Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Co-Creator: Movie Designs "Fix What Isn't Broken"

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Co-Creator: Movie Designs "Fix What Isn't Broken"

teenage mutant ninja turtles 2014

Peter Laird, co-creator of of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is unhappy about some of the design choices for the Michael Bay-produced movie, but above all he plans to wait and see before making a final verdict.

Peter Laird and co-creator Kevin Eastman birthed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic in 1984. Across several decades, the series has taken different turns under different creative directors and artists. With the release of the trailer for the Michael Bay-produced movie, Laird has given his perspective on the redesign of the Turtles - and it's not glowing praise.

"I was impressed with what I saw of the production values... but the changes to the basic design of the Turtles seemed to me to fall into the 'fixing what is not broken' category," Laird said.

The Turtles originally had a noseless beak appearance. Laird points to Jim Henson's Creature Shop team's rendering of the Turtles via rubber and paint as the best live action translation. The Michael Bay's Turtles, however, have noses and expressive lips. In addition to the color-coded masks, the new Turtles wear additional accessories, such as bamboo armor, goggles, a shark tooth necklace, sunglasses, and a do-rag. Laird finds it all a bit too silly - and above all, extraneous.

"Perhaps it's just my personal preference, but the 'noseless beak' look for the Turtles which Kevin and I used in all of our comics, and in pretty much all of the licensed material during the Mirage days... is, in my opinion, a great way to immediately show that these guys are not human," Laird said. "They're mutated reptiles. Creatures."

Even so, Laird isn't jumping to firm conclusions yet. "Of course, I could be wrong about the new design - maybe in the context of the movie it will work fine," he continued. "From what I have seen so far, it is an excellent example of the state-of-the-art character CGI. Perhaps it will become more popular than the noseless style which was used for the first twenty-five years. I guess we'll have to wait and see."

Source: ComicBookMovie

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The turtles have never looked good in live-action. They didn't look good back in the costumed films and they don't look good now that they're CGI. They're only passable in the comics, or in 2D animation.

I think it worked with the toys and cartoons because they kept their mostly turtle appearance heads on top of their humanoid bodies. I think the problem is trying to too humanoid the heads too, and it is coming off as creepy as all hell.

It's not fixing what isn't broken, it's making them look like generic warrior 1109040 to appeal to whoever. I don't mind another artist take on a classic franchise though, but I don't see how the nose and lips adds any thing.

Johnny Novgorod:
The turtles have never looked good in live-action. They didn't look good back in the costumed films and they don't look good now that they're CGI. They're only passable in the comics, or in 2D animation.

That may be opinion, but I STILL think that, nearly 20 years later, those costumes looked FANTASTIC.
image

Granted, they got worse and worse as the movies went on, but they were detailed, animated, and even flexible enough to allow their performers to do all the kicks and flips required from a 90's era action movie. I STILL prefer that over the CG iterations we've seen recently.

This doesn't surprise me. Laird also didn't like what the animated series did with the characters. He wrote the comics imagining a more dark, violent, and serious feel and tone while the animated series made it kid-friendly and funny with fart jokes and pizza. I don't see a problem with that, I grew up on it, but it seems to me that Laird hasn't liked anything anyone else has done with the Turtles.

Considering the original turtles were changed to make them more child friendly, i dont think he can complain about these new changes.

Trishbot:

Johnny Novgorod:
Snip

That may be opinion, but I STILL think that, nearly 20 years later, those costumes looked FANTASTIC.
image

Granted, they got worse and worse as the movies went on, but they were detailed, animated, and even flexible enough to allow their performers to do all the kicks and flips required from a 90's era action movie. I STILL prefer that over the CG iterations we've seen recently.

I'm with you there. Loved the original movie's look for the Turtles and still think it holds up welltoday. Jim Henson's Creature Shop did amazing work.

Disclaimer: I haven't seen the whole trailer just the bits from Moviebob's chat about it.

But the nose looks wrong, and since last time i checked April O'neil was a reporter, why faint in front of the BIGGEST NEWS STORY OF YOUR FUCKING LIFE!? She is not some fan-girl meeting her idol, she is looking for her big break. Also, what is with her fainting anyway, I could figure out if she was having a seizure or orgasm!

