Ninja Turtles Vs. Baby-Sitter’s Club:
When Is Michael Bay going to make a Baby-Sitter’s Club Movie?
A few years ago my husband told me about what I thought was an article from the pop culture-ish website Cracked.com about how all people’s personalities can be defined the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I will refer to them from here on as TMNT. You might remember the TMNT. They are the comic book heroes turned 80’s and 90’s cartoon, turned recent movie reboot. They are four teenage turtles were trained by an anthropomorphic rat in the art of ninjutsu who fight criminals and the like and live in the sewers. They are named after four Renaissance Artists. Their names are Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo.
I watched the Teenage Mutent Ninja Turtles when I came home for a year or two in late elementary school. It was the hot show when I was in 5th grade. I liked watching the cartoon but I could be described as a casual fan. I probably watched it because it was on the only channel that had cartoons on at 4pm. I say casual fan because I enjoyed it but if it went away I probably would not have been that upset.
I did not remember the lyrics to the TMNT theme song so my husband reminded me of them.
Here are some of the lyrics from the theme song courtesy of Turtlepedia:
Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (That’s a fact, Jack!),
Raphael is cool but rude (Gimme a break!), Michelangelo is a party dude (Party!)
Our TMNT conversation continued. My husband said that according to Cracked.com every person’s personality was represented by one of the turtles. He told me that he is a Donatello because he likes working with gadgets and data. Then he told me that I am a Raphael because I am fun but sometimes I have an attitude. I am okay with this accessment, I can’t deny the truth. [One thing though: I just want to point out that Raphael is the only member of the team who has a negative personality attribute in his description.]
So I went about life for a while believing I was a turtle. I took it for granted that I was a turtle. Perhaps the turtle test is not as scientific as the Myers-Briggs personality test but maybe Cracked.com was right.
Then last week I started listening to a podcast about the Baby-Sitter’s Club. It is actually called “The Baby-Sitters Club Club”. In this podcast two adult men, one who read the books initially as a youth and the other who just read the book for the first time, discuss the books of the Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin in chronological order. What I loved about this podcast was that the hosts discussed the books with the depth and careful reading of students in a college literature class.
I also loved the subject matter. The Baby-Sitters Club (BSC) books were my jam from ages 9-13. Not only had I read the majority of the novels in the initial series, but I also read most of the Super Special novels and some of the spin-off series’. The BSC were my favorite books series during my tween year and secretly early teen years too. Needless to say, I really enjoyed this listening to the first episode of the podcast about Kristy’s Great Idea, the first book of the series.
Towards the end of the podcast one of the hosts posed the question: Which of the babysitters are you? Two things occurred to me when they asked this question. First, right away, I knew that I was the quiet and studious Mary Anne Spier, though I wished that I was a trendier cooler kid like Dawn Schafer or a Stacey McGill.
Secondly, and more importantly it occurred to me—- I am a Baby-Sitters Club member not a Ninja Turtle. Why was I content to define myself as a Ninja Turtle? I was only ever marginally interested in Ninja Turtles so why was I content to define myself this way?
I came home from the gym and told me husband this revelation. As you might imagine he was not quite as invested in this bombshell as I was. I knew I needed to gather more evidence for my argument. So I googled “Cracked “and “Ninja Turtles”. It turns out what I thought was an article was actually a video.
Here it is if you are interested: http://www.cracked.com/video_18260_which-ninja-turtle-are-you-lifes-most-important-question.html
As it turns out the video is from a video series on Cracked.com that I like and know called After Hours. Disappointingly though, the After Hours video dismantled most of my arguments.
The cast of After Hours essentially says that viewers of TMNT gravitate toward the turtle they are most like. The turtles represent the four humors that the Greek physician Hippocrates theorized and include: blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm or air, fire, earth, and water. Furthermore, the video gives a more female friendly analog to the turtles, the women on Sex in the City. And if you are like me and do not want categorize your self as one of the women on Sex in the City they give several other examples.
After I watched this video I was disappointed that my argument was falling flat, but I was also happy that the After Hour video took an egalitarian approach to their Ninja Turtle theory. However, something was still sticking in my craw and I was having trouble putting my finger on it.
The original argument I wanted to make is: why are shows and movies like TMNT seen as the standard and books like the BSC seen as niche? I thought researching the source material on Cracked.com would help me prove this point. However, I think the point is still valid.
When is the Baby-Sitters Club going to get its own big budget release directed by someone famous? The TMNT have had 5 movies including two recent releases with big budgets and famous directors. The Baby-Sitters Club had one movie from 1995. Truthfully, I do not even know if I would want to see a Baby-Sitters Club movie, but the TMNT and the BSC were probably close to equal in popularity in the later 80’s and early 90’s. Boys seemed to be the primary fans of the TMNT and girls seemed to prefer the BSC. AND I do not really want to see a preview for another Teenage Mutent Ninja Turtles movie.
Hear me out, but hasn’t Hollywood pretty much made every movie that was based on something popular in the 80’s and 90’s possible? Allow me to correct myself. Hasn’t Hollywood made every movie about something boys and men like from the 80’s and 90’s?
Here are just a few examples of 80’s and 90’s nostalgia movies released in the past 10 years: GI Joe, at least 10 million Transformers and X-Men movies, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The A-Team, and the list goes on. I know women watch these movies too and women and girls also watched the TV shows that influenced these movies. However, what bothers me about this is the idea that studios make movies for men because the theory is that men will not come to see movies made for women but women will go to films that are made for men.
So in conclusion, I was wrong—Cracked had a very egalitarian view on the What Turtle Are You? topic. But really do we really need any more Turtle Power?
Finally, I don’t know about you out there but I would really love to see a movie with a PG-13 or R rating about the girls of the Baby-Sitters Club all grown up with adult problems.
So that my soapbox for this week. What are some movies you would like to see in sheathes?