Young Ninja Turtles

This week The League is feeling young–which I guess isn’t very surprising for a blogging group where the majority of us are over 30 and still play with toys, but that’s beside the point. In the spirit of Young Indiana Jones, Young Frankenstein and Young Guns, we were given the ultra fun task of coming up with a concept for a “Young” prequel or series based on an existing property. Naturally I chose the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I know what some of you regular readers are probably thinking right now: Yes, it's another post about Ninja Turtles and you will fucking like it.

Look, I don’t want to hear it. It’s my blog and I do what I want.

Doing what I want.

Dancing Ninja Turtle




And yes, I’m well aware that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are, in fact, teenagers, which means they’re already pretty young. But in my prequel they’d be even younger.

  • Preteenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Nope, not young enough.
  • Tweenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Still not young enough.
  • Baby Mutant Not-Yet-Ninja Turtles? Way too young.
  • Toddler Mutant Ninja Turtles? Just the right amount of young.

If “Toddler Turtles” is sounding familiar, it’s probably because there were a few episodes of the 4Kids TMNT cartoon from 2003 that introduced the concept (as well as the most adorable TMNT toys ever made). Flashback episode “The Lesson” from the third season gives us a fun glimpse into what the Turtles’ childhoods were like as they help a young Casey Jones overcome his trouble with bullies.

Young Leo helps Casey Jones.

We also get to see Splinter training the young turtle tots to be ninja:

Splinter Teaching

Turtles Balancing

Young Mikey & Donnie Sparring

The Turtles getting into all kinds of mischief:

Turtles Hiding

Mikey & Donnie Mischief

Raph & Leo Get Away with it

Going topside for the first time:

Turtles Topside

Turtles Alley

And of course, discovering pizza:

Toddler Turtles Eating Pizza


We get to see the Turtles as babies or unmutated turtles in almost every iteration of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but rarely do we get to see them as toddlers or young children. The problem is, Toddler Turtles only appear in a couple of episodes of the 4Kids cartoon, which is a shame because this could easily be a standalone show or even a comic book series–perhaps something like Muppet Babies, except Splinter wouldn’t just be a pair of green-striped stockings (although now that I’m thinking about it, that’d be pretty entertaining).


There’s so much potential for interesting stories at this age, like how the Turtles and Splinter acquire things like furniture, electronics, and food over time, gradually transforming their sewer lair into a home. I want to see young Donatello becoming a geek and using a computer for the first time. I want to know where Raphael gets his temper from. I want to see how the young Turtles react and interact with the world and how it is they’ve come to know so much about it by the time they’re teenagers. How did they come to choose their weapons (because I don’t like this explanation)? I could go on and on.

Rather than water down the “teenage” and “ninja” aspects to make the franchise suitable for kids, why not develop a whole show around the pre-teenage, not-quite-ninjas-yet Turtles? Not only would it help fill in the blanks for some of the burning questions TMNT fans have always had about the Turtles’ early years, but it would be fun, kid-friendly, and most importantly, insanely cute.

“YOLO!” and other retarded things young people say these days.

Wondering what this is all about? This week The League of Extraordinary Bloggers was assigned with developing a “Young ____” series or prequel like Young Indiana Jones or Young Frankenstein. Here’s what my homies in the League posted:

  • Rediscover the 80s hazards a guess at what Young Dukes of Hazzard would be like. (See what I did there?)
  • Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks wants to see young Monsters vs. Aliens because why not?
  • Q the Adult has never seen Young Sherlock Holmes (for shame!) but totally makes up for it by being a fellow Harry Potter fan.