The whole 'we created the Turtles' is wrong, and honestly, I would have preferred if he went with 'The Turtles are aliens' thing. It would have made sense... Well, a little more anyway.

Looks at those lips on Leonardo! Don't you just want to kiss them?! There's our handsome protagonist!

TheMemoman:
Looks at those lips on Leonardo! Don't you just want to kiss them?! There's our handsome protagonist!

So April O'Neill (who is not ginger) is going to smooch a turtle i guess.

This looks awful.

Eh, I'll withhold judgement on the matter. I am actually looking forward to how the action will look. I grew up watching the turtles, then when I was a bit older switched to the comics. I even am OK with most recent animated shows. All I know is that this should be easier to watch than Transformers because the Turtles don't have 90 million simultaneous moving parts. At the end of the day, they were going to make changes, that was unavoidable. The thing that I found strange is how large they are. They weren't that much bigger than the average human in the comics or the original show or even the first movies.

I will say this: Why in the hell is the Shredder not a Japanese guy. Oroku Saki is clearly a Japanese name, the character was ALWAYS portrayed as a Japanese guy. I can take some visual changes of the Turtles, but that kind of messes up stuff for me. Well, maybe there will be a good reason for it. Time will tell.

So... Someone mentions that a movie Michael Bay is a part of is filled with a bunch of erratic, cumbersome and overall just silly additions just for the sake of trying to make the obvious more obvious and also to make them, in his mind, cooler...?

Why haven't we gotten an article every time everyone has ever said this about a Michael Bay movie that wasn't Bad Boys then?

Trishbot:

Johnny Novgorod:
The turtles have never looked good in live-action. They didn't look good back in the costumed films and they don't look good now that they're CGI. They're only passable in the comics, or in 2D animation.

That may be opinion, but I STILL think that, nearly 20 years later, those costumes looked FANTASTIC.
image

Granted, they got worse and worse as the movies went on, but they were detailed, animated, and even flexible enough to allow their performers to do all the kicks and flips required from a 90's era action movie. I STILL prefer that over the CG iterations we've seen recently.

I'm with you. Personally, I'll take practical effects over CG 9 times out of 10 if you can accomplish the same thing with it that you're trying to do without it. Not to mention that CG just seems to be getting worse and worse these days. I'd rather see those practical effects updated for the modern day and complemented by the use of CG where necessary. Making everything CG just doesn't work for me. It leaves you with either hundreds of artists working on it under tight time constraints and having the quality fluctuate from scene to scene, or not enough artists working on it and having the quality fluctuate. Instead we should be using CG more sparingly and spending more time and money on those shots where it is needed so that you can maintain the quality necessary to actually fool people.

Trishbot:
That may be opinion, but I STILL think that, nearly 20 years later, those costumes looked FANTASTIC.
image

Granted, they got worse and worse as the movies went on, but they were detailed, animated, and even flexible enough to allow their performers to do all the kicks and flips required from a 90's era action movie. I STILL prefer that over the CG iterations we've seen recently.

I agree, those costumes, while admittedly clumsy, beat almost anything done in CGI nowadays, especially the animatronic heads, they're still pretty impressive.

OT: Well... that's my notion with the new turtles design, "wait and see".

No one thought it's silly they wore mask? Mask was traditionally used to conceal who we are, the way TMNT does it just defeats the purpose first by giving it color code so we KNOW who's wearing the mask and second we already KNOW who's wearing the mask. There's only 4 of them in the world!

The word "ninja" literally means "hidden one" and if they still exist today they wouldn't be wearing mask or things that get them attention, they'll be wearing suit and tie or a hoodie to blend in with everyone else.

They look like a darker and edgier reboot version. The original movies made them look competent in martial arts, but fun loving jokers simultaneously. They couldn't go with that kind of look? They just had to make the Turtles have an image like the no-nonsense space marines present in FPSes just to draw in the frat boy crowd.

