Outside of our obsession with metal, if there's one thing in the world that unites us all here at Maniacs, it is the undying love for the cartoons of our youth.
Whether we are children of the '70s, '80s, '90s or '00s, there's something about the nostalgic magic of sitting down in front of the telly, with a bowl of rice bubbles in hand to watch our favourite cartoons that is universal. The moment the opening theme starts, all the worries in the world drift away and we enter into an animated realm, where everything is possible and the good guys, cats, robots, mutants or a myriad of other creations always win.
As the launching point into this return to a state of childhood bliss, cartoon theme songs hold a particular power that is hard to explain or define. They are the ultimate mood improvers and we are powerless to resist their hook-happy charms.
Recently we've come to the realisation that many of our favourite cartoon theme songs are metal AF and so must be partially to blame for our ever-present worship of the genre and its gods. With this in mind, we decided to put together this list of 10 Metal AF Cartoon Theme Songs.
X-Men: The Animated Series
This is pure instrumental trad-metal perfection. Twin guitar harmonies and melodic leads that Iron Maiden would be proud of. It is also insanely catchy for an instrumental piece.
One of the most iconic cartoon theme songs ever penned, Gotta Catch 'Em All is pure hair metal magic. The powerful vocals, the shredding leads, the undeniably catchy lyrics, if this song was released in the 1980's it would have made performer Jason Paige a sensation. This also unsurprisingly goes OFF at karaoke.
Dragon Ball Z
If you've ever wanted to know what the Red Hot Chilli Peppers would sound like it they went all out metal, this funk-metal flavoured banger from Dragon Ball Z is a pretty good guess. Combining some killer guitar leads, funky basslines and passionate yell/screamed vocal delivery, everything about this oddball creation is metal.
Taking the crown for the song we want to hear covered by Volbeat, is this euro-metal belter of a theme for the bizarre Transformers-esque animated series from France.
Transformers: The Movie
We know it’s not technically a cartoon series theme, but the OG Transformers animated movie theme is too good not to include. This glorious slice of 80’s metal excess is the work of Lion. Hook it up to our veins, now!
Spider-man: The Animated Series
This Joe Perry (Aerosmith) performed track is the result of two musical powerhouses combining, with Perry’s legendary axe-playing skills giving the Shuki Levy written theme a bit of hard rock finishing touch. Levy is the musical mastermind behind Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, M.A.S.K, Inspector Gadget and He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe among a host of other 80s/90s themes. What a legend.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
One of the most influential animated series of all time, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series also has one of the most iconic themes of all time. An undeniably catchy piece of pop-metal, the soaring vocals, melodic leadwork and synths are 80’s pop-metal brilliance. Also Mike Patton covered it and he is kind of an authority on these things.
Biker Mice From Mars
This bonkers yet brilliant animated series is about three anthropomorphic mice brothers (Throttle, Modo and Vinnie), attempting to thwart the world domination plans of the villanous Lawrence Loctavius Limburger who destroyed most of their home, which is pretty metal. The theme song, written and performed by Jeff Scott Soto who played with Yngwie Malmsteen and Journey is fittingly very metal in the most needlessly over the top way. The 90s were awesome.
When a cartoon is called Skeleton Warriors and its head villain is a living skeleton named Baron Dark who is trying to steal the primary light source of humanity, you’d expect it to have a gnarly metal theme. Thankfully, the theme for Skeleton Warriors more than lives up to the thematic billing. A glorious cacophony of 80’s hair-metal nonsense this is a blast.
This one feels like cheating, but our sole modern anime entry (we’ve saved the rest for a future list) Detheme by Dethklok was a no-brainer of an inclusion. It just bloody rips.
Not a cartoon but was too good not to include
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Seriously, Shuki Levy is a metal god.