T-McBee’s Top 10 80’s Cartoon Intros

80sCartoonIntros

The 80’s… What do we remember most from this era? One of the things that comes to my mind when the 80s are being discussed are the intros to some classic animated shows. They were ground breaking at the time and we gotta thank for these opening themes to innovate animated TV shows. I was born in the late 80s and it was great that I was able to know about these nostalgic shows and their memorable opening themes. I’m sure people from a younger generation are open to give these cartoons a try if they ever saw their intros first. But where can they check these nostalgic intros out? Online? DVD Box-Sets? Teletoon Retro? Europe? My Pants?  Who only knows…

This is T-McBee here counting down my “Top 10 80’s Cartoon Intros”. Here at the rules…

1. I will only be focusing on the opening intros by its overall presentation.

2. I am aware some 80s shows had a run on TV until the 90s, so I’ll be focusing on the first intros that came out when the shows were first aired.

3. The choices are personal preferences, so please don’t take it personally if your favourites aren’t higher or aren’t even on my list.

Well  that settles everything. Now it’s time to ride our auto-bots and travel back in time to the 80s starting with… an honourable mention.

HONORABLE MENTION – C.O.P.S.

This one is quite a guilty pleasure intro as I remember watching C.O.P.S. as a kid. Not the live-action show! The animated show to be precise. Now I find the show completely forgettable except for its intro. What made me remember this cartoon the most was the deep voice from the narrator and how awesome he sounded. Plus I did appreciate the character designs, animations and all the action-pack sequences that were presented in this intro.

It didn’t reach in the Top 10 due to the slight odd pacing near the end. But no matter the faults it has, I still enjoyed the quirky urban cool vibe that the C.O.P.S. intro had. Not the live-action show! The animated sho- Yeah, you get the message.

10. She-Ra: Princess of Power

The intro to She-Ra Princess of Power does look similar to the intro of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. After all, She-Ra is a spin off series of He-Man, but starring a female protagonist instead. However, the one thing that I liked about the opening of She-Ra was its catchy beat and chants of her name in the music.

Say what you want about the supporting characters and villains not being as memorable as the ones presented in He-Man, but I will say that the intro really pays off for its presentation. The pacing of the intro is a little bit slow and the narration from Princess Adora/ She-Ra wasn’t highly memorable, but it’s still one cool and colourful intro to watch.

9. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe had a pretty iconic opening that people still remember to this day. The chanting of “He-Man” in the score and He-Man’s memorable shouting quote “I HAVE THE POWER!” is what really gets me to enjoy watching He-man and the show’s opening.

The intro to He-Man did not place higher on my list just because I am not a huge fan of intros with long narrations in them, but at least the pacing was better presented than in She-Ra’s opening. However, the cheesy vibe of this 80’s classic series still presents an overload of epic nostalgia moments in its opening theme. Despite what I’ve said about the narration, at least Prince Adam/He-Man’s dialogue is quite entertaining to hear.

8. Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers

This one is more of a guilty pleasure since Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers was one of my favourite shows to watch when I was little. I’ve always liked hearing the chorus of “C-C-C Chip and Dale, Rescue Rangers!” whenever the intro played.  Although, this TV series had so many versions of its opening that eventually the editors of this show finally got it bang on.

In the first version, you can clearly hear the lyrics from the singer, but the tone does need a bit more “UMPH!” to the beat.

The intro of Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers that was shown first is a good example of its sloppy editing in the intro’s presentation. I can handle the sexy vocal singer and the video’s pacing is nicely put together, but the placement of the sound effects that’s not synced with the clips still kind of bugs me to this day.

And finally, here’s the other 2nd version, which is way better presented than the last one. Therefore, despite all the versions that the show had for its opening, I still have a soft spot in liking the tune and vibe for the intro to Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers.

7. Garfield and Friends

The show Garfield and Friends surprisingly had two intros for this TV series that I didn’t even know about. I remember seeing the show’s season 3 theme from 1990 very often back then, but when I finally saw its first intro from 1988 years later, I really liked it and I still do today.

Garfield and Friends intro has a joyful, but relaxing tune which eventually ends the song with a subtle uplifting note. The intro use its lyrics to match the visuals and editing in this rivalry concept of Garfield against the characters at Orson’s farm. And would you know it, it was well put together. But most importantly, I really love the beginning of the opening when Garfield is tap-dancing on the fence and plays the record player. Whoever was the animator that animated that sequence did a damn good job on it!

6. Inspector Gadget

Not every cartoon intro needs to have someone singing or long narration to tell what the cartoon is all about. Take the intro to Inspector Gadget as an example, where it provides simple lyrics and tells the concept of the show through actions.

I find Inspector Gadget’s opening to have a really unique and catchy tune that matches the ambiance of the show. I especially love how the opening starts with the sounds of the police siren going by.  This is definitely one cartoon opening that anyone of all ages will remember right away. Just say “Inspector Gadget”, “Oo! Ooooo!” and “Go Gadget Go” and you’re half-way there to sing its iconic theme.

5. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh is a franchise I’ve enjoyed watching as a kid and every time I watched the opening to The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, I get this sweet cuddly feeling inside. Hearing the intros heart warming melody and seeing footage from the show just gives me satisfying goosebumps every time.

The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’s intro starts off with a soft subtle tune in the beginning, but hits an exciting tone once the chorus and 2nd verse of the song starts. The music and clips from the show was paced well and had a great presentation overall. I really liked how the intro to this specific Winnie the Pooh series didn’t felt too toddler, such as the following Winnie the Pooh TV intro below:


This intro isn’t subtle cute… It’s just plain torture! But at least it’s not painfully bad as Barney the Dinosaur’s opening.  

4.  Beetlejuice

If you want to check out a cartoon intro that looks like you’re on one trippy roller coaster ride, then the first intro to the Beetlejuice cartoon is the answer to this experience. I would always get excited every time this intro plays with it’s twisted visuals and catchy music that sounds like a eerie Christmas tune. Seriously, it sounded like a bunch of Christmas carolers just came into the recording studio and start singing along to the intro’s score… which I think it turned out awesome!

Beetlejuice’s intro always gave me a good bone chilling vibe all the time, especially in the beginning where Beetlejuice is laughing his head off and yells out “IT’S SHOW TIME!”. Plus extra points for the animations looking so good  in the beginning part of the intro . In fact, the quality of the intro’s animations were well done, but it did had a few stock scenes that would often appear in the show. As much as I liked this intro, there were three other intros that I had to put higher over Beetlejuice. Three? don’t mention his name trice. Wait a minute….

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a highly iconic series from the 80’s and of course I couldn’t forget about the series’ first TV series and it’s upbeat awesome intro. Okay it was campy as hell, but it was enjoyably campy that you just don’t give a damn due to the action sequences that were presented in the intro. Well, at least for the first season intro. The later intros from the show were slowing loosing it’s charm.

In my opinion, the 80’s TMNT intro kept it simple with the character’s introduction, including a melody and its lyrics that you can easily sing along to. I especially love the silly catchphrases that was in the intro like “He’s a radical rat!” or “That’s a fact!” in between the lyrical part of the theme, which gave it a decent flow. From all the TV intros that were shown for  the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, the 80’s version is still my favourite and will always be my favourite.

It was cool that the 2012 TMNT intro brought back the same chorus from the 80’s cartoon. The only problem is… Nickelodeon made the intro into a hip hop rap song. I have nothing against the newest version of the series as a whole, but the intro… why have the verses sung in a rap?

I hate you Nickelodeon… I hate you.  

2. Alvin and the Chipmunks

Surprised? Yeah I knew you would be when I picked the first intro to Alvin and the Chipmunks as my runner up for favourite animated intros from the 80’s. While I do not really care about the content and the characters from the show anymore, but there’s something about it’s opening intro that leaves me with high satisfaction. The music, setting and the animation direction makes you feel welcome when Alvin, Simon and Theodore are performing on stage. It definitely feels like that you are watching them perform.

I remember watching Alvin and the Chipmunks mostly for its intro and seeing the show now on Teletoon Retro still gives me those enjoyable shivers down my spine. This animated opening will be the only thing that comes to mind when someone mentions about Alvin and the Chipmunks. At least it calms me down after seeing those abominating designs in the live-action films from the same franchise.

Sorry, but this is NOT how I picture Alvin, Simon and Theodore. They look like furry poser thugs! NOT COOL CHIPMUNKS! NOT COOL!

Though the intro was close to being number one, but there was one cartoon theme from the 80s that I couldn’t put below first place, Which is…

1. Ducktales

Whether you call it the best opening or the most obnoxious intro from the 80s, there is no deny that you will still sing along to the intro to Ducktales. This is by far the better TV intro than any intro that Disney Toon had brought out from this decade. In fact, the best Disney intro I have ever seen. It didn’t had sound effects added to the clips like later Disney intros did. This one was plain and simple and it turned out perfect. I liked that not all the clips you’ve seen were from certain episodes. Some scenes were animated just for the intro.

Watching the Ducktales opening for the first time feels like a huge blast from the past and there’s a reason why it’s my number 1 favourite cartoon intro from the 80s. It had a great welcoming vibe to get people invested in the show, providing with the action and content that viewers will get in each episode. Also, I cannot forget how much I  like the singer that sings the lyrics to Ducktales. Sure, this song will get embedded in your head and will not leave your poor brain alone (Doug Walker’s Nostalgia Critic has said this himself), but you still find yourself enjoying the Ducktales’ catchy theme, no matter what. In fact, why don’t we sing along, shall we?

Nostalgia Overload! Take my money Capcom! Just take it!

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