Also, why can't they build on the old costumes. CGI may have come far from the Tron days. But, practical effects have too. The costumes looked fine for late 80's. Why can't today's artists armed with more modern latex and other materials get a chance to make a realistic looking character? From what I here, CGI isn't cheap, so it can't be done for cost reasons. It's laziness. They rather do something with a dude in a blue or green full body suit and adjust things in post-production than make sure everything looks good for a few takes, right when filming a scene.

VoidWanderer:
Disclaimer: I haven't seen the whole trailer just the bits from Moviebob's chat about it.

But the nose looks wrong, and since last time i checked April O'neil was a reporter, why faint in front of the BIGGEST NEWS STORY OF YOUR FUCKING LIFE!? She is not some fan-girl meeting her idol, she is looking for her big break. Also, what is with her fainting anyway, I could figure out if she was having a seizure or orgasm!

The whole 'we created the Turtles' is wrong, and honestly, I would have preferred if he went with 'The Turtles are aliens' thing. It would have made sense... Well, a little more anyway.

April O'Neal fainting is from the writers being twits who think the "fainting woman seeing an extraordinary sight" trope is still fresh and hasn't been beating worse than the pile of mush that was once a dead horse. As for the seizure/orgasm, It's Megan Fox. She probably doesn't know the difference, and Bay left it in because she was cast in the female lead role solely to attract more guys who think TMNT is for kids otherwise.

ExtraDebit:
No one thought it's silly they wore mask? Mask was traditionally used to conceal who we are, the way TMNT does it just defeats the purpose first by giving it color code so we KNOW who's wearing the mask and second we already KNOW who's wearing the mask. There's only 4 of them in the world!

The word "ninja" literally means "hidden one" and if they still exist today they wouldn't be wearing mask or things that get them attention, they'll be wearing suit and tie or a hoodie to blend in with everyone else.

1) They wear headbands, not masks. This was because in the 80's, wearing a headband = martial artist, especially a red one (as they ALL wore in the original comics). They conceal themselves by actually HIDING and being stealthy. The reason for the Eye-holes, is that there is no room on their head to do it another way.

2)You are correct about the concealing clothes, the whole Pyjamas thing is a western misunderstanding of an old Japanese theater trope. whereby the Ninja was disguised as one of the stage hands, who wore all black so as not to be seen as part of the show. Feudal lords also made their servants dress all in black, and conceal their faces so the Lords would not have to Sully their eyes by looking on any peasants. You can only imagine how EASY that mad life for the Ninja for a while.

3) They're Ninja. If you DO see them, and notice the color of their masks, you are already dead.

Hey! Laird agrees with like, everyone else in the world. Time to can these crappy CGI turtles and dust off the awesome looking rubber ones from the 90's.

image

I can't say I'm happy with the designs either.
I mean really, a do-rag and shades for Raph? Taped-glasses and goggles for Don? Could they not properly write personalities for them so they had to give them features to constantly remind us which ones were "the tough one" and "the smart one"? I thought the bandanas were enough to tell them apart.

ShakerSilver:
image

I can't say I'm happy with the designs either.
I mean really, a do-rag and shades for Raph? Taped-glasses and goggles for Don? Could they not properly write personalities for them so they had to give them features to constantly remind us which ones were "the tough one" and "the smart one"? I thought the bandanas were enough to tell them apart.

Where do I go to vomit? Also I would like to point out to the Artist who Draw Raphael: THAT IS NOT HOW YOU HOLD SAI you fucking Idiots! If you hold your fingers in the Tines for catching weapons, you will get you fucking fingers CUT OFF!! Not to mention that you get ZERO force holding them that way.
I know this from spending 10 seconds with youtube, after buying Sai because I love Raph. It REALLY isn't difficult to get information on things anymore.
I will accept this Dew rag if and ONLY IF, you get Ice-T to voice Raph. It's still bull shit, but that would make it tolerable.

The extras really put me off, the stupid and useless bamboo armor over turtle shell especially annoys me. Raphael's look makes me wonder if they're going to be the turtle version of mudflap or skids. The lips, especially on Michelangelo are uncanny valley level of disturbing. I actually like Donatello's design the most, but it's so different from the others that it doesn't fit.

I don't think the new designs are all that bad actually. Sure maybe some of the additional accessories are a bit much, but overall I think these designs work.

