'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': 9 Cartoon Callbacks in 'Out of the Shadows'

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows isn’t just a sequel to the hugely successful 2014 franchise reboot. It’s also a time portal back to 1987, when a quartet of Foot-busting reptiles went from cult comic book characters to TV superstars courtesy of the hit animated series. For example, you’ll hear that cartoon’s iconic theme song (written by none other than Chuck Lorre, now mega-producer of prime-time TV blockbusters including The Big Bang Theory) play over the closing credits of Out of the Shadows, directly linking these Turtles to their animated forebears.

The movie clearly aims to unite generations of TMNT fans: the kids who grew up with the ‘80s cartoon and their kids who are growing up with the new big-budget movies. Long before Shadows’ closing credits, multiple references to the small-screen version of Mutant Ninja Turtles pop up. Here’s a look at all the cartoon callbacks—some of which trace to the original comics—you’ll see in the Turtles’ new live-action adventure.