Thursday, March 21, 2013

Old School Lane Presents: Patricia's Top 20 Nickelodeon Opening Theme Songs

Regardless if a show is good or bad, the one thing I always look forward to watching is the opening theme to a TV show. Whether the music is upbeat, slow, fast, catchy, or calm, we always get that fuzzy warm feeling whenever we hear it. It's something that gets stuck in my mind for all eternity. Sometimes it's the background of the opening that makes us remember the show when seeing the main characters doing some cool thing that you may or may not see in the actual show itself. Due to the inspiration of Manic Expression member Infamous Jak's Secret Santa gift for me in his top 9 favorite Nickelodeon opening themes, I decided to do my own list. Here we go!

20. Rocket Power

This late 90's Klasky Csupo cartoon was really good at the time with its concept of kids who loved extreme sports. Due to the huge popularity of extreme sports, the X-Games, and legends like Tony Hawk, this was the show for them. However, it's a touch outdated since extreme sports don't have that huge following anymore. Plus it was very limited, only kids who love skateboarding, surfing, rollerblading, snowboarding, or street hockey would love something like Rocket Power. Nonetheless, the opening theme fits the concept of the show perfectly and the main characters doing the sports made it so exciting to watch.

19. Are You Afraid of the Dark?

When you're a kid watching this show at night alone in the dark, hearing this creepy theme song always gave you the chills. Then you get to the nitty, gritty of it, you're frightened by the spooky stories filled with monsters, ghosts, and supernatural beings. The opening theme to Are You Afraid of the Dark? captures the mood with the heart pounding in the background, the dark images, and the creepy music. Then it concludes with that lit match and then enters in the title. 

18. Nickelodeon GUTS

This opening theme song starts with someone asking you the question: do you have it? Then afterwards, it has a very catchy rap song that simply says only 5 words: do you have it? and GUTS! That's it. But for some reason, it really got you wanting to see the show! It was very simple, but for some reason it really works!

17. Danger Mouse

In the early 80's, Nickelodeon started to acquire cartoons alongside with their educational programs. One of the most popular ones was the British cartoon Danger Mouse. The song was very short, but it was catchy and exciting when you would see Danger Mouse dodging bombs and seeing that big title appearing. This cartoon holds a very special place into many people's hearts who grew up in the early 80's in America and Europe and is still popular to this day. 

16. My Life as a Teenage Robot

This early 00's Nicktoon is one of many cartoons that tells the plot of the show by its opening theme. It's very upbeat, catchy, and fast with the animation and the singing. The lyrics were very memorable and the action of the opening theme made you want to watch the show.

15. Caitlin's Way

One of my favorite underrated Nickelodeon shows of all time has a great underrated opening theme. The rock band Dig Circus did one of their songs "Wishing For a Sail" and it fits the show very well. The concept with Caitlin feeling alone and left out with moving to Montana with family members she never met. If you haven't listened to this song, check it out sometime.

14. You Can't Do That on Television

The opening theme really looks like it came from a Monty Python cartoon. The strangeness of a group of kids made in a sausage factory, going into a school bus by a water faucet and entering a school ending it with Les Lye's head being plastered with the title is eye-popping. Pretty strange to think about it when the show was just a sketch comedy show starring kids and teenagers, but it's still memorable.

13. Danny Phantom

Just like with My Life as a Teenage Robot, the entire plot in Danny Phantom is explained in the opening theme. It has a catchy, upbeat rap song explaining about how Danny got his ghost powers and the task he was giving to save his town. It was a fantastic concept of a TV show during the time in which the Ghostbusters series was pretty much dead. Danny Phantom and Luigi's Mansion were the only ones that kept the ghost concept relevant for kids until the Ghostbusters video game came out and talks about Ghostbusters 3 emerging again. However, it was a really cool opening theme that made me wanted to tune in.

12. Rugrats

It was one of the first opening themes that many people remember when tuning in to watch Nickelodeon and I can understand why. The catchy songs that was generated by Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh and the simple concept of babies walking around and playing made it a unique concept never seeing before when it came out in 1991. It's an opening theme that resonates in many people's childhood memories, including me. 

11. Hey Dude

If you've read my review on Hey Dude, you already know how much I HATE this show! But the one thing that was memorable about it was it's opening theme song. The first and pretty much only Nickelodeon show that was a western makes it a standout for this list. Everything else in Hey Dude sucks, but this opening theme is the only thing that they did right. I think that if the opening theme wasn't memorable, then nobody would remember this show. Seriously.

