Rise of the TMNT : April O'Neil 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 April O’Neil and her 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.

When I was young and started to watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I found that I am a fan of the Turtles and some of the other characters.  One of the characters I do not hold to close to my heart is April O’Neil, the reason being is that she seem to be getting in more trouble than helping the Turtles.  I had the toys of her, I watched to see what happened.  I liked some of the story arcs with her and got use to her design changing by them switching her up in the movies.  If people asked, I will always say that I loved Judith as April, more than Paige.  When the 2003 series came around, I did not like her clothes at all.  The 2007 movie is the worse version I’ve ever seen, because any character traits that I did feel kept April as April was removed to make her April the vampire slayer… I don’t blame the voice… I blame the creative team who wrote the character for the voice.  And then we get the 2012 version who is a teenager that Donatello had a crush on.  The best thing that has come for me with April is the amazing talent who's potrayed her, that I've had the honor to meet and make friends with such as Renae Jacobs, Veronica Taylor and Judith Hoag. So they’re changing April again, are they looking for shock reactions? 

April O’Neil is now dark color skin, still a teenager and has a yellow shirt with a green jacket, blue skin tight pants and yellow shoes.  Along with a glowing bat.  Oh and now she wears glasses.  She looks like a kid this time, and I mean younger than the Turtles.  I feel like her character design could come out of the TV show Recess where the characters are still in grade school.  Do I hate the design, no not really.  Do I have a problem with them changing her race?  Nope, not at all.  If they want to give us a new take on April, I’m curious if I’ll like it more than any of the last ones.  My biggest pet peeve is that she too has mystical powers, which I don’t care for the idea of, as her baseball bat looks to be up in green flames. 

So far my favorite TV show version of April O’Neil does go to the 2003 series by 4Kids.  I loved that she was a normal human, who happened to meet the Turtles.  That in the beginning she had a bit of a fight to her, but did not know how to fight.  I enjoyed seeing her take interest in learning to fight and watched as she growed into a fighter.  At the same time, the show never became the “April O’Neil Show”.  The series was about the Turtles, April stayed as a supporting character without feeling like she was always in trouble or just comic relief.  She was someone that fans watching the show could relate too.  Which is why I respect this cartoon version of April the most, even if I don’t like how she dressed. 

The Nickelodeon 2012 series I could never get behind that April O’Neil.  The problem I had with her is that the first human the Ninja Turtles meet and make friends with, ends up not really being human.  She had powers, which would become the main focus point of episodes in the series making the Turtles the side story.  Even episode 100 was based on April’s powers, I would’ve rather a strong story about the brothers.  But it goes back further as  the full first season was saving her father from the Kraang, the second season was curing her father from being turned Mutant.  On top of that, I was never a fan of the romance drama added to the series through this April, as I felt she was cruel.  She knew both Casey and Donatello liked her, she kept leading them both on.  When Don said he’d stand down, she gave him a kiss.  It made her feel cruel as she lead the guys on. 

You know, the funny thing is.  All of my problems with April in the 2012 Ninja Turtles series had nothing to do with the fact that she was a teenager.  It was all in how she was played out in the series.  I was willing to give her a chance when I heard she was going to be a teenager.  I know fans who hated that so much before the show came out, yet ended up loving the 2012 April O’Neil later for other reasons.  Which goes to my point that you can’t judge if you’re going to like a character just by their looks.

My hopes for this April O’Neil is that she’s human when the Turtles meet her.  I hope that she’s a normal child that they can make friends with, not super powered.  I really hope that none of the Turtles fall in love with her at first sight, if there’s any romance with April and a Turtle, I would like to see it happen over time.  And not her toying with two men.  I think it would be fun if she’s a reporter for her school paper, or in a science group at her school.  Just to give a nod to the other April O’Neils out there. 

The one thing I do feel looking at this design is that as of right now it does not scream April O’Neil to me.  But really, has any design screamed April to a fan?  Just think of how the Mirage fans had to feel with April in that Yellow Jumpsuit when they first saw her? I know even Judith threw me off when I was a kid, because I came to the movie only knowing the cartoon at that time.  And Paige was even harder for me to get use to. 

There’s my thoughts on April, along with some thoughts of past April O’Neils.  The true thoughts of this character of April will be revealed after seeing “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” this fall!  Please remember, these are just my opinion.  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!

Comments and Questions welcomed below!


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