A relatively quiet week in the world of cinema means that I am able to dip my toe in to TV Corner, this time combining it with another post style that I have neglected of late, the top ten list. Anybody that knows me will tell you that when it comes to childhood cartoons, theme songs are something of an obsession for me. It was always all about one thing, the theme song. If I didn’t like the theme song, I didn’t like the show, it was as simple as that. In some cases, I would even watch the intro of a show and then turn the television over if it wasn’t something I was in to. So, in some semblance of an order, and possibly the hardest top ten list I have ever had to compile, here are my top ten TV cartoon theme songs.
1. DuckTales (1987 – 1990)
Probably my favourite cartoon theme song of all time, Disney’s DuckTales had a painfully short run from 1987 to 1990 and was on heavy repeat rotation in my household in the early nineties. With the announcement of a reboot of the series coming in the near future, all I will say is GOD HELP Disney if they decide to mess with the theme.
2. Alvin & The Chipmunks (1982 – 1990)
Another classic cartoon with an even more classic theme song, the Chipmunks were a permanent fixture of my childhood. Sadly, as will most excellent eighties/nineties commodities, the show franchise has since been subjected to a number of painfully atrocious film remakes, but one thing that will never change is just how great this original intro music was!
3. Animaniacs (1993 – 1998)
There is a valid argument to be made not only for the Animaniacs being one of the best cartoons of all time, but also one of the best tv shows of all time. The figurehead show of the animation renaissance of the late eighties, Animaniacs was a weird and wonderful mixture of Broadway-esque musical numbers and biting satirical comedy that appealed to both adults and children. All wrapped up with a fantastic theme song!
4. Pokemon (1998 – present)
Age wise, I was the absolute perfect demographic for Pokemon when it hit UK TV screens in 1999. From the second the theme began, I was in. I had the trading cards, the Gameboy games, the pyjamas, the cuddly toys, everything. One of the biggest travesties of the franchise is the fact that the show’s theme song changes so often, and none of the reincarnations have ever managed to best the very first.
5. Arthur (1996 – present)
Off all the TV cartoon theme songs, the Arthur theme sung by Ziggy Marley sounds most like a real world song, and a great one at that! Arthur was a great children’s show for giving moral lessons and messages without being overly preachy, and the song is really an extension of that philosophy. A definite playground favourite, you weren’t one of the cool kids if you didn’t know every single word by heart!
6. The Adventures Of Blinky Bill (1993)
The theme for The Adventures Of Blinky Bill is probably one of the most involved of the bunch, succeeding in just over two minutes to tell the audience the entire story of the 1993 series so succinctly that we barely had to watch any episodes! I was a big fan of the classic cuddly Australian koala and remember hopping and bobbing along happily to the opening credits every time.
7. Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers (1989 – 1990)
Another retro classic, Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers was a key player in the animation renaissance and though it didn’t run for as long as DuckTales, most would say that it is equally beloved. The theme sounds like something straight out of an eighties pop radio station and it’s catchy lyrics only helped the show to gain more fan. I demand another Disney resurrection!
8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 – 1996)
TURTLE POWER! If this theme song doesn’t get you pumped then absolutely nothing will. The poor Turtles have suffered a horrifying fate of late having fallen in to the bloodied hands of Michael Bay, but let us never forget that once upon a time they were the coolest reptiles on the planet with the coolest theme song to match.
9. The Flintstones (1960 – 1966)
Of all the classic cartoons from the 1950s and 1960s, The Flintstones is probably my favourite, and certainly has my favourite theme song of them all. Whilst Scooby Doo had a funny, spooky kind of theme, The Flintstones was all about jazzy, catchy fun and the theme definitely gets your toe tapping before the show begins. And to complete the package, the cartoon was genuinely funny for kids and adults alike.
10. Fireman Sam (1987 – present)
A firm favourite for British kids in the late eighties and early nineties, Fireman Sam had the theme song to beat all the others like Postman Pat and Noddy. Whilst searching YouTube to find this clip I came across the outrageous updated versions of the theme for the more modern versions of the show, and all I can say is that pale in comparison to the original, as does the awful CGI animation!