The top 20 toon intros that rocked your childhood

7 min read


I miss cartoons these days. Growing up, we had plenty of them, but they died off quicker than tie-dyed tshirts. And the key aspect of their appeal, was their intro. That’s a minute that they needed to sell you on the concept, no matter how ridiculous it was. And I bought all the merch possible with these twenty classics.


The whole idea of Bravestarr is ridiculous, insane and shut your face, it is awesome. Don’t pay any attention to the fact that some of Bravestarr’s animal powers make no sense whatsoever. Ignore the fact that theme song confuses moons with suns. Just sit back, relax and let that catchy tune sweep you up a distant planet that is far, far away.

Knights of the Zodiac

It may have had edits and cuts that bastardised the original vision of Saint Seiya to be more child-friendly. It may ahve had voice acting from the ninth circle of hell. But there’s one thing that the Knights of the Zodiac had that other cartoons didn’t. And that’s a hard-rocking Bowling for Soup cover song. Awww yeah.

Sabre Riders

Big thanks to One Large Prawn for reminding me of this hidden treasure. Which I can’t ever remember watching. But with big exoskeleton hats, swords and armour like the ones in Sabre Riders, it must have been good. I’d bet my reputation on it.


“I come from the net. Through portal hubs, Twitter CC’s and free-to-pay gates to this place! Lazygamer!” If you;ve never introduced yourself Reboot style, then man, you’re missing out on life. It’s one of the few joys in existence that has yet to be taxed, and it never gets old. NEVER EVER.

Mysterious cities of gold

True story: Anyone who watches or remembers this intro is going to have that song stuck in their head for the rest of the day. Also, I dream of owning a giant gold eagle jet one day.

Biker Mice from Mars

I’ve mentioned this before, but back when I happened to be young (technically last week), this is the cartoon that I would make up all kinds of excuses for, in order to avoid going to Sunday school. After all, what’s more important in life? Religion or super-awesome martian mice riding motorcycles that should have been put into production by Yamaha the second they saw them?


Superhero cartoons in the early nineties were essentially goofy in execution. After all, how could a man who wore his underwear on the wrong side of his spandex pants be taken seriously? And then along came X-Men, which not only proved that being serious could work, but that an intro with some the heaviest guitar riffs possible could also drive that point all the way home.

Dragonball Z (USA)

I love Dragonball Z, as a guilty pleasure. Provided that it’s the version that has been dubbed into English. Because quite frankly, the original audio clocks in at over 9000 on the make-my-ears-bleed scale. And when you combined proper manly voices with some good ol’ fashioned hard rock, you’ve got a winner on your hands. Even if the lyrics don’t make a lick of sense.

Taz Mania

Ah, the early nineties. If there was one fad that became international, it was Australia and anything remotely related to it. Cue Warner Bros jumping on the successful bandwagon that Crocodile Dundee and vegemite sammiches had created, by turning their berserker rage cartoon character Taz the Tasmanian devil into an overnight sensation.

For about three weeks anyway.

King Arthur and the Knights of Justice

I doubt anyone remembers this cartoon. But holy heck did I identify with a cartoon that had a main character share a name with me. And the first person who mentions Sir Brenda is going to get my size 9 excalibur boot up their ass.

And that rocking guitar intro! It was impossible not to air-guitar along with it. And that’s how you sell a toy line! Wait, what was I talking about again?

Sonic the Hedgehog

If you look at a Sonic game, you have to admit that the theme of imprisoned animals in robot shells, super-speed, gold rings and a fat guy obsessed with eggs is a pretty hard dish to swallow. And then you get that one cartoon intro which sets the tone perfectly in a mere minute, using all those details mentioned above.

Not bad for a cartoon character voiced by Steve Urkel.


Not every cartoon intro needs to be a straight minute of massive action and visuals that you’ll never see again. Take Doug for example. It’s simple, easy to understand and most of all: Catchy. Plus it helps you forget that Doug might be mentally unbalanced and one hallucination away from wearing Patty Mayonnaise as a raincoat.

Much like 50% of its two main cast members, the intro for Pinky and the Brain is genius, but in an insane way. It sets the plot up nicely, and it always starts with two lines that are forever imprinted in your brain.



Thunder! Thunder! Thunder! Thundercats…hoooooooooooooo! Oh man, that never gets old, and I don’t care how many people were staring at me at that funeral when I spontaneously re-enacted the Thundercats intro. That, and I shouldn’t have dressed up like Cheetarah.

The Real Ghostbusters

If you don’t like Ghostbusters then you’re probably dead and I’ll be zapping your negative particles with some positive geddafugouddahere soon. While the film is still loveable to this day, it’s the cartoon series that actually took some damn good care of the frachise, perfectly adjusting it for the small screen and continuing the adventures of the supernatural exterminators.

Until they decided to slime that it is.

Samurai Jack

If there’s one thing that a bunch of intros don’t do, that’s set up enough exposition to get the story moving. Samurai Jack was the exception though, pitching a plot that it would soon sum up with a lethal sword stroke and eyes that could see into your soul.

Darkwing Duck

Be honest. At one point in your life, you’ve turned around, looked at your colleagues and menacingly said “let’s get dangerous”. Darkwing Duck is essentially the Disney Batman. But minus the skill, cash, sidekicks, gadgets and actual competency to get the job done. In other words, he’s perfect for a job on governement.


I’ve got to hand it to Warner Bros, as they weren;t afraid to take a risk or two back in the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons. Amongst classics like Superman,Animaniacs and Batman came this gem of a series, with an equally outrageous intro as well.