ShakerSilver:
image

Donatello looks like he fell into a JRPG dressing room. Raphael looks like a Krogan wearing sunglasses. Michaelangelo looks weirdly feminine, and don't even get me started on Leo's bamboo armour and shoulderpads...

Definitely a candidate for worst reboot ever.

Trishbot:

Johnny Novgorod:
The turtles have never looked good in live-action. They didn't look good back in the costumed films and they don't look good now that they're CGI. They're only passable in the comics, or in 2D animation.

That may be opinion, but I STILL think that, nearly 20 years later, those costumes looked FANTASTIC.
image

Granted, they got worse and worse as the movies went on, but they were detailed, animated, and even flexible enough to allow their performers to do all the kicks and flips required from a 90's era action movie. I STILL prefer that over the CG iterations we've seen recently.

Going to have to +1 you there. I watched the trailer for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the only thought going through my mind was "what kind of abomination unto nature is that thing?!" Then when it talked... I mostly just face palmed. The original "beaked" look the turtles had was alien, but it wasn't frightening, either. They were more rounded in shape, which made them feel less threatening. The new ones would scare the crap out of anyone.

Johnny Novgorod:
The turtles have never looked good in live-action. They didn't look good back in the costumed films and they don't look good now that they're CGI. They're only passable in the comics, or in 2D animation.

The costumes did look better than these monstrosities...

and at least the older films didn't have two stupid things attached to them:

1. a weak, dumbass "destiny" story that will likely accomplish nothing but getting groans out of the audience...

and 2. Michael Bay.

TheDoctor455:

Johnny Novgorod:
The turtles have never looked good in live-action. They didn't look good back in the costumed films and they don't look good now that they're CGI. They're only passable in the comics, or in 2D animation.

The costumes did look better than these monstrosities...

and at least the older films didn't have two stupid things attached to them:

1. a weak, dumbass "destiny" story that will likely accomplish nothing but getting groans out of the audience...

and 2. Michael Bay.

They may look better by comparison (they do) but watching them as a kid I got uncanny valley vibes in ways I never got from the show.

It stinks of Bay so it makes perfect sense for them to look like assholes with random extra crap. The Transformers were fine the way they looked. Then Bay comes along and think he can do better and we get some of the most uglyist robots ive ever seen crazy over the top busy bullshit.

ShakerSilver:
image

I can't say I'm happy with the designs either.
I mean really, a do-rag and shades for Raph? Taped-glasses and goggles for Don? Could they not properly write personalities for them so they had to give them features to constantly remind us which ones were "the tough one" and "the smart one"? I thought the bandanas were enough to tell them apart.

But this is a product (I'll never call any thing he's involved with "film" or even "movie" any more) with Michael Bay's name attached to it as producer. What is a character in a Michael Bay product if not a stereotype easily revealed by appearance (especially when it comes to stereotypical, superfluous racial identifiers in the presence of racial ambiguity - as seen in Transformers)? I swear the man's mind is still in middle school. Ye gods I hope this thing flops so magnificently as to make his name an industry pariah.

Ukomba:
I actually like Donatello's design the most

I wager, it's because his... for whatever reason... looks like the original turtles.

I don't notice an extended nose, eyebrow ridges or lips. His actually looks like a beak, and his nose is simply slits, which looks believable for turtles (even though turtles actually do have extended noses for breathing from below water.)

That's something I don't get, actually. If you're going to make noses... why human noses... and not actual turtle noses?

SilverStuddedSquirre:

ShakerSilver:
image

I can't say I'm happy with the designs either.
I mean really, a do-rag and shades for Raph? Taped-glasses and goggles for Don? Could they not properly write personalities for them so they had to give them features to constantly remind us which ones were "the tough one" and "the smart one"? I thought the bandanas were enough to tell them apart.

Where do I go to vomit? Also I would like to point out to the Artist who Draw Raphael: THAT IS NOT HOW YOU HOLD SAI you fucking Idiots! If you hold your fingers in the Tines for catching weapons, you will get you fucking fingers CUT OFF!! Not to mention that you get ZERO force holding them that way.
I know this from spending 10 seconds with youtube, after buying Sai because I love Raph. It REALLY isn't difficult to get information on things anymore.
I will accept this Dew rag if and ONLY IF, you get Ice-T to voice Raph. It's still bull shit, but that would make it tolerable.

