Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (known as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in Europe due to controversy at the time) is an American animated television series produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson. It was animated overseas in Japan by Toei Animation for its first intro sequence, it's first minisries and some later episodes. Other episodes would be animated by various other studios like A-1 Productions. It was first piloted on during the week of December 28, 1987 in syndication as a five part miniseries and began its official run on October 1, 1988. The series featured the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters created in comic book form by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The property was changed considerably, from the darker-toned comic, to make it more suitable for the family.
The initial motivation behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series was that, upon being approached to create a toy line, Playmates Toys was uneasy with the comic book characters' small cult following. They requested that a television deal be acquired first, and after the initial five-episode series debuted, the California toy company released their first series of Ninja Turtles action figures in the summer of 1988. The two media would correspond in marketing style and popularity for many years to come.
In the UK, TMNT was released under the name Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (TMHT). This was due to the controversy surrounding ninjas and related weapons such as nunchuks at the time. The intro sequence was heavily edited because of this, replacing the word ninja with hero or fighting, using a digitally faded logo instead of the animated blob, and removing any scenes in which Michaelangelo wields his nunchuks, replacing them with random clips from the show.
While the story diverged heavily from the original conception of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and has never been considered canon with the universe of the original Mirage comics, the 1987 television series is largely the most notable and popular incarnation and drove the franchise to the phenomenal status it would achieve in pop culture.