So, back in the 80s and 90s when Saturday morning cartoons still existed, it seemed like around half of them were based on video games. Most of these game-based cartoons sucked — like really sucked. Compared to most of them Street Sharks and The Cow Boys of Moo Mesa looked like The Wire and The Sopranos respectively.
The shows themselves might not have been great, but a lot of them made up for that (sort of) with some truly uh, memorable intros/theme songs. Some were memorable due to being terrible/completely baffling, some because they legitimately kicked ass. So, without further ado, here 14 of the most ridiculous/ridiculously awesome video game cartoon intros…
So, remember Pole Position? It was the old Atari game where you drove an F1 car over a flat green landscape. Sometimes the road turned. Pretty thrilling let me tell ya’.
The cartoon on the other hand — holy sh-tcrap, this intro makes it look awesome. Talking computer cars filled with knock-off Star Wars creatures racing on the surface of what looks to be the Death Star! Also, the car turns into a boat…and a hovercraft! As for the theme song — it sounds like a song that was cut from the Top Gun soundtrack for overshadowing all the other songs with its awesomeness.
If Atari had made a Pole Position based on this intro they’d still be kings of the industry.
So, the frog in Frogger is some sort of ace reporter? Does he just allow himself to be squished on the road daily and report on that?
“Handsome Anthropomorphic Frog Run Over by Truck For 40th Day in a Row!
Story by Frog F. Frogger”
Oh, and apparently the makers of this cartoon thought the musical-style that really said “Frogger” was barbershop quartet. Good for them.
This show didn’t make much of a splash in America, but they sure played the hell out of it up here in Canada. Apparently we’re less judgemental about GGI cartoons that look like they were made on an N64.
Oh, and yes — they did say “banana slamma” approximately 400-times per episode. Those filthy filthy apes.
Now this one’s just creepy. What’s with the disembodied robotic devil-voice growling “Pac-maaan”? Also, apparently Darth Vader didn’t die at the end of Return of the Jedi — he just kept on going without his mask and started up some sort of rivalry with Pac-Man. Who knew?
So, let’s imagine it falls to you to develop a cartoon based on Q*Bert — you know, that game with the little alien with the trumpet-nose jumping around on a pyramid? What would you make? Probably some kiddie sci-fi thing about aliens and outer space, right?
That’s what I probably would have done, but then I’m clearly not a visionary like whoever was running CBS’ Saturday Supercade back in the early 80s. It takes someone special to see Q*Bert jumping around on that pyramid and think “heeey, let’s make this into a Happy Days parody of a parody!”
Also, biker snakes in leather jackets as the bad guys? Genius.
So yeah, Battletoads got a cartoon — now exactly surprising since every single facet of the series was specifically designed to scream “MAKE ME INTO A CARTOON PLEASE!”
Oh, and note to cartoon makers — if you want to instantly make me not want to watch your cartoon, make the theme song a bad Beach Boys parody. I can barely stand the real Beach Boys, never mind a D-grade cover band belting out an ode to fightin’ space toads.
Yeah, I mostly just included this one because, well, there was a Bubsy cartoon. If we allow ourselves to forget this happened, it could happen again.
“What could POSSIBLY go wrong?”
Ha ha…ha…heh, hmmmm…
F–k off Bubsy.
Okay, Bubsy’s behind us now — back to some good stuff. I’m not even much of a Dragonball fan, but damn if the intro to Dragon Warrior doesn’t make it look better than pretty much every other cartoon from the 80s.
Impressive when you take into consideration the game the show was based on looked like this…
“Super Fiiighting Robot…ME-GA-MAN!”
That is all.
This one’s theme song is almost as great a Mega Man’s, but then they have to go and bungle it up by having some old guy butt in and recite the “Code of the Dragon”…
“Never intentionally harm another, do not battle if you can avoid it, and you will be a Dragon Master!”
Uh, bullsh-t old man, I’m pretty sure the philosophy of the Double Dragon franchise is exactly the opposite of that. You can’t even get the screen to advance in the games until everyone in your vicinity has been punched to death!
Mixed messages, and yet…
“Live the Code, the Code of the Dragon! Fight for right, the might of the dragon!”
This intro features a scene of Chun-li kicking a tank to death. I’ll give you a minute to cool off before we move on.
This is the most recent intro on the list, but that doesn’t mean it scrimps on weirdness. I seriously thought this was just some sort of weird YouTube parody when I first saw it, but nope, this is the actual intro to the show.
I kind of love how they just randomly gave King Dedede a Yosemite Sam accent. That’s the kind of half-assed “we don’t care about the source material, we’re doing it because it amuses us” thing you just don’t see enough of in current cartoons.
This intro may be the only time Sonic the Hedgehog, the guy who made his name as the “cool” platforming mascot, has actually, legitimately, been cool.
So, the Mario intro most people remember is this one from the Super Mario Bros. Super Show…
…and don’t get me wrong, it’s great. I love watching Lou Albano stagger around while rapping about koopa troopas as much as the next guy, but for my money the best Mario intro is actually the one for the later Super Mario World show.
Why are fake Jamaicans singing the song? I don’t know! Who are those weird little troll doll-like people in the backgrounds? I don’t know! This intro’s mull of mysteries, but I love it all the same.