Review & Comparison! OS TMNT 7 to Nick TMNT

This is the day I would normally write a review about the newest episode of Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I would go on about the plots, characters, favorite scenes, and if I like or don’t like the changes made to characters in the show.  These are normally fun write ups sharing my inside view of the Nickelodeon series.  And while I wish I could say these are weekly, they’re not.  Nickelodeon every now and then takes a break, making us fans hold our breath just a little bit longer in waiting for the next installment of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  So what do I do?  I re hatch the old series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Today I’ll do a review comparision of the seventh episode of the original series, comparing it to the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant NInja Turtles series.  Hope everyone enjoys this read.

I reviewed and compared the Nickelodeon theme song to the original series theme song.  So I’m not going to start there.  This review will all be about the episode itself.  In this episode we get to see the start of a new story arc where we get a handful of episodes which are connected.  As Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo have to find pieces of a crystal that has fallen to Earth.  Not so easy when Shredder is after the crystals as well, as each one has their own special power.

This episode starts off with the Turtles training in Central Park.  Leonardo takes Raph down, Don takes Leo by surprise and then Michaelangelo jumps in dressed like the Shredder.  The Turtles take Mike down not realizing it is him, till he pulls off his mask.  As they are surprised by Mikey’s costume something goes crashing into one of the nearby Ponds in Central Park.  The Turtles run to check it out.  When they swim down they find an alien in a weird looking glass bubble.  They get the bubble open and take the alien to the surface which is where we see Shredder is watching them.

Central Park is huge, with a lot of great space to use.  The question is, is just a random park design or did the artist who do this have an area in Central Park in mind while drawing it.  In the 4Kids TMNT series Central Park took on a major role in Season 4 when the Turtle’s moved to their new home. They ended up getting a place near Turtle Pond, if you go to Turtle Pond you can see images used in the 4Kids series.  It’s like walking into that cartoon.

I often do get annoyed when writers put in that the Turtles could not tell each other apart by simple costumes.  So when I saw Mikey’s Shredder costume, and that his brothers fell for it... well it did not say much about their skills of observing things.  His green arms and legs should of gave himself away easy.  Instead Mike has to pull off the mask.  Other than that, I like this scene. I think it was clever for Mikey to dress up.  I love that Don could sneak up on Leo.  And how fast the plot of this story arc gets started.  Though I am curious as to how the Shredder found them out in the woods and how long he was watching them, did he just follow the crashing ship?

The Turtles get to talk to this alien as Shredder listens in.  He tells them of the powerful crystal shards, which are part of the “Eye of Zarnov”.  These shards have spread out.  He tells them how they need to find the shards before they fall into the hands of evil.  When the Turtles ask how to find them, he gives them a device that would help them track the shards.  When the alien dies, his body disappears.  Now the Turtles have a mission, and Shredder has a goal.

The alien died!  That’s right on a kid’s show, a talking, powerful, and smart creature died!  This is a bit risky, true it died in a crash and no violence.  Though death is not an issue that we would normally see on children cartoon shows.  And just curious how did this creature know the Turtles were not evil, just saving it for their own greed?  It took a risk telling them about the Eye of Zarnov.

The Turtles take the Turtle van to try and find the fragments from the Eye of Zarnov.  While Shredder is keeping an eye on them so they can lead him to the first shard.  He wants Baxter to hook him up with Krang in Dimension X, though Baxter is trying to finish his ice cream cone.  Shredder calls Krang and asks for his Foot Soldiers, Krang says no and hangs up.  Shredder is mad and slams his fist down into Baxter’s ice cream, getting covered with the ice cream.

Okay the Turtles are in the van.... moving around town looking for the fragment.  How is Shredder following them?  I know we’ve seen Ninjas chase down cars jumping roof top to roof top, like in the episode “Rise of the Turtles” Part 2 by Nickelodeon.  I could believe that was the case if Shredder was alone, but I do not see Baxter being able to jump from building to building.  Shredder just seems to know where to wait for the Turtles to arrive.  And Baxter had time to get Ice Cream.  He does not seem as smart as he should be, for being such a creative genius.

The Turtles get to the docks and watch as the fragment they’re after is dumped onto a boat from a dump truck.  They jump in and find the fragment pretty fast, only for Shredder to grab it from Donatello’s hand.  The Turtles fight Shredder to try and get the fragment back from him, only to be beaten.  As Shredder holds up the shard in victory it glows up and starts to shrink the Turtles.  The Shredder goes to grab the four Turtles.

Besides for Shredder being right there to steal the shards after he took the time to call Krang and get ice cream spilled all over himself, this is an awesome fight scene.  I love seeing the Shredder by himself going up against all four Turtles and winning the battle.  It shows that he is a great fighter.  If only they did not have the scene with him and Baxter right before this.  For me that ruins the fill that Shredder could've just followed the Turtles and been right there.  He’s not even cleaned up from the ice cream.

