Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artist says “there’s a lot I would change” about 2014 design

Chris Tilly

A creature designer who worked on the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie has tweeted that he would “do them differently today.”

The 2014 take on the Turtles – produced by Michael Bay, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, and starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and William Fichtner – was a hit, making more than three times its budget at the box office.

But the film was also criticized regarding the look of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themsleves, who were brought to life using computer-generated imagery.

The Toronto Star claimed they looked “as grotesque as a Terry Gilliam cartoon” while Variety said “the push toward a more photorealist design has led to strangely off-putting and unapproachable results.”

What Devon Sawa said about the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Turtles designer Jared Krichevsky was responding to a tweet by actor Devon Sawa, who is no stranger to CGI having appeared in the 1995 movie Caspar.

The tweet featured a picture of a 2014 Turtle with a mouth similar to a Turtle from the live-action 1990 movie, above which Sawa wrote: “Someone on the Internet did a huge fix. Don’t know who, but wow.”

Krichevsky responded to that Tweet with a reference to the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog movie, where the character was redesigned following a negative reaction to his appearance in an early trailer.

“Welp, time to relive this time in my life over again,” Krichevsky wrote. “Nowadays this would have been Sonic’d so fast it woulda blast me into an alternate dimension.”

Designer says he would do Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles “differently today”

Krichevsky then expressed regret at how his Turtles turned out, Tweeting: “I know I would do them differently today, there’s a lot I would change, but at the time, it was a dream job and it was awesome. Maybe, one day, I’ll get to redeem myself with the TMNT.”

He also wrote of the toll that criticism took on him personally: “Seeing the negative reaction was… lets say, not good for my mental health, I was much closer to it than I should have been, and it being my first BIG IP that I dreamed of working on since a kid, it was well… devastating. I’ve learned since then to keep up that emotional wall.”

This iteration of the Turtles got their own sequel however, via 2016’s Out of the Shadows. While Jared Krichevsky has thrived in the sector, working as concept artist on the likes of Wonder Woman, Stranger Things, and the forthcoming Avatar: The Way of Water.