Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

TMNT Writers Think April O’Neil Needs To Be Ugly

By Baiting Irrelevance Aug7,2023
April O'NeilApril O'Neil

The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie is out, and April O’Neil is stealing the show. Unfortunately, it is not for the reasons you might think. Since it was announced that Seth Rogan would be working on an all-new movie, fans of this long-standing IP have been worried. By now, most are aware of the changes the show has decided to make. The most contentious change for the show was April O’Neil. Writers and designers are putting a new spin on her, bewildering many fans. This topic is always very contested, with people split down the middle.

On the one side, you have fans who are upset with the changes; on the other, you have those who believe the redesign is fine. The obvious elephant in the room is that April went from a red-headed white girl to a black girl. For this movie, they decided to do the classic race swap. My opinions on race-swapping have always been consistent. If the story remains good, I can learn to live with it. I do not hate race or sex swapping; I hate bad writing. Often, writers with no talent fail to generate hype for their work. This is because they are not very good.

TMNT Writers Think April O'Neil Needs To Be Ugly
TMNT Writers Think April O’Neil Needs To Be Ugly

To garner attention, they make controversial decisions that capture the headlines. When there is eventual blowback, they call everyone bigots. The question is, do the changes made to April O’Neil hinder the story? This question is complicated, considering how well the movie is rated. Both critics and fans praise the film online, giving it over 90% on rotten tomatoes. Considering these high scores, we must ask ourselves if people genuinely care.

The Redesign Of April O’Neil

First, we must examine the redesign before considering the divided opinions regarding April O’Neil. The designer for this movie spoke out regarding the changes on Twitter and showcased a few ideas. From the start, it is clear that the showrunners had a specific vision for April. They made her shorter, scrappier, and a lot less attractive. It is that last part that is causing the most controversy. On the one side, you have those who argue that her looks do not matter. They state that this is a cartoon character, and thus it is weird that you must find her attractive.

The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series Sparks Outrage
The New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series Sparks Outrage

Some state that she is only a teenager, and thus sexualizing her is weird. Others argue that she is an adult in most series and movies. Therefore being attractive should not be an issue. It should also be noted that attractiveness is not sexualization. If, by this point, you are uncomfortable with the direction this argument is headed in, you are not alone. Ultimately, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is for kids; thus, this should not be a debate. The truth is that most adults will not be watching this movie. It is not meant for them.

However, it should be pointed out that April’s attractiveness is not the issue here. Instead, it is her design overhaul that is making people upset. Despite my opinions, most people do not like drastic changes to classic IPs they grew up watching. Even if they do not watch the reboot, as they might have outgrown the series, many will focus on the principle of the matter. You might disagree with this mentality, but most are sick of reboots that have nothing to do with the original. Not that this movie is an example of that.

Why Does April O’Neil Need To be Redesigned

The creators behind the rebooted Teenage Ninja Mutant Ninja Turtles series are apparent in their motives. They state that April O’Neil needed redesigned to make her more relatable and grounded in the real world. What part of April was not grounded in the real world is unclear. Although they want to make her more relatable, they do not specify what made her previously unrelatable. She has always been a fan favorite; thus, I am still determining what they mean. They are free to do so if they want to make the changes.

Why Does April O'Neil Need To be Redesigned
Why Does April O’Neil Need To be Redesigned

However, the reason provided needs to make more sense. The only conclusion I can draw from that statement is that skinny women with breasts are not relatable. In their quest for inclusion, they are busy with other rising women naturally built like this. Once again, they can highlight any body type they want. This is a children’s cartoon; thus, this conversation should not even be a topic of discussion. However, you make it a matter of debate when drastically overhauling a beloved character. When you make statements such as she needs to be more relatable, you are making all of this matter.

The traits that they list are all personality based. If you wanted her to be more grounded, you would have focused on her character, not her design. This is not the reason you are doing this. You went out of your way to completely overhaul her, which was done for only one reason. You needed the media attention that comes along with making these changes. No one would have known about this reboot if it was not for this issue.

The Argument From Both Sides

I am not a fan of playing both sides of any argument. I will once again make my opinion clear. Race swapping does not bother me as much as it does other people. I am primarily focused on the story. If that is good, it does not bother me. I am also a fan of allowing new audiences to choose what their characters look like. I grew up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No one can ever take the original away from me. Thus if you want to make changes for the new generation of viewers, you are free to do so. I will not watch it if I dislike the changes and rewatch the original.

