‘Ninja Turtles’: A story of almost 40 years of success in TV and cinema – Cultura – Estadão

There’s a great episode of the simpsons in which Roger Myers Jr., a cartoon producer who runs the hit show Itchy & Scratchy, tries to introduce a new character to the series to renew the declining ratings. Poochie, the dog who wears sunglasses and carries a surfboard that the studio creates, is “a dog with attitude,” explains one of the network execs promoting the idea. “He’s bold, he’s in your face. Have you ever heard the expression ‘let’s get busy’? Well this is a busy dog. Consistently and completely.”

Poochie is a parody of many different cartoon animals that have a friendly “attitude” towards certain groups, from the hedgehog sonic to Tony tiger. But perhaps the main examples of the archetype are the Ninja Turtles – anthropomorphic reptiles with superpowers that live in the sewers beneath New York City, where they practice martial arts, eat pizza, and drop 1980s trendy catchphrases like “daring” and “cowabunga.”

Originally created in 1983 by comic book artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the Ninja Turtles were imagined as a kind of postmodern, semi-ironic parody of the popular superhero comics of the time, particularly the demolisher it’s the X-Men gives Marvel. With their punk style, full of slang and relaxed demeanor, they were the embodiment of a certain cool attitude of Generation X that reached its height with the arrival of the 1990s: sarcastic and smart, bringing elements of prevailing trends such as the culture of surfing It’s from hip hop.

The Ninja Turtles they seemed extremely of the moment, capturing the zeitgeist in a way that seemed irresistible to children. What is remarkable is that the moment is not yet over. Since its inception, the franchise has reinvented itself over and over again with new iterations: live-action features, after-school cartoons, video games, graphic novels. Now it’s back to Netflix with a new animated feature film, Awakening of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. The ongoing rejuvenation of a franchise that could easily become just a pop culture relic raises an important question.

How did Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remain popular for so long?

When I was a kid in the early 1990s, my most prized possession was my toy. pizza shooter of Ninja Turtlesa football-sized battery-powered truck that made an unbelievable noise and emitted a faint smell of burning rubber, and whose “motorized shooting action” I used mainly to terrify my afflicted little sister.

The pizza shooter was the crown jewel of an extensive collection of products related to Ninja Turtles that filled my suburban bedroom, which included not only dolls and accessories but also coloring books, costumes, lunch boxes, and PEZ dispensers. When I was 5, I had bed sheets Ninja Turtles; when I turned 6, I had a birthday party with the theme of Ninja Turtles. I was, in short, obsessed with Ninja Turtles.

I wasn’t the only one. From the moment the original comic strip of the Ninja Turtles by Eastman and Laird was adapted into an animated series of the same name in 1987, the four super-powered and playful reptilian heroes at its center – Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardonamed after Renaissance artists with typical franchise humor – have become true matinee idols, cartoon superstars adored by kids across North America and beyond.

As GI Joe and transformers that came before, Ninja Turtles was created primarily to promote the various bonding toys produced by Playmates, a company that also made action figures based on Star Trek. Even by these standards, the products of Ninja Turtles were a huge success: in the first four years of what came to be called Turtlemaniamore than $1 billion worth of toys from Ninja Turtles were sold worldwide, making them the third best-selling toy franchise of all time.

Success continued into the 1990s: The animated series Ninja Turtles, in which the characters train with their sensei, a mouse named Splinter, while fighting their enemy, the evil Shredder, lasted 10 seasons. A trilogy of live-action films aimed at a slightly older audience – The Ninja Turtles (nineteen ninety), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II – The Secret of the Ooze (1991) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) – Surprised at the box office, earning nearly $350 million and breaking records for independent productions. One of the first video games Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Timeat the Super Nintendobecame a bestseller and was ranked as one of the best games of its generation.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ versatility across a variety of media properties has helped to broaden their popularity. Other adaptations – including various efforts to revamp or completely reboot the franchise – kept Turtles fresh throughout the 2000s, albeit with varying degrees of effectiveness. A 2003 animated series on Fox and a 2012 digitally animated series on Nickelodeon have had multiple seasons and their own enthusiastic fans. A 2007 animated film, simply called TMNTand two big-budget blockbusters co-produced by Michael Bay, Ninja Turtles (2014) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), found some commercial success, but were poorly received by critics and longtime fans of the franchise.

There is no doubt that these latest iterations of the Ninja Turtles – including the last one for television, the animated reboot Awakening of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2018), which overhauled elements of the basic premise and implemented some pretty drastic new character designs – introduced younger viewers to the franchise, many of whom no doubt sought out new products from the franchises. Ninja Turtles.

But a key factor in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ continued popularity is those fans who loved the Ninja Turtles as kids – kids from the 1980s and 1990s who never got over them. Its nostalgia has effectively fueled the continued relevance of a franchise that could have become eccentric obsolescence, another He-Man or Garbage Pail Kids.

I know a guy in his mid-40s who recently got a giant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tattooed on his right forearm. I know a CrossFit trainer in his mid-30s who names his workouts after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the villains Sewers, Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady. a new video game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revengeis built from the ground up as a faithful replica of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games of the early 1990s. Netflixwhile certainly silly, is surprisingly dark and violent for a film nominally aimed at children – until you realize it may not be aimed at children.

As a child, I found the seemingly adult style of action and humor in Ninja Turtles essential to its appeal. It was a family cartoon, of course, but there was something about the attitude – cool, defiant, a little subversive – that made kids feel like they were exploring something more ambitious than other TV cartoons at the time. I think it’s this sense of freshness, what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would call edgy, that kept so many fans hooked. / TRANSLATION LÍVIA BUELONI GONÇALVES

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‘Ninja Turtles’: A story of almost 40 years of success in TV and cinema – Cultura – Estadão

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