Top 10 Best 90s Cartoon Theme Songs

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Top 10 Best 90s Cartoon Theme Songs

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Our childhoods were defined by these radical 90s cartoon theme songs. Even decades later, their catchy lyrics and music remains stuck in our heads. Let's take a trip back in time when our world revolved around Fox Kids and the Disney Afternoon! WatchMojo ranks the most tubular 90s cartoon theme songs. What's your favorite 90s cartoon theme? Let us know in the comments!
Transcript
These cartoon songs are totally tubular. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Radical ‘90s Cartoon Theme Songs.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best cartoon theme songs from shows that began in the 1990s. We’ll be excluding series that began in the ‘80s, as well as anime and songs that weren’t originally written for the show in question.

#10: “The Mighty Ducks” (1996-97)


Though this series may have come out near the tail end of Disney’s cartoon heyday, its theme song is so perfectly ‘90s, it’s amazing. Sung by Mickey Thomas of Jefferson Starship fame, “The Mighty Ducks” theme song is appropriately rock inspired, and manages to turn a premise that sounds ridiculous on paper, hockey-playing ducks that fight aliens, and make it sound awesome. The accompanying visuals help complete the theme to make it a distillation of many things common to ‘90s cartoons: Disney, animals, edgy action, and space. “Ducks rock” indeed.

#9: “Pinky and the Brain” (1995-98)


A spin-off of a series that may show up later on our list, “Pinky and the Brain” follows its two titular characters, a pair of laboratory mice, as they try to take over the world. The show’s song details the duo’s backstory, goals, and establishes that while Brain is a genius, Pinky is not all there. The booming vocals and text are evocative of old sci-fi cinema, while the orchestral music that accompanies the lyrics lends the whole thing a slightly unhinged vibe that fits the characters. All in all, it’s the perfect theme for a show about wacky world domination.

#8: “TaleSpin” (1990-91)


We’re not sure whose idea it was to have Baloo from “The Jungle Book” get into highflying adventures as a 1930s bush pilot, but we’re glad they did, if only because it means we got this great theme song. Possessing a Caribbean style sound, cheerful vocals, and great mix of a chanting, catchy chorus and rapid-fire rhymes, the “TaleSpin” theme is a cartoon introduction song like no other on our list. It’s one that can be enjoyed “through thick and thin,” so it’s definitely worth a spin.

#7: “Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars” (1991)


The ‘90s were a weird time, okay? We could watch a show about a green space rabbit captain and his crew battling toads and not bat an eye. The premise of this bizarre show is made even stranger by its theme song, which features rapping; another thing every other kids’ show in the ‘90s seemingly had. “Bucky O’Hare” managed to pull it off better than most, though, given its memorable subject matter, “funky fresh” beat, and its ability to still evoke a grand, if offbeat, space adventure.

#6: “Animaniacs” (1993-98)


You know what time it is! Warner Bros. had some fantastically catchy theme songs for their cartoons in the ‘90s and arguably the most infectious is from “Animaniacs.” The animated variety show’s theme is bombastic, loud, and mischievous (just like its lead characters), while the lyrics showcase its diverse cast and their quirks. All this while also breaking the fourth repeatedly, telling numerous jokes, and even containing a line that changes depending on the episode. Overall, it’s a fantastically memorable way to prepare the audience for exactly what to expect from this zany cartoon.

#5: “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” (1990-96)


Unique among our entries, the theme song we’re discussing didn’t play during the opening credits, which featured mostly narration, and instead played during the end credits. This is a shame, since the song is incredibly catchy, with an opening rock portion and chorus will get stuck in your head for days and a second part that features the Planeteers rapping about how cool saving the planet is. As adorably cheesy and well-intentioned as the show itself, this theme got kids excited about protecting the environment even more than the series that preceded it.

#4: “Goof Troop” (1992)


Disney has a habit of giving us things we didn’t know we wanted, and a show about Goofy being a single dad and getting into comical escapades with his grumpy neighbor is one such instance. “Goof Troop”’s intro theme is a jazzy pop song with striking vocals and an upbeat, friendly tone that promises goofy times to be had. The visuals feature much of the show’s usual physical comedy, along with some ‘90s imagery and editing that make it both a product of its time and timelessly fun.

#3: “Darkwing Duck” (1991-92)


When there’s trouble, you call D.W.! Disney’s take on the superhero genre, “Darkwing Duck” is a hilarious sendup on its tropes, with a hero torn between seeking fame and actually saving people and being heroic. The theme song itself bops along at a great pace, featuring funky tunes, killer guitar, and enthusiastic backup singers, along with lyrics that lend Darkwing Duck a fantastic air of dark coolness. On the whole, it’s a great combination of tones that makes for a song that’d be “dangerous” not to appreciate.

#2: “The Magic School Bus” (1994-97)


It takes a lot to get kids interested in education, as any teacher will tell you. But “The Magic School Bus” pulled it off with gusto and that begins with its opening theme song. Depicting the magical school vehicle’s adventurous field trips to exotic and educational locales, while also featuring a foot-tapping melody and lyrics that describe said adventures, the song grabs your attention and never lets go. It doesn’t hurt that it’s sung by a singer of Little Richard’s caliber either (yes, really!).

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Taz-Mania” (1991-95)

“Sonic the Hedgehog” (1993-94)

“Tiny Toon Adventures” (1990-92)

#1: “X-Men” (1992-97)


Nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nah-nah-NAH, buh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nah- nah-NAH! [Or whatever the voiceover’s phonetic pronunciation of the riff is] Hm? The list? Oh, right! The opening to the ‘90s “X-Men” cartoon is a theme song that may not have vocals or lyrics, but it rocks SO HARD it doesn’t need them. While the visuals display the various X-Men and their abilities, along with awesome action, gorgeous animation, and even thematic touches like Professor X and Magneto’s approach to situations (mind and might), the epic guitar and other instruments get you hyped for one of the best comic book shows ever with a beat that will never leave your head.
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Um, Batman: The Animated Series?