Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003).jpg
TMNT Ninja Tribunal.jpg
TMNT Fast Foward.jpg
TMNT Back to the Sewer.jpg
Turtles, count it off: ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!
Genre: Action
Science fiction
Running Time: 21–23 minutes
22 minutes (Fast Foward & Back to the Sewer)
Country: United States
Release Date: February 8, 2003 – April 15, 2006 (Seasons 1-4)
April 22 - July 8, 2006 (Ninja Tribunal)
July 29, 2006 - October 27, 2007 (Fast Foward)
September 18, 2008 - February 29, 2009 (Back to the Sewer)
Network(s): Fox (February 2003 - October 2007)
The CW (September 2008 - March 2010)
Created by: Kevin Eastman
Peter Laird
Lloyd Goldfine
Distributed by: 20th Television
CBS Television Distribution
4Kids Entertainment (Fast Foward & Back to the Sewer)
Starring: Michael Sinterniklaas
Wayne Grayson
Sam Riegel
Greg Abbey
Darren Dunstan
Scott Rayow
Marc Thompson
Veronica Taylor
Chris Adams II
Seasons: 7
Episodes: 156
Previous show: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) (1987-1996)
Next show: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) (2012-2017)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) is a 2003 American animated television series. It was the first reboot of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series from 1987, and was later followed up by another reboot in 2012. It was developed by Lloyd Goldfine, musically composed by Norman J. Grossfeld, Russell Velazquez, Rusty Andrews, Ralph Schuckett, John Angier, Mark Breeding, Louis Cortelezzi, Joel Douek, John Petersen, John Siegler, Pete Scaturro, and John Van Tongeren, distributed by Viacom Media Networks, and produced by Gary Richardson, JoEllyn Marlow, Alfred R. Kahn, Frederick U. Fierst, Tom Kenney, Norman F. Grossfeld, Mirage Studios, 4Kids Entertainment, and Dong Woo Animation. It stars the vocal talents of Wayne Grayson, Michael Sinterniklaas, Sam Riegal, Greg Abbey, Darren Dunstan, Veronica Taylor, Marc Thompson, and Scottie Ray. It lasted for 7 seasons, or 156 episodes, and ended with a made-for-TV animated film on November 21, 2009. Reruns would air on the Nicktoons Network from December 22, 2014 to June 22, 2018. The series ran for 6 seasons on 4Kids from February 8, 2003 to October 27, 2007 before moving to the CW4Kids and would air its 7th and final season from September 13, 2008 to February 28, 2009. The show is currently streaming on Paramount+ since March 2021. Seasons 1-3 currently stream on Youtube and the show can be seen on Pluto TV on the Totally Turtles channel. 4Kids also licensed the first 40 episodes to Cartoon Network in 2003, and Cartoon Network aired the series until mid-2005.


Season 1 (2003)

The season primarily focuses on the Turtles slowly coming into conflict with the Foot Clan. After their lair is destroyed by Baxter Stockman's mousers, they find a new home elsewhere in the sewers and also gain new allies in the form of April O'Neil and Casey Jones. The Turtles foil the plans of the Shredder, Hun, and Stockman on numerous occasions before Shredder offers Leonardo a peace offering in exchange for their service, citing an unknown evil they must face together. Splinter reveals the Shredder and Hun's hand in murdering his master Hamato Yoshi, and the two sides come to blows in a battle that seemingly ends in the Shredder's defeat. However, unknown to the Turtles, the Shredder survives, and after his ninjas savagely ambush and wound Leonardo, destroys April's home and believes them dead, though the Turtles, Splinter, Casey and April survive and depart for Casey's family's farm house in rural New York. After Leonardo's wounds heal and their resolve is restored, the group returns to New York to face the Foot Clan. However, after their triumph against the Shredder, Splinter vanishes, and after following a lead from a mysterious group known as the "Guardians", the Turtles discover the Utroms, an alien race hiding amongst humanity, and are unable to save Splinter from them before being teleported into space.

