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4Kids pulls the plug on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode

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Peter Laird's concept art of the conjoined twins who are Hun and the Garbage Man.

The 2003 animated reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, produced by 4Kids Entertainment, was well known for it's more edgy and darker storytelling, especially compared to the original. However, an episode from Season 5, known as Nightmares Recycled, was axed by 4Kids, deeming to be unsuitable for young audiences. This outraged many fans for the fact that the show had some episodes that were much darker than this one.

Plot & Background Information

The basic plot of the episode involves Raphael, Donatello, Casey Jones, and April O'Neil encountering the Garbageman (a minor villain who appeared in only two other episodes). They are taken to the Garbageman's Recycle World and later encounter Hun... who isn't thrilled to reveal that he and the Garbageman were once conjoined twins. According to the script, Hun eventually hired a shady back-alley surgeon to separate them, after which he threw Garbageman - the smaller, much weaker twin - into a dumpster, quite literally discarding him as 'garbage'.

Animation of the episode had begun by the time the plug was pulled. 4Kids considered the subject matter much too intense for a children's program. TMNT franchise co-creator Peter Laird later also criticized the script on his blog, in particular Hun's utterly callous rejection of his brother, and offered a more sympathetic scenario (the post is now inaccessible, although his suggested changes to the script have been summarized elsewhere). An attempt to rewrite the script in line with Laird's suggestions ultimately failed, and the episode was scrapped for good. While plot summaries are available, the script of the episode has never been released.

Why They Made An Awesome Decision… Not!

  1. This is just another one of 4Kids Entertainment’s usual antics of making things "family friendly", which not only comes off as unnecessary, but is a huge letdown to fans of the show. Let alone, another example of executive meddling.
  2. When you think about it, 4Kids appears to have double standards for what they've done as mentioned above, since they aired other episodes even darker than this with more gruesome scenes than this, like season 4's "Insane in the Membrane".
  3. On top of that, it disappointed many fans because of its interesting storyline, which it could've been nice to see what Hun's backstory is apart from the fact that he was known for killing Casey's family.



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