Review: Nickelodeon TMNT Website

In 2009, the news of the sale of Ninja Turtles to Viacom also meant that ninjaturtles.com would no longer be ran by Mirage Studios.  The website soon had an image showing that the new site was to be launched in 2011, as we watched a lot of the areas disappear from the website that we all knew and loved.  Though some cool areas remained, like the history of the old TV series and movies.  We waited for the new site.  But 2011 came and went with no new changes.  Finally, June 2012 the website changes, but is this change for the better?

Originally we were hearing only the Nickelodeon address for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles site, as that is given in the trailer that was recently released.  Though it came to my attention to check our old favorite address and see how they handled it there.  To my surprise and pure disappointment, the old URL is only being used to redirect you to the new Nickelodeon site.  All of the wonderful information that was there for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans of all universes is now gone,  only to see the new Nickelodeon Cartoon series.  Personally, I do not find this justice for that URL to only focus on one universe of TMNT.  So I am really annoyed by this change from Viacom.

While I will like to review this as the Nickelodeon site, I would like to express that my feelings of the URL ninjaturtles.com will remain out of most of this review.  I will try and keep to the website and force myself to feel that this is only the Nickelodeon  website, as that is the URL we see at the top.  Though I also send out a plea to Viacom, give us back a website that fans new and old can enjoy.  Have a link to the new show redirect people to the Nickelodeon Cartoon site.  Let the Comics, Movies, Toys, and TV series have a website they can share under official control.  Under the name of a site that the fans all know and trust, ninjaturtles.com.

Onto my review of the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series website, which has the URL : http://www.nick.com/shows/ninja-turtles/  Once you enter the website, the first thing you see is the new trailer for the Nickelodeon cartoon series coming this Fall.  At the top you see tabs that say “Home”, “About”, “Characters”, “Game” and “Board”.  They got a city background, with the four Turtles in their CGI appearance, standing with two Turtles per a side of the trailer.  Which looks to be a billboard on a rooftop.

This is an okay opening for the page.  Though I wish you had a choice to play the video instead of it going into auto play, as returning people do not need to watch the video over and over again.  I’ve had to reload the page a few time while surfing around, and wait for a chance to pause the video so that it’s not playing while I’m looking at the design of the site.

The first area I go to check out is the “About” section to see if they offer fans of the old any of the information that was lost with the new website design.  Though sadly the ‘about page’ is only a very short description of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The only thing that makes this description not match up to the other Ninja Turtle Series out there is the mention of the Kraang.  The coolest thing about this page is the image on the side of the page with Leonardo holding his brothers up by his legs.

This is disappointing to me, I would of hoped with all this time of not having an official Ninja Turtle website that the about area could of been the fall back spot for all the history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  A place where Nickelodeon could share the rest of the property that they bought up.  Instead we have something that could've been written up by any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fan.  There’s nothing new for us to even learn for the new cartoon series, sadly it feels as if the “About” area is at this point of time, only useful to people who’ve never heard of Ninja Turtles.

I go down the line to the next site, the characters.  Once there we see an image of each of the Turtles, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael each with their names under them.  As you scroll your mouse over each of the Turtles, they light up as a link to go in and learn about each of them.  I am surprised, with all of the information already given through events like “Mutation in Progress” at San Diego Comic Con international last year, that they did not put up more characters.  Like Splinter and April.

First I check out Michelangelo’s profile.  There is a short description of Michelangelo, as if he’s telling us about himself.  Each of the things that he says he enjoys doing, are things he also enjoyed in the other cartoon series.  His gear shows two different weapons, the Kusarigama and Nunchucks.  What I find interesting about this is his way of describing his weapons is saying how he fights with the Kusarigama to give that nunchuck smackdown.  Though no mention that he also fights with the nunchucks.  Even though the trailers normally show him with the nunchucks.  Also there is no mention of the popping out blade we saw in the “Mutation in progress” video.  The last area offered up here is the photos.  They give us five images of Michelangelo, three of which you can see in the new trailer.  So we have two new images, one with his Kusarigama, though I like the one with the robot he’s fighting.  That looks interesting.  Overall, it’s a nice profile to help people get to know Michelangelo and I like that there’s comments from Mikey for each photo.

Next on the line up is Leonardo.  This description reminds me of the Leonardo in the 2007 movie, he’s already calling himself the leader and he is already saying he’s better than his brothers.  Personally this is not my favorite version of Leonardo, though we’ll see how it plays out in the new show.  His gear as he says is Niten Ryu, because he likes two Katana.  Already they made a mistake that every area of Ninja Turtles keep making, they called Leonardo’s swords Katana.  Not everyone sees this as a mistake, but it is one thing that I always pick at when I see it.  Katana are Samurai swords as a ninja Leonardo would most likely carry Ninjato, also known as Ninjaken or Shinobigatana.  I normally hear them called Ninjato.  Though ever since I was a kid, I’ve also heard Leonardo’s swords called Katana, and even the new image of these swords remind me more of Katana than Ninjato.  For someone who eats, breathes and lives ninjutsu, why would he make this mistake?  Why would he carry the sword of the Samurai?

Onto Leonardo’s photos.  Like with Mikey, Leo has five images.  Most of these images are really up close of Leo,  only the last image of Leo jumping is a full body shot.  Four of the five images are ready for battle, the other one is smirking as you can tell they’re in a fighting spot.  Leo’s comments are each a bit smug and full of himself.  It seems that is the personality they’ve chosen for Leo, or at least that’s how it’s coming off on the website.  Once again, we will see when the series comes out.

