There are a lot of things that irked loyal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans about the impending reboot. Michael Bay’s take on another beloved ’80s franchise, Transformers, left many irritated or downright outraged, so his involvement on TMNT sent up a red flag for many. (Even though he’s only producing via his Platinum Dunes shingle.) An early script leak was resoundingly negative, and suggested the Turtles were being turned into space aliens, not mutants. Even though the recent trailer revealed that the Heroes in a Half Shell were back to being mutants, there was still one major problem, and it was as plain as the noses on the Turtles faces. Actually, it was the noses on their faces. Thankfully the Internet soon rode to the rescue, and you can see the results above and below.
The worst part was the nostrils, which gave the redesigned Turtles a creepy, freakish look that was at best distracting, and at worst downright awful. I mean, I realize they were probably going for a more “realistic” look — as realistic as you can get with enormous mutated bipedal turtles, anyway — and the Turtles have gotta breathe, so they need nostrils. But the original design from the comics by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird had opted for a simplified, stylized look that ignored that particular aspect of anatomy, and that “no nose” look has been carried forward throughout the ensuing cartoons, movies, and whatnot. So even though it’s a small change, it’s a jarring one.
An as-yet-unidentified genius decided to right a great wrong, and after a bit of Photoshop surgery, we got a far, far less creepy version of the Turtles. It’s not perfect, mind you, because the classic look, while an improvement, still doesn’t look quite right against the rest of the redesigned Turtles’ bodies. Because of that, the anonymous Photoshopper also created a third version for the image of Leonardo below. Called the “improved fan version,” it’s a middle ground between the two extremes, giving Leo a slightly more-pronounced snout but removing the nostrils. In the images below, the “classic” look is on the top, the new movie’s version on the bottom, and the “improved fan version” in the middle.
Frankly, even without the nostrils many fans have been complaining on GFR and elsewhere about the other changes made to the Turtles’ looks, from Leo’s Venetian-blind chestguard to Donatello’s overly busy gadget accessories. Still, I definitely think the Photoshopped version is an improvement.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is due out in theaters on August 8 (although there have been rumors of delays and major reshoots). Here’s the trailer to see the redesigned Turtles in action.