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Top 5 … Retro Toon Openings

Welcome, one and all, to a random Top 5 list!

At the ripe old age (at time of writing) of 34, I grew up with some cartoons that many would consider dated now. Or at the very least, retro. And boy have things changed over the years. Animation quality has improved, and character designs are very different now. If we’re being fair, a lot of things have changed for the better too. Long form storytelling has improved in kid’s shows, and even the more episodic ones generally deal with a better variety of issues, and present far more diverse casts. Even so, I still get a kick from some of the old shows. And one thing that I always love is the old theme song. We had some really catchy and memorable ones back in the day. So, these are a selection of – though not all of – my favourite retro toon themes.

 

Thundercats

Now, the first thing I want to say here is that I actually preferred the 2011 series to the 80’s original. The original is great fun, but the 2011 remake felt more fleshed out to me. This is easily one of my favourite cartoon openings though. The song is catchy, but it feels epic, and fits perfectly with the action on screen during the sequence.

 

Prince Valiant

This may be one of the more obscure series on this particular list, but the early 90’s Prince Valiant had one of those themes that instantly reminded me of something. Even as a kid, I couldn’t help but think Bryan Adams while listening to it. It’s pretty classy in its own way.

 

Ulysses 31

Ulyssee-ee-ee-ee-ees! No one else can do the things you do. Objectively speaking, this is really cheesy and naff, but I can’t help but sing along every time the chorus hits. The synth-laden music fits with what was expected of sci-fi int the 80’s too, though in this case it was a little more upbeat than the darker stuff that was around for the adults.

 

Darkwing Duck

One of my more beloved of Disney’s creations, the terror that flaps in the night was an excellent parody of spy, detective and superhero fiction. The theme song features an almost Michael Jackson-esque vibe for the verses, but the chorus has more of a mystery feel to it. Disney have a long history of producing catchy tunes though, so them making the list should be no surprise.

 

The Trap Door

This was one of my absolute favourite shows as a kid and re-watching it as an adult, it holds up remarkably well. The theme song is wonderfully catchy, and the sometimes bizarre claymation creatures are brilliant! The episodes are really short too, so it’s well worth checking a few out when you have the time.

 

So, there are five retro toon themes that I enjoy. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up list another time with a few more nostalgic entries on. Until then though, what are you’re favourite childhood theme songs?


7 comments

  1. I love the Trap Doors opening song, though it is now stuck in my head and I didn’t even press play on the video because I was trying to avoid that. It really does remind me of being a kid and I absolutely loved watching the show, but singing along with the opening was definitely the best part.

    1. Absolutely! The song is really catchy, and it pops into my head whenever I think of the show. It was such a wonderful little series 🙂

    1. Trap Door is a barmy classic; well worth checking out.
      I remember all three! Gummi Bears had a really bouncy, catchy theme 🙂

  2. I agree that modern shows have better long form stories. Based on this list, we can however say that retro cartoons had better opening songs. Some other notable tunes I liked include Cities of Gold, MASK plus Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.

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