If there is one thing I notice on the YouTube comments section (other than utter stupidity), it’s that “kids of today don’t have good cartoons like we did”. Is this really true? Perhaps. But I’m sure this new generation will say the same thing to the next generation about their Ben 10s and the like.
However, one thing is for sure – cartoons don’t have theme tunes like they used to. Theme tunes were used to get us hyped to watch the show and would stick in our heads for the rest of the day. They had lyrics we could sing / shout along to that make up part of the glue of nostalgic conversations about them. To this day I still find myself humming these theme tunes and if they do creep into my subconscious they don’t leave quite so easily.
So, without further ado, I count down my personal Top 13 Kid’s TV Show Theme Tunes. It would have been a Top 10, but I thought of 13 themes and couldn’t whittle the list down. Perhaps this shows I have no back bone. To be honest, I actually thought of 14 but by that point I felt like I was taking the Michael.
Sing along if you know the words…
13. The Transformers
Do I really need to say more? It really is just a few steps shy of utter perfection. The epic guitar riffs, easy to remember vocals and incredible animation just make this one of my all-time favourite cartoon tunes. The show itself sucked (oh come on it did) but this theme tune is just amazing and would be worth putting the show on just to hear it.
This theme is just so awesome. It does what every good theme song does – it lays out the premise, gives you a background of the characters and, most importantly, gets you pumped for the show. Also, it takes a lot of song writing talent to make “Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles” sound convincing as a song lyric. With the popularity the show had, it’s no surprise that this theme holds up today amongst kids of my generation. Everyone knows the tune, everyone knows the words and everyone still gets hyped listening to it. Turtle power indeed.
I only wanted to pick one from the Stone back catalogue because I didn’t want to fill the list up with just his work. But if I could, I would have had Tiny Toon Adventures because that theme rules. He also created the only song in the world that has made me interested in learning all of the countries in the world:
Don’t get me wrong, I love this theme tune with an unmatched passion and it is far and away the best and most memorable thing about the show but it’s not my number one theme. That said, this is just about as perfect as a theme song gets. Easy to remember lyrics, catchy tune and a guitar solo that sounds like a duck quacking. It may not be my all-time favourite, but this is one of the best examples of what theme music should be. Just the mere mention of the show’s title will prompt anyone to shout “Woo Hoo” like it’s a reflex action. Plus, once it gets in to your head, boy will it never leave you…
And if this theme couldn’t get any better there’s an extended version of it, which makes the song more epic. Can you imagine that?! Well, just listen…
2. Bucky O’Hare
While the English speaking version of the theme, the original French intro had actual lyrics. Apperantly they explain who he is and the sort of things he can do. I only discovered this recently and it blew my mind. I had no idea there were other lyrics to this song…
So, there you have it. I started out this list to be just a Top 10 but then thought of 3 I’d missed and had to extend it out, but this is my definitive kid’s show theme tune playlist. It’s the soundtrack to my Saturday mornings and my nostalgic memory trips. And while the next generation will claim that their shows were better than the generations that follow, they will never be able to take away the mantle of ‘best theme songs’. That award belongs to our generation and we are damn proud of it!
GO GADGET, GO! THUNDERCATS HO! TURTLE POWER! DID YOU SAY BUCKY? I SAID BUCKY! RUN WITH US AND GRAB ON TO SOME DUCKTALES! WOO HOO!
Do you think I missed any? What are your top kids show theme songs?
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.