While animation exploded in quantity and popularity in the 90s, the 2000s also saw various changes. Some of the changes, however, didn’t seem for the better. Various factors (poor-looking Flash TV animation, a push for live-action programming even on Cartoon Network, the death of broadcast TV animation outside of Fox, etc.) led to this being a weaker decade for TV animation versus the 1990s. Fortunately, things started improving by the late 2000s, sparking today’s strong TV animation state.
That said, this decade saw a large number of decent theme songs. Here’s my picks for the top 10 TV cartoon theme songs in the 2000s. I notice one trend in this decade was theme songs written by mainstream rock groups or pop singers.
“Kim Possible” had a memorable theme song, “Call Me Beep Me,” sung by pop singer Christina Milian.
“Jimmy Neutron” is Nickelodeon’s first CGI series. Of course, it would’ve been an entertaining show even in regular 2D animation.
“Fairly OddParents” was, along with “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” and “Jimmy Neutron,” one of Nick’s most popular cartoons in the 2000s. “OddParednts” crossed over with “Jimmy Neutron” in three different specials.
Like other shows that aired during the 2000s, “OddParents” transitioned to high definition. Similar to “The Simpsons” and other standard definition shows, the move to HD required “OddParents” to get a redone opening. Such HD versions of the openings usually were note-for-note exactly like the SD openings, but sometimes added newer characters. The HD “OddParents” opening is a carbon-copy of the SD one, but added newer character Poof.
- “Fairly OddParents” theme song (original version and HD versions in a side-by-side comparison)
What’s New, Scooby-Doo?
“Scooby-Doo” moved into the 21st century with “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” This version was similar to the original series, but updated for the 2000s. The gang wore modern clothes and had 2000s-style laptops and cell phones, but otherwise it was the usual “catch a fake ghost haunting a particular spot” gimmick. The theme for this show was done by Canadian rock group Simple Plan, who also guest-starred in an episode.
“Cyberchase” was a PBS Kids staple in the 2000s, with a fairly lengthy run. The last few seasons saw a switch to Flash-based animation. A few recent episodes have been produced, also done in Flash, but with a new Flash-based HD opening sequence.
“Teen Titans” also was on my 2000s/2010s superhero theme songs list.
Dave the Barbarian
“Dave the Barbarian” ran briefly from 2004 to 2005 for 21 episodes. The show starred Dave, a barbarian who was absurdly strong and muscular, but cowardly.
PBS’ “WordGirl” is another show that made my 2000s/2010s superhero theme song list.
The Super Hero Squad Show
“The Super Hero Squad” made the 2000s/2010s superhero theme song list, as well, but it’s also a very catchy theme.
- “The Super Hero Squad Show” theme song (from the second season)
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- Sealab 2021
- Samurai Jack
- House of Mouse
- Liberty’s Kids
- Mucha Lucha!
- Teamo Supremo
- Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?
- Duck Dodgers
- Kenny the Shark
- Lilo & Stitch
- Johnny Test
- Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold
- Martha Speaks
- Total Drama Island
Image from “Cyberchase.” (PBS)