The internet hasn't reacted all that keenly to producer Michael Bay's shitstorm-unleashing revelation that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be space aliens in his upcoming film.
In fact, Bay's wholesale revision of the Ninja Turtles' origins has invoked the ire of Michelangelo voice actor Robbie Rist (who claimed that Bay is "sodomizing" the Turtles) and TMNT co-creator Peter Laird, who admitted on his blog:
It's possible that with enough truly creative brainpower applied to this idea, it might actually work. I'm not saying it's probable, or even somewhat likely… but it IS possible.
For whatever it's worth, Kevin Eastman, the Turtles' other creator, hasn't expressed such reservations. But the truth is, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been suffering soul-shattering indignities way before Michael Bay ever got his gasoline-and-semtex-doused mitts on them. Here are a few of these blighted occasions, all of which make "Ninja Rap" look like the pinnacle of Western civilization.
We Wish You a Turtle Christmas (1994)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters notwithstanding, the Turtles' cultural cachet was almost nil back in 1994. This 25-minute X-Mas musical didn't help. Thanks to poor special effects, the Turtles' faces were locked permanently in teeth-baring rictus grins. If you hate yourself, you can watch the rest of this straight-to-video abomination here and here.
The Coming Out Of Our Shells Tour (1990)
We Wish You a Turtle Christmas wasn't the Turtles' first foray into slaying the sleeping gorgon of music with ear scimitars. This stadium tour pinballed between cock rock, Enya-style New Age, and Shredder rapping. You can read our full recap here.
Venus DeMilo, the fifth, busty Turtle (1997)
On the dreadful live-action TV show Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, the Turtles' lost, ponytailed, and magic-wielding sister Venus DeMilo suddenly appeared and joined the team. Venus has since been exiled to total obscurity, but I imagine her costumes command high prices on the fur suit circuit.
This Card (Date Unknown)
No idea when or where this is from, but that's some unscrupulous copywriting right there, I'll tell you something.
Mutant Turtles: Chōjin Densetsu Hen (1996)
I actually sort of love this. To make the Turtles more palatable for Japanese audiences, two direct-to-video animated films were produced. These episodes gave the mutants mystical transformations and a jazzy revamped theme song. Here's a synopsis:
The Turtles explored the temple of the lost Muta Kingdom where they met the spirit of light called Kris Mu, who was contained inside the Muta Stone. In reward, she gives the Turtles the ability to do the Super Mutation, which turns them from regular turtles into Super Turtles for three minutes. When all four Super Turtles turns into one, they turn into the all-mighty Turtle Saint.
See also: Barbara Walters' interview of a lifetime.
ADDENDUM: Reader Kanojo No Carrera suggests the Power Rangers/Ninja Turtles crossover, which I fortunately managed to avoid my entire life. Until today.