Season 2 (2003-2004)

Picking up from the first season's cliffhanger, the Turtles find themselves teleported to the alien world of D'Hoonibb, where they immediately are caught up in a war between the Triceraton Republic and the Galactic Federation. The two races are fighting over Professor Honeycutt, who has the plans for a teleportation device that both sides seek for their war efforts against each other. The Turtles end up on the Triceraton home world, and after saving Honeycutt, are teleported back to Earth by the Utroms. The aliens reveal themselves to be benevolent and reunite the Turtles with Splinter, who they had healed after their last confrontation with the Shredder, who survived the battle as well. His attack is foiled when the Utroms are able to teleport to their home planet with Honeycutt, and his true nature as an Utrom criminal named Ch'rell is revealed before he is defeated once again.

Season 3 (2004-2005)

The Triceraton Republic launches a massive invasion of Earth, believing Professor Honeycutt to be hiding on the planet. After wreaking havoc on the planet, they are convinced to leave by Donatello, who reveals Honeycutt's departure, only for Honeycutt to return to Earth, intending to surrender himself to the Triceratons. Honeycutt and the Turtles are abducted by the Earth Protection Force, led by Agent Bishop, who has allied with the Federation. While Traximus deposes Zanramon, Honeycutt sacrifices himself to upload a computer virus to the Triceraton and Federation fleet. Traximus jails Zanramon and Blanque and declares a new era of peace, but the damage has been done to Earth. Having observed from the sidelines, Shredder uses his Oroku Saki persona to help in the reconstruction of New York, secretly salvaging Triceraton technology for an unknown purpose, while Bishop schemes to create an army of super-soldiers.

Splinter and the Turtles are visited by "Ultimate Drako", a fusion of Ue-Sama and Drako, who wield Lord Simultaneous' Time Scepter, and scatter the group across time and space. Michelangelo arrives in a world where the Turtles are superheroes fighting a villainous Splinter, Raphael enters the world of the Planet Racers franchise, Donatello suffers in an alternate timeline where the Shredder has conquered the Earth, and Leonardo arrives in Miyamoto Usagi's dimension. With Usagi's help, Leo travels to the Battle Nexus and is able to reunite his brothers and Splinter, and defeat Ultimate Drako. Though the duo are separated and Drako perishes, Ue-Sama is restored to a youthful form and reunited with his father.

After receiving a vision of the Shredder departing Earth to conquer the Utrom home world, Splinter rallies the Turtles, Casey, April, Leatherhead and Honeycutt (who were revealed to have survived their supposed deaths) to storm the Shredder's stronghold on the eve of his departure in a massive spacecraft. Bishop also enters the fray with Stockman on his side, but Shredder is able to lift off with Karai and Dr. Chaplin, with the Turtles and Splinter stowing away. As Bishop continues to assault the ship in space, the Shredder viciously wounds his foes, who decide to sacrifice their lives by detonating the ship's power core to kill the Shredder. Fortunately, the Utroms arrive just in time to save them all and find the Shredder guilty of numerous war crimes and atrocities, banishing him forever to a desolate ice asteroid.

Season 4 (2005-2006)

In the wake of their final battle with the Shredder, the Turtles retreat to the Jones family farmhouse to rest and recuperate, still heavily wounded and scarred. Leonardo in particular carries strong emotional scars from the battle, blaming himself for his family having to nearly sacrifice their lives to stop the Shredder. After the Turtles return to New York, they find that Hun has defected from the Foot Clan, instead returning to the Purple Dragons and transforming them from a street gang to a sophisticated crime organization. A successful raid on an Earth Protection Force train ends up being the final straw for the President of the United States, who threatens to cut the organization's funding for their repeated recent failures. Desperate to keep his organization afloat, Bishop engineers a staged alien invasion with man-made "aliens", which successfully convinces the President of his organization's value to protect the Earth. Unknown to Bishop, however, the residue from the destroyed alien clones leaks into New York City's sewers, and after coming into contact with local fauna, mutates them, triggering a massive mutant outbreak. During this outbreak, Baxter Stockman finally clones a new human body for himself, but it along with his sanity deteriorates, and he eventually drowns in the Hudson River while attacking April O'Neil. Nevertheless, Bishop brings him back from the dead in another cyborg body, deeming him too useful to lose.

