Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel at New York Comic Con was filled to near-capacity Friday afternoon with enthusastic fans that started dancing to the DJ and pre-panel moderator with give aways and dance contests as well. One featured a contest between a Ghostbuster and a Shredder, with the Ghostbuster winning.
The panel then started with the moderator introducing Megan Casey, VP of Current Series at Nickelodeon who thanked the audience. "The team who works on the show works very hard to give you the best show possible so thank you so much." She introduced Executive Producer Ciro Nieli, head writer, and Executive Producer Brandon Auman. Soon after, Eric Bauza, voice of Tiger Claw, took the stage and spoke Japanese in Claw's voice.
Rob Paulsen was next and recieved quite the ovation and spoke to the fans. "Boy, you guys sure have great tastes in Turtles."
Greg Cipes, voice of Mikey, took the stage next and greeted the audience with a "Booyakasha!" Finally, Seth Green, the new voice of Leo took the stage to an even louder ovation. Green greeted the audience with a simple "What's up, New York?"
Casey talked to Green first as this is his first panel as a turtle and asked how was it to see yourself as the character. "Surreal", Green said. "I was such a spaz as a kid, so I related more to Mikey, but never imagined playing Leo. The serious role, the leader, but an absolute privilege to take on."
Casey then talked about the creation of Tiger Claw. "We wanted a cat character to eventually fight our rat character, Splinter," said Nieli. "We went through all the voices, and Bauza was one of our favorites; we wanted him to be Shredder originally. Tiger Claw is such a favorite of ours and to have Bauza play him, we're just thrilled."
We were shown the fight scene between Tiger Claw and Splinter from the series.
Casey asked if Bauza spoke Japanese? Bauza quickly responded, "None!" He went on to say the difficulties he had with it. "It took weeks and a couple of sessions to get it just right, but it is an honor to just be on the show and to be a new character. Thanks for making him such a popular villain."
Casey next asked Auman and Nieli about the finale of season 2. Nieli responded, "One thing I wanted to do was pay service to the Leo story of the tenth issue of the Mirage series, where they confront Shredder. They're actually at April's place and it gets burned down. We wanted to do that stuff and to have Leo alone and fighting all the Foot by himself."
Next clip was one of Irma becoming Krang Sub-Prime. "I was more shocked that Gilbert Godfried was living inside a teenage girl," quipped Neili. "She was cute until her head popped off", Cipes said.
Casey mentioned how they are going to be "serving up some love for Mikey as Renet is coming". They were disappointed they couldn't bring up Sean Astin this weekend as he's "an amazing father" says Cipes. "He's the next President of the United States" which sparked a "Rudy" chant.
Casey then turned to Rob about voicing Raphael since Astin wasn't there. "I get another ride in the Turtlevan. It's so nice to see people who are wearing their old school Turtle stuff and they share the whole Turtle fandom with their kids and sometimes grandkids. I am just out of my mind and it's such a joy to do this."
Casey requested him to do a Donny vs Raph scene where Paulsen acts out a scenario between the two. Paulsen then acted out all the Turtles except with Leo being voiced as George Takai. "I don't know what the hell that was about, but that killed about two minutes,” he said to laughs.
The crowd was next shown sneak peeks of season 3, starting with a bank robbery. Showing Casey Jones and introducing Hun (who was a character in the 2003 series) in the series whose character is an homage to Bruce Lee in his design and aesthetics.
They have the Turtles go into the woods to go on a spirit quest to find themselves again. The showed another peek, though it was still in storyboard form that showed the Turtles fighting the Foot as well as a Razar and other enemies in spirit form. They featured the Turtles having new designs and elemental powers. A great fight scene all around!
Casey showed more concept art that's like a 60's racing episode as well as a 3D model of Speed Demon Donnie and Paulsen said "That's kinda bitchin'."
Another clip of the origins of Rocksteady and Bebop becoming mutants. It almost is out of a mob movie. "You can can stop emailing us about bringing Bebop and Rocksteady to the show because they're coming," Nieli said.
Green was asked by Casey about his memories of Bebop and Rocksteady. "They're just silly and incompetent."
Nieli then showed an entire episode that will air Oct 17th, as it's their sort of Halloween episode that features Renae Jacobs, the original voice of April O'Neil as a role. It was a great episode that showcased there might be more to a Kraang invasion and more mutants on the way.
Andrea Romano, casting and voice director extraordinaire made an appearance after the episode. "That is a beautiful cartoon and that [episode] was scary as hell."
Time for Q and A! First fan asked about why Seth Green was a good choice for playing Leo. Neili responded with how they tested a few more people, but shortly realized that Green was the best choice.
Then a question for Cipes about being Mikey and Iron Fist on Ultimate Spider-Man and the different approaches. "Danny Rand is more of my natural self and Mikey is the child that lays within me."
Last question, the fan thanked them for the homages in the series. How did you come up with the "booyakasha" chant instead of the standard "cowabunga"? "It was this magical day and I just busted it out one day. It's weird to think that people are screaming booyakasha". Nieli thanked the panel for being great fans and they promoted the video game coming soon.