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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Last Updated: January 4, 2017