In the meantime, Leo's emotional scars drive him to become progressively more hostile and surly to the point of wounding Splinter in an uncontrollable rage during a training session. Splinter sends Leo on a pilgrimage to the Ancient One, Hamato Yoshi's own master and father figure. The Ancient One is able to heal Leo's deep self-doubt and psychological scars, and takes the turtle under his wing. Back in New York, Karai takes up the Shredder's mantle, and rebuilds the Foot Clan to become a much more powerful organization, and with the help of the Foot Mystics, find the Turtles' lair and destroy it. Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, Splinter, and Klunk fake their deaths as they go into hiding. The Ancient One, having foreseen the attack, sends Leo back to New York, where he reunites his family and finds them a new home before defeating Karai, vowing that any further conflict between their clans will result in her death.

The Turtles struggle to fight Bishop's mutant outbreak, but things take a turn for the worse when Donnie is infected with the chemical agent responsible for the outbreak, mutating him once again. Leatherhead reports that Bishop's chemical agent is reacting violently with the Utrom mutagen already in his body, and will kill him in a matter of days. The group heads to Area 51 to ask for Bishop's aid in returning their brother to normal. Bishop agrees, but charges the Turtles with retrieving the Heart of Tengu, a relic possessed by Karai that an unknown entity has promised will grant him centuries of advancement in technology. The Turtles fulfill the agreement, and thanks to Leatherhead and Stockman's joint effort, cure Don and return him to normal. Meanwhile, Bishop inadvertently destroys the Heart of Tengu, having been fooled into doing so by the entity, who is revealed to be the Water Foot Mystic. The Heart of Tengu was an artifact that enabled the leaders of the Foot Clan to keep the Foot Mystics under their control. Now free, the Foot Mystics resolve to revive the "one, true Shredder".

In the season finale, the Turtles find themselves abducted by the mysterious Ninja Tribunal, along with four other warriors from across the globe. The 8 warriors are informed they are being drafted to combat a great evil that is poised to return, and they are taken to the Tribunal's monastery in Japan after passing their first test of character.

Season 5ː Ninja Tribunal (Season 6 Originally when Aired (2006)

Following on from the previous season's cliffhanger ending, the Turtles and the 4 acolytes – Joi, Feragi, Tora, and Adam – are brought to the Ninja Tribunal's monastery to begin training to combat an unknown evil. Splinter and the Ancient One arrive at the monastery, the former aggressively opposing the Turtles' affiliation with the Tribunal, because of their disinterest in aiding Hamato Yoshi against the Utrom Shredder that could have saved his life. The Tribunal proves to be aggressive and unrelenting in their training, brutally berating their acolytes for even aiding their wounded. The Tribunal finally reveals that the enemy they are preparing to face is in fact a Tengu demon that was the original incarnation of the Shredder, whose legend the Utrom Shredder manipulated to gain respect. The Tengu Shredder will be revived if his helmet and gauntlet are brought together with him, having been separated by the Tribunal millennia ago. Though the Turtles and acolytes retrieve all 3 relics, the Foot Mystics, revealed to be heralds of the Tengu Shredder, attack the temple, stealing the relics and seemingly killing the Tribunal and the Acolytes. The Turtles, Splinter and the Ancient One return to New York to prepare for the coming threat.

