Why Bebop From TMNT: Mutant Mayhem Sounds So Familiar

Spend long enough under or above the sewers of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem," and chances are you're going to cross paths with a character that hisses, snorts, or squeaks in a way you've heard before. Nicolas Cantu, Brady Noon, Micah Abbey, and Shamon Brown Jr. might be the freshest talents taking on the roles of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo, but the foes they're going up against are a band of seasoned stars you'll certainly recognize. This is particularly when it comes to two of the franchise's most well-known knuckleheads, Bebop and Rocksteady.

Better known as the halfwitted henchman to the Turtles' long-time foe, Shredder (teased during the credits of "Mutant Mayhem"), Rocksteady is voiced by former WWE star and part-time Peacemaker John Cena. In the case of Bebop, it only takes a single chuckle from that emotionally stunted warthog to realize who it is you're hearing. He's a comedy star who has voiced many characters over the years, from a kung-fu-kicking praying mantis to cycloptic space invaders. With such a diverse resume, it makes sense as to why Seth Rogen would take to Bebop like a pig in, well, you know.

Seth Rogen made his mark as Mantis in Kung Fu Panda

Long before he was a pig with a nipple piercing, Seth Rogen started off small. His first big voiceover came tumbling out of Mantis in the beloved DreamWorks animation, "Kung Fu Panda," in 2008. Along with the voice talents of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, David Cross, and Jackie Chan, Rogen made up a key component of the Furious Five, the super team that Black's dumpling-loving panda, Po, was desperate to be a part of. As it turned out, though, even Rogen himself was shocked at the eclectic group that brought this team to life in two beloved movies that made up a stellar animated trilogy.

Speaking to Moviepilot in 2008, Rogen broke down the cast that would become iconic, saying, "Angelina Jolie's the tiger, Jackie Chan's the monkey, Lucy Liu's the snake, David Cross is the crane. It's an odd mix of people. I'd like to see us all actually fight each other. Jackie Chan would mop the floor with us for the most part, then Angelina Jolie, then maybe Lucy Liu." As for him and his last remaining co-star? "Me and David Cross would have a glasses-off, where we'd just throw our glasses at each other." Every Mantis for themselves, right?

He brought it as B.O.B. in Monsters vs. Aliens

After sealing a nice little alliance with DreamWorks, Seth Rogen became the voice the studio couldn't help but go back to when they signed him up to be part of another band of animated day-savers in "Monsters vs. Aliens." A slightly overlooked entry in DreamWorks' repertoire, the 2009 movie had Reese Witherspoon voice Susan Murphy, who, after being hit by a meteorite, is roped in with a team of scientific oddities that includes a gelatinous mass named B.O.B. (Rogen), who has the minor issue of lacking a brain.

The film earned a pretty decent reception, clocking in with 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. According to The LA Times, when asked why a sequel wasn't happening, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said, "I'd like to tell you there's a perfectly rational, clear, and easy answer as to why not, but there isn't." It turned out there just weren't enough boxes being checked when it came to "Monsters vs. Aliens." As Katzenberg added, "There was enough of a consensus from our distribution and marketing folks in certain parts of the world that we would be pushing a boulder up a hill." Sorry, B.O.B.

He was totally Frank in Sausage Party

After gaining a fair bit of experience in the recording studio and how the animation game was played, Seth Rogen dabbled in it himself by writing and producing his own incredibly icky and absolutely not family-friendly film, "Sausage Party." Released in 2016 and directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, the movie slipped Rogen into the role of Frank, a sausage who, like everyone else, was stored in a supermarket and dreamt of being taken away to the "Great Beyond" by gods that regularly visit. Turns out, unfortunately, that these gods are customers, and they don't have the best plans for the food. Bon appetit.

During its creation, it dawned on Rogen just what kind of challenge he was taking on and that this was going up against the titans of animation in a way that had been rarely attempted. Speaking to IndieWire, Rogen admitted, "There was a moment where we realized this was our Pixar movie. In order to make good on the promise of that, it had to attempt to be as smart as those movies. That was an incredibly daunting revelation. We realized that we couldn't just fake this." 

