Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blast from the Past #387: Mar. 23, 2004: Re: TMNT - 72 Outline AND Mar. 24, 2004: Re: TMNT - 74 and 75 Premises

Mar. 23, 2004: Re: TMNT - 72 Outline

From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 72 outline.

1.) Re: the following:

"We WIPE to the finish line, where Nitro and his Navigator come in first, with #23 narrowly passing the others with a full burn that drains the gel-packs, giving them a second place finish.

Enroute to the next planet, BASFORNIA, Methania repairs the damaged bike, the bent gyros, the sprung stabilizers – it’s amazing they got second, let alone even finished the race.  She replaces the gel-packs, but they’re out of spares.  No more full burns – or they’re finished. "

I'm not sure about this "full burn" and "gel-packs" stuff -- what does it mean, exactly? Seems like gobbledygook.

2.) There is a lot of stuff taken from various chapters of the three PLANET RACERS graphic novels, and while it's nice to see them referenced, I'd rather see NEW stuff for the racing scenarios. In other words, let's set this in the world of PLANET RACERS but not abuse the continuity of the graphic novels.

3.) I could KIND OF buy the racing commissioner, Tangent Morrey, using some kind of sound wave gizmo to agitate the beasts, but having him detonate a "tidal wave bomb" in the Malkrill Sea is just WAY over the top.

4.) The character of Tripper Nitro is totally NOT as it should be -- this guy would NEVER help Godman and Raph in ANY way under ANY circumstances.

5.) The bit where they balance on the rear wheel on the "very tip" of a sloped rock while they wait for the tidal wave to subside is just GOOFY.

6.) I think this episode's climax should be Raph and Godman Falcon winning one race.

7.) In a curious -- and unfortunate -- coincidence, this episode's outline has arrived right in the middle of a two week vacation that Jim Lawson (PLANET RACERS co-creator)  is taking in New Zealand, and I don't feel completely comfortable making decisions about this story without his input. I'm not sure that there is a way to get in touch with him, but I will try. If I can't, this is going to have to wait until he gets home.

-- Pete


Mar. 24, 2004: Re: TMNT - 74 and 75 Premises

From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on these two premises:

notes on Ep. 74 premise

1.) Re: the following:

"Lying on the ground dazed and confused, Leo hears the sound of laughter!  “In all the known universe there is only one swordsman I have encountered who fights with such honor… and yet can make such a novice mistake <CHUCKLE>!”

I would take out the "In all the known universe" part -- if you think about it, it really makes no sense.

2.) This has to be perhaps the least-formed premise I have seen to date -- there is a LOT of stuff needed to flesh this story out. I think it would really help if we could get Stan to aid us in coming up with an adventure plot which would be a real "Usagi Yojimbo"-type tale, incorporating some of Stan's favorite UY characters.
With this in mind, the whole "princess being held by bandits and attacked by ninjas" adventure which is VERY briefly mentioned just seems kind of dull and generic. I would really like to get as much as possible of the unique flavor of Stan's UY comics into this episode.
For example, one type of scene which is seen often in UY takes place when in his wanderings, Usagi comes to a town or village and needs to find a place to eat and sleep, and it's usually in some humble inn, where he very often will encounter some new characters and possibly peril. We should definitely have at least one scene set in one of these places, and I think much fun could be had with Leo's reactions to Usagi's world -- the "people", food, customs, etc..
One recent run of UY had Usagi wandering the countryside with young Jotaro, who is actually Usagi's son... but Jotaro doesn't know that, and refers to Usagi as "Uncle Usagi". Jotaro is a young, impetuous but good-hearted boy (I think around ten or twelve years old, but I could be wrong), and I think his interactions with Leo could be a lot of fun.


Comments on Ep. 75 premise

1.) Re: the following:

"With Gyoji’s help (he summons up a scrying window), Leo is able to locate each of his brothers.  They see Mikey with his superhero friends (as he was in Episode 71 just before he fades away)!  They see Raph being offered to join the racing team on the Planet Racers world (in Episode 72).  They see Don just as the triumphant Shredder is about to run him through (as in Episode 73)!  Using the WarStaff, Leo is able to transport them all directly to the chamber he and Usagi and the Gyoji are in!  "

Why does this seem clunky, cheesy, and just plain WRONG to me? DO we REALLY need all four Turtles in the BattleNexus to resolve this episode's plot? Why can't we just keep it Usagi and Leo? And while I think the idea that Ultimate Drako has disguised himself as the Gyogi is cool, it doesn't make much sense that he would want all four Turtles in the BattleNexus -- I thought his punishment (and it seemed like a damn good one) was to send them off to individual exile in different dimensions, never to be reunited.
I would prefer it if the reunion of the Turtles takes place back in their lair and is the result of the Daimyo's power (after the final battle with the evil Ultimate Drako). Actually, I wonder if it would be useful to bring into this mix an unexpected element -- Lord Simultaneous! He could be trying to get back the Sands of Time Scepter, and after much hard work has tracked Ultimate Drako (and the Scepter) to the BattleNexus. His appearance could be what turns the tide of battle in favor of our good guys. 

