BLE 2012: An interview with Turtles creators old and new

Licensing.biz speaks to original TMNT series co-creator Kevin Eastman and Nickelodeon SVP Rich Magallanes.
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Nickelodeon’s new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series has been developed to cater to old fans while also appealing to today’s children.

At Brand Licensing Europe 2012 Rich Magallanes, senior vice president, animation, Nickelodeon told Licensing.biz: “There’s now a couple of generations out there who grew up watching Turtles. Maybe some of them have had a kid themselves now, so knowing that and trying to keep that audience in tact, along with making it appeal to a whole new set of kids to bring the whole family together, was the strategy.”

Nickelodeon has given each of the Turtles their own individual nuances to help differentiate the characters.

For example, Donetello has a gap in his teeth while Raphael has a chunk missing from his armour. The Turtles are also different heights and have different skin tones.

“In the past they were all the same build and the same skin colours. It’s all about making them more relatable and identifiable to kids,” Magallanes said.

Magallanes enjoying our special Turtles publication - read it online here.

But Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, said: “All the components are there, maybe certain elements have been moved to the left or the right, but what’s fascinating is that there is not that many changes. The story and the core characters and their attitudes are the same.”

Eastman added: “For me, when I look at the new animated series what I love the most, besides the story telling and the comedy and the action, is the style. I love the style.”

In terms of style Magallanes also said that aesthetically the new series was designed to have a broad appeal. Predominately CG animated, the show also uses anime-style emoticons and comic-book style 2D animation for flashback scenes.

To find out what Eastman and Magallanes think about the new Turtles toy line from Playmates – head to ToyNews.

The forthcoming Turtles live action movie was previewed to an audience of licensing industry execs on Tuesday evening.

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