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One Of TMNT: Mutant Mayhem's Best Easter Eggs Was A Crunch-Time Seth Rogen Suggestion

Contains spoilers for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem"

The Ninja Turtles are back on the big screen with "Mutant Mayhem," but there have been numerous iterations of the characters over the years. From the Michael Bay-produced live-action reboots to the often-forgotten "TMNT" in 2007, the turtles sure have kicked plenty of butt. For many, it all comes down to what they grew up with, which means the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" trilogy from the 1990s holds a nostalgic place in fans' hearts. 

Fortunately, "Mutant Mayhem" pays homage to that trilogy in spectacular fashion. During a fight sequence in an auto shop, a car radio goes off and plays Vanilla Ice's "Ninja Rap" from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze." The song became a pop cultural phenomenon when it came out and is a fixture of the franchise's legacy. It's great to see it get a shoutout, but it almost didn't happen. 

"Mutant Mayhem" director Jeff Rowe told Cinemablend how they just couldn't make that scene work, "That was an embarrassingly late-in-the-game decision. We were trying to find a joke to put there, we wanted a song on the radio, and we had picked some piece of like adult contemporary music from the 80s, and it just wasn't right." Fortunately, producer and Bebop voice actor Seth Rogen knew precisely what to do.

Mutant Mayhem gains the power of the ninja turtle bass

Vanilla Ice's "Ninja Rap" will always be part of the "TMNT" fandom. The song was even referenced in the 2012 "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series in the episode "Follow the Leader" when Mikey chants, "Go ninja, go ninja, go" when he stumbles upon some ooze. The song's back in "Mutant Mayhem" thanks to a late-night epiphany from Seth Rogen. Jeff Rowe went on to say, "Then Seth texted me like late at night one night [Seth Rogen impression] 'We should put the Ninja Rap there!' And it was, like, perfect!"

It's great to see the film pay homage to what's come before in the franchise, and there are several "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem" Easter eggs for hardcore fans to catch. Early in the film, when we're first introduced to the turtles, they're animated slightly differently. Their eyes are sheer white with no pupils, and they have perpetual frowns. This is a direct reference to their comic book roots, which were decidedly darker in tone than the goofy Saturday morning cartoon many people grew up with. Additionally, the turtles make fun of Leonardo's (Nicolas Cantu) gravelly voice during this scene, insisting it sounds like Batman. The Ninja Turtles have actually teamed up with the Caped Crusader on several occasions in comic books and the animated film, "Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

"Mutant Mayhem" stays true to the franchise's roots while updating elements for modern audiences. This ensures long-time fans and newcomers find something to enjoy.