The Argument From Both Sides
The Argument From Both Sides

However, I will not pretend these changes are made for noble reasons. You know what you are doing when you do this. You are trying to provoke an emotional response. Once people respond, you get on your high horse and pretend that people are perves or bigots, which is why they dislike the changes. I am willing to be more lenient in the case of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There is a straightforward reason for this.

Those who watched this movie seem to genuinely enjoy it. Too many times, people do these things to make up for lousy writing; in this case, that might not be true. The end goal is to ensure that people enjoy your product. If you manage to achieve that, then your work is complete. I am still determining how this movie will affect numbers, but the early signs are positive. The budget for this movie is hefty at $70 million. However, current box office numbers have them exceeding expectations.


The movie will likely break even at $43.1 million in its five-day opening. However, based on current box office trends, they might even make a profit to warrant a second movie. It is still early days, but thus far, most are enjoying their experience. The fact that the film competes against giants like Barbie and Oppenheimer makes their success at the box office even more impressive. They do have big names, such as Jackie Chan, John Cena, and Mr. Beast, carrying the film. Ultimately, only time will tell what the future holds for the new April O’Neil and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


What is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT)?Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a media franchise created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, originating as a comic book series and expanding into various forms of entertainment.
Who are the main characters in TMNT?The main characters, often called the “Turtles,” are Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, humanoid turtles trained in ninjitsu by their rat sensei, Splinter.
What is the origin story of TMNT?The Turtles were mutated by exposure to radioactive ooze. Splinter, a pet rat, also mutated and became their mentor. They fight crime in New York City while concealing their identities.
When did TMNT first appear?TMNT debuted in Mirage Studios’ comic book in May 1984 and quickly gained popularity, leading to an animated TV series in 1987.
What are the various adaptations of TMNT?TMNT has multiple adaptations, including comic books, animated TV series (1987, 2003, 2012, and 2018), live-action movies, video games, and a recent CGI animated film.
What are some popular TMNT catchphrases?Popular catchphrases include “Cowabunga!” and “Heroes in a half shell, turtle power!”
Who are the primary antagonists in TMNT?Main antagonists include The Shredder, leader of the Foot Clan, and enemies like Krang, Baxter Stockman, and the Foot Soldiers.
Frequently Asked Questions

Table Of Information

Full NameApril O’Neil
First Appearance“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comic book (Mirage Studios, May 1984)
OccupationJournalist, various roles depending on the TMNT adaptation
Role in TMNTTypically serves as a close ally and friend to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT)
Personality TraitsIntelligent, resourceful, determined, often portrayed as a strong-willed character
Relationship with TMNTDifferent actresses have portrayed April O’Neil in live-action and animated adaptations.
Different AdaptationsAppears in various TMNT adaptations, including animated TV series, comics, and movies
Portrayals in MediaDepending on the adaptation, April may have skills in journalism, martial arts, or technology.
Skills and AbilitiesFrequently associated with the color yellow, often wears a yellow jumpsuit or clothing.
Signature TraitsFrequently associated with the color yellow, often wears a yellow jumpsuit or clothing
Character EvolutionMay have different backstories and roles across TMNT adaptations, showcasing character evolution
Cultural ImpactAn iconic character in TMNT lore, contributing to the franchise’s popularity
April O’Neil

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9 thoughts on “TMNT Writers Think April O’Neil Needs To Be Ugly”
  1. Um, some things you should be aware of.
    1. The original TMNT Comics April O’Neil was based off of Kevin Eastman’s girlfriend at the time, April Fisher. April Fisher was a woman of mixed race, so the REAL race swap started in TMNT 1987. They just made her white. And she was white until Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the TMNT iteration just before this one. 1987 did a lot of things, such as color coding the turtles, (originally, they all just had red headbands) introducing Bebop and Rocksteady, and making the turtles love pizza.
    2. To understand any of the design in this movie in the first place, you must understand the title of the franchise. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. Emphasis on teenage. That’s why they cast teens to voice the turtles. It was so they’d feel more in the range of 13-15, making the film feel more fun, and a lot more youthful. This also applies to April. April is a teenage girl who aspires to be a reporter. Keep that in mind, TEENAGE GIRL.
    3. The art style of Mutant Mayhem is not grounded in reality. It’s based off of middle school notebook drawings. However, their humans and their body proportions for that matter, ARE. April didn’t “Need to be ugly.” She needed to be real. April’s body looks perfectly fine. I’m sorry you can’t get off to April O’Neil anymore. I’m sorry that every single time a change is made in the name of representation, your mind jumps to the conclusion of the creators being social justice warriors. But that’s just not the truth. The truth is, we’re starting to live in a world in which stories of people from all walks of life can be told.

  2. Hey there are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own.
    Do you need any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

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