Compiling this list of the greatest kid’s cartoon theme tunes, you’re on to a loser from the off.
You’re bound to disgust those who feel their first choice was left out. You’ll bloody the noses of those who can’t believe you put their cherished memory so low in the rankings. And you’ll almost certainly suffer the slings and arrows of those who think you’re wallowing in pointless nostalgia.
Well, balls to them. There’s nothing like a trip down memory lane to get those endorphins pumping – so let’s wander idly along, humming the tunes that preceded our infant distractions, recalling with a grin that the opening titles were very often far more enjoyable than the tripe that followed.
30. Gummi Bears
I have no idea why I like this so much. But I do.
29. GI Joe
As American as apple pie and, er, New York.
Annoying as hell, but undeniably catchy.
27. Muppet Babies
Sounds like something Kermit threw up, but is guaranteed to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
26. Henry’s Cat
Scrapes its way into the Top 26 by virtue of some synthesised miaows.
25. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Catchy tune and tells you all you need to know about He-Man, his stupid voice and his weird mates.
24. The Perishers
Is it just us or does it sound a bit like The Smiths’ song Sheila Take A Bow?
Ludicrous idea for a cartoon, but great song.
Is there a more Eighties theme tune?
It’s almost impossible to not say Ducktales without following it with ‘woo hoo’. An annoyingly catchy tune.
20. Raggy Dolls
Getting Neil Innes in to write and record your theme tune is pure class. But surely the rejected dolls would have been discarded in week one? Or ripped to shreds and recycled…
You are singing the tune right now, aren’t you?
Turns from soft metal into a bizarre trumpet-led fanfare, all in the space of 30 seconds.
Astroboy is still curiously watchable, but the dubbing in the show is totally out of synch and the music here goes on for way too long. Timing must have been an issue at Astroboy HQ.
16. Ulysses 31
You have to wait a whopping 50 seconds for the proper song to begin, but when it does it’s a rock classic worthy of Whitesnake. Sung with passion, finished with love.
15. The Mysterious Cities of Gold
A genuinely well-written song heading up one of the most interminably dull cartoons of the period. Once the theme tune was over, the sound of TVs changing stations reverberated throughout the land.
14. Jem and the Holograms
Better than half the rubbish that was in the charts during the Eighties.
13. Top Cat (Boss Cat)
Clever words, a walloping trad jazz tune and a classy lead character. If you sided with Officer Dibble, you had no heart.
12. Battle of the Planets (G-Force)
No idea what was going on half the time, but who cares? Great theme tune.
10. Jamie & His Magic Torch
I’m sure I’m not alone in remembering the theme tune note for note, but having forgotten everything that happens in the actual programme? Which boy could resist not playing with his magic torch?
9. Pink Panther
Surely, one of the greatest theme tunes of all time.
8. Dogtanian & The Muskerhounds
When I asked Twitter what should go on this list, this was the overwhelming winner. I’ve no idea why – it’s dreadful.
7. The Smurfs
Anyone who doesn’t agree, can get the Smurf out of here!!
6. Hong Kong Phooey
He was better than a super-guy, and the theme song was better than most.
5. Inspector Gadget
Dum dad dum da dum… this was a singalong classic. Every time the Gadget graced our screens, you had to singalong, reaching a frenzy when it got to the ‘Go, Gadget, go!’ part.
He’s the greatest! And the theme tune was pretty smart too, with that horn section urging the ‘Mouse along, dragging the snivelling Penfold along with him.
3. Scooby Doo
We’re talking Scooby Doo before Scrappy walked onto the scene. As we all know, Scrappy was Satan in the form of a large-headed cartoon pup.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Still cannot believe Shredder was voiced by Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince.
1. Roobarb & Custard
The second it kicks in – instant anarchy. To an adult, it sounds like a keyboard that’s been distorted a little too much through some kind of wah wah synth. To a child, sounds like a call to arms and causes destruction of the living room. Influential, noisy and the best ever kids TV theme.
This was a guest blog by the mighty Swineshead from Watch With Mothers