2.) I'm not 100% sure that it's the best idea to destroy Ultimate Drako. Could Ultimate Ninja be saved? Could there be a moment of redemption for Ultimate Ninja, where he at the last minute realizes the error of his evil ways and does something to help save the Daimyo? The idea that just occurred to me is that perhaps at a key moment -- perhaps through the efforts of the Ultimate Ninja half of Ultimate Drako --  the WarStaff and the Sacred Sands of Time Scepter somehow work AGAINST each other and the effect of the unleashed power is to SEPARATE the two halves of Ultimate Drako, allowing us to save Ultimate Ninja and destroy Drako (or save him too, for a future story).
Maybe the moment of truth comes when the part of Ultimate Drako that is the Ultimate Ninja realizes to his horror that while he (Ultimate Ninja) always craved power in the BattleNexus, the power his father the Daimyo commanded, Drako only wants destruction, corruption, and despair. Perhaps Ultimate Ninja sees that the only way to save the BattleNexus (and the Daimyo) is to sacrifice himself, and with that final (?) selfless act, he redeems himself... and the Daimyo has his son back... a son reborn.

-- Pete


  1. The third TMNT video game (based on the 4Kids series) includes this storyline, but Leo travels somewhere else instead of to Usagi's world. Do you know why that change was made?

  2. "Jeff Jacobson said...
    The third TMNT video game (based on the 4Kids series) includes this storyline, but Leo travels somewhere else instead of to Usagi's world. Do you know why that change was made?"

    I don't, actually. Perhaps it had something to do with rights to Usagi Yojimbo...? Maybe it would be a good idea to ask Stan Sakai if he remembers. -- PL

  3. I'm impressed and a little surprised at the level of feedback you provided (or "were allowed to provide") in the 4Kids TMNT series. I can only imagine it must have been much less frustrating than dealing with the Fred Wolf crew on the original cartoon.

    Or maybe not - I bet you were much, much busier in the Fred Wolf days once the full onset of Turtlemania hit...

  4. "Miserable Dreamer said...
    I'm impressed"

    Thank you!

    " and a little surprised at the level of feedback you provided (or "were allowed to provide") in the 4Kids TMNT series."

    Hmm... why "surprised"? I'm curious.

    "I can only imagine it must have been much less frustrating than dealing with the Fred Wolf crew on the original cartoon."

    The two experiences were, as they say, "night and day". It wasn't that Kevin and I didn't WANT to provide significant input on the old show -- we were ready and able to do that. But very quickly -- in fact, I would say after the first five episodes were produced -- it became clear that our input wasn't wanted.

    On the 4Kids show, I was treated with respect from day one, and consequently had a much more enjoyable and profitable experience for the whole -- what, eight years? In fact, of the few things about the TMNT experience that I could say that I miss, one of them was working with Lloyd and the crew on those shows.

    "Or maybe not - I bet you were much, much busier in the Fred Wolf days once the full onset of Turtlemania hit..."

    It is true that we were busier during the first "go 'round" -- but NOT so busy that we couldn't have found time to participate in the crafting of that series. But in a way, looking back at what that series became, I am kind of glad I CAN'T say I was very involved in it. -- PL

  5. Thanks for the response!

    I think I was surprised both at the amount of serious, thoughtful input you had to offer, and at 4Kids asking for the input. I guess at the time TMNT was yours, so you were calling the shots - maybe it's not so surprising after all.

    I guess I think of things like the Smurfs cartoon, or Superfriends, or He-Man, or The Real Ghostbusters, where the property's creators didn't have much input (either they didn't care, or they weren't around, or the cartoon studio said "thanks but no thanks").

    Either way, it's cool to see the thought and back-and-forth process behind the scenes of the 4Kids show. Thanks for the posts!

  6. Wow, this was one of my favorite episodes. The redemption at the end was what made this story line magical to me. Good input!!!

  7. I'm pleased with the way both series turned out. Of course little nitpicks and directions,but pleased overall.

    I can see where they altered the conclusion and it turned out much better with your suggestion IMHO. Its cool how a little suggestion can change the whole outcome even influence future continuity.