These Animated Clone Shows Are Inspired by “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”

Although frequently replicated, our favourite superheroes in a half-shell have never been equaled the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

  • Teenage protagonists were turned into enormous shark-like hybrids in Street Sharks, an effort to duplicate the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • In the Street Sharks offshoot Extreme Dinosaurs, extraterrestrial dinosaurs who had undergone genetic enhancements battled the Raptors, who were their ultimate foes.
  • Battletoads, designed to compete with TMNT’s success, became well-known for its challenging gameplay and aggressive marketing strategy. It even got a revival and its own line of action figures.

Over time, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have established themselves as a genuine phenomenon. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem movie, which is being released this month by Paramount Pictures, is the latest adaptation of the characters from the Mirage Comics original series by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. But the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series from 1987 is the one that most people remember. It not only propelled the Turtles into the spotlight of popular culture, but it also had an impact on other Turtles adaptations, like as the 1990 live-action movie.

An explosion of animated programmes followed the popularity of the first season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The TMNT franchise has had a significant impact on mainstream culture, much like Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Star Wars did before it. It therefore comes as no surprise that several animation companies have begun producing a number of programmes featuring numerous anthropomorphic animal vigilantes. Some of these programmes were able to develop their own lives. Others shamelessly attempted to copy the TMNT formula, but they were unsuccessful. These shows have succeeded in establishing themselves, whatever the motivations behind their creation.

‘Street Sharks’ and ‘Extreme Dinosaurs’ Nearly Rivalled ‘TMNT’s Success

Street Sharks was the cartoon that most closely resembled the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But the ways in which it strove to diverge from its inspiration were what distinguished it from its forerunner. The Sharks were teenagers that were converted into enormous shark-like hybrids, as opposed to the Turtles, which were creatures that underwent nuclear mutagenization to become teens. The Sharks could actually tear through concrete and gnaw through steel, leaving a swath of destruction in their way; the Turtles were expert fighters who used their ninja talents to elude capture. The Sharks preferred hamburgers and hot dogs over pizza, although the Turtles adored it. But much like the Turtles, the Sharks were selling gold as they produced a queue.

In the latter half of its run, Street Sharks incorporated a race of extraterrestrial dinosaurs known as the “Dino Vengers.” Due to the popularity of these characters, a spinoff series called Extreme Dinosaurs was created featuring dinosaurs that had undergone genetic augmentation to become soldiers. The Extreme Dinosaurs battled their ferocious adversaries, the Raptors, after rocketing to Earth. Extreme Dinosaurs, unlike Street Sharks, had just one season, however Mattel also produced a line of action figures for it.

‘Battletoads’ Is a Complete Plagiarization of ‘TMNT’

The Turtles weren’t the first human-like green creatures to gain popularity in the 1990s. One of the most well-known video games of the Nintendo period, Battletoads, was developed especially to counter the growing appeal of Heroes in a Half-Shell. Three enormous frogs that had superhuman strength engaged extraterrestrial adversaries in combat. Similar to the Turtles’ cosmic adversary Krang, the aforementioned extraterrestrial enemies are from another realm. The advertising effort for Battletoads, however, was what truly drove home the point; print ads boldly said that the game made “Turtles feel like pond scum.”

Due to its challenging gameplay and unique premise, Battletoads immediately became famous. It has since spawned two sequels and even partnered with Double Dragon. A meta remake with the Battletoads trying to restore their old glory was released in 2020. Battletoads would get its own line of action figures, similar to TMNT. Following the popularity of Street Sharks, DIC even had ideas for an animated series, but it was never developed past the pilot stage.

It Was Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Watching “Cowboys of Moo Mesa”

Wild West C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa must win the award for “strangest series inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The basic notion is absurd enough: a huge comet hit Earth in the late 19th century, leaving behind a huge mesa. The radiation from the comet soaked the whole mesa, causing all of the animals to mutate into human-like forms. This eventually resulted in a functioning community, and with that society arose the C.O.W.-Boys, three anthropomorphic cows who utilised their gun-toting and lasso-wielding prowess to deliver justice to the town of Moo Mesa. Marshal Moo Montana served as the leader of these C.O.W. (Code of the West) peacekeepers, who also included the Dakota Dude and the Cowlorado Kid.

As one might anticipate, Moo Mesa was somewhat eccentric. A significant portion of that may be attributed to the fact that Moo Mesa creator Ryan Brown actually worked on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, where his knowledge there obviously translated to the show’s huge variety of animal characters. The C.O.W. Boys feel like unique characters rather than Turtle clones, demonstrating Brown’s ability to set his series apart from the competition. Even though it was only broadcast for two seasons, Moo Mesa was the subject of an Archie Comics comic book series, a computer game, and an ongoing cult following.

‘Bucky O’Hare’ Is What ‘Star Wars’ and ‘TMNT’ Gave Us

However, Moo Mesa wasn’t the only cartoon programme to give the TMNT concept an extraterrestrial twist. Like the heroes in a half-shell, Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars! began as a comic book by Micronauts artist Michael Golden and G.I. Joe writer Larry Hama. The eponymous rabbit in the comic book engages in combat with the Toad Empire’s armies. As with Moo Mesa, Bucky and his pals were a part of the S.P.A.C.E. (Sentient Protoplasm Against Colonial Encroachment) peacekeeping group. The fact that Bucky was a roguish hero with a golden heart in the mould of Han Solo was another nod to Star Wars.

Despite being well-liked, the animated series was only produced for one season. In spite of this, Bucky went on to appear in other Konami video games and even had his own line of action figures. Prior to his demise, renowned comic book artist Neal Adams would also contribute to a number of Bucky O’Hare projects, including a cinematic version.

Leave a Comment