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CCI: Nickelodeon Offers First Look At Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Concept art of April O'Neil shown during the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' panel (photo by Matthew Sardo)

Comic-Con International turned green Friday morning as the convention played host to the first look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the new animated series premiering Sept. 29 on Nickelodeon.

As fans waited in line for the panel, Nickelodeon staff prompted shouts of “Turtle power!” as they filmed a television promo and rewarded those wearing special TMNT hats with prize packets that included vintage Turtles toys from the personal collection of co-creator Kevin Eastman.

The presentation began with the introduction of Executive Producer Ciro Nieli and voice actors Jason Biggs (Leonardo), Sean Astin (Raphael), Greg Cipes (Michelangelo), Rob Paulsen (Donatello), Kevin Michael Richardson (Shredder), Hoon Lee (Splinter) and Mae Whitman (April O’Neil). A “Rudy” chant filled the 2,000-seat room when Astin was introduced, followed by several cries of “Goonies.”

“Sexual chocolate,” Richardson said in his booming voice as he entered the room. Whitman was dressed as Harry Potter, while Cipes came out in aviator sunglasses and orange-and-green Band-Aids on the left side of his face, telling the crowd he forgot his Turtles boxers.

Nieli started by discussing the development process, from pitching the project to Nickelodeon to concept art to a one-minute short. He went on to explain what he thought was most important to make a great Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon, saying he was a big fan of 70s ninja movies and wanted that to be part of the series. He also reminded the crowd about the show’s sci-fi elements, and then revealed concept art of Dimension X.

What seemed to excite Nieli the most was discussion of incorporating the mutants and the monsters into series (character designs for Leatherhead and Rat King flashed onto the screen). He closed with the concept of heart and the family of the Turtles, including April O’Neil, showing four manga-influenced images of the character interacting with each Turtle.

“If we have all these elements we will have a great show,” Nieli said.

Richard Magallanes, Nickelodeon’s senior vice president, then directred questions toward the actors. Paulsen, who voiced Raphael on the original and now voices Donatello, talked about how big the Turtles have become and how much corporate support the show receives. Cipes discussed how the show inspired his passion for meditation and interest in the martial arts. Biggs said he is just enjoying the experience, as this is a new realm for him.

Astin mentioned that he called Corey Feldman, who played Raphael in the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to ask if it was okay for him to take over the role.

“Yeah, yeah, we get it! You know Corey Feldman,” Biggs joked.

“My friend Bob Deniro told me to never drop names,” Paulsen said.

It took a bit to get the panel back in order, but Nieli attracted everyone’s attention when he debuted the show’s opening credits and theme song of the show

Whitman then talked about how she enjoyed playing a strong, smart and funny character like April O’Neil. In the new series, April is a teenager, a change Nieli believes will lead her to cause more trouble while forming a family bond with the Turtles.

Richardson offered a great anecdote about his experience with the property, recalling how he used to play the Turtles video game at a convenience store in New York City. “You have this big black man mashing the keys,” he said.

As the panel neared its conclusion, a pizza delivery man rushed the stage, only to be revealed — to great applause — to be Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman.

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  • Ambassador Curt

    Feldman was the voice of Donatello.

  • Jason Welborn

     I think you mean Leatherhead not Leather Face. Otherwise kids might go running to their mommies after seeing that on the Ninja Turtles! I like the concept art more than the final result but I’m still excited to see the turtles again!

  • Rollo Tomassi

    I’ve lost count. Is this the 29th or 30th Turtles cartoon series?

  • Minamoship

    No it’s only the third TMNT cartoon. Fourth show overall if you count the short lived Next

  • Kinetic_red

    Donatello was Corey Feldman, Not Raphael.

  • Kinetic_red

    Actually 5th overall TMNT show.
    Japan had one too…

  • thesnappysneezer

    Dreadful, absolutely dreadful

  • shezcrafti

    It only had 2 episodes, though. And it was nothing like the TMNT we all know & love. 

  • shezcrafti

    It only had 2 episodes, though. And it was nothing like the TMNT we all know & love. 

  • 000

    Podrían poner en la 4 o la 5 temporada de las tortugas ninja el año que viene o el año después de ese en donde April y Donatello, Leonardo y Karai son novios y aparecen mutantes nuevos nuevos alianzas nuevos enemigos y viejos rivales se vuelven aliados una iguana mitad cocodrilo, una anaconda mitad cobra hembra, un murciélago marrón mitad murciélago vampiro, un camaleón de Jackson, una monstruos de gila mitad dragón de cómodo, una leopardo mitad chita, una águila calva hembra, un halcón peregrino, un mamut , un calamar hombre, un velociraptor mitad espino saurio, un tyranossaurio rex mitad dragón, una zorra blanca, una tortuga marina hembra, un demonio del desierto mitad lagarto armadillo, una iguana oplurus cyclurus, un oso grizzly mitad oso pardo, un búfalo mitad oso polar todos esos pueden ser mutantes a y un mutante escorpión mitad cybor. Y que el Kraang creo 4 clones de las tortugas y de April, Karai, y Casey con ADN de animales de la Dimensión X para destruirlos y que Neutralizador reúne un equipo de mutantes Sri Malakay, Muta man, Muckman, Napoleón bon arana, Mondo Gecko, incluso unos de los mutantes nuevos que se harán aliados de las tortugas se llamaran los supremos muta salvajes se harán aliados de porvida para salvar el mundo y el universo del mal y aparecerá un viejo amigo de Casey Jones que regresa para que vuelvan a ser amigos y lucharan juntos contra el mal y una nueva chica que se volverá la novia de Casey Jones y estarán de vuelta Cabeza Metálica, Cromo dom, y un nuevo robot mitad androide mitad robot con todas clases de habilidades de pelea con un camuflador y hologramas se llamara ninjadroidbot y otras criaturas no mutantes como el abominable hombres de las nieves, el mino tauro un mutante creado por el Kraang.y por ultimo para que agreguen el hermano de Rocksteady y el primo de Bebop van a Nueva York por venganza por mutar a dos de sus parientes , cuando llegan descubren que destructor esta muerto y van por las tortugas pelean, luchan las tortugas los derrotan pero caen a una sustancia gigante de mutageno en un laboratorio Kraang y muta el hermano de Rockateady en un gorila lagarto y el primo de Beboop en un cangrejo enlazándolos con sus trajes de tecnologia y armas y el Kraang trae de la Dimensión X 4 criaturas nueva dos perros guardianes de metal y crista que disparan ácido y drayos y dos terodactiles gigantes metálicos pero las tortugas y sus aliados los enviaran de donde vinieron y aparece una nueva nave Kraang llamada nave espectro que atraviesa los sólidos y aparece el hermano de garra de tigre un mutante tigre blanco dientes de sable llamado colmillo blanco y que cara de pez vuelva a mutar en un tiburón blanco, tigre, cybor.