Variations On A Theme

Team Edward [James Olmos] Shirts at Topatoco!

I recorded a podcast with Alex and Roger, which will be uploaded over the weekend, and this [what you see in the panels above] just sort of happened after we stopped recording. I thought it was amusing enough to share. Perhaps I thought wrong. Perhaps I thought not wrong enough, and perhaps even too right. Time will never tell and history shall not be the judge, for this is an insignificant matter and history has a lot of judging on its plate already.

If you are curious as to why I have M.A.S.K. [look HERE and HERE if you are unfamiliar] on the brain, I have been spending a lot of time watching the intros to 80’s cartoon shows on YouTube… for… research. If that fact raises even further questions, rest assured those of you that preordered HE Book 2 will soon learn the reason why. Those of you that did not may continue to wallow in dispair and confusion.

I am headed out of town to visit family, so the Friday Lo-FiJINKS comic will likely be posted late Friday night or possibly Saturday. I’m still getting used to the increased comic output schedule, but I hope you are enjoying it.

COMMENTERS: What was your favorite 80’s cartoon theme song? Which was the worst? Which was the best-worst-most-over-the-top-hair-metal-explode-a-ganza?

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76 Comments

  1. Ulysses 31 doesn't really count as 80s because the original French version was released in 79 I think. BUT the English (and I believe US) version it is STILL the most epic intro ever. The French version is quite odd and the Japanese intro is, well, suitably Japanese.

    Jace and the Wheeled Warriors was also pretty good (although I was never a big fan of the actual show), as was Mysterious Cities of Gold. Around the World with Willie Fog always got the family signing along.

    Then there was Jem, She-Ra and far too many others!

    • Heh, that's a bit of a co-incidence – just yesterday we spent far too long scouring YouTube for old cartoon intros in a variety of languages. He-Man in Spanish is particularly epic. We also discovered that Star Fleet, in both France and Japan, inexplicably lacks the awesome theme song.

  2. I grew up in the 90's. We didn't have M.A.S.K. We had Vor-Tech which was pretty much the same exact thing….but 90's.

  3. Oh, MASK. It was trying so hard to be both GI Joe and Transformers at the same time. Thanks for retrieving that from my long ago memory.

  4. My top three cartoon theme/intros:

    1. Star Blazers. Bombastic, over-the-top, almost operatic with that majestic chorus. Plus it was so different from any other cartoons I'd seen up to that point.

    2. M.A.S.K. Shuki Levy and Haim Saban were responsible for more catchy music during the 80s than just about anybody else. The lyrics were pretty stupid, really, but you didn't care because it sounded so cool anyway.

    3. JEM. The theme song was so damn catchy even *I* used to watch the show. Plus, Jem was *HOT*.

  5. I wouldn't have even known what the hell this comic was about if it weren't for Robot Chicken. My favorite cartoon intro is still Star Blazers, but that started in 1979. I'd like to be in a band with balls big enough to go out on stage and play that awesome space disco theme song. Preferably with facsimiles of the uniforms, complete with the big arrows pointing for no apparent reason at our junk.

    (It's probably also my favorite cartoon, and hooked me on sci-fi shows with big story arcs. I even bought the DVDs. Painfully cheesy yet somehow the story's still compelling to me.)

  6. Can I throw in "Mighty Orbots" and "Pole Position" into the hot 80s theme song mix? Extra points to "Mighty Orbots" for somehow making lady robot/transformer things seem sexy.

    And while it wasn't actually a "song," kudos to the "Dungeons and Dragons" opening for pretty much summing up everything you needed to know about the show in the opening credits.

    • lol Channel 4 blocked the video because the content isn't available in my country! Despite the fact that we are :/

      But if that's Björk "All Is Full Of Love" then yes we do digress!

    • I have had the "Gummi Bears" theme stuck in my head for over 25 years. I'm pretty sure that Disney turned me into one of their sleeper agents. I'm going to get a call on my phone one day and all I am going to hear is "magic and mystery are part of their history, and so is the secret of Gummi Beary juice," and who knows what cheerful, magical pandamonium I will release?

      About the cartoon, I only remember that one of the Gummi Bears was like an "A-Team"-level bad ass, which I thought was crazy.

    • I STILL get the Carmen San Diego theme, as sung by that random a cappella group of dudes from the game show, stuck in my head for no reason other than that it is indeed quite awesome.

  7. OMG, you guys. Am I the only person who ever watched Kidd Video!
    Who cares what the theme was – the whole show was ridiculous '80s music. One character even used a keytar!
    Master Blaster! Ha!

    "I'm gonna live forever" is totally the better option in the comic.

    • No, you're not the only person *sigh*
      I've been having 80's flashbacks all morning about how many toons I watched back then and have forgotten…I'm going to get Alzheimer's and be singing all these songs in the nursing home in 50 years…

      I still remember a cartoon I think NBC had with superheroes that were surfers, or something, and it was a live band that played the bumpers at the top and bottom of the show…can't figure out how to enter memory fragments like that into Google yet to get an answer, lol

  8. Haha man so hard to choose, I recall thundercats, had some sweet 80s guitar riffs. I recently watched the Super Mario Bros Show on Netflix, and realized how god awful the rap intro on that was. Im sure at the time i thought it was cool.

