It’s the holiday season! So, we can all kick back and enjoy some of our favourite shows. We’re older now and priorities have shifted but remember back in the day when all we cared about was when our favourite cartoon came on? We’d rush back from school just to make sure we don’t miss a single minute! The one thing most of us remember better than the characters in the shows was the show’s theme song. So LIVE decided to put together a list of some the most memorable old-school cartoon theme songs to bring back that nostalgic feeling you used to get whenever the opening tune came on.
If you were an SABC 2 baby (or Cartoon Network before that) you’ll remember this famous theme song called “Rock The Dragon.” It was written and performed by Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahehi.
On the topic of government TV, Pokemon was just as popular as DBZ back in the early 2000’s and the theme song was no different. It has gone through numerous reboots over the decades, but the original English version of the Pokemon theme song was called “Pokémon Theme.” It was written and produced by John Loeffler and featured Jason Paige on lead vocals.
There was a time when SA television was dominated by Anime, from Digimon to Medabots. One of the most popular at the time (because it was broadcast on SABC 1) was Beyblade. The show used “Let’s Beyblade” by Sick Kid as their opening and ending themes. Remember begging your parents to get you the replica toys for Christmas (some of us made them ourselves)?
Even though this show was more for the girls, us guys enjoyed it too (in fact I knew the entire theme song off by heart). The catchy tune was called “CALL ME, BEEP ME! (The Kim Possible Song)” and was sung by none other than Cash Money member Christina Millian.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (MMPR)
MMPR may not have been a cartoon but it is worthy of an honorary mention. We all remember this mega throwback from our primary school days and we’d fight among our friends over who got to be the famous red ranger. The original theme song, “Go Go Power Rangers”, was released in 1994 and was performed by Ron Wasserman who recorded the song as “Aaron Waters – The Mighty RAW”.
Disney’s The Mighty Ducks
Remember the days of Disney’s Cartoon Cafe? Well for those who don’t; before Wildroom, SABC 1 had a special kids slot called Disney’s Cartoon Cafe where they showed (you guessed it) Disney cartoons. There were a bunch from Chip and Dale to Hercules but the coolest at the time was The Mighty Ducks. Who could resist humanoid hockey-playing ducks who saved the world and won the game every episode. The main theme was composed by Carl Swander Johnson, is performed by Mickey Thomas.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Who can forget Master Splinter and his four pizza-eating, ninja fighting, adopted turtle sons named after four of the greatest Renaissance artists of all time? The original TMNT came out in the late 80’s and the fact that the main villain, Shredder, was voiced by Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an even bigger throwback. The theme song was written by famed TV producer Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory, Two and A Half Men) and composed by Dennis C. Brown (Two and A Half Men, Mike and Molly). Little is known about who actually sings it.
I had to throw in one for my vintage Cartoon Network folks. If you had DSTV back in the late 90s/early 2000s then you would recognise this outro from the first chord. Dexter’s Lab was one of Cartoon Network’s critically acclaimed flagship shows and it has one of the most recognisable theme songs. The outro was called “Dexter’s Laboratory” and was performed by singer and voice actor Agostino Castagnola.
Many of us watched this show long before we were old enough to see it. The Simpsons is the longest-running animated TV show in the US with, with 26 seasons and it is one of the longest running TV shows globally. The catchy opening theme song was composed by Danny Elfman in 1989 and has undergone many reincarnations since then.
The Gummi Bears
The is probably the most recognisable of all the old school cartoon theme songs. It was another one of Disney’s flagship shows and was also the first show they serialised. That set the premise for shows like The Mighty Ducks, Goof Troop and others to become serliased as well. The song was composed by Michael Silversher and Patricia Silversher and according to the internet, was sung by Gene Miller.
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What were some of your favourite and most memorable cartoon theme songs from back in the day? Tweet us at @LiveMagSA with the hashtag #90sCartoons and let us know!
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