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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Updated on December 3, 2012

TMNT - The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Eastman and Laird

Here you'll find information on the infamous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michaelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael. We'll explore the Ninja Turtles' origins, their love for pizza, their wise Master Splinter, the Ninja Turtles cartoon, the Ninja Turtles comic books, the Turtles movies and much more regarding the infamous heroes in a half shell.

As Mikey might say, "Cowabunga!" Or perhaps "Turtle Power." Whichever you prefer.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme Song - Ninja Turtles Theme Song

Click the image to the left to listen and/or download the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Eastman and Laird
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Eastman and Laird

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Origins

TMNT origins, TMNT creators

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were created in 1984 by artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Many people are unaware that the Ninja Turtles began as a black and white comic book and were geared toward adults. The comics were published by Mirage Studios out of Dover, New Hampshire. The original concept was intended by the artists to be somewhat of a parody of then-popular comic books.

The original incarnation of the Turtles consisted of eating pizza, drinking beer, profanity (lots of it) and killing the bad guys. The stories in the early comics had a gritty, intense feel, nothing like the most commonly known version of the Turtles that spawned from the 80s cartoon. These Turtles were dark, moody and brooding as were many popular heroes of the time.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Amazon - Ninja Turtles action figures, ninja turtles playsets, ninja turtles figurines

TMNT cartoon
TMNT cartoon

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon (1980s-1990s)

TMNT 80s cartoon, TMNT animated series

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reached the height of their popularity as a result of the late 80s/early 90s animated series. The cartoon first aired in December of 1987 as a 5-part miniseries. The Ninja Turtles cartoon official run on October 1, 1988 began its official run on October 1, 1988. There was a dramatic change in tone. The cartoon was a complete departure from the dark books to a silly, family-friendly cartoon aimed at young children.

While this watered down version of the Turtles made fans cringe, the cartoon helped launch these characters into mainstream popularity. In fact, the show became one of the most popular animated series in the history of television. A merchandising frenzy followed shortly thereafter. Kids were earting TMNT cereal, wearing TMNT shirts, playing with TMNT action figures and battling each other on TMNT video games.

TMNT characters
TMNT characters

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Main Characters

TMNT characters

Leonardo (Leo) - The courageous leader and devoted student of martial arts, Leonardo wears a blue mask in some versions and wields two katana. He is the oldest of the four and the most skilled fighter of the turtles. Leonardo was named after the Italian polymath, scientist, engineer, inventor, anatomist, and painter, Leonardo da Vinci.

Michelangelo (Mike or Mikey) - Easy-going and free-spirited, Michelangelo wears an orange mask in some versions and wields a pair of nunchaku. Michelangelo provides much of the comic relief. While he loves to relax, this Turtle also has an adventurous and creative side. He's something of the "surfer" boy, speaking usually in a Southern California accent. He is named after the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer Michelangelo Buonarroti. His name was originally misspelled "Michaelangelo" by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

Donatello (Don or Donny) - The brilliant scientist, inventor, engineer, and technological genius, Donatello wears a purple mask in some versions and wields the bō staff. Donatello is perhaps the least violent Turtle, preferring to use his intellect to solve conflicts. He is named after the sculptor Donatello.

Raphael (Raph) - The team's bad boy, Raphael wears a red mask and wields a pair of sai. He has an aggressive nature and seldom hesitates to throw the first punch. He is an intense fighter. He would usually speak in a Brooklyn accent. His personality can be alternately fierce and sarcastic, and oftentimes delivers deadpan humor. Still, he is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei. Raphael is good friends with Casey Jones. He is named after the Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, Raphael.

Splinter - The Turtles' sensei and adoptive father, Splinter is a Japanese mutant rat who learned the ways of ninjutsu from his owner and master, Hamato Yoshi. In the 1987 TV series and Archie Comics series, Splinter was Hamato Yoshi mutated into a rat instead of being just Yoshi's pet.

Shredder - A villainous ninjutsu master called Oroku Saki. In every incarnation of the TMNT franchise, he has been the archenemy of Splinter and the Turtles. Shredder prefers to use his armor instead of weapons in some versions. He is also the leader of the Foot Clan.

April O'Neil - A former lab assistant to the mad scientist Baxter Stockman, April is the plucky human companion of the Turtles. April first met up with the Turtles when they saved her from Baxter's Mouser robots. She embarks on many of the Turtles' adventures and aids them by doing the work in public that the Turtles can not. In the 1987 TV series, Archie Comics series and subsequent three films, April was a television news reporter.

Casey Jones - A vigilante who has become one of the Turtles' closest allies as well as a love interest to April. Casey first met up with the Turtles after having a fight with Raphael. Casey fights crime with an assortment of sporting goods (baseball bats, golf clubs, ice hockey sticks, cricket bat, etc.) while wearing a hockey mask to protect his identity.

Article Credit

TMNT - Donatello, Leonardo, Rapahel, and Michaelangelo

TMNT
TMNT

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on YouTube - Ninja turtles videos, watch TMNT online, watch ninja turtles cartoons online free

Who is your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Wallpapers - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pictures, TMNT pics, ninja turtles pics

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Wallpaper

Comments - Are you a fan of the Ninja Turtles? Learn anything new about TMNT?

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    • profile image

      Unchain3dAuthor 5 years ago

      One of the best cartoons ever! Cowabunga dude! Good stuff as usual, thanks for a stroll back down memory lane.

    • shanktoofs123 profile image

      shanktoofs123 5 years ago

      I was drawn in by the cartooon in my youth, it was pretty awesome I was one of those kids eating TMNT cereal. All my friends always like Michealangelo, but I always was a Raph guy, glad to see he is leading in the polls on this lens.

    • Onemargaret LM profile image

      Onemargaret LM 5 years ago

      I loved all of them! They were so cool!

    • tomthiessen lm profile image

      tomthiessen lm 5 years ago

      I remember Raphael from the Archie comics was a lot moodier than his cartoon counterpart.

    • MsModernMary profile image

      MsModernMary 5 years ago

      @ImmatureEntrepr: I know right? I mean really Michael Bay? I mean the movie is dead on arrival, but I'm still gonna check it out cause it's Michael Bay and I have to see what he's done to the Turtles, lol.

    • ImmatureEntrepr profile image
      Author

      ImmatureEntrepr 5 years ago

      @MsModernMary: Yeah, I just read about that the other day. How do you change something that significant? I mean, the word "mutant" is in the name! Jeez...

    • MsModernMary profile image

      MsModernMary 5 years ago

      This is awesome. Just thought you should know...Michael Bay has made the TMNT TANT- Teenage ALIEN Ninja Turtles. I'm SO not even kidding.

    • sulcatamandy profile image

      Mandy 6 years ago from Montana

      phenomenal lens~! You made my day. And the fart lens is pretty hilarious too!

    • profile image

      Trendblazers 6 years ago

      Hey there, wicked lens, it took me back some years

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 6 years ago

      I had a great time with the ninja turtles movies, be with us for my children. Good work.Felicitaciones.