Facebook and ads nowadays are getting so good on how they hook us. I was strolling through my feed and saw this animated tidbit for an upcoming Netflix exclusive: The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show.
The great color choices and design caught my attention so well. Everything looked pleasant, and the logo flashed near the middle of the video was some of the best design that I’ve seen in awhile. I’m a fan of fun, clean looking designs. I’m not a huge Mr. Peabody and Sherman fan, but this trailer got me wanting to at least try the first episode.
And that’s a good intro or teaser in general. They make you want to watch the show. Since I was inspired, I wanted to spend this post listing my Top 5 cartoon intros as of recent. This is going to stem from the later 2000’s till now. I won’t be posting the Spongebob theme or Scooby Doo, because those are so classic and iconic in themselves, it’s like judging people in the Hollywood Walk of Fame to me: they’ve already made top lists. They were already good and iconic to begin with.
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil (Disney)
This is the kind of show that 11 to 14-year old Haleigh dreamed about. Star vs. the Forces of Evil is a recently produced on Disney with it’s debut back in late Spring/early Summer. It’s super wacky, with a silly heroine that’s super powerful and extremely energetic. The intro matches that energy that’s produced throughout the show. It accurately gives the viewer a taste of what the show will be about, if they have never seen it before. A two second brief at the beginning already telling you the history of the protagonist, random enemy fights that turn out to be dancing buddies later, and floating unicorn heads. Ya know, the usual. Like I said before, pre-teen Haleigh would think the theme song is amazing. It’s a little frenetic and random for my taste currently (it doesn’t even rhyme at times), but it does it’s job. It accurately portrays the show that will play for the next 22 minutes.
- Steven Universe (Cartoon Network)
Rebecca Sugar always does great music work on shows. Some of my favorite songs are when she helped with Adventure Time, like “I’m Just Your Problem” and “I’m All Gummed Up Inside”. She exceeded my expectations in music when Steven Universe came out. She does great songwriting. The current Steven Universe intro is actually a revamp. I thought the original looked great, and then I saw this one that blew me out of the water. The backgrounds look amazing, like they do in the show, they added more characters, and everything is more fleshed out and more detailed. For someone to just begin watching the show, they could get a little lost in what’s about to go on when they see a little girl with a big sword in front of a donut shop, and then everyone is just chilling on the beach, but they need to go back to the first season anyway to catch up. Regardless, it’s a beautifully done intro, and props to Sugar and her team for making it that way. It just makes you want to break out your ukulele and sing along.
- Wander Over Yonder (Disney)
Guys…Craig McCracken knows what he is doing. He’s been in this business long enough to know what he’s doing, and he does it well. He was the main guy behind The Powerpuff Girls, and with a show that iconic and great, you can see where this is going. It’s an intro for a cute and clever show called Wander Over Yonder that I don’t think Disney does any justice. It’s a gem that I believe gets hidden due to more of the live-shot productions Disney does, and would do even better if it was on Cartoon Network. Bitterness aside, the intro is amazing. We see exactly the personalities of the characters that we’re about to get involved with, and nature of the show itself, without knowing too much. Wander, the main protagonist, goes to different planets to make friends with the different inhabitants, all while trying to befriend the evil Lord Hater. I love good animation bits, like the part when Wander rides his steed, Sylvia, and gawks with excitement at the world around him. It’s done so well and so smoothly, I severely geeked out the first time I saw this intro. The colors are amazing and make the backgrounds intriguing. The theme is so quirky, cute, and most importantly simple and short. It’s so that it doesn’t get annoying so quickly. Not to mention the logo if fantastically done. McCracken knows how to wrap up an intro like he’s wrapping the perfect present.
- Gravity Falls (Disney)
This intro almost made it to my number one slot. You know exactly what kind of show you’re about to get into, but leaving enough mystery about what sort of episode is about to play. It has it’s quirky style, but adds enough attraction that you want to know more. It let’s you know the characters, our setting, and the sense of adventure to come. One of my favorite aspects about the intro is that there are hidden messages and secrets that you can find within the opening. They also will change the opening with new episodes from time to time, to change those secrets so that they correlate with the story. That’s commitment to your own product, Alex Hirsch. Good on you. The theme itself is so spooky, yet upbeat. There have been so many remixes with the theme song since the show took popularity. It’s become iconic now. You play the song, any nerd is going to recognize it.
- Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (Cartoon Network)
Remember when I told you McCracken is a genius? Let me remind you. I believe this is one of the most iconic animated show intros up there with Scooby Doo and Spongebob. I wonder sometimes why this intro is so good, and why it’s my favorite. I think it’s because it’s so simple. The colors are beautiful, but simple. Backgrounds are well done, but simple. Even the beginning of the intro when everything is drawn is such a simply beautiful concept. It does tell a story, introduces you to the main characters, but also adds heart into there. Everyone is laughing and hugging at the end. There’s excitement and friendship that’s shown. There’s a sort of warmth after watching it that you get when you’re about to go into the show, aaand…not much more is needed. It’s super effective. Also, anyone my age or from my generation will know this song. They will. If they don’t, that means they missed out on a great part of their childhood that I would love to introduce to them because this show is a classic. Everytime I hear this song a smile spreads on my face. I’ve wanted for the longest time to learn how to play the theme on piano, and I kick myself for not doing so yet. So again, McCracken knows how to wrap it up nicely. I can’t wait to see what’s next up the McCracken family sleeve.