Peter Laird, one of the co-creators of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, has weighed in on Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman's upcoming Turtles reboot.
When asked about his initial reaction based on the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer, Laird revealed that:
I was impressed with what I saw of the production values -- if nothing else, it looks like the new TMNT movie will have a lot of stuff going on and looking good (that toppling tower, for example) -- but the changes to the basic design of the Turtles seemed to me to fall into the "fixing what is not broken" category. It's altogether possible that, in the context of this new movie, these designs will work well and not seem so odd, but I still point to what Jim Henson's "Creature Shop" team did with their rendering of the Turtles in rubber and paint as the best translation (in live action, anyway) of the Turtles as Kevin Eastman and I created them.
That being said, so far I have only seen this short trailer with just a few brief glimpses of the Turtles. My opinion could change. One thing that comes to mind if how cool it would be if someone did CGI versions of those same Henson designs, with all the incredible flexibility and seamless action potential available with today's CGI.
Laird's attitude about the trailer is pretty reasonable and he's not going overboard with hate, but I disagree with him about "fixing what is not broken". I'm down with the Turtles' darker, less "kiddified" new look.
Laird's right about CGI, though. It's definitely the best route to go. Back when the 90s movie came out, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael weren't very ninja-esque; they were massively limited to what they were physically able to do. Despite all the Bay-bashing, I think the CGI route is his best decision yet - and will capture their ninja skills better than any Turtle suits ever could.
In the trailer we also saw little glimpses of Raphael's sunglasses, Leonardo's bamboo armor, and Donatello's goggles. When asked if he felt that the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were over-stylized, co-creator Laird commented that:
It may just be a personal preference of mine -- and one informed by twenty-five years with the Turtles as co-creator working on those green dudes -- but the extra "stuff" added to the Turtles' outfits just seems extraneous to me, and a bit silly in spots (I mean, thin bamboo armor for a Turtle's shell?). Maybe it will work, but right now, I don't see it. I prefer the simpler versions.
Surprised to hear him say "wait and see" to all of that "extraneous" material. Personally, during the Turtles' big traielr reveal, I was loving the new interesting designs with the accessories representing their individual personalities. As long as the soul of the franchise is there and the characters are respected, I'm down. And Bay - at least with the whole alien origins thing - seems to have done just that with his Turtles reboot.
Quite apart from Laird, there have been some pretty shell-shocked parties surrounding Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman's approach to the four butt-kicking, pizza-munching reptiles. But, let's all grab a great big sloppy slice of pizza and wait for the movie to drop before making any harsh judgements. What did you guys think of the TMNT trailer? Do you now take back everything you ever said about Michael Bay? Hit me up in the comments section below!
Don't forget - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrives in theaters August 8, 2014.
Are you pumped for Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
(Source: Peter Laird)