Hi & welcome to my entry for April O’ Neil Is Awesome. Â For my entry, Â I am looking at the 2012 incarnation of April O’ Neil. Â I’ve done this once before when I did a Greatest Fictional Characters on this version of April but Â I wanted to do a more in depth on this take of the character and more in line with my style.
Mae Whitman Â is awesome Â in this role Â 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. Â Â Rose in American Dragon: Â Jake Long, Â Tinker Bell. Â And there are many others but Â of course, Â the one that all of you know her from is from another Nicktoon. Â Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
And she was also recently in the teen comedy, The Duff. Â Apparently, Â this stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Â And Mae Whitman was cast in this role?
I have to say really? Â Â She’s not that bad looking. Â That’s besides the point as Mae Whitman Â was brought on to voice this take of April Â 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, Â it worked well. Â Â Whitman brings Â the right balance of youthful energy and eagerness to learn.
We Â first see Â April Â 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. Â Oh, Â and it happens to take place in front of the Second Time Around Antique Store. Â Â Which Â 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. Â But alas, they are not successful in that area and April has to move in with her aunt. Â Â Though, Â this is just one of many hardships that April will face throughout the show.
While Mae Whitman’s April Â does Â have elements from her older counterparts, Â there is enough to make this 16 year old stand out. Â The show makes it clear that the only people, she’s comfortable around are the Turtles and Casey Jones. Â (Also a teen in this version) Â She didn’t have many other friends for the longest time. Well, there was Irma but Â then she was revealed to be Kranng Subprime Â and well, Â when you hear the voice of Gilbert Gottfired coming out of this thing, that ends Â the friendship. Â Oh, and he attacked April Â and the Turtles in the Turtle’s Â lair.
Another Â aspect Â that really Â comes Â through with her character is how her training with Master Splinter has made her a stronger character. Â Master Splinter has been training her in the way ofÂ kunoichi. Â Which Â just means female ninja. Â What I find Â truly fascinating here is that even by looking at the intros of season 1 and season 3, you can see how Â April has changed.
In the intro Â of the first two seasons, Â April was just sitting in a tire swing while the boys got to have all the fun. Â This always Â disappointed me because this April to me always seemed like more than a side character. Thankfully, Â in the updated seasons three intro, this problem was rectified.
In the new intro, Â you see her training alongside Master Splinter. Â And while this may seem small, Â this is important to me because Â it shows that April is considered a part of the team. I’ll touch on this a little more below but that is Â one of the biggest things, Â I’ve noticed in this new series, Casey and April aren’t just allies, Â their teammates. Â I can’t remember Â if Â this was confirmed or not but I always took Â April’s number 5 jersey to Â be a visual metaphor for Â her place on the team.
Relationship With The Turtles
As Â I mentioned up top, Â April’s Â relationship with the Â Turtles Â is Â that of a teammate Â but I want to take Â it another step further and say that it’s more that Â of a sister living with teenage brothers. Â There is a very sibling esque interaction between April and the Turtles. Â You can tell that she truly cares for them Â but Â also Â isn’t Â afraid to show her anger, when they’ve messed up such as accidentally mutating her dad into Â a bat-like creature.
Yeah, Â this Â kind Â of stuff can sever a relationship and it Â did for a while. Â After this happened, Â April Â went Â a few weeks where she never wanted to see the Turtles again. Thankfully though, Â Donnie Â is able to use the Retro-Mutagen to turn him back into a human. Â Ah, speaking of Donatello Â or Â as Andre from Â Black Nerd Comedy says Â Smooth Donatello. Â Â Donnie Â in this series Â has the biggest crush on April. Â And well, look I like the guy but it’s never gonna work out. Â Especially Â now that Casey has entered the picture Â and for a while, there they Â had Â a competition between the two but thankfully that has died down. Â Â And to paraphrase Â Princess Jasmine…
She Â is not a prize to be won
Though that Â hasn’t Â stopped the Apriltello Â shippers.
And well, the show Â did give them fuel Â because Â April Â did kiss Donnie Â in an episode of the show, while they were still on her family’s farm after leaving the now Kraang invaded New York.
And Â look I’m Â not against Â shipping Â as I’m Â a diehard Captain Swan shipper Â but just Â because April and Donnie are my favorite characters on this show, that doesn’t mean I want to see them together. Â The only ship I’m interested in between the two of them is friendship. Â Â I mean Â going off-topic a bit here but the first issue Â of Â IDW’s Â Teenage Â Mutant Â Ninja Turtles Â 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 Â did I think,
Y’know, they’d Â make a cute couple
And you know why Â because Â just like Â Spike and Rarity on Â My Little Pony, Â it’s a one way crush. Â Just as Spike Â has feelings for Miss Rarity, Â Donnie has feelings for April but April doesn’t Â feel the same way. Â And Donnie, thankfully over time has learned this lesson. Â Though comic, did you seriously have to use the April gets kidnapped trope? Â This Â show Â 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 Â isn’t Â just my Â favorite Â character on this show but Â I would argue Â that she’s Â my Â favorite character from any version of TMNT. Â Mae Whitman’s April is a strong minded, Â if a little hot-tempered young lady that is growing up alongside the Turtles and learning as they go. Â 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, Â that’s Â a different kind of relationship and Casey’s just useless). Â Â I’ve enjoyed these three seasons of watching April grow up Â and become a more confident fighter. Â I know Â most people, when they hear the name April O’ Neil will think of this.
But Â I don’t. Â (Though, Â would Â it have killed them to maybe have work for her school newspaper. They got the science Â in there as an homage for her scientist background. I’m just saying) Â When Â I think Â of April, Â I think of a tough young woman in her teens that Â since Â the Turtles Â have entered her life Â has Â gained more confidence Â in herself Â and as a character that is continually growing and has become a more skilled fighter and a better person because Â of the things that she has been through. Â Seriously, Â if you watch this show, Â you’ll see that April Â has gone through Hell and back numerous times. Â Â This reminds me of somethingÂ that Megan Fox said in an interview Â about Â the new Ninja Turtles movie before that came out. Â
â€œA 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, â€˜Why would a tiny journalist be able to kick so much ass?â€™ So that got cut.â€
This quote made me so angry, the first time I saw it knowing that Â this new movie was from Nick, the same channel that airs the current TMNT cartoon because Â if Nick Â could have Â an April Â that was a strong character and did get to partake in some fight scenes, Â why Â couldn’t you do the same for the new Â movie April? Â April Â in the new movie is what Â made me the angriest. Â I don’t even mind the design of the Turtles… that much. Â But I’m not covering Megan Fox’s April. Â I’ll still have the good April from Nick to enjoy and count among one of my favorite characters of all time. Â Â Let me know what you think of Mae Whitman’s April, if you’ve seen the 2012 series. Â And if not, you really should watch it. Â Peace!