Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blast from the Past #642: January 16, 2004: Re: FW: TMNT - 062 ext outline

(Well, it looks like this will be the last of the posts here on my TMNT blog featuring the email exchanges I had with Lloyd Goldfine and a few of the other folks at 4Kids during the development of the animated TMNT TV series which started airing in 2003. I suppose it's possible I might dig up a few more, but I'd say it's pretty unlikely. I hope those of you who have read these have enjoyed this look behind the scenes of the making of that series. -- PL)

Subj: Re: FW: TMNT - 062 ext outline
Date: Friday, January 16, 2004 11:36:43 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Just read the revised extended outline for Ep. 62 ("Survivalist Skills"), and it's GREATLY improved. I have only a few comments, as follows. 

1.) If the apples that Mike and Raph shot at get "split in half", how do they stay "nailed" to the tree? Also, is there a good reason why BOTH Raph and Mike are shooting at the same time, instead of one at a time? And I want to get a "William Tell" quip in there at some point.

2.) When we go to the scene of Skonk and his pals gathered in their HQ, I thought it would be a good thing to show the dune buggy that Don and Raph eventually steal, somewhere in the background -- either in the garage or parked outside.
Also, in that scene, I don't see the need for this:

"He points to various tabloids with fuzzy photos, reading off headlines that describe events that will be familiar to viewers of our series.  Substitute the word "Turtles" for the word "Aliens" and they're remarkably accurate."

It's kind of weird -- is the point that these fuzzy photos are actually OF the Turtles? If so, why? There should be plenty of perfectly clear photos of the Trcieraton/Federation alien invasion force available to the media, and Skonk and company are certainly the sort who, upon seeing the Turtles, would draw the "strange creature = alien" conclusion.

3.) Re: the following:

"Ma Jones dodges as April angrily throws peeled apples at her and asserts herself."

This is way too slapsticky, I don't think April would do it, and it also undermines her success in Casey's Mom's "trials". I would rather see her make a brief gesture which IMPLIES that she would like nothing better than to bean Mom with an apple... but she controls that urge and POLITELY (but firmly) asserts herself to Mom... and then in fact does what Mom has asked her to do (make the apple cider).
This "trials of April" thing CAN be really fun, but I think it will take some clever crafting and timing on our part(s) when we get to script stage to make it fly. I think a key thing to keep in mind is that this whole interaction is also a way to get deeper into who April is (as well as Casey and his Mom, who I think will reappear at some point in the future). I want to be careful to not make Casey's Mom look like a loon... but a tough, clever, slightly eccentric woman who loves her son.

4.) Where do Don and Raph get the ShellCel headsets they use in the pursuit of the truck? And do they really need them?

5.) I think it would work better -- and be more satisfying in regard to April's relationship to Casey's Mom -- if there is a moment in that penultimate scene when Mom surprises April by praising her, which allows April to begin to warm up to her (I really don't think we should leave this episode with April thinking Mom hates her).

I could see it working something like this: Casey returns with the groceries. He finds April in the kitchen working on a mound of dirty dishes (remnants of pie and cider making). He asks her how things are going with Mom... April responds glumly that it seems that no matter what she does, Mom doesn't like her. At that moment, Mom appears with a piece of fresh-baked apple pie and a glass of chilled apple cider (actually, I guess at this point in time it would just be apple juice? Does cider need to age?) for April. She gives April the juice, tells her to sit down and enjoy it -- after all, she made it and it was hard work! -- and "Don't worry about those dishes -- Arnold will take care of 'em." And the pie wouldn't exist without her efforts, either. April, stunned, stammers out a "T-thanks, Mrs. Jones..." and Mom gives her a little pat on the shoulder and says "Call me Mom, dear." We see a little smile on April's face.

Mom then tells Casey to follow her outside to do something (get something from the barn? the car? whatever), and then the scene follows pretty much as already laid out.

-- Pete


  1. Why was Skonk changed from a black guy in the comics, to a white guy in the show?

  2. Thanks Peter....I have enjoyed reading them very much! What is next for this blog....if anything?

  3. Yeah! Thanks for posting all of these. I discovered this blog early this year and have read every post you put up. Do you have production notes or similar correspondence for any of the other shows or movies you might've dealt with that you'd be at liberty to and would feel like posting?

    Bottom line: even with Kevin writing the new comics, I feel like your TMNT blog is the last vestige of the Ninja Turtles Of olde. Keep posting when you feel like it and I for one can say that I'll faithfully keep reading!

  4. I agree with everyone - thanks for posting this stuff. If you have any artwork - toy designs, character model sheets, whatever - that has not been posted here yet, we'd love to see it.

  5. It was amazing reading these blog posts and I'm very thankful that you put all of those online :) Thank you, Mr. Laird!

  6. These have always been fun to read so thank you for sharing.

  7. I have really enjoyed these posts also! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for shaping the 2003 series in the best way (and just for ninja turtles!)

  8. Moms basically knows mostly everything. How Mrs. Jones figured it out about Leo and Master Splinter?