Review: TMNT Panel NYC 2012

New York City, the home of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and home to one of the bigger Comic Book conventions in the United States.  In 2012 Nickelodeon made sure they had their mark there as a sewer tunnel was built for people to walk through, the TMNT Mascots showed up, and there was a TMNT panel for the new series.   I’ll like to share with everyone the TMNT panel at New York City Comic Con along with my review of the event.  Just like with San Diego Comic Con, any video shown in the panel will be cut from this video but I will talk about it in my review.

I arrived at the panel room early, even sat through the panel before the Turtle panel thinking we’d be able to just stay in the room.  New York City Comic Con is not normally one of those conventions where they clear rooms between panels.  Though once the other panel was over, we were cleared from the room.  The Panelist have some set up they want to do, was the excuse use to clear us.  A good front row seat... we went into the hall and started the line.  Which grew fast, with Turtle fans in costumes, shirts, and merch.  Sitting next to us was two April O’Neils, we saw a Donatello and many others join this line.  It was a great place to talk TMNT and hang out with fellow fans.

Once let back into the room the first three rows had reserved seat covers on them.  So we had to sit in the 4th row. Even in the panel room we had time to talk with the people around us, till the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song came on.  As soon as the theme song was done the Turtles were walked on stage with our host for the evening, Ray Rahman from Entertainment Weekly.  Who’s biggest mistake during his introduction was calling the fans of the 4kids TMNT series, “weirdos”.  Hint to hosts, don’t ditch any series.  He took this chance to introduce each of their guests.

Ciro Nieli, Peter Hastings, Sean Astin, Rob Paulsen, Greg Cipes and Hoon Lee.  A wonderful set of panelist.  Rob took a moment during his introduction to point out that Andrea Romano is there, and she is the voice director for the new series.  After the guests are introduced they talk a little about other voice cast members that could not make it for this convention.  Ray let’s Ciro take over the panel, as Ciro thanks the Fans for making the new TMNT series a success.

This was a very good opening, besides for the wisecrack about the 4Kids series by Ray, we got each of the guys out.  A bit about the panel.  And each of the voice actors got to make their introductions.  They let Rob give the mascots the exit off of the stage.  And now handed control of the panel to Ciro, who’s been a part of this project from the start.

Ciro tells us how during this panel he wants to talk about some of the threats that the Turtles are going to have.  The Villains and Mutants.  Ciro starts off telling us about Donatello’s pet roach, Chong who Donatello has trained to be a spy.  He tells us about Chong and how this roach is not mutated just once, but twice.  The second thing he shows us is the Mouser design.  Which they try to get as close to the Mirage design as they can.  And the last thing they want to show is LeatherHead, which the concept art was shown at San Diego Comic Con.  Well here Ciro shows that he’s working on the Leatherhead episode and shows us a clip from the show with no sound added, letting the voice actors adlib as the video plays.  Since we try to honor the no video of video, this clip will not be in our coverage of the panel.  Though a little description of this is, the Turtles are fighting LeatherHead in their lair.  Trying to get a canister, which looks like an ooze canister but that does not look like ooze within it.  A fun clip.  Can not wait to see this episode on TV.

I really enjoyed seeing these designs and that video clip.  I can’t wait to see Chong in the show, should be an interesting episode.  And I love it that Ciro mentions that Raph hates bugs.  This is something that was really noted in the 4Kids series during the episode “April's Artifact”.  With the ad libs it was fun to watch, Rob did a great scream for Donatello at the end.

Once Ciro was done talking, he let Peter talk for a little bit as Peter introduced the next thing they were showing us at the panel which was a string of clips.  The first clip shown was from “New Friend, Old Enemy” when the Turtles are going into the sewer with the Foot following, up to Xever saying “They trapped us”.  Next we got to see three clips from “I think his name is Baxter Stockman” where Michelangelo is skateboarding on the rooftop loving the music on the T Pod, up to the point where he says “This is Awesome!”  and Next we see the Turtles going to fight Baxter Stockman all the way up to where he’s carrying the four of them out to throw them into the dumpster (we don’t get to see the dumpster).  Though we did get the full fight scene.  Next we see the Turtles returning home to be caught by Splinter sneaking in all the way up to the line “Do lots of harm”.  Next clip is from “Never say Xever” where Xever is running to take Leonardo down during the second fight in the show, up to the point the Foot soldiers break into through the walls.  Following with a few clips from “Metalhead” with Mikey making faces at Metalhead to where Raph knocks the remote out of Don’s hands.  Now we go in on April and Don on the roof while the others are fighting the Kraang as Don is watching her on the monitor up to the point where April says “You do know that’s not muted right?”.  Followed with the scene where Leo, Mike and Raph are watching the Kraang attacking Metalhead as Don fights by remote up to the line “called Turtles Destroyed”.

At the time this panel happened, none of these episodes had aired, each was nice long clips showing comedy and action.  It was a lot of fun.  Best thing about having the review this far after the panel itself is that I can at least say which clips we saw and people know what I’m talking about.

As soon as the clips were done airing the actors were excited seeing the clip as Greg gives it up to Ciro for all he’s done for the show.  He shares that he’s known Ciro for a long time.  As soon as Greg was done, Sean expressed how he felt watching the clips as everyone up there took turns picking on Sean for getting the boost his career needed.

Ray gets control of the panel again to talk about the show and starts to ask questions. One thing I did like here was when Ciro said he did not want April to be the damsel in distress all the time. I also enjoy Rob’s talk about how this is a Ninja Turtle show made by fans for fans.  He talks about how different this is.  Then Greg shares more of the story of what happened with Cowabunga, which was fun to hear from his point of view.  It is funny, that in the next subject Ciro says how they went through picking the voice of Michelangelo.  Ciro knew it was Greg from the start.  Following that they talk to Sean and his habit of getting into groups of four, though Sean brings the show back to Greg as we get a history lesson.  Ray tries to get the panel back again, going to Hoon now for his next question... Hoon talks about how being a father of a three year old helps him understand his role and how the setup from all the stuff for the script helps make their job easier.

Now came the part of the panel that really annoyed the most people in the crowd.  Instead of taking question from the people who paid to come to this event, the questions were from twitter and facebook.  While it’s nice to get some questions from the online world, they were not doing a live feed of this panel for people online to hear answers to their questions.  So I know there was a lot of disappointment from the crowd with the way this part was handled by Ray.

They end the panel with the TMNT Gangnam Style video, as the Turtles come back out dancing to that.

For the most part it was a fun panel.  Though it would've been nice if the Q & A was with the fans who were there.  They could easily set up a online question time for the cast at anytime.  But when people travel and pay to get into an event, they deserve the right to ask the questions.  Still a lot of fun talk from the crew and it was awesome having them at New York City Comic Con!

The Cowabunga Corner coverage for this event was made possible by our friends at Sponsor: VoiceChasers.com - Celebrating Voice Actors and the Craft of Voice Over

Did you go to the NYC TMNT panel?  If so please free to share your thought here.  All Reviews, Comments and questions are welcomed below!

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