The Foot Mystics soon successfully revive the Tengu Shredder, who rampages through New York to kill Karai, who he deems an insult to his name due to her taking on the mantle in the last season. The Turtles manage to achieve a victory, repelling the Tengu Shredder and saving Karai from his wrath. However, the Tengu Shredder soon succeeds in transforming the island of New York into a hellish, Tengu-infested dominion of his; a fate which he intends to inflict upon the rest of the world. To combat this threat to Earth, the Turtles unite with the 4 acolytes (who are revealed to have miraculously survived the monastery's destruction), Hun and the Purple Dragons, the Foot Clan, Agent Bishop and the Earth Protection Force, the Justice Force, and several other allies of theirs to assault the Tengu Shredder's stronghold. After falling in battle, the Turtles are revived by Hamato Yoshi's spirit, and they manage to separate the Tengu Shredder from his helmet and gauntlet, rendering him vulnerable for Yoshi's spirit to finally end the demon's existence. The Ninja Tribunal reveal their survival as well, and recruit the Ancient One to serve on their tribunal. Karai parts with the Turtles on friendly terms, seemingly entering a relationship with Dr. Chaplin, and Splinter finally makes peace with the loss of his sensei.

In the wake of the Shredder's defeat, a gang war erupts over control of his lost territory by the remainder of the Foot Clan, the Purple Dragons (led by Hun), and the New York mafia (aided by Baxter Stockman). Leonardo and Raphael argue over their place in fighting in the war, but the Turtles end up aiding Karai, the Shredder's adopted daughter, in claiming control of the New York Foot Clan and restoring order to the city. Though they part with a friendly ceasefire, the Shredder is revealed to have survived yet again, and Karai's loyalty to her father conflicting with her honor becomes a critical dilemma for her for the remainder of the series.

Season 6ː Fast Forward (Season 5 Originally when Aired (2006-2007)

During an ordinary day, Splinter and the Turtles are suddenly transported through time to New York City in the year 2105 by Cody Jones, a descendant of Casey Jones and April O'Neil. Cody intended to build a "time window", which could allow him to simply observe past escapades of the Turtles, but an unforeseen complication turned it into a time travel-capable machine, which is in disrepair after bringing Splinter and the Turtles to the future. At Cody's insistence, Splinter and the Turtles begin to live with him until the time window can be repaired, also contending with Cody's uptight robotic butler, Serling. However, during their time with Cody, the group comes into conflict with Darius Dunn, Cody's uncle and CEO of O'Neil Tech, who is in actuality a crime boss seeking to wrest complete control of the company from Cody. On several occasions, Dunn attempts to kill the Turtles, attempts that do not go unnoticed by them, who resolve to keep a wary eye on the villain, while Cody remains ignorant of his uncle's true nature.

The Turtles also gain a new nemesis in the form of Sh'Okanabo, an alien warlord who seeks to conquer the Earth so his species, the Kanabo, can reproduce and thrive on the planet. Sh'Okanabo enters a partnership with Dunn, both seeking to destroy the Turtles, and Sh'Okanabo creates the Dark Turtles, which are four malicious clones of the Turtles to battle them. Dunn also gives Sh'Okanabo the plans to Cody's time window, and the alien is able to manufacture a second one, but it malfunctions, creating a storm of time windows that transport beings from all across time in New York - resulting in a brief face-off between the Turtles and the Shredder from their time, before he is returned to his own time. The Turtles, Cody and Sh'Okanabo are briefly able to repair the villain's time window, but it malfunctions yet again, seemingly killing the alien warlord.

To his horror, Cody discovers his uncle's villainous nature when he uncovers a secret weapon factory that Dunn had kept hidden from Cody. When Dunn's plans are revealed, he faces off with Cody before fleeing in the wake of defeat, leaving Cody as the CEO of O'Neil Tech. Dunn quickly returns with a vengeance, hijacking Cody's Turtle X battle armor and going on a rampage. Serling manages to save Cody from his uncle, albeit at the cost of his own life, though he's soon repaired and converted into a second iteration of the Turtle X armor to better protect his young charge. Dunn goes into hiding with the Dark Turtles in the meantime.

