Exclusive: Nickelodeon to Air 1987 ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Animated Series

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987

At the highly anticipated Hall H panel during San Diego Comic-Con, Nickelodeon dropped an exclusive bombshell: the global rights acquisition of the beloved 1987 animated series ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’ This exciting news was unveiled as a precursor to the theatrical release of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.’ The animated series, created by Fred Wolf, chronicles the escapades of the iconic quartet – Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

Under this expansive deal, all 193 episodes of the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ series, which originally ran from 1987 to 1996, are set to make their digital debut on Nickelodeon-owned and operated channels. These include popular platforms such as YouTube, Pluto TV, and Nickelodeon’s linear channels. The U.S. audience will have the initial privilege of experiencing this nostalgic journey, followed by international availability on Nickelodeon-branded channels and digital platforms.

The momentous announcement took place during Paramount Pictures’ Hall H presentation for ‘Mutant Mayhem,’ Nickelodeon’s first-ever venture into CG-animated theatrical production. The film, produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Point Grey Productions (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Weaver), follows the Turtle brothers – Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu), Donatello (Micah Abbey), Raphael (Brady Noon), and Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.). The storyline revolves around their quest to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts.

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Review: More Turtle Power - The  New York Times

The Hall H panel featured ‘Mutant Mayhem’ director Jeff Rowe and franchise co-creator Kevin Eastman, who, donned in a ‘TMNT’ T-shirt, shared insights and previews of the new movie. Despite the challenges posed by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which impacted writer and actor attendance at the convention, the panel generated considerable excitement.

Eastman, in a surprise appearance, thrilled the audience with the breaking news about Nickelodeon and Paramount securing the rights to broadcast the original cartoon series. The crowd erupted in applause as Eastman reminisced about the series’ beginnings, praising Chuck Lorre for crafting the iconic theme song.

The theatrical film ‘Mutant Mayhem,’ set to release on August 2, boasts a star-studded supporting cast, including Seth Rogen, John Cena, Jackie Chan, and more. Paramount treated Comic-Con attendees to an exclusive 20-minute preview, unveiling the Ninja Turtles’ origin story, their training, and their encounter with the villainous Super Fly.

Seth Rogen's Animated TMNT Movie Release Date Moved Up

The excitement continued as Eastman expressed his pride in the new movie’s brilliance, hailing its lifelike portrayal reminiscent of the underground comics style that he and co-creator Peter Laird initiated. ‘Mutant Mayhem’ marks a significant milestone for Nickelodeon, signaling its entry into CG-animated theatrical production with the beloved ‘TMNT’ franchise.

The broader context of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ encompasses its origins in the 1984 comic book series, its global success with the 1987 Fred Wolf animated series, a live-action TV series, and various film adaptations. Nickelodeon rejuvenated the franchise in 2012 with a CG-animated series and a 2D-animated show in 2019. Meanwhile, Paramount rebooted the series on the big screen with ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ in 2014 and its sequel ‘Out of the Shadows’ in 2016.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem: Release Date, Trailers, Cast &  More | Rotten Tomatoes

As fans eagerly await the theatrical release of ‘Mutant Mayhem,’ Nickelodeon’s acquisition of the original animated series adds another layer of excitement, allowing both new and longtime fans to revisit the timeless adventures of the Heroes in a Half-Shell in their animated glory. The legacy of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ continues to evolve, capturing the hearts of audiences across generations.

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