While putting together the list of the Best 80s Cartoon Theme Songs, I learned a few things: The most successful and memorable songs repeated the show’s title, had a lyrical or musical hook, and were just plain old fun to sing/hum/whistle along with. The much-expanded crop of 90s cartoons learned a lot from the 80s as well, but added their own decade-specific twists like (horribly animated) computer-generated sequences and characters, a lot of terrible rapping, and an EXTREME version of just about everything. The best (and the worst) that the 90s had to offer has been painstakingly gathered here in 75 incredible cartoon theme songs.
The 90s boasted a cartoon explosion that saw the rise of Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons, Cartoon Network’s innovative series, and adaptations of popular comic books and video games. Also invading this era was an increased number of imported anime properties, the vast majority of which were redubbed in English with new (and usually terrible) English theme songs and intros to go with it. This decade also saw a rise in the maturity level of animated shows with series on broadcast, cable, and premium networks all aiming to satisfy the needs of an older audience that still sought out animated fare. This was all in addition to the cartoons cranked out by well established production companies like Disney. In other words, there were a lot of cartoons from across the spectrum in the 90s.
With that in mind, I’ve separated these 75 theme songs into the following categories: So Bad It’s Good, Video Game Cartoons, Comic Book Adaptations, Anime Invasion, Teen Angst and Adult Drama, Kid Stuff, and Action Heavy. You can check out my Top 10 from each of those categories, all of which had to have a substantial run in the 1990s to be considered “90s Cartoons.” Also, there had to be some sort of lyrical song, noticeable theme, or anything other than the straight-up exposition style in the intro. Then, once your nostalgia has been well and truly satisfied, be sure to weigh in on my Top 5 that selects the five best animated series theme songs from the decade and crowns the cartoon king. Here we go!