The Turtles also discover that Agent Bishop has survived to 2105, thanks to his cloning-induced longevity. Bishop has undergone a change of heart after a lab accident which saw Baxter Stockman go missing, and instead of hunting aliens, he has become the President of the Pan-Galactic Alliance (or "PGA" for short), a United Nations type coalition between Earth and all peaceful alien races. Stockman is revealed to have survived the lab incident, and after nearly killing Bishop in retaliation, he reforms as well, entering a renewed partnership and friendship with his old ally. Bishop summons the Turtles to aid him in venturing to an Earth base on the Moon, which has lost contact with Earth. The group discovers that Sh'Okanabo survived the destruction of the time window, and has taken up residence on the dark side of the moon, plotting to block out the sunlight to engineer his "Day of Awakening", but is soon stopped by the combined efforts of the Turtles, Bishop and Cody.

Season 7ː Back to the Sewers (2008-2009)

Cody Jones is able to finally repair the Time Window, but parts with the Turtles and Splinter can return to 2006. However, Viral, who had survived her defeat in the previous season, hacks into the time window, taking control of it and sending the Turtles, Splinter and Serling (who accidentally fell in) to various eras in attempts to kill them. Just as the group is able to return home, Viral attacks Splinter, shattering him into countless bytes of data scattered across the Internet. Serling and the Turtles resolve to recover Splinter's bytes and return him to his whole self by digitizing themselves and entering cyberspace to find them.

Viral is forcibly assimilated into a digital copy of Ch'rell, who had done so prior to his attempted departure from Earth in the 3rd-season finale. This forms a new incarnation of the Shredder known as the "Cyber Shredder", who employs a new Foot Clan with Khan as his first lieutenant. Shredder makes several attempts to escape from cyber space and enter the real world, often harassing the Turtles during their attempts to locate Splinter's data.

In the season's finale, Splinter is recompiled and returned to his sons, who decide to celebrate April and Casey's wedding. Dozens of the Turtles' allies and friends attend the ceremony, which is violently attacked by the Foot Clan, led by the Shredder, who has finally entered the physical world. In the midst of a massive battle between the Turtles' allies and the Foot, Donatello is able to destroy the Shredder. The wedding finally ends, in front of the Turtles, Splinter, and many other allies (including some who watch from afar; such as Agent Bishop, Cody, etc.).


In May 2002, 4Kids Entertainment announced to produce a new animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series for the FoxBox programming block to air on Saturday mornings. The series was renewed for a second season in the summer of 2003; the third in May 2004; the fourth in April 2005. The "Ninja Tribunal" was originally intended to be the fifth and final season of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, but the schedule was changed to try to increase interest in the series and "Fast Forward" became the fifth season. The "Ninja Tribunal" episodes were scheduled to be released on DVD sometime in early 2007, but 4Kids Entertainment later removed them from their release schedule and the season was promoted in commercials as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Lost Episodes.

Series development was headed by producer Lloyd Goldfine, who had known the Ninja Turtles since the original Mirage Studios comics and declared he "loved the charm of the cartoon", but much preferred the idea of turtles raised to be ninja assassins, and was interested in using said plot while also being family friendly. Once he heard 4Kids had an interest in the franchise, Goldfine suggested going straight to Mirage for guidance, and then he and other company representatives went to the company's headquarters in Northampton, Massachusetts. Turtles co-creator Peter Laird and Mirage CEO Gary Richardson approved their pitch, and Mirage remained very close during development, with Laird reading every outline and draft of the script, and approving most of the character designs.

Home video

The series has been released to home video, but the complete series has yet to been released.

Broadcast history

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles originally aired in the US on Fox for its first six seasons from February 8, 2003, to October 27, 2007. It then aired on The CW for reruns of its first six seasons, its seventh and final season and Turtles Forever from September 13, 2008, to March 27, 2010.

On November 24, 2003, 4Kids announced that they had licensed the first 40 episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Cartoon Network. 4Kids' CEO, Al Kahn, said he was "pleased to be able to broadcast the series with Cartoon Network. Now that we're adding the Cartoon Network audience, we're certain that many more kids across the country will become part of the growing craze and get 'Turtle-ized.'" The show aired on Cartoon Network until mid-2005.

