It's been three years since Nickelodeon purchased the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, with plans to create yet another television series that features the titular martial arts trained reptiles in animated form - not to be confused with Platinum Dune's live-action TMNT reboot.
The Nickelodeon series isn't due out until next year, but there's now an official preview which offers a very brief glimpse at the new-and-improved mutant warriors that are named after Renaissance artists and have a fondness for pizza (how often do you get to write those words together?).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be a computer-animated series, and according to executive producer Ciro Nieli, each of the turtles (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael) will possess "more individual attributes." The theme song for the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show did actually distinguish the characters by means other than their mask color and weapon of choice, but it wouldn't hurt to give each of the turtles a bit more personality, all the same.
Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive first look at the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show, which can be viewed HERE.
The first still image from the series has also been released, and can be seen below:
While each of the Turtles still possess their trademark weaponry (though Donatello's bo staff has now been upgraded with a blade at the end), the animators are clearly aiming to give each of the characters a more fearsome makeover. The glinting white slits for eyes and blocky appendages are slight exaggerations of the Turtles' design in the 2007 TMNT movie, but these new CGI Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles are noticeably more stylized than their predecessors.
While the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies released during the 1990s were more light-hearted and humorous than the original comic book series, recent film and TV versions alike have sought to return the characters to their darker roots. Obviously, given the nature of the franchise, these mutated masked vigilantes won't ever be taken quite as seriously as their peers - and, in all honesty, that's probably for the best.
Will you be checking out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when it airs on Nickelodeon next year?