[text_image width="100%" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Title.jpg" type="title"][list_title][/text_image]
[dropcap letter="D"]on’t talk to me about the quality of the cartoons we had then, versus the cartoons we have now. Whether it be about the writing, or how much people our age may pretend to hate CGI over hand-drawn and cel-shaded animation, this isn’t any statement, by any means, on the quality of cartoons then and now.
However, one thing I could safely say is that except for a few big exceptions (Spongebob Squarepants, anyone?), the theme songs then are almost unilaterally leaps and bounds beyond the theme songs of today’s contemporary cartoons. Let me show you eight examples why.
(For our purposes, we are deliberately not including any of the themes from the ‘70s and before, so if you were looking for Voltes V or The Flintstones, sorry, you’re not going to find them here.)
[text_image img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Denver-the-Last-Dinosaur-Header.jpg" type="subheading"]Denver the Last Dinosaur[/text_image]
This show was weird but fun to watch, and it amused me to no end, since Denver was a much cooler dinosaur than Barney could ever hope to be. For starters, Denver wasn’t purple.
Most Memorable Lyric: “Denver, the last dinosaur! He’s my friend and a whole lot more(?!)!”
Now, while images of man-dinosaur love may creep in over hearing these lyrics in your head and ruin your childhood, tell me you can’t help but find that music catchy as all get out. The intro is just really, really rocking, which is weird, since dinosaurs obviously precede the Stone Age, but whatever.
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-X-Men-Header.jpg"]X-Men[/text_image]
This TV show was ridiculously faithful to the comics, for the most part, and despite its lack of quality animation, it gave the Batman animated series a run for its money for quite a while locally.
Most Memorable Lyric: “Tenenenenennenen, tenenenenennenen, tenenenenenennenen, tenen!”
Well, okay. The song had no lyrics. But every kid was humming it back in the day! Every. Single. Kid!
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Header.jpg"]Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[/text_image]
When a talking ninja turtle tells you they’re hip, you better listen! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a very LSS-inducing opening theme that was both catchy and effective at explaining the plot of the show with minimal effort.
Most Memorable Lyric: “Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines.”
Whatever makes you happy, Don. Whatever makes you happy. We won't judge.
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Flying-House-Header.jpg"]Flying House<[/text_image]
Superbook was about the Old Testament. Flying House was about the New Testament. This Biblical time-traveling anime was amazing, especially the part where the kids in the story almost upset the course of history by trying to save Jesus Christ from being crucified. Umm, kids? You might want to rethink that, if you’re hanging around with the historical Jesus Christ, who, strangely enough, totally looks like a white guy in the anime.
Most Memorable Lyric: “We were having fun playing hide and seek. Then a storm appeared… Dun-du-dun-du-dun!”
That hummed part? You get to insert “in the Flying House” there in future lines. It’s an awesome, awesome song, and I dare you to tell me otherwise.
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Jem-and-the-Holograms.jpg"]Jem and the Holograms[/text_image]
I never understood the show for a single minute, despite watching it a lot. I always liked music, so a show about the music business, despite being clearly marketed at girls and not me, was just something I was so keen on watching.
And I totally, totally rooted for The Misfits.
Most Memorable Lyric: “Jem is my name, no one else’s the same!”
Now, that was truly outrageous, because in Grade 5, I actually had a classmate named Jem, and he was a guy. This was the first time cartoons lied to me, and I was utterly, utterly devastated.
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-DuckTales-Header.jpg"]Ducktales[/text_image]
Proof that Donald Duck really is the worst Disney has to offer, his nephews and uncle quickly overshadowed him with this fun-filled series, and even gave rise to the popularity of cult favourite Launchpad McQuack.
Most Memorable Lyric: “Woo-oo!”
As in, “Ducktales, Woo-oo!” That exclamation at the end just made the song every bit memorable. I barely even remember any of the other lyrics!
Is it just me, or as I write this, each successive entry replaces the previous one as earworm in my head?
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Captain-Planet-Header.jpg"]Captain Planet[/text_image]
Am I the only one who wondered how much paper and natural resources were consumed to produce this television show? This show was the height of anvilicious mid-90s TV programming, but it was such a guilty pleasure, and we didn’t care.
Who didn’t want to have the power of Earth? Fire? Wind? Water? Okay, maybe not Heart, because really, screw that power. It was useless.
Most Memorable Lyric: “Captain Planet, he’s a hero! Gonna take pollution down to zero!”
Insert fist-pumping here while you sing along to the theme, and you get to be a hipster environmentalist. Isn’t that grand?
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Cha-La-Head-Cha-La-Header.jpg"]Cha-la Head Cha-la (Dragonball Z)[/text_image]
Only the second anime I listed in here, treat yourself to the Lucky Stars version of the song!
Most Memorable Lyric: “Cha-la, head cha-la!”
Despite the fact that none of us understood a word of the song except for “Sparking,” we totally sang along phonetically in anticipation of our latest fix of Dragonball Z. “Cha-la Head Cha-la” might not make a lick of sense to us mere mortals who don’t know a word of Japanese aside from arigato, sayonara, and hazukashii, but the urge to sing along to the theme song was plain irresistible.
In fact, you’re probably doing it right now, aren’t you?
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Yuzurenai-Negai-Header.jpg"]Honorable Mention: Yuzurenai Negai, Tagalog Version (Magic Knight Rayearth)[/text_image]
I originally wanted this or Sailor Moon instead of Dragonball Z in here, but with Jem and the Holograms already in #4, some of the less progressive people in the café I was typing this in were giving me funny looks already. For a bunch of people looking over my shoulder, they’re pretty judgmental, aren’t they?
But come on! Vehnee Saturno was the shiznit!
(Also, I totally watched the show for the transformations…)
Most Memorable Lyric: “Ang lahat ng nilalang dito ay may karapatan (Sa magandang buhay!)”
The whole song is pretty damned memorable, actually, from “Kami’y narito, asahan niyo magtatanggol. Makikipaglaban para sa kapayapaan…” There is just so much win going for this song, I can’t even begin to explain how much I regret that it didn’t make the cut.
[text_image type="subheading" img="https://8list.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/8-Cartoon-Theme-Songs-During-Our-Childhood-Still-Stuck-in-Our-Heads-Thundercats-Header.jpg"](Dis)Honarable Mention: Thundercats[/text_image]
I love the TV show, don’t get me wrong, and Cheetara made a good case for why we should never be too judgmental about furries. But that theme song! Augggh, that theme song!
Most Memorable Lyric: “Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats! Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats!”
Okay, we get it. The show is called Thundercats. Just get on with it already! Bring on Cheetara!