Review: Nickelodeon TMNT Theme

When I first heard of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the cartoon was already on the market. So right away I was introduced to a theme song for the TMNT. I loved the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme, and to this day it remains my favorite version of any Ninja Turtle theme song. Every song since then I had to get use to. The Next Mutation theme is my second favorite, even though it’s sort of rap, it was short and easy to learn. I never got into the remixed versions of the original theme song. The 4Kids themes were good, but still took awhile to learn and was nowhere near as catchy as the original theme. So what of the new Nickelodeon theme song? Have you heard it? If not check it out:

Now that you’ve heard it, let’s discuss. It’s easy to jump right at - omg what were they thinking? When I first heard it, I had to stop and just stare at the screen. They played it at Comic Con International. I’m not a big fan of rap and it really sounds like rap. So while it’s easy to just turn my head and say I did not like it, I remembered that was my reaction to all of the theme songs that 4Kids released. There wasn't a theme song from them that I liked the first time I heard it. So I knew one thing, for me to really give this a fair chance against the 4Kids theme songs was for me to sit and listen to it over and over and over, which is what I have done.

So now for a review. The first thing I want clear is that this is nowhere as good as the original theme song, none has been or have even came close. The second best TMNT song in history would be Turtle Power, which is also rap. So if TMNT rap music can break through my dislike for rap I knew this could to. Still, it took me hearing it many times before I was able to start feeling it. But once I got over the rap part, and started to listen to the words I found I do enjoy this theme song. I’m sure anyone who is a fan of rap, liked this song a lot faster than me.

What I love about this song is the nods to all of the other medias that they could fit into here. It’s out to touch fans from all sorts of TMNT medias. So let’s play connect the dots with some of the highlights that nods to us long time fans. The song starts off with kind of like the original song, as in someone says Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles three times, followed with Heroes in a Half Shell Turtle Power. This is a nod to the original cartoon right away. The video here also goes from the sky down to the sewer, very well known animation from the early Turtle cartoons was that is how the original theme looked. Of course is the new animation and style here. But that was a nice touch to get us excited right at the beginning of the theme song. Also right away they show them as normal Turtles, then being mutants, different from the original theme in how they do it, but that is also a touch to the original theme as we see them come out of the sewer as normal Turtles, then being the Ninja Turtles... not toddlers though. Both songs now go into how they’re fighting... the original song has “They’re the world's most fearsome fighting teens” while the new song says “Here we go it’s the lean green Ninja team.” again, not matching but the same sort of theme lining up.

The following section keeps with this theme of following the pattern of the original toon. Though the biggest difference here is when it brings up the bad guys, the original theme brings up “The evil Shredder” in the new one, they just say “The bad guys lose”. Which isn’t as cool, because Shredder is the villain that most fans want spotlighted. While we do see Shredder in the video, it’s not the same as having him as part of the song. Even the 4Kids series added his name in it. Another change here which I miss from the other themes is the original song had lines from the Turtle voice actors used in the theme. While this new song is not doing that. I always enjoyed the voices being in there.

Now after the bad guys are mentioned in the original theme they go into ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ again, a little shorter version but still it’s the break in the middle of the song. This new theme does not do this either, it goes straight into introductions. A slight difference between the introductions is Splinter was at the beginning in the original theme, in this one they save him for last. Let’s talk about the Turtles introductions though. Compare original lines to the new lines.

Original theme: Leonardo leads
New theme: Leonardo’s the leader in blue, does anything to get his Ninjas through

It mentions the same thing as the original theme about Leonardo being the leader, though it adds on to and makes his intro a little longer. This could be why they don’t have the middle part going along with ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ so that they can give each Turtle more attention in the theme.

Original theme: Donatello does machines
New theme: Donatello is a fellow has a way with machines

Once again it’s leaning in the same direction of the original theme song. Just with new words. It’s cool to see them staying this true to the original theme song.

Original theme: Raphael’s rude but cool
New theme: Raphael's got the most attitude on the team

Rude and attitude are not the same, but they both do match up to who Raph is. I got a feeling though we’re not going to see the rude but cool Raph from the original cartoon. As the clips remind me more of the 4Kids style of Raphael. Which would make sense for them to trade the line to say attitude.

Original theme: Michaelangelo’s a party dude!
New theme: Michelangelo! He's one of a kind, and you'll know where to find him when it's party time.

Once again, same theme given to him just in a longer line. So by taking out that middle section they were able to give Mike and Leo longer introductions. Raph and Don were both still kind of short. Though what I really think is cool about all of this is how close they stayed to the original theme, not just in descriptions but by the order they kept the Turtles in. It’s a really nice touch and the more I’m watching this the more I’m getting excited about the new series!

Of course now to compare Splinter’s introduction, again Splinter’s the biggest changed as he was originally before the Turtles. Though let’s see if his words match up as close as it did for the Turtles.

Original theme: Splinter taught them to be a Ninja Team
New theme: Master Splinter taught them every single skill they need, to be one lean mean green incredible team

Once again it talks about how Splinter taught them to be a team, though said in longer words. I have to admit I realized they picked up on a lot of the stuff from the original theme when I first heard this new song, but I did not realize just how close they were aiming. They really were working on getting a new theme song that people could relate to. This is the closest we’ve had to the original theme song since the original cartoon and I’m impressed.

After the introductions, they go into the ending lines of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, which was the same thing for the original series. Though the coolest thing about this is that they use the cover of the original TMNT comic for their final pose. A famous image in Ninja Turtle history.

So what are my thoughts on the new Ninja Turtle theme? I can get down with this, it’s great. The more I hear it, the more I love it. The more I see how much effort went into it to bring us some memory of the original theme, the more I find myself excited about it. It is oing to take me a little bit to learn every word like I know the original theme.

What are your thoughts of the new theme? Have you listened to it more than once? Did you notice how much of a nod this is to the original theme song? Share your reviews, comments and questions below!

Entertainment Earth