The first trailer for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which is directed by Michael Bay and stars Megan Fox, just dropped, and it’s about as kid-friendly as holing-up in a sewer.
Here, take a look:
Now take a look at this:
That’s the opener for the TMNT television series that debuted in late 1987 when I was 8. It’s about the same general subject—Karate-chopping man-turtles with a proclivity for cracking wise, eating pizza, and skateboarding whilst saving the planet from Shredder—but it’s just a tad more 8-year-old friendly.
And, while I could easily turn this into a belabored, philosophical essay about whether or not adult me would show the Michael Bay-ified TMNT to 8-year-old me (side note: he probably would, but that’s just because adult me’s still kind of an 8-year-old), and whether or not there’s even an obligation for Michael Bay to have created a TMNT movie that a kid could see, I won’t because, well, where does that get us?
The game of adults co-opting toys for their own use is nothing new. I mean, hey, we liked this stuff when we were kids and now we want a version of it we can like as adults. And, as with other kids’ franchises that have adultified, TMNT’s evolution has been gradual.
First they dropped the Nintendo game that was so difficult for kids to play that its difficulty is the subject of this bizarre YouTube video:
And let’s not forget about the first feature film version in 1990:
That was appropriate for 11-year-old me, but not, maybe, the 8-year-old. Bay’s is just the logical next step. It’s TMNT evolved to fit the needs of 34-year-old me. Then again, am I really into watching man-turtles eat slices while fending off Shredder and a disembodied brain man? Well, if Megan Fox is involved, maybe.