Futurama, Transformers, And 41 Other Classic Cartoon Themes Get Orchestral

By Nick Venable | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Do you guys remember the trend of string or orchestral tributes to music artists, with rock bands getting the bulk of the attention? I loved that stuff — and am equally interested in this Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star series of lullaby tributes — and it is a solid basis for my adoration of the video seen above, in which Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble AJCW performs 43 cartoon themes that cross the decades, from the xylophone hijinks of Looney Tunes to the magical flute of Adventure Time. (It’s actually 47 if you count the doubled-up bits.) If I can get comfortable with this entire thing as a ringtone, I’m pretty sure my journey through this life will have been for a reason.

If there’s a major flaw with this video, it’s that the songs are all chopped up and spliced together without any real rhyme or reason. Okay, it is for a reason, and it indeed works as is, but just hearing those small tastes of each song just made me want more, dammit! Doug‘s “do-do-do” taken to its logical extremes? Where can I kickstart this album in its entirety?

It’s no surprise that sci-fi animation has a large presence in this bunch, and I’m a fan of the animated teasers that accompany each theme. It’s a cheesy but fun thing to see everyone wear masks when they play the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme, and to see Futurama‘s Planet Express ship flying with the Magic School Bus in a double reference.

Other than those, you’ll be able to recognize notes from The Jetsons, Captain Planet, Transformers, Neon Genesis Evengelion, and Inspector Gadget. (Hoo, hoo.) And if we’re not playing genre favorites, you’ll dig the references to Bobby’s World, Pink Panther, South Park, Duck Tales, G.I. Joe, and more. Too many more. Not enough, though. I NEED MORE! You can find the full list here.

Did any of you guys have the Saturday Morning: Cartoon’s Greatest Hits CD? It was admittedly lacking in many ways, but it featured one cover that managed to top the already super-snazzy original. It is, of course, Sublime’s Hong Kong Phooey.

Second place almost has to go to this guy, who shreds this Ninja Turtle theme finer than prepackaged cheese.