Netflix’s Rise of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie may be bad news


With the big news that Netflix will be working with Nickelodeon to bring the Ninja Turtles to their platform, not all may be “green.” We look at what was said, what it means, and why Ninja Turtle fans may be in for another dark era.

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish made a surprising revelation during the company’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday morning. That revelation included plans for an animated movie to be made based on Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles via the Netflix platform.

The reason behind the agreement is premised on the hope of extending Viacom’s shows to new platforms in hopes of attracting additional viewers:

"“This partnership with Netflix is part of Nickelodeon and Viacom’s broader efforts to tap into Nickelodeon’s library of culturally resonant properties and produce new content for third-party digital and linear platforms.”"

This follows an abysmal quarter for Nickelodeon, which is a subsidiary of Viacom. The ratings for the new Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been porous and the worst in the history of Ninja Turtles cartoons.

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Surprisingly, the unpopular new 2D rendition of the Ninja Turtles follows a very successful and popular 3D reboot by Nickelodeon in 2012. Instead of following the common phrase, “don’t fix what isn’t broken,” Nickelodeon decided to drastically change the character designs, roles, and backstories.

Such a drastic alteration was intended to strike a chord with the upcoming young generation, instead it drew the ire of the previous generations and has failed to catch viewership ratings.

This isn’t the first time a story arc has failed to catch on with Turtle fans. The latest Michael Bay live action movies drew similar ire. After the two Bay films, albeit moderate, financial successes, a decision to reboot the movies was made this year.

Additionally, an entire volume of comics, Volume 3, was scratched from canon after Peter Laird went a bit too far off the script and lost many of his readers. Needless to say, the Ninja Turtle brand is not immune to bad story writing and design.

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The issue isn’t brand recognition that needs additional platforms, it’s the poor design and drastic deviation from the lore all Ninja Turtle fans have grown to love. Apparently Viacom is determined to invest more money and assets into the sinking reboot.