They just don’t make cartoons like they did back in the 80′s and 90′s. One of the coolest things about classic cartoons are the incredible theme songs that became permanently etched into the brains of an entire generation. The addiction to classic cartoon theme songs isn’t just an American phenomenon, either. Check out these amazing renditions of classic cartoon theme songs in foreign languages:
Duck Tales (in Hindi)
You can’t really go wrong with any foreign version of the Duck Tales theme song, but the Hindi and Japanese versions are particularly passionate. In this Hindi version, the “ooOOoooh” part of the chorus reaches a level of smooth that no talking-duck-loving kid of the early 90′s could possibly resist.
Tiny Toons (in German)
There are versions of the Tiny Toons theme song in many different languages, but none of the others scratch the surface of the German version’s awesomeness. This particular theme song is incredibly to begin with, but the hard consonants of German really compliment the quick pace. This fantastic theme song (in any language) is one of many elements that made Tiny Toons an incredibly cartoon for kids and adults alke.
Animaniacs (in Arabic)
Following in the footsteps of Tiny Toons, this Arabic version of the Animaniacs theme song is another brilliant example of how a specific language can be paired with the particular pacing of a song to create a tornado of cartoon theme song badassery. Animaniacs was a great kids show, but it was definitely meant to entertain adults as well, and they clearly didn’t forget about the Arabic-speaking adults.
Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers (in Swedish)
This song sounds so smooth and cool, it probably could’ve doubled as the theme song for a Swedish TV show about a really cool, James Bond-type super spy. Then it gets to the “Ch-ch-ch-chip and Dale!” part. I have no idea how the proper names of the characters got translated, or what the character’s new Swedish names became, but it doesn’t matter. I’d watch anything that came on after a killer intro song like this.
He-Man (in Spanish)
“Yo Soy He-Man!” What more do you need?!
Pinky & The Brain (in Russian)
If there was ever a classic cartoon theme song that was meant to be re-done in Russian, this is it. The Steven Spielberg shout-out at the end is just icing on the Bliny (that’s what came up when I googled “Russian cake”).
Gummi Bears (in Japanese)
There are versions of the Gummi Bears theme song in dozens of different languages, but the Japanese version is by far my favorite. It’s one of the few versions that leaves the epic and memorable “Gummi Bears!” chorus line intact, and the passion that the Japanese singer brings to that song totally trumps anybody else’s rendition. Congratulations, Japan. You totally won the “Gummi Bears Theme Song” contest.
Inspector Gadget (in French)
It’s times like this (and when I’m lost in a seedy part of France, which I frequently am) that I really wish I knew French. In the American version of this song, the only words are “Inspector Gadget”, “Hoo-hoo”, and “Go Gadget, Go!”. I have no idea where the rest of the this smarmy Frenchman’s lyrics came from. What is he saying?! Go go Gadget French-to-English Translator!
Smurfs (in Chinese)
The theme song for our American version of Smurfs was just “smurf the whole day long” and “sing a happy song” sandwiched in between a whole bunch of “La la la”‘s, so I have no idea what the Chinese version is about. I can only assume that it encourages children to honor their family, only have two children, and render American manufacturing obsolete by providing goods at a cheaper cost and superior quality. Smurf that!
The Super Mario Brothers Super Show! (in German)
Even as 10 year old kids, we all knew that this was a ridiculous attempt at using rap music to appeal to a youthful audience. We let it slide though, because The Super Mario Brothers Super Show was an awesome cartoon. It was hosted by Captain Lou Albano (who played Mario), and Fridays were Legend of Zelda cartoons. Can it get any better? Aside from being about Super Mario Brothers and containing a rap song in German, this video clip confirms one of my long-held theories: everything sounds more aggressive in German.