Thursday, 16 April 2009

Write The Theme Toon, Sing The Theme Toon...

Cartoons. Love 'em or love 'em, you've go to love 'em (I'm quite fond of cartoons - does this show at all?). They have been providing me with animatey entertainery since I was first plonked in front of the goggle box and they still calm the nerves and soothe the soul all these years later.

"Ah, but Nick, I hear you ask through the magic of me making up imaginary questions for which I shall provide the answers, "which cartoon theme tunes are the ones that bring you most enjoyment?" Well, I'm glad you asked me that (and by that, I mean "I'm glad I fabricated a question to use as a handy segueway into the main meat of what today's wittering is all about") because I have a handy list of some of the top theme tunes right here, all backed up with handy video evidence, naturally. Now, I've left off a couple of blatantly obvious ones like The Simpsons and South Park - The Simpsons because it goes without saying and South Park because there about five different versions. Also, I've left out Transformers because i bang on about them often enough. Let's just take it as read that I like that one. Anyway, on with the listing.

This was enough to spark a lifelong obsession with the big green lizard normally portrayed by the man in the rubber suit. That said, I'm pretty sure that i found Godzooki to be an annoying little tit even when i was a kid. My strongest memory (other than the brilliant theme song) is of getting impatient of all the stuff with the humans and just wanting to see Godzilla start smacking monsters around. I still have that reaction now...

Batman: The Animated Series
Quite possibly the greatest animated titles ever. Like a little mini-movie all in it's own right that perfectly sets the style and tone for the series, it's also amazingly arrogant as it doesn't even bother with an onscreen title. "Yeah, you know who this is. We're not gonna spell it out for you. Deal with it."

Batman Beyond
OK, it's a bit cheeky to include two Batman cartoons but I love the titles for this one. Heavily influenced by Japanese anime and with a thumping soundtrack, it's dark and dystopian. OK, so the cartoon didn't quite always live up to this, it's still a worthwhile watch for the animated feature Return Of The Joker which is possibly the grimmest Batman film ever. Especially as it's a kids one.

Cowboy Bebop
And having mentioned anime, let's go with this one. It's a great jazzy, funky opening sequence with a real 60s feel - the titles give off a real feel of shows like The Avengers and The Prisoner. It's a great series, too - in a similar vein to Joss Whedon's Firefly, it's a Western in space style series, following a group of bounty hunters as they struggle to eke out a living while the sins of the past start to catch them up...

Ulysses 31
A traditional cheesy 80s singalonga, this one. I defy you to not be going "Ulysseee-eee-eee-eee-eeees" by the end of it...

Mysterious Cities Of Gold
And sticking with the 80s theme, another singalonga toon theme.

Around the time of Tiny Toon Adventures and then Animaniacs, Spielberg Animations put out this unnoticed little gem which is utterly bizarre and almost wilfully nonsensical. It only lasted two seasons (which is probably for the best) but they're great fun (and full of geeky references, too). It helps that it has a ridiculously catchy theme tune as well.

Danger Mouse
He's the fastest, he's the greatest, he's the best. 'Nuff said, really.

Earthworm Jim
Another short-lived oddity with a toe-tapping theme tune. This was based on a series of video games and turned out to be a surprisingly funny superhero spoof. How can you not love a cartoon with characters like Professor Monkey-For-A-Head and Bob The Killer Goldfish?

Pinky And The Brain
Rightly spun off into their own series after a supporting stint on Animaniacs, the two laboratory mice spent a few years trying to take over the world until the network paired them up with Elmyra from Tiny Toon Adventures and everyone stopped watching. Shame. Still, Altogether now:-

"What are we going to do tonight, Brain?"
"Same thing we do every night, Pinky...."

I reckon if I've done my job properly, you'll have at least a few of those stuck in your head for the next day or so. No, no, no need to thank me. All in a day's work.


Anna Russell said...

Cities Of Gold!!!!! I loved that so much when I was a kid and nobody else ever seems to remember it.

I now have the Pinky and the Brain tune stuck in my head.

TishTash said... cheese, huh?

Sweet Cheeks said...

I actually played Earthworm Jim...It was fun!

And Pinky and the Brain...

My kids loved it and made me watch too.

Cartoons Rule!

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Those are awesome! My kids are so into Batman Beyond right now.... I loved the Cowboy Bebop one the best, though. Excellent and thanks for putting together!

That Baldy Fella said...

Anna - They're dinky, they're Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain (narf)

TishTash - Oh yeah. This is why I should write things down in The Notebook
*strokes chin contemplatively again*

Sweet Cheeks - Yep, cartoons win, hands down.

Amy - Pleasure! Glad you liked Bebop, too, that's definitely a favourite tune

kapgaf said...

Curiouser and curiouser, the comment I posted earlier has disappeared down the rabbit hole (ok, I'm paranoid, tell me you deleted it) so I'll try and remember what I said, which was more or less that I am so old that the only toon I knew of these was Danger Mouse and that was from babysitting days when I was a student.
I did enjoy discovering Earthworm Jim and I declare that the tune was inspired by Bohemian Rhapsody (the line "we will not let you go").

That Baldy Fella said...

Delete comments? No, not I. That would be extremely rude.
Hmmm, now you mention it, yeah, i see what you mean. I'd never really spotted that before!