Revamping My Childhood? No Thanks, Mr. Bay

I know that it may appear that I am so far back in the news as to mention that Michael Bay is revamping Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but taking out the “mutant” aspect and making them aliens. Although I’m not happy with the concept of that happening, I wasn’t really excited about the previous anime-ization of the cartoon in the last movie. In fact, I didn’t actually see it.

Cartoons were a very important part of my childhood. Saturday morning cartoons, the after school block… Those kept me out of a lot of trouble. They also helped to fuel the imagination of the curious kid who needed to find various ways of escapism. My nose buried in a book or face pressed to a TV screen was a constant for me.

When I was young, I connected with the characters. I learned a lot of good behavior from them and a lot of bad behavior from them as well. They were then as podcasts are to me now. I know that I don’t know everyone personally, just as a part of me knew then that I wouldn’t ever get to party with Michaelangelo or out snark Raphael.

That connection to my childhood almost made me out to be a troll with this whole “Bay is turning them into alien turtles”. Well first off… If they’re aliens, why are they turtles? Turtles have been on the Earth for a very long time.

Recently I guested on Sketchy, a podcast from my buddies Ryan, Matt and Rich. We talked about Transformers the Movie (1986) and happened to discuss the Michael Bay adaptations as well. To be honest, I saw the first two but I don’t even remember them enough because I was furious that Bumblebee didn’t get to talk. Also, it felt like the Transformers and Deceptacons were dumbed down for the movies.

I was talking over email with a few friends about it and one of them mentioned how Bay seems to be hated, yet his movies make millions.

Explosions sell a lot of tickets, especially when they charge you for 3D.

Think about one of your favorite childhood cartoons. Maybe it was Rugrats, maybe it was Doug, maybe it was Jem. Let’s say it was Jem. Then Michael Bay gets his fingers on it.

Jerrica and all the girls at the orphanage are dressed like they’re ready for a vaginal closeup. The music is still crap because he wanted to spend the budget on the pyrotechnics of the music videos that are playing in the background (and never actually featured). The Misfits are all revamped into cyborgs that are being controlled by Tech Rat.

Even though I would love to see that movie, that’s not Jem. Pizazz was a spoiled bitch. THAT is why she was always so competitive and made stupid decisions.

I think that by changing the actual origin of the characters in TMNT and by dumbing down the characters in Transformers, that is why many of the fans are outraged. A lot of my happiest memories are of watching the 80’s movies and TV shows. To see the canon of the story being hollowed out is a lot like watching someone take a first printing of Pride and Prejudice and hollowing it out to put their flask in.

Hollywood will make something that they think is profitable, regardless of how far off canon it is. We see it weekly in the CW adaptations of The Secret Circle and The Vampire Diaries (originally young adult novels by L.J. Smith). Watching the Harry Potter movies can sometimes kick you right in the head because the House Elf storyline is missing.

Typically, the first thing that draws you in to a fandom is the thing that you clutch desperately to. In a way, that is your fandom stuffed animal. When it feels like someone is trying to pull it away from you, you lash out because you like it the way it is. I mean, yeah… The button eyes are a little loose and the fabric has been worn from years of hugging and you may have retired it to a shelf in your room… But the moment that someone tries to take it away from you, you will scream and scream until you fall asleep.

I don’t think I’ll be seeing the new TMNT, even though I love explosions. I like my turtles as they were – mutated and educated by a giant rat.

Read 2 comments

  1. I totally agree. I’m not gonna see that new TMNT. It’s just not right.

    I also really only remember the first Transformer movie he made. I thought it was cool, but I’m so easily distracted by explosions that I shouldn’t be used as a gauge haha.

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