Turtles Forever also aired on Nickelodeon on August 24, 2010. The show was eventually broadcast on Nicktoons from December 2014 to June 2018.

The show (excluding season 5 and Turtles Forever) aired in the Republic of Ireland on RTE Two from September 17, 2003, to 2010.

The series is currently available for streaming on Paramount+, and Pluto TV as part of their "Totally Turtles" channel, which the latter also includes the 2012 series.

Why It's Cowabunga

  1. Dong Woo, The Animation Company from South Korea gives Excellent animation with very great action and fight scenes that are a huge step up over the 1987 series as it is less lighthearted with no goofy stories and little to no animation errors, in fact, thanks to these improvements, it makes the show even better than the other incarnations.
  2. The Turtles are still likable and keep their same charm like the 1987 series as they all have great personalities similar to their original counterparts. Some characters even received great character development as well.
    • Leonardo is portrayed as a great leader who is seen as a skilled ninja with excellent character development and is usually seen as the voice of reason on the show.
    • Much like his 1987 counterpart and as well as both his 2012 and 2018 counterparts, Donatello is seen as a genius on the show and he has great chemistry with April. He has also shown himself to be the least angry turtle and is the most calm of the 4.
    • Raphael retains his angry attitude and it shows what makes him great of a character. Like Sterling Archer from Archer (seasons 1-7, 11-14), Brian Griffin from Family Guy, Roger Smith from American Dad!, Benson from Regular Show and Rick from Rick and Morty, he manages to be one of those examples of animated characters to be a jerk but done right.
    • Michelangelo retains his hilarious fun charming self. However, he undergoes character development and becomes more mature as the series progresses.
    • Splinter still retains his wise attitude, but can still be a funny comic relief.
    • April O'Neil is awesome in this show as she is very lovable, incredibly badass and capable of fighting on her own, unlike her 1987 counterpart. This is arguably the best incarnation when it comes to the portrayal of Casey as he is an excellent fighter, but is given a good backstory of what would make him become a fighter.
  3. It is both the darkest 4Kids program and the darkest incarnation in the franchise as it has the most violence out of the animated TMNT shows, right next to the 2012 incarnation. It also comes off as a surprise considering that 4Kids is notorious for censorship and for being lighthearted. Props to 4Kids for having the most violence on their network considering they could've done the same thing for other shows such as One Piece or Yu-Gi-Oh.
  4. The made-for-TV animated movie released in 2009, titled Turtles Forever, is exciting as it features a crossover between three different incarnations of the ninja turtles, the 2003 version, the 1987 version, and the version from the comics. It is also an epic way to end the 2003 series.
  5. Great and very appealing art style and character designs, especially that of Shredder. This series arguably has the best Shredder in visuals. His Turtles Forever design is also very good.
  6. This series incarnation of the Shredder, besides being by far the evilest and threatening, has a unique backstory and is a sociopathic alien named Ch'rell instead of an successor to the original or an immortal. His plot twist about him being an Utrom instead of being a human is really good and very unexpected.
  7. Just like the 1987 show, the series spawned four great games based on the series: The first being "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)" released in 2003 along with the GBA version, second being Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus (despite it's flaws) along with the GBA version, third being, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare along with the DS version released in 2005, and fourth being Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Melee released the same year as Mutant Nightmare.
  8. This series is very faithful to the original comics, and it's creator Peter Laird's favorite adaptation.
  9. The theme song in the first five seasons are incredible and is very memorable to listen to.
