By Kiki Arochas, Staff Writer
Cartoons were a staple of my childhood. Oh, I remember vividly the countless hours I sat glued to my television. I watched all the usual suspects: Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Nickelodeon, Disney…These were not mere channels, these were ways of life (I don’t have a problem, I CAN STOP ANYTIME I WANT!) Cartoons were what activated my imagination, seeing worlds and realities that I hadn’t before for the first time. But all good shows need a good theme song. A melody that instantly gets you into the mood of the show. A tune that becomes synonymous with the emotions you feel when watching your favorites. The very best become icons, sung at campfires with friends as you join together in holy nostalgia. I am here today to bring back that feeling, to, in the words of the Mesilat Yesharim, “not to teach people what they don’t know, but to remind them of what they already know.” Listed are some of my personal favorites and some that I think may have been forgotten. Note, however: this is not a ranking. If I miss your favorite, I’m sorry, I’m studying for midterms too.
#1: Ben 10
With its spooky introduction jumping right into guitar, Ben 10’s theme immediately combined the alien, outer space elements, with the epicness of a superhero story. I loved this song on every listen, to the point that I was pretty bothered when it was shortened in later seasons. Thankfully though, the core stayed the same, allowing me to dive into the world of Ben 10 on every listen. The first line of this song always gave me the giggles: “It started when an alien device did what it did.” Heh heh, yeah it did.
#2: “Let’s Beyblade!” – Beyblade
Very few theme songs have been more memorized than this iconic number that was used for all the first three seasons of Beyblade, spanning Metals Fusion, Masters, and Fury. Is there anything more pumping than this song? The words yelled from the get-go, the adrenaline rushing through you, as you prepare to watch those metal tops spin into action (the premise is pretty ridiculous when you think about it for more than ten seconds). All of it culminates in those three words that define the show, that anybody who’s ever loved Beyblade remembers fondly: “LET IT RIP!”
#3: “The Weekend Whip” – Ninjago
Unbelievably catchy? Check. Pumping? Check. Memorable? No doubt. I’m half convinced this theme was the only thing keeping fans back after it ran for 15 seasons too long. This was the first theme song I remember sitting down and talking to friends about, noting just how awesome it was. Years passed and I had forgotten about it until a Spotify “Nostalgia Mix,” reminded me of what I had lost. It’s been on repeat ever since.
#4: “Call Me Beep Me” – Kim Possible
This catchy and bumping theme hit the number one spot on “Disney Channel songs of Yesteryear” for a reason. The unique vocals combined with flash sequences of Kim kicking some serious tuchus brings back many memories of my unrequited cartoon crushes – Man did I love me some Ron Stoppable.
#5: “My Gym Partner is a Monkey Opening”
While the show wasn’t one of my favorites or anything close to it, for no reason at all this theme just slapped. It was the type that just got in your head and lived there rent-free until you knocked yourself out with a hammer (just me?). “MONKEY MONKEY MONKEY!”
#6 “Danny Phantom Opening”
Yessir. This theme also followed what seemed to be a common trope at that time of having the origin story in its theme song. What separated this bop from the rest, was that it literally had every detail rather than just a line or two. I always liked this because the show was then allowed to just start without having to explain anything.
#7 “Today is gonna Be a Great Day” – Phineas and Ferb
Have you ever met anybody who doesn’t know this song by heart? How many times has a class or similar setting been divulged into pure chaos by one dude yelling, “THERE’S A HUNDRED AND FOUR DAYS OF SUMMER VACATION,” with everybody finishing the line? This song is in my book the king of iconic childhood tunes in a show filled with them. On each listen, I’m treated to fine memories of Doof, Perry, Phineas, and Ferb making every day exciting. “MOOOOOM! PHINEAS AND FERB ARE MAKING A TITLE SEQUENCE!”