Next is Donatello, his profile could almost match every series until you get to the last line where he mentions wanting to get April to notice him.  While it seems to be more pushed in the promo for this series, Don has shown slight interest in April before.  As all four Turtles kind of flirted with April in the original cartoon series, and in the 4Kids series April and Don were kind of close before Casey appeared in the show, which wasn’t too long.  So this crush on April is being treated as new, but really it’s been there for a long time with each of the turtles.  Don’s gear is his Naginata, which is a six foot bo staff with a blade.  Though a lot of the images of Don shows no blade, so it seems they’re going with the weapon we see in the “Mutation in Progress” video, where the blade pops out of his bo staff.  I don’t feel this is needed for Don, though I’m interested to see how he uses this.  For me, they seem to be making too big of a deal out of bladed weapons.

With Donatello’s five images, I have to say I really like that the first one reminds me of the statue they have of Donatello at “Nickelodeon Universe” in Mall of America.  That is cool to see in a CGI image, as I got to look at that statue a lot while at the Mall.  The second image shows the upper part of a Kraang Body!  Better than the image in Mikey’s profile, you can see the top of the Kraang in the body!  The third image is my favorite photo out of all of the profiles so far, it shows Don relaxed on a roof, looking annoyed at Leo.  A non-action pose, I would like to see more of those.  Leo looks ready to leap off as if he’s focused on something else.  His next shot is like he’s ready for some action coming up behind him, though his comment is about the store front in the background.  And the last image shows Don holding a pizza in one hand and it looks like his bo staff got cheese on it.  Behind him is a video game.  Overall this is my favorite group of photos.  I feel they were more creative with choosing the shots we got, and we get to see more views of Don, other than ‘fighting’

Last but not least of the Turtle profiles is Raphael.  His way of describing himself matches up to the Raph you know in the comics, movies and 4Kids series.  Kick butt first and ask questions later.  His gear go by their normal name with no real changes to them, which is his sais.   Though he says he uses them as a pizza fork.  The only other time I remember Raph using his sais with pizza was in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, when he caught the slice that Michaelangelo threw at him.  So while it’s not new, it’s not normal either.  We’ll see where they go with this.

With Raph’s photo, I like the shot of him to the side kind of looking at his photos with his arms crossed.  The first image is an action shot where he looks like he’s about to jump into a fight.  The second picture is kind of weird, it’s got Raph with three tiny pieces of pizza on his sais, but that’s not the weird part, it’s his body and how he’s standing.  He looks really off compared to the other images, though I do like the smile on his face, it’s his body that’s off to me.  The third image is another up close on him ready to fight, looking like he spotted someone behind him.  The fourth image seems to be from the same group with Don and Leo on that roof. It seems Leo may be snapping at Don and Raph is just giving Leo the look!  Awesome shot, and my favorite Raph pic so far.  The last picture is another action shot of Raph punching a Kraang’s android body in the head.  Would that really affect the Kraang by hitting a robot body?  Guess we’ll see by watching the show.

So far the character area is my favorite part of the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cartoon page.  I like all the photos, giving us looks to what is to come.  Next I am jumping to the Game section, which I would guess is something to come.  But to my surprise, there’s already a game here!  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dark Horizons.   Time to give it a test run...

This is a flash game.  You get to choose which Turtle to play and run around the sewers, using arrow keys to get around, the space bar to fight and z to use throwing stars.  The controls seem simple, though they’re only simple if your computer is keeping up with the game.  A lot of the time I would stop hitting a button and my turtle would still be doing the moves.  Jumping is a pain in the shell with really bad controls there.  I could not clear anything in jumping.  Once you die, you have to choose another Turtle and once you go through all four Turtles, you still have a choice to keep going.   I ended it once I went through all four Turtles to keep working on this review.  It seems like a fun game, and if my computer was behaving I might of had an easier time.  Next time I’ll have less stuff going on with the computer and hopefully it’ll run smoother.  I do recommend checking out this game.

The last area on the page is the board, which is a message board.  It’s still new so there’s not many posts.  I would like to encourage all of our readers to join for the board.  Though reading it, it’s for 18 years and younger only.   So if you’re like me, from the original set of kids who watched the old cartoon series, we can not post on the only official Teenage Mutant NInja Turtles forum.  Sad really, just because we’re older does not make us any less of fans.  Of course, Nickelodeon is showing that they don’t think adults can be friends with people younger than themselves without bad intentions.  We see this by April being aged down.  Personally, I enjoy talking with TMNT fans of all ages.  So I would of taken part on this forum, with no bad motive, just as a TMNT fan wanting to share reviews and stories with others.  At least us adult fans still have forums like Mikey’s, The Technodrome, and my personal favorite TMNT-L.

Overall it’s a nice website for the series, but only for the new Nickelodeon series.  It’s clearly not meant for any of the other universes.  I like looking over the site, I liked the pictures, and the game was fun.  Though I don’t like that this is where ninjaturtles.com leads us.  While there are a ton of fan sites out there, it was great to always have an official site that covered it all.  And if Viacom doesn’t think they could handle a site like that, they could look around at all of us fans who would be happy to work for them and help provide a site with contents that can be enjoyed by both new and old fans.

What are your thoughts on the new Nickelodeon website?  Do you think ninjaturtles.com should only cover one universe of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?  Answer these questions, comment or ask a question of your own down below.

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