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Published on December 2nd, 2009 | by Niall


Top 15 Children’s TV Themes

Inspired by a twitter message by a certain Mr. Darragh Doyle, where he announced the contentious notion that Fraggle Rock was the greatest theme song from a children’s TV show,  I have decided to share my Top 10 15 Children’s TV Themes. Now these are a personal choice and I’m sure many of you will disagree with me. The collection reflects the fact that I was a child of both the 80’s and 90’s and have a fond affection for shows from that time.

Number 15: Pole Position

80’s synths and drums were never more effectively used.Number 14: James Bond Jr.

It’s a cartoon Bond theme!!

Number 13: Count Duckula

The creepiest of all cartoon themes.

Number 12: Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

If Celine Dion did Cartoon themes, then this would be it.

Number 11: Danger Mouse

Short, sweet and ultimately unforgettable.

Number 10: Swat Kats

No words, just hard rock.

Number 9:  The Muppet Show

No list would be complete without some Muppets.

Number 8: MASK

Unbelievably cheesy and I still sing it to this day.

Number 7: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Michaelanglo is a party dude, and so am I!

Number 6: Animaniacs

If it’s good enough for Spielberg it goes on the list.

Number 5: Thundercats

I’m not a cat person but this show and specifically this was one of my faves growing up.

Number 4: Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds

By far the longest theme on the list, but one you’ll happily sit through time and time again.

Number 3: X-Men

Not a week goes by when I don’t start humming this randomly and for absolutely no reason. Infectious stuff.

Number 2: Fraggle Rock

Sorry Darragh, almost but not quite.

Number 1: Mysterious Cities of Gold

Slow to start but magnificent once it gets going. Nothing comes close.


Also rans:

Batman, Chip and Dale, Ducktales, Pinky and The Brain, Sharky and George, Sonic the Hedgehog, Spiderman, Tail Spin, Taz, The Littlest Hobo, The Real Ghostbusters, Tiny Toons, Transformers, Trap Door

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About the Author

The proverbial man lost in La Mancha. Sports aficionado and all-round scoundrel. Über-geek to boot. I run the movie website Scannain.com and can usually be found twittering away as @niallxmurphy.

39 Responses to Top 15 Children’s TV Themes

  1. Jamie says:

    I loved the My Little Pony theme 🙁

  2. Sharon says:

    Nothing like a happy healthy dose of Nostalgia. Between this and video games live (http://www.culch.ie/2009/11/29/how-to-play-video-games/) I have been on a cloud of kiddie bliss in my head 🙂

    thnks Darragh and Niall !

  3. Martin says:

    No Bosco?


  4. Peter says:

    For those of us a bot older what about ‘Why don’t you?’

  5. sharon says:

    @peter I was singing that on twitter earlier. but I don’t think anyone got the reference

  6. Peter says:

    @ Sharon – I can’t find it anywhere. Used to love that!

  7. Dena says:

    W00t! my suggestion on Twitter is No.1! It is by far the best of the bunch.

    *goes off to sing wwwaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaahhhaaaaahhhhhaaa, someday we will find the cities of gold*

  8. Sharon says:

    If you like kids cartoons. Look at this fun piece by the incredibly talented Brian Coldrick (http://www.briancoldrick.com/) in a Charity art book ‘Back to Old School’. I bought four of these books for mates based on this ONE picture Alone! Looks great in real life and raises money for a good cause 🙂


  9. Ah, great post. Cartoon intros from the 80’s & 90’s kick so much ass! Not so much in the 00’s though…then again there is the Spectacular Spider-Man theme song ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S19w2xXU54 ) Soooo good!

  10. Darren Byrne says:

    Brilliant post. My top 3:

    3) Fraggle Rock
    2) Animaniacs
    1) Danger Mouse…de den de den de den…

  11. Peter Balfe says:

    @ Sharon – You are now officially the coolest person on the planet

  12. Duck Tales?

    (a whoo oo?)

  13. Darragh says:

    Ah now, here. Seriously? I mean, when you said you’d write a post based on the Twitter convo, I thought you’d take it seriously. 😛

    Of your 15 I’ve only seen 7. Of those, I wouldn’t count “The Muppet Show” as being for kids. I’d never heard of “Mysterious Cities of Gold” before I heard about it on Twitter yesterday.

    Were you even alive in the 80s? 😛

    But c’mere, that’s not why I’m “Ah here’ing”. I want to know why Warner Bros is in the “Also ran” section.That whole section is a cop out.

    I think the mark of a good theme is the lyrics, the music but also that you can sing it. It evokes that warm happy feeling in the base of your brain when the opening melody starts and you instantly go “Cool”. It’s that moment when you want to be up before anyone else, wrapped in your duvet, house to yourself, TV on low and waiting for the entertainment to hit your eyes. It’s the moment when it comes on random on the iPod and you smile, regardless of where you are and you don’t care if people think you’re mad. They’re not where you are, though they’d love to be.

