Rise of the TMNT : Splinter's Design

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”.  Let’s talk about Splinter and his new design. 

I’ll like to start off saying my comments on these designs are my personal thoughts for each character.  Like, dislikes and fun facts.  These thoughts are not final judgement as I have not seen the series yet.  I have always found first reactions as the most hard and harsh for any new form of the Ninja Turtles.  As each of us fans are searching for what we would want to see, making it so not one creative team could ever please the entire fandom.  Let’s go into this with open minds to the ride that Ant Ward and Andy Suriano are bringing us on.

I am trying to stay positive, to take this ride as it comes.  I’m trying so very hard, though this one design is the hardest one for me to adapt too.  When growing up, Splinter was an inspiration to me.  He helped make the TMNT a family, they had a father they loved and stood by their side.  When you looked at him, he was someone who could be respected.  He wasn’t scary for a rat, he was comforting.  Such a strong and important character in the Turtles history, which I could relate too as I grew up close to my family.

So many cartoons these days have the kids pitted against the adults.  Where kids and parents do not see eye to eye.  That drives me nuts, as I watch a lot of cartoons and think why would they even make that a plot line.  When I was young, it was my family that I held closest to me.  My mom was one of my best friends.  My Grandmother I would call everyday since I was five years old, till we lost her when I was 25 years old.  So I have always loved and respected when a show could reflect the type of family feel that I had in real life.  And that was what I felt with Ninja Turtles.

So much so, that I compared my Grandma often to Splinter.  She could talk me down when I was upset, she made me smile and laugh when I was sad, and taught me many life lessons.  While I was going through the lost of my Grandmother, Mirage Volume 4 released the issues where Splinter died.  The same week as my Grandma’s funeral, I had the issue of Splinter’s funeral in my hand.  I still can not read that issue without breaking down crying, as the emotions pour through me of that hard year.  And the shirt, that I was wearing when I got the call that my Grandma had passed away, was a Splinter shirt which remains folded near pictures of my Grandma.  Making Splinter a very important and respected character in my heart.

I know, this is just my story which is different from others.  I know my Grandma was not Splinter.  But that just says how highly I thought of Splinter as a character.  As I love my Grandma so much.  Though I know other fans who are not close to their families.  Who did not relate to the characters the same way I do.  I know fans who did not have family growing up.  Which does tell me, that my opinions here on Splinter are deeply routed to my own history and feelings which I do not except others to understand or agree with.

I look at this new design of Splinter and I see comic relief.  I see a mutant rat who does not take care of himself as much… his fur is gone along his arms and legs… he just does not come off as the Splinter that I look for in each new universe of Ninja Turtles.  During the facebook live, they even made remarks about Splinter being more comic relief.  It caused me to give the only tear face I gave during that entire live feed.  As this, from what I’ve heard and seen is the only thing that truly has broken my heart. 

I have heard that there’s been talk that Splinter starts off as a more relaxed character who doesn’t start to take things serious till the Turtles start to have danger in their life.  Which means, he’s not the hands on Splinter that all the other groups of Turtles grew up with.  A father who realizes that all his sons truly has is him.  I will admit I have a lot of fear when I look at this Splinter, there’s no comfort in me at all with this design.

I have met more than one fan who loves this new take on Splinter.  I know that Tokka has expressed that he likes this new spin on the character.  And I showed it to some people at “Great Lakes Comic Con” who also thought this was a new creative take on Splinter.  One even got excited.  So I can not say that this is bad for everyone, and I am happy for those who can embrace this new look.  I will hold off till I see the series before I fully cast my judgement.

Overall for me this design does not cry out Master Splinter at all.  But there is one thing about Splinter that does have me excited and that’s his voice actor.  He’s voiced by Eric Bauza, the voice of Tiger Claw and Hun from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 series.  I think he’s a great choice for a voice and look forward to hearing him as Splinter.  He is my beacon of hope for the character in “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. 

What do you think of Splinter’s new design?  Like?  Dislike?  Has any of the TMNT characters personalities reminded you of someone in your life?   Everyone has the right to like or dislike what comes around, because that’s what makes our world awesome!  So peace to everyone and let’s see where this journey takes us!

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