At least one Ninja Turtle is paying attention.

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I never did get around to detailing my thoughts on the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I did discuss it a fair amount with my friends, and the single biggest complaint I had was that it never slowed down. It was a frenetic and frenzied blitz from start to finish, never really allowing itself to breathe or let its best assets (its characters) marinate in your mind.

That’s actually a big reason why I feel the original Turtles movie (1990) was – and remains – so great. It wasn’t a movie with nonstop action, worried that dialog might bore the audience. It has a strong sense of deliberate pacing, which allowed the four brothers to appropriately display their differing personalities and show off the ways in which they interacted with one another.

So I was delightfully surprised by a comment from Jeremy Howard, who plays the role of Donatello in the newest Turtles flick, that indicated he felt the same way. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Howard said, “I’d love to see more interaction with the Turtles, more quiet moments where we get to see how they think and what makes them tick.”

Considering I wasn’t really a fan of much of anything in 2014’s TMNT, this is a promising thought from someone directly involved. It doesn’t mean that’s what we’ll get, but at least someone’s acknowledged it.

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Concerning Turtles

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So, understanding that I’m nearly 26 years old, and that I’m probably the only one among my friends (as geeky as some of you are) who watches Nickelodeon’s ongoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, it’s probably safe to assume few of you saw the most recent episode.

But if you did, you might have caught a pretty cool little nod to the fans who are old enough and cognizant enough to get the reference.

The Turtles were gearing up to do some LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) and Mikey is trying to convince Raph to play along with them. Sean Astin, who most of you will recognize as Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings, does the voice of Raphael.

The conversation went like this:

Donatello: “Cool! Sounds like fun!”

Raphael: “Sounds like stupid… Count me out.”

Michelangelo: “C’mon, Raph, if you play with us, I’ll let you wear my +1 Ring of Awesome.”

Raphael: “Forget it. I don’t do rings.”

So, considering what we know about Samwise’s experience with rings, I think it’s safe to assume this was an intentional wink at TMNT fans who are also fans of the LOTR movies.