Hi & welcome to my entry for April O’ Neil Is Awesome.   For my entry,  I am looking at the 2012 incarnation of April O’ Neil.  I’ve done this once before when I did a Greatest Fictional Characters on this version of April but  I wanted to do a more in depth on this take of the character and more in line with my style.




Voice Actress



Mae Whitman













Mae Whitman  is awesome  in this role  and out of all the characters that I’ve heard her voice over the years, this is perhaps my favorite character of hers. For a quick rundown, here are some of the other characters that she has played.    Rose in American Dragon:  Jake Long,  Tinker Bell.  And there are many others but  of course,  the one that all of you know her from is from another Nicktoon.   Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender.




tinker bell









And she was also recently in the teen comedy, The Duff.   Apparently,  this stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend.   And Mae Whitman was cast in this role?



Mae Whitman Duff








I have to say really?    She’s not that bad looking.  That’s besides the point as Mae Whitman  was brought on to voice this take of April  because of a mandate from Nick that April needed to be a teenager because I thought it would be too weird to have an adult hanging out with teens. At first, I was against this because I thought it was dumb but I wanted to see how the show would play this out. And lo and behold,  it worked well.    Whitman brings  the right balance of youthful energy and eagerness to learn.



First Appearance



We  first see  April  in the pilot episode, Rise of The Turtles as the heroes in a half shell their first steps above ground. And it’s here we get our first glimpse of April as her and her father, Kirby are being attacked by The Kranng.  Oh,  and it happens to take place in front of the Second Time Around Antique Store.    Which  here unlike other versions is called Second Time About.











The Turtles are trying to stop The Kranng because they are trying to kidnap April’s father, Kirby.  But alas, they are not successful in that area and April has to move in with her aunt.     Though,  this is just one of many hardships that April will face throughout the show.





While Mae Whitman’s April  does  have elements from her older counterparts,   there is enough to make this 16 year old stand out.   The show makes it clear that the only people, she’s comfortable around are the Turtles and Casey Jones.  (Also a teen in this version)  She didn’t have many other friends for the longest time. Well, there was Irma but  then she was revealed to be Kranng Subprime  and well,  when you hear the voice of Gilbert Gottfired coming out of this thing, that ends  the friendship.  Oh, and he attacked April  and the Turtles in the Turtle’s  lair.













Another  aspect  that really  comes  through with her character is how her training with Master Splinter has made her a stronger character.  Master Splinter has been training her in the way of kunoichi.  Which  just means female ninja.   What I find  truly fascinating here is that even by looking at the intros of season 1 and season 3, you can see how  April has changed.












In the intro  of the first two seasons,  April was just sitting in a tire swing while the boys got to have all the fun.  This always  disappointed me because this April to me always seemed like more than a side character. Thankfully,  in the updated seasons three intro, this problem was rectified.











In the new intro,  you see her training alongside Master Splinter.   And while this may seem small,  this is important to me because  it shows that April is considered a part of the team. I’ll touch on this a little more below but that is  one of the biggest things,  I’ve noticed in this new series, Casey and April aren’t just allies,  their teammates.  I can’t remember  if  this was confirmed or not but I always took  April’s number 5 jersey to  be a visual metaphor for  her place on the team.



A better team member than Venus De Milo
A better team member than Venus De Milo














Relationship With The Turtles



As  I mentioned up top,  April’s  relationship with the  Turtles  is  that of a teammate  but I want to take  it another step further and say that it’s more that  of a sister living with teenage brothers.   There is a very sibling esque interaction between April and the Turtles.  You can tell that she truly cares for them  but  also  isn’t  afraid to show her anger, when they’ve messed up such as accidentally mutating her dad into  a bat-like creature.









Yeah,  this  kind  of stuff can sever a relationship and it  did for a while.   After this happened,   April  went  a few weeks where she never wanted to see the Turtles again. Thankfully though,  Donnie  is able to use the Retro-Mutagen to turn him back into a human.  Ah, speaking of Donatello  or  as Andre from   Black Nerd Comedy says  Smooth Donatello.   Donnie  in this series  has the biggest crush on April.   And well, look I like the guy but it’s never gonna work out.   Especially  now that Casey has entered the picture  and for a while, there they  had  a competition between the two but thankfully that has died down.    And to paraphrase  Princess Jasmine…



She  is not a prize to be won



Though that  hasn’t  stopped the Apriltello  shippers.



I am neither for or against Apriltello.  I remain neutral.
I don’t hold the beliefs of this picture













And well, the show  did give them fuel  because  April  did kiss Donnie  in an episode of the show, while they were still on her family’s farm after leaving the now Kraang invaded New York.


April kissing Donnie







And  look I’m  not against  shipping  as I’m  a diehard Captain Swan shipper  but just  because April and Donnie are my favorite characters on this show, that doesn’t mean I want to see them together.   The only ship I’m interested in between the two of them is friendship.     I mean  going off-topic a bit here but the first issue  of  IDW’s   Teenage  Mutant  Ninja Turtles  New Animated Adventures (the tie-in comic to the Nick show) was all about April and Donnie going on a mission and never once while reading it  did I think,


Y’know, they’d  make a cute couple





Donnie and April











And you know why  because  just like  Spike and Rarity on  My Little Pony,  it’s a one way crush.  Just as Spike  has feelings for Miss Rarity,  Donnie has feelings for April but April doesn’t  feel the same way.  And Donnie, thankfully over time has learned this lesson.  Though comic, did you seriously have to use the April gets kidnapped trope?   This  show  has been a little better than that to April but I can’t say the same for their other female character.


My Final Thoughts On Mae Whitman’s April


April  isn’t  just my  favorite  character on this show but  I would argue  that she’s  my  favorite character from any version of TMNT.  Mae Whitman’s April is a strong minded,  if a little hot-tempered young lady that is growing up alongside the Turtles and learning as they go.   Even through all of the ups and downs that she has been through with her teammates that she looks to as brothers (Except for Casey,  that’s  a different kind of relationship and Casey’s just useless).    I’ve enjoyed these three seasons of watching April grow up  and become a more confident fighter.   I know  most people, when they hear the name April O’ Neil will think of this.


april_oneil '80s












But  I don’t.  (Though,  would  it have killed them to maybe have work for her school newspaper. They got the science  in there as an homage for her scientist background. I’m just saying)   When  I think  of April,  I think of a tough young woman in her teens that  since  the Turtles  have entered her life  has  gained more confidence  in herself   and as a character that is continually growing and has become a more skilled fighter and a better person because  of the things that she has been through.  Seriously,  if you watch this show,  you’ll see that April  has gone through Hell and back numerous times.    This reminds me of something  that Megan Fox said in an interview  about  the new Ninja Turtles movie before that came out.  

“A lot of girl power ended up on the cutting room floor, unfortunately. I had a really awesome scene where I was fighting The Foot Clan, but I think they were like, ‘Why would a tiny journalist be able to kick so much ass?’ So that got cut.”


This quote made me so angry, the first time I saw it knowing that  this new movie was from Nick, the same channel that airs the current TMNT cartoon because  if Nick  could have  an April  that was a strong character and did get to partake in some fight scenes,  why  couldn’t you do the same for the new  movie April?   April  in the new movie is what  made me the angriest.  I don’t even mind the design of the Turtles… that much.  But I’m not covering Megan Fox’s April.  I’ll still have the good April from Nick to enjoy and count among one of my favorite characters of all time.    Let me know what you think of Mae Whitman’s April, if you’ve seen the 2012 series.  And if not, you really should watch it.   Peace!



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