    • Oh god, at the time I LOVED that rap/song. I used to swing in time as I sang it on the playground.

      If your sink is in trouble you can call us on the double! We're faster than the others you'll get hooked on The Brothers! UNH!

  9. I used to have the Thunderhawk car and Spectrum figure. My cousin broke the front right tire off with a shovel. i was pissed. it's probably still buried in the sand in my backyard.

  10. Mighty Orbots, Voltron = awesome.
    Saturday Supercade (and "sub-themes" for included shorts (Frogger, DK, etc)) = Guilty pleasures. Questionable.
    Kids Super Power Hour with Shazam!, Godzilla (cartoon) = YouTube only if you want part of your childhood to die inside.

  11. The first thing that comes to mind for me is definitely the theme from Bucky O'Hare. That was some super weird-sauce right there, and I'd pretty much forgotten all about it until just now.

    Favorite/least favorite cartoon theme song from the 90s (when I was a kid) that hasn't been mentioned yet would probably have to be Big Bad Beetleborgs. Hoo boy…now there's a show that was trying way too hard to be lots of other things.

    "Three typical average kids…"
    (mansion, ghost, yada yada, exposition, etc…)
    "BIIIG BAAAD BEE-TLE-BORGS!!"

    And that's all anybody remembers of that song.

    • I think that show was born of a brainstorming session gone wrong.

      "OK, name things kids like."
      "Power Rangers, bugs, movie monsters, comic books, magic powers…"
      "OK. Put all that in a show."
      "All of it??"
      "ALL OF IT. DO NOT QUESTION HAIM SABAN YOU FOOL."

  12. Got to give JEM props. I remember it debuted as part of "Super Week", with ROBOTIX, which was basically an ad for the toy (as many cartoons were), and had the same 3-note "roBAAAtix" theme song from the toy commercials. I seem to remember them attempting to package in a "Big Foot Monster Truck" cartoon in that package too. The plot possibilities were endless, amiright?

  13. The second theme song of •Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea , sung by Menudo rocked.
    Wildfire was a great tsory about a girl who REALLY was a princess, and she was friends with a magical talking horse.
    And my first ever cartoon crush, Captain Harlock!

  14. Worst ever: Swamp Thing.

    Swamp Thing!
    You are amazing
    You fight everything … nasty

    Swamp Thing!
    Swamp Thing, Earth really needs you!
    So come on, fight for right!
    We NEED you!

    Swamp Thing!
    You are amazing!
    Oh Swamp Thing!

  15. It isn't a cartoon but I swear the Super Mario Brothers music popped into my head while reading this thread. Which is impressive because I didn't even have a Nintendo!

  16. Feel the magic, hear the roar. Thundercats are loose!

    I was all about Thundercats when I kid.

    I also would've said the X-Men intro but that was early 90's.

  17. All these great cartoon themesongs, and what do I remember most clearly? The fucking Smurfs' "La lalalalala." Someone put me out of my misery, please.

  18. Wings of silver, nerves of steel (Silverhawks!) Partly metal, partly real (Silverhawks!)

    Still sends shivers up my spine. Never had the toys, but my sisters and I pretended to be them all the time. Most rockin' 80's intro.

  19. Although Jem is my all-time favorite 80's cartoon, the theme song wasn't all THAT great. And it was certainly far from the best song in the show. Musically, the second theme song, "Me and my friends are Jem girls," is actually better (though as you can tell just from that sample, the lyrics were much worse).

    If we really want to talk theme songs, though, Duck Tales has GOT to win the prize. It is the classic of classics. Walk into any place of business that has 20- to 40-year-olds working there, sing "Life is like a hurricane," and stand back as the entire office bursts into song around you. Such is the power of the Duck Tales theme.

  20. Puh-leeze. The one toon to rule them all, the one toon to find them…

    You know we've got a mystery to solve, so Scooby Doo be ready for your act; don't hold back. And Scooby Doo when you come through you're gonna have yourself a Scooby Snack! That's a fact!

    • Man, you know what completely RUINED Scooby Doo for me? Cartoon Network. There was a time when that's ALL that they played. ALL THE TIME, SCOOBY ALL DAY LONG.

  21. How has no one mentioned Ducktales? (Woo-ooh) Seriously. That song has both plagued and delighted me for at least 20-some years now.

  22. I'm not sure how much I'm mixing in early 90's into this as the cartoons I watched from early childhood are all a blur, but I enjoyed several. To include, but not limited to:

    Thundercats, Ducktales, Tail Spin, Inspector Gadget, X-Men, Transformers, Beast Wars, Dark Wing Duck, Gargoyles, Scooby Doo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gummi Bears, Spiderman, Batman Beyond, Rescue Rangers, Power Rangers, He Man, G.I. Joe, Pound Puppies, and The Smurfs

  23. Did anybody else sing it "Spectrum's got a super long dick"? Or was that just my depraved friends?

    Yes, I am archive crawling, why do you ask?

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