32 Ninja Turtles Facts: Your Kids Will Love Reading This!

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 12, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Dec 29, 2021
Discover all about Ninja Turtles' facts here at Kidadl.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

The 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is probably one of the most loved cartoon series, adored by kids and adults alike.

People born in the '90s are sure to remember the famous animated series. The mutant turtles are adapted from the comic books published by Archie Comics.

The comic series is based on a family of four turtles, each of which is a mutant. The four anthropomorphic turtle brothers are the heroes of this series. The four brothers are trained in ninjutsu to fight evil and protect the city of New York. The gang is led by Leonardo, the oldest brother.

The TMNT franchise was created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, two comic book authors of American descent, in 1983. Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman birthed the idea of a comic series about a family of turtles with turtle power elements as a parody of famous superhero powers.

Laird and Eastman founded Mirage studios in 1984, and the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue was published independently. The comic book turned out to be a huge success. Kevin Eastman originally intended for turtles to be a single issue, but due to the positive response from the public, particularly the youth, the entire franchise came into the picture.

The second commercial success of the teenage mutant hero turtles was an animated series. This made way for one of the most popular comics to hit the big screen, and the first movie about the Ninja Turtles came out in 1990.

If you enjoyed reading this article, why not head over and discover cartoon facts, and why do cartoons have four fingers here at Kidadl.

Ninja Turtles' Merchandise

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles merchandise is pretty popular among kids and adults.

From Ninja Turtle shells' backpacks to toys to half-shell ninja hero t-shirts to watches and coffee cups, TMNT fans can't get enough of their favorite universe. This love for the Ninja-verse is driving huge sales!

After its first comic book issue, the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' franchise was a big success. This motivated Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman to promote the turtle brothers further.

After the grand success of the first issue, Lair and Eastman sold the TMNT character license to Playmates Toys. They launched the first line of 'Ninja Turtles' action figurines, which became the third-most-popular action figure series in the world, behind G.I. Joe and Star Wars.

Following the grand commercial success of the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', a second issue of the Ninja Turtles comic and an animated TMNT series were proposed. The first animated series appeared in 1987 and ran for almost a decade on television.

Three live-action movies came out in the '90s, the first film being the highest-grossing independent film up to that point. In 2009, the Ninja Turtles universe was sold off to a subsidiary of Viacom, Nickelodeon, which funded the further production of the Turtle franchise.

The original 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie pitched the idea of starring voice actors Sam Kinison, Billy Crystal, and Bobcat Goldthwait, amongst others.

The most recent turtle movie, based on the Mirage comics, came out in 2016. It was the sequel to the 2014 movie, produced by Michael Bay, which was the first movie in the reboot series and the fifth theatrical Ninja Turtles movie overall in the entire franchise.

The film features famous artists, including Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo and Tohoru Masamune as the Shredder, the main villain in the movie.

Actress Megan Fox, who plays April O'Neil, a reporter for Channel 6, remarked in an interview that she had grown up a big TMNT fan, and her role as April O'Neil was a 'dream come true.'

The comic books published by Archie Comics

Ninja Turtles' History

The Turtle Brothers franchise started out as a small idea.

One night, Eastman went out with his friend Laird for a night. The two came up with a humorous drawing of a mutant turtle, inspired by the ninjas of Daredevil.

The character had ninjutsu powers-a parody of Daredevil-who used them to fight evil in New York City. The idea struck a chord between the two, and the pair went brainstorming. Soon, the entire idea of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' came into the picture.

Other characters were inspired by random everyday objects. For instance, Laird got inspired when he put his hand on a cheese grater while doing household chores. The cheese grater birthed the idea and the appearance of Shredder, the main villain of the mutant brothers.

The duo gave the brothers names of Italian Renaissance artists (Leonardo for Leonardo Da Vinci, then Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo), giving the brothers an additional quirk.

Some other characters, including Splinter, the sensei of the turtle brothers, are also inspired by the Daredevil characters.

With the help of money from a tax refund and a loan from Kevin Eastman's uncle, the duo launched Mirage Studios and self-published the first issue of the Turtles with much anticipation. The issue turned out to be a huge commercial success.

This made way for a licensing deal with Playmates Toys, which launched the first line of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' action figurines.

The rights to the Turtles were later sold to Nickelodeon, who further expanded the franchise.

Ninja Turtles' Characters

Here is some more interesting information for you on the Ninja Turtles characters.

Leonardo (Leo): The oldest brother and the leader of the group, is the most disciplined of the lot. He is portrayed wearing a blue bandana and fighting with two katanas. He is named after the Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci.

Raphael (Raph): The second in age and the strongest and most reckless of the four, he is often at odds with his older brother. He wears a pair of Sai and is spotted wearing a red bandana. He is named after the Italian artist of the same name.

Donatello (Don): The third in age and the second in command, uses his intellect to invent gadgets and vehicles. He wields a Bo staff and adorns a purple bandana. He is Peter Laird's favorite turtle and is named after the Italian sculptor Donatello.

Michelangelo (Mike): The youngest amongst the four. He is the least disciplined and the most fun-loving brother.

Although he is most naturally skilled, he prefers not to train like the others and has a childish nature. He sports a pair of nunchucks (a grappling hook in some versions) and an orange bandana. He is named after the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Splinter: The adoptive father and trainer of the turtles, taught them the art of ninjutsu. He is a mutated martial artist named Yoshi (in some versions, he was Yoshi's rat that got mutated).

Shredder: The primary nemesis of the mutant brothers in the TMNT franchise. He leads an organization of criminal ninjas. He allies with many other villains to fight off the Turtles.

April O'Neil: A news reporter and a genius computer programmer, is shown as a human ally of the mutant brothers and often helps them out. She is played by Megan Fox in the 2014 and 2016 films.

Ninja Turtles' Television Series

The TMNT series came to television for the first time in 1997 under the name Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. This live-action version is often considered a continuation of the animated series. 'Mutant Turtles: Superman Legend' is another fiction series based on the same books.

The series also incorporated many new elements into the series, including a fifth turtle. Venus, a female turtle, is often regarded as the fifth member of the gang. She is skilled in the mystical arts and wears a light blue bandana. The brothers also feature in a cross-over episode with power rangers, helping them fight in space.

The show stars famous artists of the time, which increases its popularity. Leonardo is voiced by Michael Dobson. Raphael is voiced by Matt Hill. Donatello is voiced by Jason Gray-Stanford. Michelangelo is voiced by Kirby Marrow.

Shredder is voiced by Doug Parker in this series. He was originally voiced by James Avery, who is famous for his role as Phillip Banks, or Uncle Phil, in 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air'.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is one of the few comic books which has taken over people from different generations with their movies and animated series. The evolution and adaptation of the franchise, along with the generations, prove its relevance to even the youngsters of today. The show and movies are a must-watch.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Ninja Turtles facts, then why not take a look at what breed is Scooby-Doo, or fun Tom and Jerry facts!

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
Read full bio >