Animated shows probably have the best theme songs because they don’t have to worry about taking themselves too seriously — they just let it fly.
“Batman: The Animated Series” was cool but basically reused the movie score.
“The Simpsons” will forever be recognizable but loses a lot without seeing what Bart’s writing on the chalkboard or what the family’s doing on the couch during the remaining seconds.
But these animated cell ditties will stay with me for all time:
10. “Voltron: Defender of the Universe” – As you may know from the previous entry about “The A-Team“, I’m a sucker for a theme when it starts off with horns and then segues into electric guitar. Which is why when these five, multi-colored, robotic lions interlock, it throws me into a tizzy.
9. “The Jetsons” – This classic does a switcheroo of “Voltron“. Starting off with strings and once ‘daughter Judy‘ enters frame — you’re met with a blast of jazzy horns.
Everything you need to know about the family is in this song, except their dog Astro — which led me to believe he was going to be killed off at a later date.
8. “Spider-Man” (1967) – A groovy tune. In what other song will you EVER hear the phrase “listen, bud” being rhymed with “radioactive blood“?! I mean, come on!
7. “The Flintstones” – You’ll have a ‘yabba-dabba doo time‘ listening to this opener ‘courtesy of Fred’s 2 feet‘. Although I always felt bad for that bird at the beginning; poor fella got his tail yanked at quitin’ time and probably at lunch too — EVERYDAY.
6. “Scooby-Doo” – Love this fun and upbeat song but I recall a different version that opened up with the sound of a fog horn that I preferred (but can’t find it). This version kinda abruptly starts, whereas the other one eases into things more.
Genius Rhyme Alert: ‘willin” with ‘villain‘.
5. “Inspector Gadget” – Brilliant melody change towards the end when we meet the villain – Dr. Claw (or at least his arm). It follows very closely to the “The Smurfs” opener when we’re introduced to the evil Gargamel — but it’s the “Oo-oo” vocal chimes in Gadget’s theme that puts it over the top.
4. “Muppet Babies” – I love the wonderful message about the power of imagination in this opener. And it’s great they take turns handing off lead vocals so that everyone gets a chance to shine (even Animal).
The song really captures the ensemble spirit that has always been The Muppets — they were the original “Entourage” (minus the sleeping around). I always crack up whenever Kermit rides in on that tricycle — he’s so cute!
3. “ThunderCats” – Fast, fast, fast paced action from the start.
Alien, Feline Humanoids crash on earth – BAM! Dude’s cool sword grows in length – BOOM! Hot cheetah chick plows through a dozen henchmen – POW!
By the end you’re like, “Whoa. What kick-assness did I just witness!?!” Then you’d have to wait til’ the next day to catch it again ‘cuz they were no DVRs way back when.
Fun Tidbit: The voice of the muscle, Panthro — was voiced by the Grandfather on “The Cosby Show“.
2. “Heathcliff” – The random lyrics in this 50’s-inspired theme song make no sense whatsoever — but who cares when it makes you want to get up and dance!?!
Genius Rhyme Alert: “deny-ai-ai-ai” with “alibi-ai-ai-ai“.
1. “Alvin and The Chipmunks” – There’s really no beating this one. Not only is it fun to sing along but educational as well. The spelling of the word “C-h-i-p-m-u-n-k” is now and forever second-nature for me and at blazing speeds (see :23 sec mark). And I only have Alvin, Simon and Theodore Seville to thank for that.
So, thank you.
They sure don’t make ’em like they used to, do they?