Batman Beyond

What, you’d think I’d have a list like this and not have some sort of Batman included. While I loved the original show, it’s the Batman Beyond intro that really stuck with me, as it spun some crazy visuals with a future gone wrong. Slick, cool and experimental, it’s an example of the kind of cartoons that are deemed to risky for TV these days.

Duck Tales

I don’t care that diving into an ocean of money will break every bone in your body. I don’t care that technically, all the ducks in this film are perverts without pants. But dat intro! That marvellous song and dance! Is there a person alive who doesn’t know it? Nope!

Big thanks to @Grim_tenmiles and @Neverglade_ZA for getting this ball rolling.

Last Updated: January 4, 2017

  • Hammersteyn

    Most of my childhood in a nutshell. Just missing Robotech,He-man,Thundercats,Tiny Toons,Gummi-Bears,Goof Troop and Chip ‘n Dales. Well I did say most maybr I should’ve gotten out more?

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      Saving it for the top 30 list 😀

      • Hammersteyn

        Going through these comments there’s a lot more that even I missed.

    • King_Anonymous

      Too many for me to mention, won’t even bother. Nowadays cartoons are dead 🙁

      • Hammersteyn

        Dont even start with Ben Ten or any of that Disney crap.

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          Yeah cartoons nowadays are horrible.

          • Hammersteyn

            I can still watch Tom & Jerry or the Looney Toons. They never get old.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Those are the best. But have you seen lately how some of them are in CG? Blegh. I miss the days where it was all hand drawn.

          • Hammersteyn

            So do I?

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            It sucks. All animations are computer drawn now instead of by hand. So it all feels… clinical….

          • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

            We have a T&J DVD for my daughter “Greatest Chases”


            So I downloaded 146 episodes for her. Much better now

          • Hammersteyn


    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      Gummi Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeears!

      Bouncing here and there and everywhere

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        High adventures that’s beyond compare!!!! (I think?)

  • Gustav Minnie

    We didn’t have MNet so every day i climbed on my bike, 5km to my friend’s house to watch the terror that flaps in the night. Never watched Knights of the Zodiac, Sabre Riders & King Arthur and the Knights of Justice. The rest I watched them all. They don’t make cartoons like this anymore.

    PS Darryn how could you miss these?

    • Aster

      Bionic Six!!! Awww I miss that show.
      That and Diabolik: Track of the Panther

  • Draco Lusus

    Dude, did you not watch this???

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      Sadly, no 🙁

      • Tiaan Pat

        Aww man that brought back some good memories… i have been looking for these for a long time!!! Anyone know where i can get the series???

  • Draco Lusus

    Dino Riders!

  • ElNicko

    Thank you so much Darryn – definite ticket on the Nostalgia train……wow(cue sudden realisation that I’m getting old)

    • ElNicko

      also forgot Captain Planet , Beast Wars , Gi Joe :A real America Hero ,TMNT and Swat Cats……

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Anything but Captain planet. Really did not like that show.

        • ElNicko

          come on , it wasn’t that bad. At least it wasn’t Widget the world Watcher……Also , Captain Planet would have been entertaining like this pic

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew


          • Captain Minion TallTwit

            Shut up & take my up vote.

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Beast Wars FTW

  • Veeash Lala

    Where are the Gummi Bears?!

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      Hopefully in hell. Where they belong.

  • OVG

    You fail on so many levels, you forgot this

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      I see neither Cadillacs, nor Dinosaurs. ARGUMENT INVALID!

  • fintel

    Gummi Bears, chip and dale?

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      It’s no secret around here, but…I fucking hate the Gummi Bears. Chip ‘n Dale would have made it in a Top 25 list though.

      • fintel

        To each their own. What about Tail spin or is that also on the “you shall not speak of it” list.

        • Tbone187

          I don’t reckon de mom’s got him the Gruffy toy he wanted oh so bad…

  • Grant Hancock

    Love your list ! … sooo many of my favourites 🙂 … Have NO CLUE why Reboot hasn’t been …uhh… rebooted :/ ..or made into a film

  • hairyknees

    FREAKAZOID! Oh my goodness I loved that show 🙂

  • hairyknees


    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors


  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    Freakazoid, Bravestarr,Animaniacs and Xmen were amazing.
    Dragonball Z changed my life.
    But Batman Beyond wins. Hands down. Dat intro music…….

  • Rags

    😮 No TMNT?

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    so much memories…reboot,I still remember when Max(i think that’s his name) went all rogue with a targeting system in his eye…
    Doug and skeeter …
    gambit to rogue: Mon ami ..gambit lurrv you
    ….such good times. all these random memories flowing

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Reboot was epic 🙂 Never missed an episode. I have it all on my PC actually 🙂

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        whoo, Nice, Man the memories of that hey …. back when cartoons were still awesome. I feel like watching Animaniacs now too

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Must get those from you!

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          We must make plans!

  • Magius

    King Arthur and the Knights of Justice also had a semi decent Megadrive game as I recall.

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    What!? No Samurai Pizza Cats?

    • TiMsTeR1033

      I loved that show, the way they got shot out that gun thing. Found memories

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Found or fond?

  • Guest

    So many good memories…

    Have to say, being part of the younger generation, Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo were two classics for me as well.

  • DBL_ZA

    So many good memories…

    Have to say, being part of the younger generation, Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo were two classics for me as well.

    • DBL_ZA

      Apologies everyone for the double-post (if it shows up), gif wouldn’t work in the first post

  • DieJason

    Bucky O’Hare anybody?

  • Tidycpc


  • Banana_man

    Robotech! C.O.P.S! Swat Cats!

  • Tbone187

    You could add Gargoyles… Asterix and Obelix…Tin Tin…the 90’s Spiderman cartoon was epic as well…

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