My kids absolutely LOVE The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Which I’m good with because they were cool when I was a kid. And the great thing is the characters are still the same, so I know all their names and that makes me a hip Mama, right?!
Well, the names might be the same- but what’s with the ever-changing image/characterization of April O’Neil?
It seems like in every different version she’s a different age & looks a bit different.
April first appeared along side the green guys in 1984 in Mirage’s TMNT as a computer programmer and assistant to Baxtor Stockman. After she realized Baxtor was using his workshop to steal, she fled his company and later opened an antique shop. She was definitely portrayed as a helpless character in this version and most other versions thereafter.
Here’s April and the gang in Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #10 Silent Partner in black and white.
In 1988 with the beginning of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Comic Book she was portrayed Initially as reporter for Channel 6 TV , but later becomes a free-lance journalist and then trained as a warrior by Splinter in ninjitsu and katana.
She was also portrayed in a spin off TMNT Adventures by Archie Comics and in a Winter of 1994 special issue she was mutated into a 5th Ninja Turtle.
In 1987 O’Neil was first represented on film in the TMNT animated series as a strong-willed reporter, again for channel 6.
In 1991, for the sequel: TMNT II: Secret Of The Ooze, Hoag was replaced by Paige Turco
In 2003 (animated) April O’Neil gets a costume change and serves expert in science and back as an assistant to Baxtor Stockman.
In 2007 April O’Neils appears in the TMNT computer animated film, voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar, living with her boyfriend, Casey Jones and working in a shipping firm. There’s no mention in the film of her past careers as a journalist, but it’s implied that she’s taken up archeology as a career. April wears a suit of armor and is skilled in martial arts and no longer acts like the damsel in distress that the other movies are riddled with.
In 2012 in the animated series, April gets another make-over and becomes the 16-year-old daughter of a scientist. She also has a special spiritual sensitivity and is trained by splinter and uses a steel fan as a weapon to aid the turtles.
In March 2013 filming started for an upcoming installment to the real life action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movies starring Megan Fox as April O’Neil to be released in 2014!