  10. The characters are overall more complex and interesting than in the original 1987 version. This time, instead of mostly focusing on comedy, the series also focuses more on drama from early on, just like the Red Sky seasons from the previous series. The biggest example is the turtles having to deal with their appearances, that being the reason that they have to reside in the sewers instead of conversing with common humans.
  11. Great soundtrack such as the music when the turtles fight the foot clan, the shredders theme and many others.
  12. While the characters are more complex in this version, that doesn't mean that the comedy is neglected. The comedy is just as great as in the previous version. If anything this version manages to balance the comedy with the drama much better.
  13. Amazing voice acting, with the main turtles all having great chemistry. Michael Sinterniklass in particular, highlights with his great portrayal of Leonardo. Scottie Ray also does an incredibly terrifying voice for the Shredder and Greg Abbey does a great job with Raphael. It makes it even better due to the fact that he has a great New York Accent. Wayne Grayson manages to do a great job at making Michelangelo sound like his fun loving self.
  14. Impressive plot twists such as the viewer learning that Shredder is actually an Utrom, not Oroku Saki.
  15. Great character development, we see that in the beginning, Casey and April don't really like each other, but as the series progressed, they became more and more closer.
  16. Elements of the previous series are still here, such as Michelangelo's goofy demeanor and of course, and the famous catchphrase "Cowabunga".
  17. Memorable Villains such as Hun, Bishop, Stockman, Karai, The Foot Clan, the Purple Dragons and of course Shredder.
  18. Some of the new characters like Hun and Angel are eventually integrated into the comics, mainly Mirage and IDW.
  19. The show is like a legacy to Batman: The Animated Series, feeling edgier and darker and even putting that on the imagery of the city at night.
  20. The series shows that reboots can be done right much like it's 2012 counterpart.
  21. The series finale: "Wedding Bells and Bytes" is an excellent way to end the series as the Turtles defeat the Cyber Shredder once and for all and we can finally see April and Casey get married. Likewise, the after-mentioned Turtles Forever movie was a perfect way to end the series in general.
    • It should be noted that all Season Finale's (Including Season 6 and 7), have great endings to each season.
  22. Tons of emotional moments like the 2012 Series, such as Leo being badly beaten, Baxter Stockman's backstory, Donatello visiting a hellish version of New York where almost all of his loved ones (except April) are killed. Other emotional moments include Splinter's backstory of how he lived with Hamato Yoshi before Hamato Yoshi was killed by the Shredder.
    • In general, this show's emotional moments are so dark, they manage to make some viewers/fans in tears.
  23. Great Continuity, certain episodes will show flashbacks for not only the Turtles but for the Viewer to also remember what happened. Even without the flashbacks, it still manages to have the Turtles be reminded about earlier moments.
  24. Though unintentionally, this show at times, can send good morals, such as respecting others and honoring your loved ones. It does a good job considering that previous incarnations never did something like this. The program's overall messages purport to be positive ones -- working as a team to overcome evil, for instance.
  25. Some catchy songs such as "Living Free In NYC" from "City at War" and "It's a Jungle Out There" in "April's Artifact". Some unused themes such as Cyber Shredder's theme is also fantastic as well.
  26. Overall, the show left the TMNT franchise on a really amazing impact as it saved the series from being gone forever after the infamous Live-Action series in 1997. If the series was never made, who knows how the franchise would be like. It also left 4Kids a better impact as after the 2003 Series premiered, the network would see better ratings and it helped improve the channel.
  27. The animation style look's amazing, By 2003 standards and still looks amazing to this day. In fact, this redesign also appears in some Mirage TMNT comics and it manages to make a great resemblance. It manages to be a huge step up over the visuals in the 1987 series and alongside Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles it has some of the series best visuals and artstyle.
  28. Memorable and great episodes such asː
  29. Outstanding pacing as it manages to be fast paced and calm in many occasions such as after a huge fight, they manage to be calm and can let the viewer understand is going on.

