Saturday, 31 March 2012

Feature - Top 10 Children's TV Intros

This feature was inspired by Chris over at movies and songs 365 and his quality post on the top children's TV intros. Never one to look a list horse in the mouth, here's my top 10. (To see Doccortex's favourites visit our sister site.)

10. Pipkins 
This programme aired at dinnertimes and was notable for Inspector Pig of Trotters Yard. I can't see this kind of thing being allowed nowadays. I love the intro for the comedy noise that Hartley Hare makes when the last piece comes down in from of him. It makes me laugh every time.

9. Cloppa Castle
I never realised until I watched this again that Emerson, Lake and Palmer did a theme tune for a children's TV programme.

8. Star Fleet
You can see how liking Star Fleet led to my love of giant robots and all things anime. Sadly Brian May also liked Star Fleet and did a terrible cover of the theme tune. Avoid at all costs. (Barry Hercules - cool name.)

7. Chorlton and the Wheelies
There is definitely no way in a million years that this would get made now. All of the villains are total stereotypes: Fenella the witch was Welsh, the talking book, Claptrap Von Spilldebeans, was German and the Toadies spoke in Japanese. Funny, but may have caused offence to German talking books.


6. Yoho Ahoy
Possibly just in there because I love the programme. The intro is short and sweet and hints at the piratey goodness to come. The best moments are when Bilge, the captain, says 'Yoho' - or if he fancies, 'Ahoy' - in an aggressive tone and then laughs at someone who has had an unfortunate mishap. BBC, I know you're completely useless but I would change my tune forever if you release this on DVD.

5. Rainbow
It had to be in there somewhere. My childhood dinnertimes revolved around Rainbow (and Heinz tomato soup with cheese and half a loaf of bread). Four questions spring to mind: Is George male or female? How camp is Bungle? What the hell is Zippy? And what kind of a sick pervert is Geoffrey for living with the three of them? As for Rod, Jane and Freddie... the mind boggles. Top theme tune though.

4. Battle of the Planets
Again, you can see where my love of anime comes from. I can remember making a Phoenix out of Lego with all of the different ships and bikes that fitted together. (Lego used to be way better. You had to be creative rather than being handed it all on a plate. Interestingly, I also made a working crossbow from Lego. I was probably sat on the toilet too, when I made it. My childhood was great.) 

3. Thunderbirds
I still watch Thunderbirds now and am amazed at how great it still is. One of my most hated things is Thunderbirds spoofs. People walking around pretending to be puppets. Scum of the earth. (Plus, if anyone wants to debate which is the coolest Thunderbird, don't bother, it's Thunderbird 2.)

2. Batman: The Animated Series
Best children's TV programme ever? Quite possibly. Easily my favourite screen version of Batman. Great theme tune by Danny Elfman too.

1. Mr Rossi
Not the best children's programme ever, but what a cracking theme tune. All together now: Viva viva happiness! (Or maybe not.)

There is one theme tune I couldn't include because, basically, I can't remember what it's called. It starred a strange black and white space bird that had the power of splitting itself into multiple copies of itself, amongst others. If anyone knows what it is, please leave me a comment. I would be very eternally grateful.



  1. As with doccortex's list, it's mostly before my time again. I do like that Thunderbirds intro music, I saw a few episodes back in the day. However the movie with Ben Kingsley I've heard is rotten.

    Didn't realize Elfman did music for animated Batman, sounds similar to the score from 1989 Batman film.

    Hmm, Chorlton and the Wheelies, isn't the music a rip-off of thomas and the tank engine theme? or maybe tank engine came after ( :

  2. I think people the same age as me probably wouldn't remember half of these. My obscure ways showed themselves at an early age.

    I'm not keen on the 1989 Batman, so I'm not sure.

    Chorlton came first in 1976. Thomas first aired in 1984. It was maybe a homage.

    Thundercats from your list also came very close to being in the top 10. From memory the animation seemed to be a cut above other shows at the same time. Could they get away with Thundercats Ho! now though...

  3. I seriously considered Rainbow and Pipkins, but too many Heinz tomato soup memories can push you over the edge. Really like the Thunderbirds theme, but Mr. Rossi is an absolute classic. I have no recollection of the show at all, but remember the theme tune and it definitely deserved wider acclaim.

  4. I can't remember the Mr Rossi programme either but the theme tune has stuck with me ever since I saw it. Premium.