    Why aren’t any of Animaniacs? Tiny Toons? Pinky and the Brain in the top 15? What about Duck Tales? Or Chip n’ Dale, Rescue Rangers?

    Speaking of cartoons, shouldn’t The Flintstones be in there somewhere? Gummi Bears is a big ommission as is the quite cheery Berenstein Bears. I think Alvin and the Chipmunks should be in there too. Scooby Doo? Sharky and George?

    I have a soft spot for the dirge that was the Wind in the Willows theme. and WHERE is The Smurfs theme?

    Bosco may have snuck in at number 15. May have.

    But Fraggle Rock at no. 2? Blasphemy.

    (You know, The Littlest Hobo is a great tune. Maybe you do a top themes from live action (as opposed to themes) Kids TV?)

    (This comment is written completely in jest, before people get on their high horses. I think it’s great Niall went to this much work. Great idea for a post ;))

    • Niall says:

      Ah Darragh, Animaniacs are at 6. I could easily have picked any of the ones you have mentioned, I tried to do 10 but I still feel it’s too small at 15. The Muppet’s Theme had to be in there and I primarily watched that show as a kid.

      Oh and it’s not my fault if you’re uncultured enough to have missed out on over half my list. 😛

  14. Efa says:

    Captain Planet too!

    • Niall says:

      @Efa I’m sorry the Captain Planet theme is an appalling piece of rubbish. “By your powers combined…” Nostalgic yes, good no.

  15. Darragh says:


    Ok, nice edit on the list to include Animaniacs 😛

    Get on outta dat you.

  16. Darragh says:

    @EFA – How did I forget Captain Planet. Oh the shame 🙁

  17. Ronan says:

    Captain Planet is a must have, just for how Ma-Ti says “heart”. Yeah, I remember their names. One was called “Gee” too. Well spelled differently, but same word!

    You should do a non-cartoon one too.

    Remember Round the Twist? Now there was a themetune!

    Props for Pole Position. Loved that show!

  18. Peter Balfe says:

    Actually now I am thinking of it – Bravestar had a bloody fantastic intro music!

  19. Darren Byrne says:

    @Ronan This program used to freak me out:

    I kinda fancied the older sister though.

  20. Darragh says:

    Speaking of fancying sisters in TV shows…

    Awful show though. Dire. I never watched it. Past the fifth season.

  21. Darragh says:

    Niall, joint post on live action themes? See you on the Wave of Googlyness?

  22. Niamh says:

    No He-Man? No She-Ra? No Smurfs? No Spongebob? 🙁

    Like Darragh, I have only ever seen about half of these cartoons, we must be a bit too old. I’d be more on his wavelength as regards the themes he has picked there.

    Mysterious Cities of Gold I know I’ve only seen because my younger sister (5 years younger than me) used to watch it.

    Of all of the cartoon themes, I think Pinky and The Brain is one I will always love and still sing to myself…”They’re Pinky and The Brain, they’re Pinky and The Brain…”

    • Niall says:

      @Niamh He-Man was a great cartoon but the theme was nothing special. I never watched Spongebob.

      I did somehow manage to forget Earthworm Jim which has a great theme, as does Inspector Gadget and The Mask. As well as Johnny Quest and a personal favourite…

      Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Bettlejuice!!!

  23. Annie says:

    Oh Lord, the memories!

    Carebears would have to be in my top 3.

    *off to youtube*

  24. Can’t believe Sharkey and George was an also-ran

  25. Darragh says:

    @Stu – same here. I can still sing it word for word.

  26. Michael says:

    Don’t you open that trap door, caus there’s something down there.


    short and sweet,pure class

  27. Sharon says:

    Sharky and George?! omg. I so forgot about them.

  28. bngr says:

    I’m afraid you’re all wrong. I’d put Dagtanian at No. 1 and next Ulyssis 31.


    @Darragh – you’re the perfect age to remember Mysterious Cities of Gold – It aired on Network 2 in 85/86 & the last episdoe was May 86 I think, & the cable on my telly at home borke after waiting a year to see what happened. Watched it all again a few years back on DVD, as I did this.

  29. sharon says:

    @bngr my sis gave me the Ulyseesse31 dvd box set for xmas last year. i sat and watched EVERY episode. I’d be first to admit it was awful. but I was happy 🙂

  30. Bngr says:

    @Sharon, don’t tell Niall but when I watched Ulys & M Cof G at same time 3 or so years back I thought Ulysses stood the test of time much more than M C of G, which I loved much more at the time.

  31. sharon says:

    @bngr my lips are sealed 😉 I’d love to see M C of G again. not seen it since it was on tv many many moons ago

  32. Peter says:

    I can’t believe I fogot to add Trumpton:


    Brian Cant’s voice is legend.

  33. Sharon says:

    There was a kids TV show called ‘Camberwick Green’ back in the day and the TV series ‘Life on Mars’ usurped the title sequence for their own. Brilliant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piE-VEubGr4

  34. Niamh says:

    Totally forgot Roger Ramjet – catchy as hell and will stay in your head forever and ever.

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