Nice catch, mate. You can wrap your thumb around one tine, place you index finger down the length of the handle and wrap your other fingers around the opposite tine (hard to explain but you can find pictures for reference real easy). This works for use of the weapon in "reverse" grip (it's actually the primary grip) with the shaft against your forearm to block, or to strike as you would with a night-stick, or to punch with the pommel at the base of the handle (holy crap that pommel can mess someone up just as much at the shaft can).

But the way he's pictured here, like he's about to get into the business and fight holding the weapon that way? No. No no no no no. Never. You are absolutely right. What is this garbage, a Michael Bay fl-? Oh.

I really love this weapon. It's extremely versatile - dangerous from every angle, it can be used to effectively block, punch, stab, strike, catch, dissarm, and even function as a balanced and effective projectile weapon.

SilverStuddedSquirre:

ExtraDebit:
No one thought it's silly they wore mask? Mask was traditionally used to conceal who we are, the way TMNT does it just defeats the purpose first by giving it color code so we KNOW who's wearing the mask and second we already KNOW who's wearing the mask. There's only 4 of them in the world!

The word "ninja" literally means "hidden one" and if they still exist today they wouldn't be wearing mask or things that get them attention, they'll be wearing suit and tie or a hoodie to blend in with everyone else.

1) They wear headbands, not masks. This was because in the 80's, wearing a headband = martial artist, especially a red one (as they ALL wore in the original comics). They conceal themselves by actually HIDING and being stealthy. The reason for the Eye-holes, is that there is no room on their head to do it another way.

2)You are correct about the concealing clothes, the whole Pyjamas thing is a western misunderstanding of an old Japanese theater trope. whereby the Ninja was disguised as one of the stage hands, who wore all black so as not to be seen as part of the show. Feudal lords also made their servants dress all in black, and conceal their faces so the Lords would not have to Sully their eyes by looking on any peasants. You can only imagine how EASY that mad life for the Ninja for a while.

3) They're Ninja. If you DO see them, and notice the color of their masks, you are already dead.

You should watch the trailer where Michelangelo said "look it's just a mask".

We will have to wait and see but I'm guessing Peter Laird is right anyway.

ExtraDebit:
The word "ninja" literally means "hidden one" and if they still exist today they wouldn't be wearing mask or things that get them attention, they'll be wearing suit and tie or a hoodie to blend in with everyone else.

Or a trench coat and a fedora hat:

image

ExtraDebit:

SilverStuddedSquirre:

ExtraDebit:
No one thought it's silly they wore mask? Mask was traditionally used to conceal who we are, the way TMNT does it just defeats the purpose first by giving it color code so we KNOW who's wearing the mask and second we already KNOW who's wearing the mask. There's only 4 of them in the world!

The word "ninja" literally means "hidden one" and if they still exist today they wouldn't be wearing mask or things that get them attention, they'll be wearing suit and tie or a hoodie to blend in with everyone else.

1) They wear headbands, not masks. This was because in the 80's, wearing a headband = martial artist, especially a red one (as they ALL wore in the original comics). They conceal themselves by actually HIDING and being stealthy. The reason for the Eye-holes, is that there is no room on their head to do it another way.

2)You are correct about the concealing clothes, the whole Pyjamas thing is a western misunderstanding of an old Japanese theater trope. whereby the Ninja was disguised as one of the stage hands, who wore all black so as not to be seen as part of the show. Feudal lords also made their servants dress all in black, and conceal their faces so the Lords would not have to Sully their eyes by looking on any peasants. You can only imagine how EASY that mad life for the Ninja for a while.

3) They're Ninja. If you DO see them, and notice the color of their masks, you are already dead.

You should watch the trailer where Michelangelo said "look it's just a mask".

I have watched the trailer. I also REJECT THIS REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE- REALITY -

Just because it makes a funny, doesn't mean it's true. Also go watch 80's movies and you will definiteively see headband = Karate = badass

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