ROCKS 15C: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles season 3 picks

Discussion in 'Other Cartoons & Collectables' started by LiamABC, May 11, 2018.

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  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE THIRD DISCUSSION IN THE FIFTEENTH STRAND OF "R.O.C.K.S." - REWATCHING OLD CLASSIC KIDS SHOWS!

    A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    We're going back to the 80s again now, with one of the biggest shows of the period - the 1987 cartoon of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (And as I'm from the UK, I had to fight the instinct to type "Hero" instead of "Ninja"!)

    This week, we're watching some episodes from season 3:

    - The Old Switcheroo
    - April Fool
    - Take Me To Your Leader
    - The Gang's All Here

    Also for the next few weeks we will also be covering the TMNT movies in Movie Club.

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full episode online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the show in whatever manner you want.
     
  2. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Another good batch of episodes! :)

    The Old Switcheroo
    I've seen this same basic concept of two characters getting their minds swapped in numerous cartoons (Tom & Jerry, Mighty Mouse, and ofcourse ThunderCats' "The Shifter"). The thing about this gag is that it easily lends itself to a lot of humor. Surprisingly (and thankfully), the writer(s) of this episode didn't go that route entirely.

    It was a good idea to remove Shredder's mask for some scenes as it really showed his, or rather Splinter's expression better. Such episodes always test the skills of the voice actors and challenge them to do something different with their established voice, which I feel the voice actors here did very well.

    Splinter as Shredder controlling and changing his brain waves was a bit of a stretch. What are they and how exactly do you match yours to someone else's?????? :confused: Also I felt that the Turtles luring Shredder and Splinter back to the machine to fix everything was a bit unimaginative. The writer could have come up with a more interesting and different fix.

    April Fool
    This was also a funny episode of mistaken identities. Again, not the most original of ideas. And it's always a bit convenient when Shredder and Krang want something at the exact same time that either the April or Turtles are involved with. But then that's the case with half the episodes!

    April looked hot and almost unrecognizable in her new look. The princess' outfit looks almost identical to that of Princess Peach from the Super Mario franchise.

    Some funny bits but overall nothing outstanding. A decent episode, nevertheless.

    Take Me To Your Leader
    This was a much deeper episode, storywise. Leonardo's introspection, loss of confidence and search for himself is very well portrayed. I always thought that there would have been at least one such episode in "ThunderCats" where Lion-O leaves/is presumed dead and someone else has to take over the leadership. But that never happened. :(

    Anyway, back to the episode, Krang and Shredder's plan is of a much bigger scale here. It was also interesting and funny to see each of the Turtle try his hand at leading and failing miserably. In the end it's a good message that it's not always about you and that Leo was thinking only about himself.


    The Gang's All Here
    This was also a less formulaic episode. Michelangelo wanting to, and eventually turning into a human, and then later regreting it, mirrors the plot of "Splinter No More" which we discussed last week. Also April pretending to be a punk in order to infiltrate the gang and Mike helping her was very similar to how Raphael helped Keno to get inducted into the Foot Clan in "The Secret of the Ooze".

    I thought the human design of Michael J. Angelo could have been a bit better. They made his a bit too young instead of a teen. And his transformations were a bit all over the place in terms of continuity. Initially he is wearing the Aloha shirt and shorts when he changes into a human. His head, elbow and knee bands disappear (which they shouldn't). THen later in April's apartment when he changes back to his Turtle form, he is without the shirt and shorts.

    There were some funny scenarios, like Bebop dressed as an old lady, which strangely the Turtles couldn't figure out. (They need big glasses!). And I am very offended by Donatello claiming that humans are an inferior species to Turtles!!! ;)
     
    LiamABC likes this.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Having recently gone through the entire third season, I was struggling to narrow it down to one week's worth of picks that could be called representative.

    The Old Switcheroo was one of very few episodes that I regard as brilliant even through adult eyes. Possibly because it was an influence on a Visionaries fanfic I wrote in which Ectar and Reekon swapped bodies and again nobody knew what had happened right away. (I also took an influence from Where Eagles Dare later on in the story, with Witterquick in the Richard Burton role!) But I digress.

    Splinter and Shredder swapping bodies and it not being known to anybody else right away makes for a more interesting body-swap story than Thundercats' own "The Shifter" (although that is still a very good episode too!). After all, the concept is hard to swallow, how do you tell someone that you're not the person whose body you are inhabiting? They'll never believe you! Plus, you're in the hands of your enemies, so if they did believe what had happened, they wouldn't exactly be favourably inclined towards you! Peter Renaday and James Avery indeed had an interesting acting challenge, to try to each talk like the other in this episode, and they pulled it off. Interestingly, there's one moment in another episode, "Turtles At The Earth's Core", where Peter Renaday does one line of Shredder's dialogue (I guess James Avery had gone home for the day and they needed someone to fill it in there and then). OK, the resolution may be a little basic, but considering that the entire swap was an accident, not a deliberate plan, and the technology was on the surface rather than in the Technodrome, then there's only so much you can do with it.

    April Fool is one of those episodes that I picked as representative of Shredder & Krang's typical objectives for the season - to find something to power the Technodrome. And yes, that coincidence of them wanting something that the good guys are involved with tends to happen a lot in most shows anyway. I guess it helps to get to the action bits quicker! As for April's new look, I think the turtles were putting all the writers' thoughts into words there - or syllables at least, reacting just the way teenage males always do when their blood supply is diverted to a certain part of their anatomy...

    And yes, the issue of mistaken identity is another common theme in these 80s cartoons, I think I picked an episode of Spiral Zone last year that does it from a very different angle, "Brother's Keeper".

    Take Me To Your Leader is one of two back-to-back episodes that focused on Leonardo. I originally thought of having two weeks of s3 picks, so that I could have a focus episode for each turtle, but there's nothing at all for Raphael, and the only candidate for Donatello, "The Maltese Hamster", doesn't put an emotional focus on the character in the same way. For Leonardo, it was either this or "Four Musketurtles", and it was a tough choice. The whole "loss of self-belief" thing is a very common thread among 80s cartoons, but usually not with the leader of the group. Thundercats did "Snarf Takes Up The Challenge", Defenders Of The Earth centred theirs around Kshin with "The Sleeper Awakes", Visionaries did "Feryl Steps Out", all of these featuring younger and/or weaker members of the team. For a show to actually do it with the leader is rare. But it did give them the opportunity here to have each of the other three turtles try out being the leader, and all failing for different reasons - Raphael for being too impulsive, Donatello for being too indecisive, and Michelangelo for being too immature completely. Shredder's plot in this episode is a bit far-fetched, draining the sun's energy in a matter of hours? Seriously? That said, I liked the ending when each turtle said what he had learned.

    The Gang's All Here is one of the most significant episodes in the show's run. Possibly Shredder's most interesting plan of all of them. Turning the turtles into human beings rather than back to their original ordinary turtle forms was a masterly idea. The execution of the plan, however, yes, with Rocksteady & Bebop, whom the turtles didn't recognise - ??? - could have been done less suspiciously. Foot soldiers done up to look human might have worked better. Donatello did at least sense that something was wrong, and analysed the cookies. Michelangelo being the one to try them anyway made sense, he was always the most fun-loving, and wanting to enjoy himself with humans, so it made sense that he'd be the one willing to take the chance. My question is, why did the cookies take away his muscles? And surely he still knew how to fight like a ninja turtle, so why would being human be such a disadvantage to him? Interesting to see Rocksteady & Bebop's old gang - even if they looked completely different to their appearance in the pilot. Maybe it was a different gang and they were in two (or even more).
     

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