Twitter has been abuzz today about which cartoon theme song is best.

This is no doubt a ploy by Disney to get everyone nostalgic enough to sign up for Disney+, and everyone has been predictably biased to focus on the shows that they loved when they were kids. But as someone who grew up in the 1990s—the true golden age of Saturday Morning TV—I felt the need to step in and provide the objective analysis the topic required. Without further ado, here is the definitive list of the greatest cartoon theme songs of all time. Don't even try to argue.

11.Batman: The Animated Series

This one has the distinct advantage of being composed by legendary film composer Danny Elfman, and borrows heavily from his work on Tim Burton's Batman, for which he won a Grammy. The dark, orchestral intensity sets the tone for one of the most serious and intense children's cartoons of all time.


Life is like a hurricane. If you don't already have the words "here in, Duckburg" playing in your head, you are a broken soul. Hughie Dewey and Louie, along with their uncle Scrooge, were the definition of cartoon adventure in the early 1990s, but the simple, catchy lyrics of the theme song are truly what keeps this show alive in our hearts. It's the reason I can't hear the word racecars without immediately thinking of lasers and "aeroplanes."

9.Darkwing Duck

Synthesizing the previous two entries with a duck-themed slapstick parody of the Batman universe, we have Darkwing Duck. While the content of the show was less memorable than Ducktales, the driving bassline and the high-energy vocals of the extremely 90s theme song are somehow timeless. The refrain of "When there's trouble, you call DW," and Darkwing's interlude, "Let's get dangerous," will live forever in my memory.


Arthur was always kind of boring compared to other cartoons, yet I watched it a lot as a kid, because it was boring in the same way a big comfy sweater is boring on a cold day. It's a show full of sweetness and optimism, and never has a theme song so perfectly captured the hopeful and positive message of a show better than Ziggy Marley's "Believe in Yourself." You know you want to sing along to this one.

7.Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls taps into the weirdness and mystery of childhood to deliver one of the best cartoons of the past decade. And the instrumental theme song somehow manages to be eerie, mysterious, and madcap all at once, in a way that only the supernatural adventures of Dipper, Mabel, and Gruncle Stan could live up to. The snappy, fast-paced percussion combine with the playful penny whistle to instantly put me in a good mood.

6.Teen Titans

Teen Titan's Go! has gotten a lot of love and a lot of hate in recent years, the latter coming mostly from fans of the show's 2003 predecessor. Whatever you think of the two shows, there's no denying that the original show's high-energy Japanese surf rock theme song by Puffy Ami Yumi absolutely slaps. It's worthy of a listen even if you don't care about the show.

Next Page

VIDEO GAY-MER | The first queer character in video game history

It all started with a small game called Moonmist way back in the 80s.

Queer history is vast when it comes to civil rights, literature, even myths and legends. Nearly everything in our history has a touch of the gay - because we've always existed. But what about video games? I've spend a lot of time talking about the history of gay video games, or lack thereof, and it made me wonder: Are queer characters as new as we think? Were video games such a non-inclusive place that gay things couldn't even be put anywhere in secret?

Naturally, the answer to that question is: of course not!

After some digging, I believe I have found the first instance of a queer character ever in gaming. It's small, and definitely not really big, but considering the time the game was - that's very surprising. According to the LGBT Game Archive, the game is called Moonmist - Infocom released the game in 1986. And honestly, it's not the most exciting find on this little quest for historical representation, but it's definitely a start.


Moonmist is an interactive fiction detective game. You are a young detective who has been asked by a friend to investigate a strange castle. It's simple, and it's definitely not one of the most nuanced epics you're every going to experience, but it's a competent little computer game for its time. I am going to be honest and tell you that I haven't played it - but I did watch a small play through of it.


The person in question is Vivien Pentreath - and much of like many queer characters in most fiction - her sexuality is never openly stated. You know that she's very upset with the main character's friend, because he married a woman she was very attached to. Of course, all of you know that that probably means she was attracted her - and possibly in love with her. Of course, her character doesn't stop there.

Vivien is also, you guessed it, one of the villains of the game. She is apparently the antagonist of one of the story lines of the game. I would say I was surprised, but honestly, after everything that I've seen, I'm really not.


Normally, I'd say negative, because not only does the character never says that they're queer, but also because this character is coded as an antagonist. And for a really long time that's how queer people were always portrayed in the media - as not out and villainous. But, does that discredit the presence of a queer character in such a new medium so long ago?

I don't know - it's a gray area. While I don't think that Vivien necessarily set the path for other queer characters later on, I do feel like there's some significance in her presence. In a time when gay men and women were fighting for their lives during the AIDS crisis, they were finally so much of a presence that even a fiercely heterosexual and underutilized medium like video games (almost) accepted their presence.

It's by no means incredibly positive, but it's a small step in the adjacent right direction - and that's something. Right?


4/10 - It's not very historic and most people have no idea what Moonmist is, but it does allegedly have the first queer character, and that matters, right?

Shann Smith is a lover of video games and writer of plays and screenplays, based in NYC. Do you guys have a game that you think is significant to the LGBTQ+ community? Email me, and I'll give it a look!

POP⚡DUST | Read More…

VIDEO GAY-MER | Why do we love visual novels so much?

VIDEO GAY-MER | Butterfly Soup is the fun portrayal of queer teendom we all need

VIDEO GAY-MER | Creating An Experience All Your Own

South Park: Fractured but Whole's surprisingly positive queer relationship