80s cartoon theme songs
This post has been inspired by @DoctorNerve, who posted a “Josie and the Pussycats” video today on facebook and Twitter. It got me thinking…some of those cartoon theme songs from the 80s were pretty darn catchy, weren’t they? So, I’ve decided to take a walk down an animated memory lane, which is basically the virtual yellow brick road that winds through YouTube and ends in a city of people with way too much time on their hands.
Ok, so the song isn’t all that complicated (or catchy, for that matter), but this was probably many a young girl’s first exposure to something resembling feminism. Or woman-power, or what have you. On the one hand, it’s kind of too-obviously p.c. to give He-man a twin sister; and, clearly, she’s intended to rope in the female-child demographic (probably the sisters of boys who watched He-man). But, on the other hand, She-ra is a strong female role model, which is never a bad thing.
(Come to think of it, maybe this explains the origins of some of my more competitive, aggressive tendencies. I did have a She-ra action figure that I was kind of obsessed with. And my parents refused to buy me any accompanying paraphernalia, like the horse She-ra rode around on. I guess they were afraid of creating a little feminist monster…Too late.)
By my recollection, this cartoon came on way too early on Saturday mornings. We’re talking like 5:00 a.m. or something. I can remember getting up before the sun had risen and running into the living room in hopes of catching “Popples.” I was so young that I didn’t even know how to figure out what time it was. Once or twice my parents had to tell me to go back to bed because it was still the middle of the night. I just didn’t want to miss that opening song…
…What the heck is a popple, anyway? Part rabbit, part kangaroo? Who comes up with this trippy sh*t? How did they know it would capture the imaginations of youngsters everywhere (for a limited time)? You’ve got to wonder why some things catch on at all.
Now we’re getting into the really memorable stuff. This is a get-stuck-in-your-head song if I ever heard one.
(Does anyone else find it disturbing that the Gummi Bears ate “Gummi Bear-y juice”? Or is it “Gummi berry juice”? Both versions sound kind of raunchy, but the first one in particular seems to allude to cannibalism.)
Get ready to rock. “Fraggle Rock” isn’t a cartoon, but it has one badass theme song. Check out the vocal harmonies.
(I’d also like to add that I feel a certain kinship with these muppets, as I’ve been told on more than one occasion that my hair, when unkempt, resembles that of a Fraggle. Specifically, Wembley the Fraggle.)
This theme song embodies all that was simultaneously right and wrong about the 80s. Listening to it will make you feel happy, bouncy; you might want to sing along. But maybe you stop short from breaking into a full-on belt because you realize that the girlfriend cat of Riff Raff (an alter-ego version of the title character whose exact location in Heathcliff’s psyche and/or real world adventures I never could pinpoint. I mean, Riff Raff and Heathcliff never fought each other, did they? It would have been very Fight Club.)…that the girlfriend cat of Riff Raff is wearing natural fur leg warmers, and she sort of has a pompadour mullet. That’ll jerk you back into the 21st century faster than you can say “cat scratch fever.”
By the way, according to Wikipedia, there were two versions of this theme song.
Jem was cool personified (in a cartoon). She had pink hair. She was in an all-girls rock band. She was the high-tech hologram persona of music store owner Jerrica Benton. It was all very cutting-edge. The one problem with Jem was that her doll likeness created by Hasbro was of Amazonian proportions. Compared to Barbie, Jem looked about 8 ft. tall, and her wrists rotated eerily around in their sockets. The better to hold a microphone with, I guess.