5 Things We Hope To See In The TMNT Movie

Against my better judgement, I am about to admit something on the Internet that will probably haunt me for life. I really should not, but what can I say? I’m feeling daring today. So here goes nothing:

When I was a kid, I had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Hammer pants.

I loved the 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) cartoons while growing up.  I knew every word of the theme song (still do), and I’m fairly certain that I wore those TMNT Hammer pants out in public at least once.  Also, Donatello is my favourite.  I mean, he’s a ninja that’s a geek. He’s clearly (for nerds like me) the best one.

When it was announced that there would be a new TMNT movie in 2014, I was both excited and concerned.  There were certain names associated with this movie (*cough*Michael Bay*cough*) that elicited a bit of consternation.  However, as the trailers have come out and more news is released, my apprehension is waning and I’m really starting to look forward to this.  Here are 5 things that I sincerely hope are in this movie:




It’s always fun to see shout-outs and homages in movies to past incarnations of characters, and I would love to see a few of these in this movie. Something like a building named “Mirage” after Mirage Studios, the original home of TMNT before the global rights to TMNT was bought by Nickelodeon.  Maybe streets called Eastman or Laird, the creators of TMNT. There could be characters named after the original voice actors,  like the late James Avery (may he rest in peace) who voiced Shredder,  or Rob Paulsen who has voiced both Raphael and Donatello over the years.  Seeing the present pay respect to the past always brings me joy.



tmnt theme song

(1987): “Splinter taught them to be a ninja team (he’s a radical rat!)…”
(2003): “Turtles, count it off! One – two – three – four – TURTLES!”
(2012): “Here we go! It’s the lean, green, ninja team, on the scene, cool teens doing ninja things…”

I’ve come to associate TMNT with catchy themes.  My favourites are the theme of the original cartoon and its first-class hip-hop update for the 2012 animated series. The first three seasons of the 2003 series also had a fun theme (the rest of that series, not so much).  Also, lest we forget, from the second TMNT movie back in 1991: “Go ninja, go ninja, go!”

While I’m pretty sure no one wants a reprise of the Vanilla Ice “Ninja Rap,” it would be great if this movie had a signature theme to go along with it. Action movies tend to be scored incredibly well these days, but I want an earworm that’ll be stuck in my head for days.



villain collage

I was psyched to hear that Vernon Fenwick and Karai are going to be characters in this movie.  I expect Will Arnett will be hilarious as Vern, and I’m intrigued by Karai’s potential.

That being said, there are a few other characters that I hope will have cameos or name-drops in this movie. As far as the Turtles’ allies go, we simply must get some nod to Casey Jones.  He doesn’t even have to do anything – all I need is to see a random hockey mask and that will be enough for me.

I’d love to see hints towards or cameos of other villains in the Turtles’ universe; Baxter Stockman and the Kraang, mostly.  Xever, one of Shredder’s henchmen in the current animated series, is probably one of the most badass and grittiest henchmen I’ve seen, and I wouldn’t mind his appearance either.

I know some folks are hoping for Bebop and Rocksteady, but I’d only be okay with them if they’re not the bumbling idiots they were back in the original cartoon. The tone of the film seems very gritty, and the villains should reflect that as well.



splinter fighting

One of the advantages the animated series and comics have had over the live-action TMNT incarnations is the ability to show Splinter as the true ninja master that he is.  The original TMNT live-actions were completely unable to do this; I mean, Splinter was a hand-puppet in the first movie.

CGI, animatronics and costuming have all come a really, really long way since the 1990s, and this is one area where this movie can set itself apart from the old movies. They have the means to allow us to see Splinter kick some ass as a ninja. If with all of the available resources, we don’t get a decent fight scene with Splinter, I will be sorely disappointed. I don’t even care how they do it; training the Turtles, fight scenes with the Foot Clan, a battle with Shredder. It doesn’t matter. It just absolutely needs to happen.



april oneil

I know, I know, April O’Neil is already in this movie. But is she really, though?

The character of April O’Neil is being played by Megan Fox.  Now, maybe it’s just the roles she’s been given, or maybe it’s her, but Megan Fox historically does not have a great record for adding depth to the women that she plays.  Her character in the Transformers franchise is a good example of that; she was unfortunately only there for eye-candy. Jonah Hex was no better. I believe there’s a time and place for eye-candy. Playing April O’Neil is not the time and place.

While April O’Neil is beautiful (and I’ve heard many a guy talk about that yellow jumpsuit), she’s definitely more than just a pretty face. April is an intelligent, feisty, intrepid, competitive reporter, who fights to be taken seriously. She’s a woman with convictions and determination. She’s a loyal friend with a strong personality.

I’m really trying not to malign the actress, but honestly, the trailers have not done a very good job of giving us any hope that Megan has been given anything more to do than stand with her mouth sexily agape (seriously, is that her default?) in wonder or shock.  Frankly, that’s not good enough, and I’m hoping there’s more. My sincere desire is that I’ll go into this movie and be surprised at how good she is. Megan Fox has to, and needs to, pull this off.  I truly want her to do so.

What else, or who else, do you want to see in the TMNT movie?