10 Grooviest Cartoon Theme Songs

Straight back to childhood.

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10 Grooviest Cartoon Theme Songs

Have you ever thought about what got you into music in the first place? For me, it certainly was those peculiar mix tapes my mother used to put on for me before bedtime, the songs we used to sing in the church, and (undoubtedly) those cartoon TV-series intros.

The following 10 songs eventually transformed me into a music junkie I am now.

Can you relate?

1. Street Sharks

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This groovy tune was composed by award-winning composers Bruce Chianese and Geoff Levin. Bruce's music was used in the hit television shows, The Sopranos, Friends and Sabrina the Animated Series. Geoff has also scored some animated shows "Sabrina" and "Back to the Future".

2. Sonic Underground

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The famous intro is the child of Mike Piccirillo. Mike has also been a prolific underscore composer in many animated TV series. Between 1995 and 2004, Piccirillo's musical underscore appears in over 500 half-hour episodes including Sabrina, the Animated Series, Trollz, Archie's Weird Mysteries and many others.

3. DragonBall Z

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The American version of DBZ intro was brought to life by Peter Berring. The official domestic US soundtrack was released in 2007 and was the only one to be produced for consumers.

4. The Real Ghostbusters

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All of the songs in The Real Ghostbusters Soundtrack were performed by a band called Tahiti. Although both members of the gang (Tyren Perry and Tonya Townsend) later guest-starred in various TV shows such as "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Silver Spoons”, The Ghostbusters soundtrack was definitely the highlight of their careers!

5. Darkwing Duck

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Philip Giffin’s scored his first solo composing assignment by making a theme song for the animated Disney series "Dark Wing Duck." This success opened additional doors for Giffin in television such as "Muppets Tonight", "Beethoven’s 4th", "Deadly Relations" and "Boomtown".

6. Ducktales

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The famous opening is written by a two-time Emmy nominee and ASCAP award-winning songwriter Mark Mueller and performed by Jeffrey Pescetto (who has also contributed to the video game Tekken 5 as a sound designer).

7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Dennis C. Brown is still known best for composing the soundtrack for the 1987-1996 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated TV series along with Chuck Lorre—whom he continued to work with ever since. He is a six-time BMI TV Music Award winner for Grace Under Fire and Dharma & Greg, respectively.

8. Pink Panther

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Doug Goodwin composed the show's opening title music while William Lava and Walter Greene created music scores heard throughout the cartoons. Many of which, by the way, were variations on Henry Mancini’s "Pink Panther Theme" that he composed for the live action films.

9. Inspector Gadget

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The theme music was inspired by Edvard Grieg's movement "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and was composed by Shuki Levy. For many years Levy had a partnership with his friend Haim Saban, with Levy composing the music and Saban running the business. Their records company, Saban Records, (now Saban Music Group) has provided music for many DiC cartoons and children's shows in the 1980s and 1990s and is still running to this day.

10. Biker Mice From Mars

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Emmy award nominee William Kevin Anderson has not only written the theme song for Biker Mice from Mars but also released a few unforgettable soundtracks for My Little Pony, X-Men, and the Astro Boy series. He is an alumnus of the famous “Weird Al” Yankovic band as well, with which he recorded and toured nationally.

Know any better cartoon themes? Share them in the comment section below.

40 comments sorted by best / new / date

    How is Ren and Stimpy not on this list, definitely #1 grooviest cartoon theme song in my opinion.
    Probably because the show sucks so bad. Formula: -sitcom trope- -sitcom trope- "Hey Ren, look at my (booger/pimple/assorted gross body fluid) -extremely detailed close-up-
    Aw fuck yeah! When I scrolled down, I thought to myself "If Biker Mice From Mars isn't on here, I'll start whining." Probably one of the earliest toon tunes that got me interested in guitar.
    Fuuuuuck this takes me back. I don't remember the show at all but I remember having the blue street sharks dude and my bud had the hammerhead. Cool toys. Probably still kicking in my old suitcase full of turtles and various mcdonalds toys, back when they had good toys.
    I'd say The Boondocks but I don't think the intro was specifically written for it, which I'm guessing is a disqualifier.
    my all time favorite TV shows theme song. the composer is Ron Wasserman, same composer of Mighty Morphine Power Rangers.
    All these songs filled my childhood morning except for like three. Brings back memories. 
    NICE! I came here specifically to look for Inspector Gadget.  My band is working on a proggy/funky cover of it.