Monday, May 10, 2010

There's Bologna in Our Slacks.

So, the gang I run around with up here in Chicago has recently been taken in by old school 80s and early-90s cartoon theme songs. And yes, this of course involved a drunken night of scrolling through Apple TV and consecutively watching as many as we could find on the worldwide Internet computer web.

We grew up listening to these songs ad nauseum. They're seared into our brains. It seems unbelievable, but the tunes weren't candy-coated fluff, but actual songs, complete with 80s hooks and synth movements abound. I mean shit, Mark Mueller, composer of both the DuckTales and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers theme songs, has had three Billboard top ten singles and a number one adult contemporary "hit" during his career (I'm not too sure an adult contemporary song should be called a "hit" in any fashion). Let's face it, Disney straight had its shit down in the 80s.

This post highlights the picks of the litter from my childhood (and maybe early adolescence). Enjoy.

DuckTales (1987-1990) - There's just not a better theme song. Check out the end of this post for cringe-worthy bonus material involving the singer of the original theme song, Jeff Pescetto.

 Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (1989-1990) - I was always partial to Monterey Jack myself.

Tiny Toons (1990-1995) - Warner Bros. knew what it was doing as well. Early 90s after-school gold.

Animaniacs (1993-1998) - Another Warner Bros. vehicle. Legitimately witty. I watched this religiously, despite an awareness that I should be growing out of cartoons.

ThunderCats (1985-1990) - Infused with epic, flaming guitar solos. Uh, it's fucking ThunderCats.

He-Man & the Masters of the Universe (1983-1985) - I probably beat my little brother up after I watched this cartoon. You know, to prove my manliness and shit.

Muppet Babies (1984-1990) - I was never the biggest "live action" Muppet fan, but I know that I watched Muppet Babies regularly. This admission discounts the manliness that I previously mentioned.

Alvin & the Chipmunks (1983-1990) - This cartoon series was later raped by a couple of terrible live action movies. I'm sure a third is in the works. Stay tuned.

Bobby's World (1990-1998) - Howie Mandel has always been a pretty big shitbag. This was his show before he became a bald shitbag that wasted your time for an hour with some banker and a bunch of suitcases.

Bonus Junk: Some turd named Josh tracked down Jeff Pescetto and beat around the bush for about eight minutes before he finally asked him to sing the theme song from DuckTales. It's a little sad and painful.


Heidi Lynn Bragg said...

I love Bobby's World! As a child and even as an adult, I feel that he is the cartoon character I most closely resemble.

Adam said...

Now THIS is the kind of blog entry I can really comment on, KW. Kudos.

I would have liked to been in the Disney board room for the DuckTales pitch. I cannot imagine a show summary that would make one bit of sense (but I guess that's why it worked so well).
DISNEY GUY 1 - "So we take that grumpy rich duck Scrooge, Donald Duck's three orphaned nephews, and a wacky pilot named Launchpad and we drop them into adventures of literally every genre. Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, crime, time travel, nothing's off limits from these wacky quackers!"
DISNEY GUY 2 - "So no Donald? One of our biggest characters?"
DISNEY GUY 1 - "Nah, he joined the Navy see, had to drop the kids off with their great-uncle." (Passes bong.)
DISNEY GUY 2 - (Takes giant hit.) "COUGH. Sounds dope. COUGH."

Why were the people in charge of the Warner Bros. cartoons so convinced that scripts were a bad thing? Both the Tiny Toons and Animaniacs intros make mention of rejected scripts or the lack of them altogether. But, you have to admit, the shows were pretty successful for script-less, improved animation. (That's a thing, right?)

I think somebody should explore the role of our early cartoons in the development of the whole "furry" sexual phenomenon. I mean, who didn't want to see Cheetara from the ThunderCats slip off that orange unitard and flash some fuzzy nips? Or was that just me, and did I just identify some questionable thinking on my part as a 3-5 year old?

Now that I re-watch the Muppet Babies intro, I notice the two Lucasfilm tie-ins (Indiana Jones and Star Wars, for you slow kids). As a child, that intro probably sealed the deal on my Muppet Baby love before I even saw a full episode.

Cautiously Optimistic said...

I am really happy about this blog! Good work!

Kipp said...

I think you've hit most of the classics with Thundercats, He-man, and Ducktales. Maybe it wasn't a good song, but I think the Turtles theme is seared into my brain for the rest of my life. No, I take that back, it's a great song.
Funny. My friends and I over here have been going through the same thing. Although we moved on to the old TV commercials from your local broadcasting corp.
"Save today Tom Raper's way". Never forget, it's Raper country.

edwardallen said...

I didn't enjoy this at all.

Without mention of the Captain Planet theme song, I just don't know what kind of list this is.

Mike M. said...

Have to say the theme to "Paw Paw Bears" remains a favorite.

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