If there’s anything we can remember distinctively about our favorite cartoons from our childhood, it’s most certainly the intros. The ’80s are undeniably associated with over-the-top awesome music, bright colors, and spandex galore. So when it came to dazzling the eyes and ears of children of the era via animation, it came as no exception.
Even if it’s been 20 plus years since you’ve laid eyes on your favorite Saturday morning splendor, chances are you can totally remember that rockin’ tune that opened the portal to the castle of Greyskull or man-cats in blue spandex. I’m even willing to bet you probably catch yourself humming one of these intros every so often, like a trapped vortex of ’80s epicness spinning around in your dome. Well, if not, you’re about to for sure. And I’m not the least bit sorry about it!
I have to say it was pretty daunting ranking these magnificent ‘toon openers. The only proper way to get this task fairly done was to use the “head-bobbing method”. Basically, how hard it got my head bobbing back and forth like an idiot headed to the Roxbury.
Anyways, according to the all mighty head bob, here are the 10 greatest cartoon intros of the ’80s!
10. Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling
Sadly, (and this is so irritating of the WWE) anytime someone uploads that glorious intro to Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, it gets taken down pretty quick. Sometimes you’ll be lucky if you catch it. But today is not that day my lovely readers. Luckily enough this kick-ass tune is quite awesome enough to hold on its own. Now just imagine Hogan and his animated buddies hopping in the Wrestling Roadster, while being chased down by Piper and his posse. Then a live-action, fully dressed in red spandex Hogan walking the city streets fist-pumping to this fine tune. You’re welcome.
He may have not been quite as popular as that other smartass orange cat, but goddamn if he didn’t have the better cartoon opener. I don’t remember one thing about this show, other than the cool alley cats. But I sure as shit can sing this tune without skipping a beat. That has to count for something.
Oh man, this one hits right into the nostalgia membranes-woo-hoo! Even if you never watched this, (and who are you if you didn’t) you remember and KNOW every word to this song- woo-hoo! Shit, now I can’t stop with the woo-hoos’. Curse you McDuck!
Just kidding. We love you. Woo-hoo. RIP Alan Young.
Muck like with Ducktales, chances are you at least know some of the lyrics. Come on, who doesn’t recognize, “Robots in disguise“? You’d seriously have to have been living in Gollum’s cave of riddles to not know at least that part. Plus, it’s basically robots fighting each other. What’s not to love here?
6. Alvin and the Chipmunks
It was inevitable a show centered around a trio of singing chipmunks that parody Michael Jackson songs were going to end up on this list. I mean, if the intro theme can’t suck us into a show of that nature, you’re kind of screwed. Love or hate the talking tree rodents, that tune is undeniably catchy.
This intro gives you ZERO explanation of what this show is about. But the flashing lights, super ’80s-ish music, and all the energetic ass-kicking sucked you in anyway. When you heard this as a kid, you got damn excited to plop a squat on that oversized bean-bag chair and watch this badassery with a big bowl of cereal. And then maybe whack your little brother over the head with your plastic sword in the midst of all the excitement.
4. The Real Ghostbusters
Well of course, the more animated theme of Ray Parker Jr’s smash hit from the 1984 blockbuster of the same name, was going to be included. Hell, even Rowan is getting down on this rockin’ classic intro to, quite frankly, one of the most badass cartoons to ever grace the screen on Saturday Morning.
3. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
The most powerful man in the universe also had one of the most powerful (and fuckin’ spectacular) intro themes in cartoon history. Much like with Thundercats, the opener is bright, flashy, and raging with testosterone; making you want to just sit the hell down and satisfy your senses with Skeletor mercilessly ripping into the He-Fool with epic insults. Face it guys- the Bone Daddy of Eternia was the real star here.
2. Jem and the Holograms
There could be an argumentive debate on which Jem intro is superior- the other I’m referring to is the Barbie-like “Jem Girl” theme. However, the fact that The Misfits don’t get a little solo bit in the latter, automatically makes it the weaker version in my own humble opinion. Also, this may be another unpopular opinion on my side, but while Jem and her friends are truly outrageous in their own right, The Misfits had the better songs, period. I can only imagine what kind of rad as hell intro could have been with Pizzazz at the helm. Oh Hell, just bring them back and give them their own show already.
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I think it might be fair to say that the Ninja Turtles not only reign as High King for cartoon intros but quite possibly the animated era of the ’80s altogether. When poor He-Man fell from grace (that atrocious 1987 film may have been the final nail in the coffin), four smart-ass teenage kung-fu mutants took the crown as THEE most popular show for both boys and girls for the remainder of the decade. The exciting in-your-face opener is just the greasy pepperoni on top of a delicious pizza with a load of glorious ’80s cheese (but not too much) and a perfect solid dough underneath, Making this not only the most kick-ass intro to really get you excited for an episode but one of the greatest cartoons of the decade as well.
Great, now I just made myself hungry. Now if you’ll excuse me I have tomato bread to consume.
What’s your favorite animated ’80s intro? Stay tuned as we dive into righteous ’90s next week!