The Turtles scatter to make it so Shredder has to chase them.  Being small they do a better job at avoiding Shredder than they could when they were normal size.  Donatello was able to keep running with the giant fragment tracker the full time.  When a truck drives through the area and blows the trash around, Shredder loses the Turtles.  Though he still feels as he’s won since he has the fragment.

Seemed a bit silly that Shredder could not catch the Turtles when they were small.  With Donatello carrying the tracker that is twice his size, he’s able to run away from Shredder?  I was a little surprised how easy Shredder gave up when they were out of his sight.  Guess he was just too excited about the fragment he got his hands on.  Just wondering why a bunch of junk boxes would be in the middle of a road a truck would take normally, or why was that truck turning down that way.  I know while driving if I saw a bunch of trash in the road I would've tried to avoid that route, not just drive through.  In case of glass, nails or worse in the tires.

We see the Turtles have made it to an alley with the tracker still.  They are getting smaller, so now all of them have to carry the tracker as they try to make it to a sewer.  Getting splashed around a little, a street cleaner washes them into the sewer.

This is an okay scene.  There is a mistake here, just after they’re washed into the sewer Donatello says “There has got to be an easier way than this”.  Though the artwork showed Leonardo.  This at least showed they were having issues trying to move around the city small.  I would not want to be tiny in New York City.

The Turtles get home and Splinter realizes this is a large problem.  He calls April for help.  April is in a meeting with the Channel six crew when the call comes in.  She hears Splinter say she is needed right away, and excuses herself from the meeting.  Brunes did not seem too happy with her getting up and leaving in the middle of his speech.

Just showing how the Turtles did cut into April’s life.  I like that they show her at work getting called out, that she has other things going on when she’s not with the Turtles.  And it was not all “Turtles this or that” in the meeting.  It was just a pep talk from her boss on getting stories.  This was a good touch to the show.

Shredder once again calls Krang.  He tells Krang that he destroyed the Turtles.  Though when Krang asks for proof, Shredder realizes he has none.  Krang still refuses to help him.  This inspires Shredder to go off and get proof that he destroyed the Turtles.

This is telling us that Shredder really relies too much on Krang and his alien technology, he does not need it.  We watch Shredder beat all four Turtles in a fight earlier.  Now he has this shard that shrinks things, and the Turtles are out of the way.  Shredder could start his own thing without always needing Krang by his side.  Though as most fans say, they’re like an old married couple. Shredder found something he loves and wants to keep it.

Splinter is thanking April as they’re in the Turtle van trying to find Shredder.  Splinter is concerned about Shredder having this alien fragment.  They have a TV running on the dashboard as a news break comes in, mentioning that the Empire State building is shrinking.  April and Splinter go to head to the Empire State building realizing it’s Shredder.  It shows the last person get out just as the building gets too small.

Why is under the empire state building not wires and sewerage pipes breaking?  How did people get out fast?  Anyone ever go to the Empire State building?  This building is BIG, packed with people, businesses throughout the building.  With how fast it was shrinking, it’s hard to believe they got everyone out or even a count of how many people were in there.  I have been up to the Empire State building a few times, the last time I went to the top was in 2009 for the TMNT Anniversary when the light was lit green for TMNT day in NYC.

Shredder places the Empire State building down with the other buildings he’s collected.  Baxter is there with him.  As Shredder feels this will be enough proof to get Krang to send him his Foot Soldiers.

How did Shredder get the buildings?  Even though they were small, people were around.  I’m sure the cops would've been guarding the Empire State Building.  This is just one of those missing gaps that I wish was filled in for the show.  It’s clear Shredder would want it, but I personally would have loved to see how Shredder snatched up each of these buildings without the cops on his trail.  And if he’s that good, why does he need his Foot Robots from Krang?

April and Splinter are stuck in traffic and realize by time they get there, Shredder will be gone.  The Turtles are enjoying a slice of pizza, till some sewer water comes in and washes them away.  They get on a bar of soap which was nice and big, until a sewer snake shows up and Leo slices a few pieces of soap off for the snake to eat.  Now the four Turtles are close together riding on the soap.

Why are the Turtles eating their pizza on the floor?  Ew...   With Splinter leaving them home alone, you would think he would at least dish them up some food on the table.  I could not picture eating off of the floor of a sewer.

Shredder calls Krang to show him the small buildings.  Krang is unimpressed as she insults Shredder.  He wants the Turtles and he wants them now.  Baxter shows Shredder that he has made a turtle tracker which will find them no matter how small the Turtles are.  Shredder sends Baxter off to find the Turtles.

