Review of "Rise of the TMNT : Facebook Live"

The internet exploded shortly after the designs for the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series was released in February.  As fans of all ages found themselves split down the middle upon the new look and feel for the Ninja Turtles, as there’s no question that this is a road they’ve never been on before.  I tried to write one story that would include my thoughts on the Facebook Live, designs, show overall and even the toys.  But it got long and hard to write, let alone read.  Which brings me here, where I’m going to give a short write up about each of the things revealed about “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  Starting with their Facebook Live Video!

I would love to give Nickelodeon props for how they decided to reveal the new designs for “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  The plan was big, going to do a contest and reveal everything through a Facebook Live that would include not just the creative team behind the series but the fans who decided to join in on the fun.  February 1st at 1pm.  What a great way to get things started!   Though someone leaked an image a few days ahead of time, that was never meant to be leaked.  And the day of the reveal a big news website did a full story with the character designs early in the morning, so everyone could see the designs before Nickelodeon’s reveal.  I was a bit disappointed that these other leaks happened before the reveal, as Nickelodeon worked hard to put this together for us.

This did not stop the Facebook live event, Thankfully Nickelodeon went on as if the leaks did not happen.  For me it was the only day that I was scheduled to leave the house in a long time, so I was trying to watch the live on my phone.  The streaming messed up, but thankfully we got somewhere I had wifi and I was able to turn on the Ipad to watch the rest of the special.  And what an amazing special it was!

The real treat here is that the host of the special was Eric Bauza, the voice of Splinter for “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  His guests from the new series included Ant Ward, Andy Suriano and Rob Paulsen.  All of these are men I’ve had the honor to meet before, who’ve worked on TMNT in the past.  Eric was the voice of Tiger Claw and so many others in the 2012 TMNT series, Ant was a producer on the 2012 series, and Andy did a lot of artwork for products from hats to backpacks.  Rob needs no introduction to anyone who’s followed the behind the scenes of TMNT since the 1987 series for his voice work as the original voice of Raphael, and the 2012 voice as Donatello.  Each of them are here to bring life to the new series.

Other guests in this event was Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  And there was two bloggers who came on to play games to win for the chance to reveal the new design artwork of April O’Neil, Raphael, Donatello, Splinter, Leonardo and Michelangelo.  The two chosen to be these guests were Andre Meadows and Machelle Noel.

Don’t let me tell you about this awesome Facebook Live event.  Watch it yourself!  For those interested in the contest, I am sorry but this is posted after the contest they had is over.  I did not personally take part as I’ve been lucky enough to get Kevin Eastman’s art in my lifetime, I am hoping that it’s gone to a new home that will cherish this fine collection piece.

I was highly impressed by all they did to show these to the fans.  For including the fans as we were able to put in questions and see as this happened live.  It would be much easier to just put out a press release and be done with it.  Instead we got to hear short interviews about different parts of the series from the creative team bringing us the show and see the designs all at once.  And I want to extend a big Thank You to all of them for taking part in this.

I was thrilled with almost everyone taking part in this event.  If anything I questioned who Machelle is, as I’ve never seen her blog before and was not too impressed by knowledge of TMNT.  I do know a lot of TMNT fans in California that would have answered the questions and sang the TMNT theme song.  I am really happy that Andre was there as I’ve had the honor to meet him many times and share our thoughts on Turtles.  He’s a great person with a lot of knowledge to share about TMNT.  For those who would like to see him sharing some of that knowledge here’s a history of TMNT panel that we did back in 2014 at Midwest Media Expo.  I hope that Machelle gets a chance to brush up on TMNT and have a rematch.

Shared in this video is a little bit of information about the crew that is seen here, the video clips of the voices of the Turtles saying hi, and the designs of some of the characters.  The Turtles, which I know is the main thing people have been talking about.  Much like it has happened with every version of the Turtles since the internet has been around there’s an uproar of people who love and hate these designs.  Starting to fight each other.  History repeats itself over and over.

I will not be sharing my thoughts on the designs or characters just yet.  But I will say I am interested.  The designs were different than we’ve seen before, with mixes of other versions sneaking in.  But we all must remember that Eastman and Laird always encouraged artist to share their own version and styles of Turtles.  Don’t believe me, check out all the interesting choices for the Turtles designs in Mirage Volume One as the guests artist got to go from the realistic extreme to very cartoony.  This will be taken into my thoughts when I do my character design reviews.

One thing is for sure, Nickelodeon went out of their way to show us respect.  That Live was fun, thought out and well put together.  It wasn’t a convention where only local people could go see it, it was on the internet so anyone with a phone, tablet or computer could join in as long as they had internet access.  They gave Kevin Eastman for the old school fans, they gave us the talent behind the series for answers to our questions and they gave fellow fans to show that we’re an important part of the path they’re taking.  I personally loved that Live video and I am very thankful to the crew who put it together for us!

Did you watch the Facebook Live event in February?  Did you ask a question, did they answer it?  Which was your favorite event they did with Machelle and Andre?  Please hold back on any comment about the designs themselves.. They have their own topics coming up.  All other comments and questions about the Facebook Live Event welcomed below!


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