Heroes In A Half Shell: Sketch’s Four Blacksheep in TMNT History

Heroes In A Half Shell:


You all have heard Sketch on ToonCast Beyond Season 1 and will hear him in a few TCB Season 2 eps. He loves Turtles just like the rest of us, and we are letting him in on the blogging for TMNT Week.

4 Blacksheep in TMNT History

The 1987 Turtles in Turtles Forever

Turtles Forever is a love letter to the rich history of TMNT but many would say they did not do everything justice. Maybe they lacked understanding of the characters or maybe the writers were playing favorites but the more I watch Turtles Forever the more I cringe as the representation of the 80s Turtles. They feel more like parody of those characters than the genuine article and maybe that is exactly what they are because as fun loving as those Turtles can be they always knew when to be serious. They didn’t take a pizza break in the middle of a serious situation, they didn’t stop a fight to give noogies and they sure as shell never cried in the face of danger. They didn’t even have the decency to show Donatello as brilliant and competent and mocked his techno mojo. Sure I can laugh at the parody and Raphael had some great lines but it was downright insulting to the fans of the 80s Turtles. Maybe it was actually a good thing the original cast didn’t have to voice these cowardly goofballs.

The Next Mutation

In the mid-90s Saban, the producer of Power Rangers sought to add Ninja Turtles to his arsenal kids’ action series so when the original animated series came to an end he snatched up the rights to produce a live-action series without the suit and puppetry budget of even the third live action movie and the results were as to be expected. Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is best known for its’ inclusion of Venus a female turtle. She always stressed that she was not a ninja but rather a shinobi. I guess nobody told her those two terms mean the same thing. The show did not include April which would make you wonder why they bothered to add another female character at all. The show also barely used The Shredder and instead opted to use original villains such as the Dragon Lord, Silver the mobster Gorilla and Bonesteel the wack-job hunter depicted by Scott McNeil who is usually best known for his voice acting roles in various cartoons. The show was the definition of camp and included completely unnecessary sound effects and some very awkward slapstick fighting. It did not help that the turtles’ mouths rarely moved when they talked. This show must have been on a tight budget and it only lasted a season. It happens to have the honor of being the only piece of TMNT history that you can stream on Netflix so if you’re ever curious enough to watch this train wreck you can do so without paying much.

Coming Out of Our Shells Tour

At one point the TMNT formed a band and toured America with their silly rock songs about eating pizza and surfing in the sewer. The costumes were laughable and the music was pure cheese with a few utterly bizarre songs in the mix. As far as the story goes, it is an E level plot about the Turtles stopping Shredder with the power of music. The VHS release of this live show also treats the Turtles like they’re a real band and you get some behind the scenes segments. I enjoy listening to some of the songs on occasion but the live show on VHS is more than a little too painful to watch again.

Turtle Tunes

Do you want to hear your favorite turtles singing Christmas Carols and children’s songs? I sure don’t. The rock band tour had some original and quirky music to fall back on but these cash-in videos are entirely unlistenable. I guess kids might enjoy them but for this kind of entertainment they’re much better off watching Sesame Street. The costumes are even worse than the other live-action mockeries and as painful as the singing was to listen to the segments where there was supposedly acting going are what cement this as the bottom of the barrel for official TMNT live-action projects and it will stay that way unless the leaked script for the next live action movie doesn’t get some much needed changes before it gets finalized.

Sketch has one more blog coming out of it’s shell tomorrow!

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TFG1Mike is a geek with many interests. He has been podcasting for over a decade, and sees no stopping point in sight. From Transformers, He-Man, Batman, Comics, movies, video games, cartoons, and so much more, Mike has a zeal for the things he loves, and he will bring the hammer down on the things that he has a disdain for. He's generally a postive person, but negativity can creep in there. Mike is all about the innuendos and innuendon'ts too. You'll hear him on many of The GCRN podcasts!


  1. I had no problem with the 87 Turtles in Forever because I saw it meant to be a parody of them and the 90s show was more a comedy than an action series. By season 4 the Turtles were barely ninjas and ever serious sans Leo, they haven’t aged well and find it hard to see them fighting any serious villain. Look at what happened to Shredder a winy house mate to Krang that became a joke falling into the Skeletor complex. Besides the mirage Turtles showed up all of them.

    1. I actually thought they handled Shredder and Krang great in Turtles Forever but even at their silliest the 80s Turtles were not cowards. I didn’t initially feel this way about Turtles Forever but the more times I watched it the more times it grated on my nerves. I can take a joke but this was a pretty bad joke that was supposed to be celebrating the franchise. And yes the Mirage turtles put the others to shame.

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