Today, Nickelodeon unveiled the artwork for their new 2D animated series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s impressive stuff–and you can check it all out below–but once you dig into the details behind the reimagining, it’s even cooler. Take, for example, the fact that the creative team designed the title turtle bros based on actual turtles, bringing diversity to both their appearances and their personalities. Their weapons get an upgrade, too, so be prepared to learn more than your standard bo-staff skills. But perhaps the biggest change of all, the hard-headed Raphael is now the leader of TMNT!
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reimagines the characters in a fresh new way, featuring jagged-shelled Raphael as a snapping turtle, wielding twin tonfas as his weapons; Leonardo as a red-eared slider, using an ōdachi sword; Donatello as a soft-shell turtle, sporting a tech-bo staff; and Michelangelo as a box turtle, arming himself with a kusari-fundo. Along for the adventure is the Turtles’ most trusted ally, April O’Neil, a street savvy native New Yorker and Splinter, father figure and sensei to the Turtles. Nickelodeon’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles follows the band of brothers as they discover new powers and encounter a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City. The 2D-animated series debuts later this year on Nickelodeon.
The series stars the voice talent of:
Omar Miller (Ballers) as Raphael, the oldest and biggest brother and the leader, full of enthusiasm and bravado:
Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, the self-professed “coolest” brother who possesses irreverent charm and a rebel heart:
Josh Brener (Silicon Valley) as Donatello, a mechanical genius and tech wizard whose ninja skills are second only to his coding:
Brandon Mychal Smith (You’re The Worst) as Michelangelo, the youngest brother, a skateboarder and artist who is wild and imaginative:
Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) as April O’Neil
Eric Bauza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Splinter
John Cena lends his voice as villain, Baron Draxum, an alchemist warrior mutant who seeks to turn all of humanity into mutants.
The new 26-episode series is co-executive produced by Andy Suriano (character designer, Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (supervising producer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) at Nickelodeon in Burbank. Veteran animation industry voice actor Rob Paulsen is voice directing the series. Keep an eye out for more from Nickelodeon’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!