Cowabogus Qualities

  1. The last two seasons: "Fast Foward" and "Back to the Sewer" while good, aren't as dark as the previous ones due to 4KidsTV wanting it to be more lighthearted and to be more marketable and "appropriate" for kids. It is another example of executive meddling. However, these Seasons still have really good episodes. But it is a downgrade to the series.
  2. The episode "Super Power Struggle" is mediocre
    • While not a bad episode, Reflections is the weakest of Season 2 as it is more of a clip-show episode, and when you really think about it, a filler episode.
  3. What the Shell, the line the Turtles use a lot, can be annoying, especially in Turtles Forever is it blasted.
  4. The Season 5 (Ninja Tribunal) episode, “Nightmares Recycled” is completely pulled out by 4kids Entertainment because it was too controversial of the idea of Hun and The Garbageman being conjoined into one entity. This is unacceptable as many episodes such as “The Same As Never Was” were green-lit by 4kids and that has dark and disturbing moments as well. Another episode, I'Monster has dark and disturbing moments as well but was also allowed to air back in 2005. Let alone the banned episode “Insane in the Membrane” was banned by 4kids but got aired on Nickelodeon a few years later. The episode wasn’t even released on DVD or on the Internet.
  5. The series had a whole season aired out of order, Ninja Tribunal Season 5 which is known as the Lost Episodes Season was already produced and was set to air a week after Season 4 ended on a Cliffhanger. 4Kids decided to air Fast Forward (Season 6) before The Lost Episodes (Season 5) had aired. This is unacceptable as Season 4 ended on a huge cliffhanger by the time the season ended in April 2006 and Season 5 would air 2 years later in February 2008. This would cause major confusion to if Season 5 was abandoned for sure.
  6. While not much, the show had an Animation Error in Back to the Sewer Season 7. The episode, "SuperQuest" has an Animation Error as one of the Dragons is missing a part of their body. Likewise, during many episodes of the first season, Leonardo's strap around his shoulder constantly disappears and reappears between shots (mostly when its his reflection).
  7. Baxter Stockman, while a great villain, is horribly treated and is a huge butt-monkey in the series to the point that you sympathize with him, rather than hating him. He is constantly tortured and has his body parts ripped off. The episode, "Insane in the Membrane" manages to be self-aware with Stockman's horrible treatment.
  8. Cody Jones is a forgettable character, so forgettable that he was removed in the Back to the Sewer season.
  9. April O'Neil's design while wonderful and sexy is not as memorable as her original 1987 series one in terms of her color scheme has changed.


At first, the 2003 series received negative criticism from fans of the 1987 series. Popular criticisms include less likable characters and a less exciting theme song. However, as it became in later years, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles received widespread acclaim from critics, audiences and fans alike. Many consider this to be the greatest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show ever made. The praise went towards the faithfulness to the source material, the storytelling, character development, action, darker tone, humor, the theme song, background musics, voice acting, animation and appeal to all ages. It currently sits at a 8/10 on IMDb and an 8.8/10 on TV.com. It is considered to be one of the greatest Animated TV shows of all time. It also garnered high ratings for a 4Kids Saturday morning cartoon, being the most viewed show along with Sonic X and shortly after the premiere became the highest-rated and most popular children's television show in the US back in 2003. "Unleash the Fanboy" praised the series for its connection to the comic books in story and tone, and it helps that co-creator Peter Laird was closely involved with the series, making sure things stayed on the right path. Seasons 6-7 were more mixed by fans with criticism directly towards the sillier tone, change in animation and less darker storytelling. This blame is on 4Kids due to executive meddling and milking the show due to it's popularity.

Several of the characters introduced in the series would later appear in subsequent publications of the TMNT franchise. Hun was introduced into the Mirage Comics with the issue Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 2 No. 56 in March 2009, and also appears as a recurring figure in the IDW comic series and in the 2012 animated series, as does Agent Bishop. Angel, Ch'rell, Darius Dun and the Street Phantoms would also be featured in the IDW comics, and the Triceraton Mozar as an antagonist during season 4 of the 2012 series.


  • Storylines of various episodes are actually borrowed and taken from the original Mirage Studios comic books, making the new cartoon more like one of the original comic book storylines.
  • According to the voice actors in interviews they were told to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) the movie for inspiration as to how to create the voices of the Turtles, Splinter, and The Shredder.
  • The decision to make the Shredder an Utrom was something that came up in initial discussions for the show.
  • The older wiki Terrible TV Shows & Episodes stated that the last two seasons were bad, this has now been fixed.



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