10. KaBlam! 

Based on the song "Two Toned Army" by The Toasters, the opening theme of KaBlam! was very catchy and memorable. The background was constantly changing and when watching this show back in 1996, I had no idea what it was about. Then I found out it was a variety show taking place in a comic book with shorts based on different animation. It was a unique concept that hasn't been done since and this is one of the shows that I want to see remade in Nickelodeon.

9. Hey Arnold!

Just like what Infamous Jak said about it, the atmosphere really sets the mood for what you're about to see. The song is a really nice jazzy tune, which was something very unique at the time, and the main characters interacting with each other in the big city made the scenery very big. It's one that really resides in my heart and one that won't be forgotten.

8. CatDog

Just like Hey Dude, it's another show that I don't really like, but has a great opening theme. Also just like Hey Dude, it's a country western song. Seriously, what is it with Nickelodeon having great country songs on bad shows? Anyway, what makes this song great was that the creator of CatDog, Peter Hannan, was the one who not only wrote the song, but sang it as well. That's creativity right there! It's a very catchy song that I sometimes can't stop listening to.

7. Double Dare

The very first game show for kids had a really fun, fast, and catchy theme song done by Edd Kalehoff, who did a lot of music for Nickelodeon around the mid to late 80's. Being my second favorite Nickelodeon game show of all time, it had a lot of things that made it a classic. The one thing that I fondly remember besides the physical challenges, the obstacle course, Robin, Harvey, and Marc Summers, was the opening theme song.

6. Spartacus and the Sun Beneath the Sea

This decent French cartoon from the 80's had an amazing, catchy theme song. You might recall hearing it in episode 2 of Nick Jukebox. While I said that the show was okay, I cannot deny what a great opening theme the show had. There were two opening themes to this show: the one sung by Pathfinder and the one sung by Menudo. I prefer Pathfinder's version: it's more catchy, memorable, and explains what the plot of the show is. If you haven't seen the show, check it out sometime. 

5. Invader Zim

This show was very weird, bizarre, dark, and strange. Same thing for the opening theme, which perfectly captures what you're getting into. The weird music combined with the introduction of the plot and characters without lyrics makes it a very hypnotic theme song. The style of Jhonen Vasquez is all over this show so from the moment you see this opening, you've entered into his crazy, psychotic mind. The thing about it is, you don't want to leave.

4. The Mysterious Cities of Gold

Another one of my favorite underrated Nickelodeon shows of all time has a fantastic opening theme. It opens to the explanation of the 1500's when explorers where traveling to the New World looking for treasures. Then it cuts to the main plot of looking for El Dorado and the introduction of the main characters. It's one of the most catchiest songs I've ever listened to and you may remember it in episode 2 of Nick Jukebox when I played the ending theme. Not to mention, it has a great soundtrack all together done by Haim Saban and Shuki Levi, the same guys who did the soundtrack to Inspector Gadget, He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, and Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. It's a great song that captures the show beautifully.

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

From what we've learned from in the 2003 series, the 1987 theme song was more memorable. The people behind the 2012 show knew that so they took the 1987 theme song and updated it to the 21st century. At first, it was strange to hear it like that. But now, it's one of my favorite theme songs of all time. It's like the old saying goes: "If it's not broken, don't fix it". It introduces the Turtles, it's very colorful, it's exciting, it's action packed, and it pays homage to not only the 1987 show, but to the comics, the 2003 show, and the movies while giving it a fresh twist. You can't ask for more.

2. As Told by Ginger

The song is wonderful! The lyrics perfectly paint a picture of what you can expect when watching the show. Sometimes you want to be able to reach a perfect life without realizing that you're already there. The show has a down-to-earth feel to it and the show's opening theme does as well. Originally sung by Macy Gray, then later on by Cree Summer, the last good Klasky Csupo Nicktoon was short, simple, and grounded. 

1. The Adventures of Pete & Pete

What can be said about this show? It's funny, it's strange, it's weird, it's surreal, and it's down-to-earth. The opening theme song "Hey Sandy" and the entire soundtrack of the show was mostly done by one band: Polaris. Sure it was basically the indie rock band Miracle Legion without the fourth member Ray Neal, but it didn't matter. Their songs capture the feel of The Adventures of Pete & Pete perfectly and it blended with all the show so well. In fact, I recently purchased the Pete & Pete soundtrack on iTunes. There's some nice songs in there. I played two songs from this soundtrack on episodes 1 and 3 of Nick Jukebox and the opening theme song is my favorite. 

That's my list of my top 20 Nickelodeon opening theme songs. What are your favorite opening theme songs from Nickelodeon? Post it in the comments below. 

That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading!


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