Thursday, November 01, 2007

Covering the Animated World!

Hi there! It's me Kurtis, from Covering the Mouse, taking a break from writing about Disney cover tunes to cover for Fong while he is in China!

Disney isn't the only animation I like. I love a whole ton of different cartoons, mostly North American and a few Japanese. I grew up in the late eighties/early nineties so my favourite shows are from that era: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Thundercats, DuckTales, Batman: the Animated Series, Transformers, Animaniacs, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, The Tick, He-Man... You get the picture.

One thing I like most about cartoon TV show is the theme song. This is a one minute pitch to the viewer to get them hooked into the show. The theme song must reflect the show or the viewer will get a bad impression and the show may lose a potential fan.

Cartoon theme songs are fantastic because they don't just stick a pre-recorded pop song in there as a theme. They write a unique piece that describes the show or tells a short story. And now that the children that watched these shows are old enough to record, cartoon theme song covers are becoming more common. Let's take a look at a few:

The best thing about a cartoon being turned into a movie is that we often get covers of the theme song by famous people! When Transformers: the Movie came out in 1985, Lion was there to cover it! When the new movie came out last summer, MuteMath was chosen to take on an updated version. Michael Bublé does a fantastic cover of the Spider-Man theme for Spider-Man 2 and Avril Lavigne covered SpongeBob SquarePants for the movie soundtrack surprisingly well.

Transformers - Lion
Transformers - MuteMath
Spider-Man - Michael Bublé
SpongeBob SquarePants - Avril Lavigne

Here are a bunch of covers from the album Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits. The disc contains a bunch of popular alternative artists from the 90s doing their favourite themes. Some are good and some are terrible. Here are a few I like.

Spider-Man - The Ramones
Hong Kong Phooey - Sublime
Fat Albert - Dig
Jonny Quest/Stop The Pigeon - The Reverend Horton Heat (This one is a Hanna-Barbera medley of the themes from Jonny Quest and Dastardly & Muttley In Their Flying Machines)

And more...

Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Richard Cheese
Sailor Moon - Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk
Astro Boy - Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk This pop/punk group formed last year and released a self-titled album that contains two cartoon covers! And they are fantastic!)
Inspector Gadget - Lagwagon
Inspector Gadget - Ska King Crab (I'm not too sure who this is. I think it is the VooDoo Glow Skulls. If any one knows please leave a comment! Inspector Gadget is a popular one for punk and ska bands to cover. These three are just the tip of the iceberg! UPDATE: Thanks to Ian for pointing out that this cover is actually by Ska King Crab!)
Underdog - The Blanks
Speed Racer - The Blanks (This a cappella group is the real-life band of Ted, the lawyer from Scrubs. Both of these songs were featured in one episode.)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - HORSE the Band (Here's one for all you videogame geeks! HORSE the Band is a metalcore band that often uses an LSDJ, Little Sound Disk Jockey, GameBoy cartridge in their music to give it an 8-bit video game feel. This style if referred to as Nintendocore. No joke! However, you won't hear these sounds in this track. You will have to listen to some of their other music.)

I think Fong's coming home any day now so this may be my last post here for a while and you can get back to hearing covers of regular songs rather than all this geeky stuff.

Thanks for having me! It's been a blast!

1 comment:

Ian said...

inspector gadget is by a band called ska king crab

awesome post