February 7, 2007
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward is proof positive that a series can improve by becoming more conventional. Compared to the previous adaptation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise (which I dub "TMNT 2003"), this incarnation is less dynamically animated, less somber, less dark, less ambitious. Its plights and perils are firmly in the tone of other Saturday-morning action series, and its characters are never asked to challenge us.

It must be said, however, that TMNT: FF is a much better run-of-the-mill, Saturday-morning action comedy than TMNT 2003 was an action drama. TMNT 2003 aimed high and bombed. TMNT: FF sticks its landing with a lower degree of difficulty.

The series is no great animated accomplishment. At its worst, disposable plots in banal futuristic settings keep the show from being too high-minded. (It must be said, the first two episodes are ghastly.) Even at its best, it never begins to approach the perfect fusion of action and comedy in the five-part pilot to 1989's series.

What it does accomplish is salvaging our heroes as characters. This is mainly due to a sense of camaraderie that helped distinguish the original TMNT from the action heroes of the day. These turtles aren't the green drones and amateurs who infested the previous TMNT series; the returning characters are more sharply written. Whereas TMNT 2003 would have been happy with a weak one-liner or first take, this new series asks for a better line and a second take.

The show also hits on the lightness of being that made the original TMNT animated series more charming than it deserved to be. I know you can love a show where the latest video game release is treated like the opening to Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace; where the present-day horror movie fan is revered like a great historian among future-day film buffs ("Don't have fun, or you're gonna get it!"); where New York hot dogs and their gaseous aftereffects are celebrated as vulgar universal truths ("I can still taste my hot dog!"/"Isn't it great?"/"The gift that keeps on giving.")

TMNT: FF's accomplishments aren't about the big things (like plot and character evolution and such); they're about the little things that make every other scene enjoyable. There's something to be said for that.

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I honestly don't think that is true. Whereas FF has a more humor and definitely less plot. I don't think the following is very happy with it (me included) . I believe that TMNT 2003 was a truly wonderful delve into a rich and interesting plot that had more feeling in it and gave an emotional connection that you don't get with FF. Shows like FF give you a unfinished feeling, and leave it as it is; Just another cartoon.

TMNT 2003 gave the fans something that they could connect to and think about. Why do you think so many young minds are Anime fans? They crave the 'plot' that American cartoons lack. Thats why so many Japanese 'cartoons' are popular now here and around the world.

I would truly be disappointed if they don't realize the mistake that they've made and at least try to return more into mode the 2003 series had.

Especially with the recent new movie.


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