There were a few things that shaped my childhood and ‘The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT)’ was one of them!
Thanks to the turtles I spent a good portion of my early years attending taekwondo classes, drawing endless amounts of ninja turtles (which led to my passion for art, leading to the study of animation design at university) and jumping from sofa to sofa practicing flying side kicks which ultimately led to a deep passion for martial arts and combat sports (although I must say, Bruce Lee movies played a major role in this too).
I was hooked on the animated T.V series that came out in the late 80’s (known as ‘The Teenage Mutant ‘Hero’ Turtles’ in the UK back then, due to the ex-Prime Minister good ol’ Maggie Thatcher coming to the conclusion that kids shouldn’t hear the word ‘ninja’ ! … wtf).
Why Did the Ninja Turtles Have Such an Impact on Me?
Let’s see… Four brother’s all very different, yet closely bonded with each other by love and respect. Brought into a world that doesn’t really understand them, they come across multiple problems and dilemmas yet the good in them always triumphs over the evil around.
TMNT infuses the importance of brotherhood, honour, education, triumph and fun all in one. I would say that these are all pretty good lessons for a kid growing up don’t you think?
The new TMNT Movie has just been released in the UK, and I’m excited as a cat living with a mice breeder!I can’t wait to watch it…
Although TMNT is just an animation originally created from the comic’s, there are lessons to be learned for everyone, even us adults in today’s society. So let’s take a look at each turtle and the lessons we can learn from them!
Leonardo a.k.a Leo
Leo is the oldest out of the four brothers and is the leader of the pack. Leo’s key characteristics are;
- And he has amazing will power
We can all take a page out of Leo’s book in life. Sometimes there will be friends, family and even strangers that will be down and misguided in life. It takes a personality like Leo to help and guide people through the hard times in life.
Leo shows great bravery and almost sacrifices his life for the life of his younger brothers twice. This selflessness is rare in todays world.
Leo is the devout student of their sensei Master Splinter. He implies and learns all he can from his elder mentor. This gives Leo his wise mentality. If we learn from experiences of our elders we too will also develop wise knowledge and understanding which can help and support us, and the people around us.
People that raise others self-esteem, guide and give honest advice, support and empower others will always be needed in this world. With a strong leader, you can be sure that people will always find a way out of the hard times that life throws at us. Some people say leaders are born; I believe the opposite to be true.
I believe leaders are made and shaped by environment and experience. Everyone has it in them to be a Leo, more Leo’s are needed in our world today than ever before! So Leo up a bit!
Raphael a.k.a Raph
Raph is the Bad boy of the team. He is a straight up brawler! He doesn’t take no s*** and is quick to use his impulses. Some key characteristics of Raph are;
- Up front
Raph can often be somewhat rebellious. Raph is sometimes quick to anger however he is ferociously protective over his brothers and friends. If someone he loves is in need of help, you can bet Raph will be there guns blazing.
There is a lot to admire about his character because no one is perfect and we all have our defects like Raph.
There are times when we all feel a bit lost sometimes, like Raph; and we need to know that it’s normal. Raph is constantly working on his feelings, this is something that we can all do a little more.
At times we can get too placid in life. This can result in being pushed around and being taken for a ride by others. We need to have some fire within us to stand up for ourselves.
In life, having the ability to say no is just as important as being able to say yes. Sometimes we need to be able to make quick decisions without thinking too much about them. At times we need a bit of Raph in us!
Donatello a.k.a Donnie
Donnie is the most intelligent out of the turtles. He is portrayed as being a bit nerdy. Donnie is constantly inventing and learning new things. Some characteristics of Donnie are;
- Problem solver
Donnie is always on the hunt for learning new things. He is a thinker and a problem solver. We can all do with a bit of Donnie in us. By constantly learning and thinking we are able to better our lives and the lives of people around us.
Knowledge has no limit and the more we know the better. Sometimes we let problems build up in life without thinking about them. If we took the time to sit and think, we would most likely come up with ways around the problems we face.
Being good at problem solving is a very useful skill we can use in our lives. Learning and growing as individuals is something we should all be doing!
Michelangelo a.k.a Mikey
Mikey is the youngest out of the brothers and is always joking around. His hobbies include video games, comic’s and he loves pizza more than any other living individual! Mikey is;
- full of energy
- easy going
As we grow up we can get a bit too serious. Some of us forget to have fun. Everyone can learn from Mikey. Life should involve having fun. I believe you should enjoy the things you do, otherwise what’s the point in doing them? As Gary Vaynerchuk once said;
Too many people are in jobs they hate, when they could be just as broke doing something they loved.
We all need to let loose now and then and enjoy life.
You know what the strangest thing is? Some people think you have to have money, new cars, houses, or be on vacation somewhere to enjoy life. Now don’t get wrong, having money may help you experience more to life, but ‘money’ itself won’t make you happy.
What makes you happy is the feeling money gives you. This may be feelings of security or freedom. This you can get without money. This is seen in many poor countries where the people that live there are happy and have the biggest smile on their faces and then you see wealthier people wearing frowns and looking very stressed.
The true pleasures in life are free. Love, friendship, happiness, laughter these do not cost anything. We can all be happy, it’s a matter of understanding what makes us happy.
So take a page out of Mikey’s book and ease up a little. Learn to have fun, kick back, laugh, love and enjoy life because as far as we know we only get one!
What Animation/Movie Defined Your Childhood?
I hope the new TMNT movies good! I’m glad that they’ve carried on for all this time and when I look at the morals embedded in the characters I can understand why it will be popular for many more years to come. Even us adults can learn a thing or two from them.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one animated T.V series from my childhood that I’ll never forget.
What was yours, and what did you learn from it? You can leave your comment in the section below.