Heat tracker?  To find Cold blooded Turtles?  How would Baxter know the mutants body temps?  If Baxter could just make this tracker all along, why doesn’t he make a new one later?  This is one of those inventions that could've been a real threat to the Turtles, instead it’s a one episode gimmick.  At least Krang is being serious with Shredder about giving him Foot Soldiers, as he’s not letting up at all about handing anything over without the Turtles.  Though Krang has become as obsessed about the Turtles as Shredder was in the first five episodes.

The Turtles are realizing their soap is getting smaller, as they fastly approach a storm drain. This washes them out into water, where a fish comes at the four Turtles.  Michaelangelo promises never to eat another anchovie pizza again.  Before the fish could get the Turtles, Baxter fishes the four Turtles up in a net.  As the Turtles realize they’re in deep danger now.

Well Baxter’s untested tracker worked and he found the Turtles.  Handy for the episode.  Shredder should've been after Baxter over and over to build a new one of these trackers.  At least this time Baxter did not do a direct attack on the lair like he did in “Return of the Shredder”.  The Turtles should be happy that Baxter was not smarter, or he could’ve been a super villain stronger than Shredder.

April and Splinter are in the van.  Splinter realizes that the Turtles care close by.  As Splinter explains that his bond with the Turtles is strong and he can feel them close by.  Splinter leads April to the building the Turtles is at.

What?!  Splinter can what?  No... once again, a one episode gimmick.  The Turtles and Splinter could NOT trace each other like this.  If that was the case, a lot of other missions in later episodes would not have happened the way they did.  This just blows my mind.  They really could not think of a better excuse for Splinter and April to find the Turtles?  Like seeing Baxter go into the building or something?

Shredder has the Turtles in a jar and shows it to Krang over the communicator.  Krang is impressed by the fact that Shredder did catch the Turtles.  Shredder goes to destroy the Turtles when Splinter comes breaking through the door in the Turtle Van.  Splinter jumps out and starts to fight Shredder.  Krang’s communicator was broken during the fight so he could no longer see the show.  Just as it was getting good.

Splinter and Shredder fights, something I always enjoy.  So far the original series has dished this up more than 4Kids has.  We see Splinter getting into action a lot more than he gets credit for.  One of the things that Nickelodeon was saying about Splinter in their series is that he is going to be younger, which will mean he can go and fight with the Turtles more.  Though we are almost all the way through Season 1, not once has Splinter fought the Foot.  He only joins in with two fights first in “It Came From the Depths” and then he’s forced to be in the fight with “I, Monster”.  So for right now, the original series Splinter has been the Splinter showing us the most action.

Splinter and Shredder’s fight goes on.  Splinter was doing well at first, against Shredder.  The Turtles in the jar get knocked down, as as the jar rows over near a machine.  April gets out of the van and finds the Turtles. Donatello recommends she points the fragment at them as a second jolt may fix them.  April tries this and it works, as Shredder has gotten the upper hand pinning Splinter down on a cheese wrapping machine.  Once the Turtles grow Don’s bo flings and hits the machine off, saving Splinter.  Splinter hits Shredder off as he lands next to the fragment.  Shredder takes the fragment, then Baxter helps him escape.

Once again they just give something to a character to rush the episode.  As Shredder lands next to the fragment.  He could've easily stole it from April, instead it’s right where he lands.  And Baxter is there now, to help him get away.  Where was Baxter when the Turtles fell to the ground or when April used the crystal?

When the Turtles go to try and chase Shredder, Splinter stops them.  Leonardo is disappointed that Shredder got away.  Though Splinter gives them a speech that this is a lesson.

Why would Splinter stop them?  Shredder headed into the sewers... that’s where the Turtles are best at moving around.  It seemed like the only reason Splinter would stop them is because the episode needs to wrap up.  That or deep down Splinter was worried about Shredder shrinking the Turtles again.

April does a report about the shrinking problem has stopped. She ends it saying that maybe one day the full story will be released.  Raphael comments that will be the day when they can walk around the streets like humans.   Donatello speaks up about being hungry wondering where Michaelangelo is with the pizza.  Michaelangelo shows up, but the Turtles are surprised to find tiny pizzas.  A joke from Splinter to teach his students that they still got a long way to grow.

This episode leaves it’s viewers with a lot of questions.  What happened to the buildings that Shredder made small, they are not normal yet, but were they at least returned to the authorities? Where’s this Turtle tracker now? Do the Turtles know that Splinter can track them just by being near them?

This is the first episode that is not written by David Wise, with Larry Par as the writer.  It was a decent episode, though never was one of my favorites.  I just think that there was so much stuff in this episode that seemed rushed to keep the story along.  When they could’ve cut the scene with Shredder and Baxter on the roof, and put in a more important scene like how Shredder got the Empire State Building into his hands.  Still a Shredder scene, but a useful one.

Did you see “The Incredible Shrinking Turtles”? Did you see it when it was airing on TV, VHS or DVD?  Please share your reviews, comments and questions below!

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