Top 20 cartoon intros from the ’80s


Kids today, with their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and their My Little Ponies, they just don’t know what’s good for them. But once upon a time, back in a magical land called ‘The 1980s’, children needed just one thing to make their day: a good cartoon intro. Here are the best.

20. Denver, the Last Dinosaur

Terrible cartoon, terrifically catchy cartoon intro. Denver wears pink sunglasses, which is ’80s for ‘cool’.

19. Kissyfur

A bizarre intro this, does a train plunging into a raving belong in a kids’ cartoon? Dear TailSpin, we want our royalties now.

18. SuperTed

The ’80s: a time when no one thought it was creepy that a man dressed in a space suit cruised kids’ toy factories in the middle of the night.

17. Pole Position

Did anyone watch Pole Position after the intro? I didn’t. It mentions the Danger Zone, two years before Kenny Loggins.

16. Henry’s Cat

C’mon, Henry’s Cat? You must have seen the movie? You must have read the book?

15. Battle of the Planets

Cheating a bit here, this aired in the late ’70s but ran on into the 80s. This intro rocks because it shows you so little of the show itself you feel compelled to watch on.

14. The Centurions

What a fascinating premise. Heroes have weapons beamed down to their super suits from space. Nice plot-revealing intro too.

13. Transformers

Still a good intro, but it’s lost its magic over the years. And been sullied by Michael Bay. Where could I find a similarly themed show with a better intro…?

12. Challenge of the GoBots

Aha! It’s The Transformers’ ugly cousins, The GoBots. This theme tune is terrible, but terrible in a hypnotic way.

11. The Mysterious Cities of Gold

France. They gave us French fries. Oh no, that was Belgium. France. They gave us croissants. Oh no, that was Turkey. Ah well, they gave us this instead. Well, they took it off the Japanese and gave it to us. Good going, France.

10. Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

They might have been ‘Ninja’ Turtles where you lived, but in good old Blighty we got the censored version. Thanks, Thatcher.

9. Defenders of the Earth

Okay, Flash Gordon is sort of cool. And the Phantom turns into a panther, which is decent. But Lothar? C’mon, gimme a break.

8. Dungeons & Dragons

Never, ever, ever, ever go on a rolllercoaster ride.

7. Muppet Babies

Depending on what side of the bed you got up from on the Saturday you watched this just before Going Live, this was either the most annoying intro ever or the greatest. Either way, it’s still ridiculously catchy.

6. Bananaman

The beauty of this intro is in its brevity. Best advert for fruit ever.

5. ThunderCats

‘Aw crap, that jerk Lion-O is calling us on his stupid sword again. I’d just sat down to watch this episode of Breaking Bad…’

4. Danger Mouse

He’s the strongest, he’s the quickest, he’s the best!

3. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

‘I am Adam.’ Oh, okay then, good for you. But from such humble openings, a fantastic intro is born. I still struggle to get over how good the animation, sound production and music is on He-Man.

2. M.A.S.K.

No, not the Cher movie from the same decade, but the cartoon where heroes put on headgear and their vehicles transformed into… uh, other vehicles. MASK stands for Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand. Nice spelling there, guys. Their rivals VENOM did a bit better, with Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem. Regardless of orthography, this is one of the sweetest intros ever.

1. Ulysses 31

Why on Earth hasn’t this been made into a movie yet? Perhaps Earth isn’t ready. Another French/Japanese concoction, the intro here is quite long, but is justified by a perfect combo of beautiful animation, stirring soundtrack and genuinely frightening plot – yeah, let’s load up a kids’ cartoon intro with hundreds of floating bodies.



11 Responses to “Top 20 cartoon intros from the ’80s”

  1. Awesome post. I loved Pole Position’s theme but don’t remember anything else about the show. And I wish they had Rocky Dennis as the leader of M.A.S.K.

  2. Was Ducktales from the 80s? I always get that theme song stuck in my head for hours at a time. Also I’m glad I’m not the only person who thinks the space dude from Super Ted had some serious pedophiley vibes.

  3. How could you forget Mr Ben????

  4. Good call with Danger Mouse and Thundercats. I don’t see G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, though.

    “He’ll fight for freedom wherever there’s trouble, G.I. Joe is there…”

  5. Good call with Danger Mouse and Thundercats. I don’t see G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, though.

    “He’ll fight for freedom wherever there’s trouble, G.I. Joe is there…”

  6. Lemon Casting Says:

    Reblogged this on Lemon Casting and commented:
    Love this!

  7. Amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing. He-man really takes me back to child hood.

  8. Brilliant post! Such fun to relive the old days.

    I know it’s from the 70s, not 80s, but did you ever watch ‘Mazinger Z’? That was a massive hit with me.

    Kudos. Great site!!

  9. Shimky… that Mazinger Z looks great! vid for those needing:

  10. What about the simpson’s…?

  11. misterk3 Says:

    Great post, love it!

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