Kat Graham. The design heavily features green, as well as the classic April yellow. I love this design! The artstyle is really appealing, and I love the glasses she wears. She also has a baseball bat, glowing with green energy similar to the Turtles’ weapons. She also appears to have an “S” on her jacket? We will see what that means later in the year, I guess. All in all, a great design!
Next up is Splinter, voiced by TMNT veteran Eric Bauza. Going back to gray fur instead of the 2012 series’ red fur, Splinter here also sports a topknot, orange and brown robes, and a wooden cane. To be honest, I don’t know how I feel about this design. I like shorter Splinter, and his robes are cool. Overall, I like the design. But something about his face looks a little… off. He looks a little like a pig. Maybe that’s just me, but I definitely see it. However, the design is cool, and I’m excited to see Splinter in action. One note, Ant Ward did mention that Splinter will be a “tough love parent”, and this means he will be a grumpy dad to the TMNT. This sounds very interesting, and I’m excited to see Eric Bauza bring our favorite rat sensei to life.
Next is Mikey, voiced by Brandon Mychal Smith. This design is one of my favorites among the turtle boys. His face reminds me a lot of 2012 Mikey, which was my favorite incarnation of the character. Also, the TMNT have 2 toes in this series, unlike the 3 toes from the 2012 series. Mikey is very lean and tall, which is different from other incarnations where the TMNT are shorter and more squat. Mikey is a box turtle in this version, which means he can go inside his shell completely. He is also an artist, tagging his shell and plastron. I love the artist aspect of the character, since it makes him unique and calls back to the Mirage and Image Comics, where Mikey was a writer. One of the only parts I don’t like, however, is his weapon. Taking away Mikey’s nunchucks is weird, and this new weapon looks like a cheeseburger. Overall, though, a good design.
Next up is Leonardo, played by Ben Schwartz. This is my favorite of the turtle designs. He is a red-eared slider turtle (the breed of most other TMNT in past incarnations), and has some cool fingerless gloves and blue foot wraps. The markings on his eyes are really cool, and true to a red-eared slider. Leo also has only one katana this time around, albeit a huge, two-handed one. He also has light green stripes on him, which is another awesome detail. A great design, and my favorite of the brothers!
After that is Donatello, voiced by Josh Brener. This design reminds me a lot of the Out of the Shadows design. He has headphones/goggles, a cool harpoon-looking staff, and lots of purple, as expected. He also has a large backpack/shell, which unfolds into a hover craft that April rides in another piece of art for the show. Just like Leo and Mikey, Donnie has markings on him, which are purple pixels. This, I assume, probably ties into their mystical powers. All in all, not my favorite design, but still alright.
Finally, we have the leader, Raphael, voiced by Omar Benson Miller. I…. don’t like this design at all. He seems to be wearing shorts, which is weird. Also, he is way too big, in my opinion. I would be fine if he was a little bigger than his brothers, but not the hulking turtle we have here. He also has tonfa instead of his sai, which is a major downgrade, to me at least. Raph, and all the other turtles for that matter, have these turtle shells on their belts. It’s the same design we saw previously, but is used on all the turtles’ belts. I think this either ties into the mystical powers the TMNT have, or it’s a communicator. In my opinion, this design is the worst of all the turtles.
All in all, I like the designs. They’re not the best, but not bad by any means. I love the artstyle they’ve gone with, and the loud colors are really interesting. I am cautiously optimistic about Rise. I know it will be unlike any other TMNT cartoon, but I hope it’s done well, as we all want to see our favorite green teens succeed. To all TMNT fans out there, try to keep an open mind. After all, we are all the harshest critics when it comes to changes to the TMNT, because we care about the franchise. But even if this cartoon isn’t for you, it might be good for TMNT fans as a whole. After all, innovation keeps a franchise going, and this show is certainly innovating. I know I’ll be tuning in when September rolls around!