“They’ve Turned It Into ‘The Little Mermaid'”, Twitter Attacks ‘Ninja Turtles’ Ahead of New Trailer

in Movies & TV

April O'Neil in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer

Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

The latest TMNT reboot is being compared to The Little Mermaid (2023)…

These days, it’s almost impossible to have a film that doesn’t create a whirlwind of controversy. Enter almost anything from Disney of the live-action remake variety, with this year’s The Little Mermaid taking backlash to a whole new level.

Many fans of the classic 1989 animated film were quick to lambast the reboot well over a year ago when it was announced that African-American actress Halle Bailey would be slipping into the fin of everyone’s favorite little mermaid Ariel.

Live-action 'Little Mermaid' shot
Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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Since then, every single one of the trailers for the film have come under fire, triggering the same response from these groups of people over and over. The film is “woke”, “go woke, go broke”, “that’s not my Ariel”, or “you’ve ruined my childhood”, and so on. You get the idea.

The Little Mermaid is currently making a splash at the box office, and though Disney can hardly justify its existence (rebooting any animated classic is just lazy), criticizing the fact that its central character is now played by an actor of color is ridiculous and unwarranted.

Halle Bailey executing the iconic Little Mermaid hair flip
Credit: Walt Disney Studios

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Sadly, The Little Mermaid wasn’t the first, and it certainly won’t be the last. Earlier this year, when the first trailer for the upcoming TMNT reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) premiered, many wasted no time in taking to Twitter to complain.

Most will agree that the film actually looks pretty exciting — for the first time in TMNT history, the “awesome foursome” will each be portrayed by actual teenagers, while the film adopts a similar animation style to Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).

Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

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But what really caught the attention of some is the fact that the Ninja Turtles’ friend April O’Neil, who is portrayed as African-American in the film, and is also portrayed by African-American actress Ayo Edebiri.

Many took to Twitter not only to criticize the decision to have an actor of color play the iconic character, but also to give her a somewhat larger frame, with many, along with several YouTubers with large platforms, shamelessly and recklessly describing her as “fat as sh*t” and “ugly”.

April O'Neil in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ Blows Negative Expectations Out of the Water

As a result, some threatened to review-bomb the TMNT reboot when it’s released this summer. What a sad time we live in when a film studio, or filmmakers, can’t cast an actor of color to play a well-known character without their project being bombarded with hateful comments.

Now, a brand-new trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is ready to emerge from the New York City sewers, which Paramount Pictures has confirmed will drop today. For now, though, check out the first trailer below:

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We’re sure you agree that the new TMNT reboot looks pretty awesome. While it looks just as the title suggests — full of “mutant mayhem” — producer Seth Rogen has previously said that there will actually be a huge emphasis on the “teenage aspects” of the characters.

Director Jeff Rowe also compared the film to Stephen King’s Stand By Me, describing it as a “coming-of-age” story “but with mutants”. Unfortunately, though, not everyone is happy, and fans continue to throw shade at the film for, you know, “destroying their childhood”.

Bebop and Rocksteady in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ Flounders at the International Box Office

One Twitter user, @Dantromp_, who has replied to the official TMNT Twitter account‘s announcement that the new trailer will drop today, believes that the film has “ruined April O’Neil forever”, while also comparing it to The Little Mermaid.

Check out the full tweet below:

It’s a shame that @Sethrogen and @PointGrey have ruined April O’Neil forever with their new movie they’ve turned it into #TheLittleMermaid. As a mega fan of franchise I’m angry with them as I was looking forward to seeing this movie. Thank you @@EricDJuly for doing this video. youtu.be/fxH8M9TQEXc.

They also include a link to a YouTube video titled “No, April O’Neil was NOT originally black”. The discourse that followed the original Mutant Mayhem trailer saw many fans claim that April is African-American in the original Mirage comic books from the ’80s, while others argued that she wasn’t.

Splinter in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

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Fortunately, those responding to the tweet don’t seem to have a problem with April being Black. One says, “Pretty sure everyone else loves this character”, while another challenges the user with “What’s ruined about her?”

Pretty sure everyone else loves this character

What’s ruined about her?

The upcoming film has also seemingly changed the genders of a few mutant characters such as Leatherhead and Cynthia Utrom (a version of Krang), who will be voiced by Rose Byrne and Maya Rudolph. It’ll be interesting to see the response to the upcoming trailer should it feature any of those characters.

Meanwhile, Seth Rogen voices mutant warthog Bebop, alongside John Cena’s mutant rhino Rocksteady. However, there’s one iconic villain who won’t be returning to the fold, and that’s The Shredder/Oroku Saki.

Michelangelo in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: Which ‘Ninja Turtles’ Characters Have Been Gender-Swapped In the Reboot?

Mutant Mayhem is the seventh theatrical TMNT movie. It follows Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), TMNT (2007), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).

As per Wikipedia, here’s the official synopsis:

After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtles set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a notorious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.

Raph, Donnie, and Mikey in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem trailer
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: Is the New ‘Ninja Turtles’ Film Canon With Any of the Previous Installments?

Mutant Mayhem stars Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Micah Abbey (Donatello), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), Brady Noon (Raphael), Jackie Chan (Splinter), Ayo Edebiri (April O’Neil), Seth Rogen (Bebop), John Cena (Rocksteady), Hannibal Buress (Genghis Frog), Rose Byrne (Leatherhead), Ice Cube (Superfly), Post Malone (Ray Fillet), Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Maya Rudolph (Cynthia Utrom), Natasia Demetriou (Wingnut), and Giancarlo Esposito (Baxter Stockman).

Mutant Mayhem (2023) will now be released in theaters on August 2, 2023.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem poster
Credit: Paramount Animation / Nickelodeon Movies (via YouTube)

Related: ‘Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’ Full Characters and Cast Guide

What do you think of the backlash to Mutant Mayhem? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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