Whatever they did, they managed. In fact, the film was enough of a success that it sparked the push for a sequel television series, set to arrive on Amazon Prime. "Sausage Party: Foodtopia" was confirmed by Rogen himself in 2022, with an ETA of 2024, so here's hoping you're hungry.

Seth Rogen was pitch-perfect as Pumbaa in The Lion King remake

Disney's tried and tested formula of shot-for-shot remakes might've gotten tiresome for some, but its billion-dollar box office couldn't be ignored when it came to the CGI-retelling of "The Lion King." The film featured many ideal voice talents, with Seth Rogen's performance as the warthog Pumbaa being one of the best. Working duet duties alongside Billy Eichner as Timon to sing "Hakuna Matata," both were fully aware of their responsibility to put their own spin on one of the most beloved Disney songs in history.

Speaking to Variety, Rogen revealed that after getting some important notes from the film's composer Hans Zimmer to sing in tune with the song he walked away happy with what was delivered. "I've got to say that when you watch the movie, I am very pleased with my performance — but Billy is a strong singer. I didn't know you [Eichner] were such a good singer." The discovery led Rogen to up his game for when the two had to collaborate on the legendary tune. "I thought, 'Oh, Billy could sing,' and then he really can sing to a real degree, which I honestly was not thrilled about when it first happened." 

As for taking on the role of Pumbaa, Rogen had total faith in the film's director, Jon Favreau, that he was the man for the warthog job. "I think I mostly had to trust that Jon cast us for a reason and just give him what I hope he wanted from that decision," Rogen said.

He came in peace as Allen the Alien in Invincible

It's safe to say that if there's an Amazon show with Seth Rogen's name somewhere in the credits, chances are it will appear both next to the producer and a character or cameo in the show itself. In the case of the bone-cracking animated comic-book adaptation, "Invincible," Rogen rocked up on the Earth's atmosphere as the evaluation officer for the Coalition of Planets, Allen the Alien. A beloved character from Kirkman's critically acclaimed story, Allen was only briefly present in the first season that debuted on Amazon Prime, but is definitely set for greater things as the story continues. The future of this wild story isn't stopping there, however, as Rogen revealed just how much the show is now impacting the development of the live-action movie that is also in the pipeline.

Speaking to ComicBook.com about the future of "Invincible," Rogen said, "'Invincible' was something not a lot of people, in general, had heard of before the animated series. There was a live-action 'take' that was different from the animated 'take,' as it were. And then the animated show came out that was very faithful to the comic and was incredibly popular." This breakthrough moment, in turn, changed the trajectory of the future plans for a big screen effort. "At that point, it seemed like maybe doing a live-action take that was good but very different would be weird, and maybe not acknowledging the things that people liked about the animated version. Then in our heads, the live-action 'take' seemed more like it should feel like a live-action adaptation of the cartoon. Which is a direct adaptation of the comic."

Rogen was a barrel of laughs as Donkey Kong in Super Mario Bros.

If there was one larger-than-life character other than Pumbaa that was an ideal pick for Seth Rogen to voice, it had to be the chest-thumping, tie-wearing Donkey Kong in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." Joining the likes of Chris Pratt and Jack Black in the latest CGI adaptation, the film went on to become the biggest film of 2023 and the third-biggest animated film of all time. The film sees Mario and Kong team up after both fall on hard times during King Bowser's effort to marry Princess Peach ("Peaches, Peaches, Peaches") and take over the world. 

Considering the film's box office success, it's no surprise that discussions have been ongoing regarding more Nintendo-based films. And if Rogen's comments are any indication, it sounds like there could be more stories that could bring Donkey Kong back to the big screen. Speaking to Screen Rant, Rogen revealed his nostalgia for the character and the games he was a part of and embraced just what kind of potential Donkey Kong has going forward. "Donkey Kong Country, I really did love that game. And it's funny looking back on it because its look is not great by today's standards. But at the time, it was mind-blowing, the movement and how fast it was. It felt like a huge leap," recalled Rogen. "I think there's probably more from Donkey Kong Country to mine one day."