If you were watching Cartoon Network around the turn of the century, you may have some memories that you’re not sure were dreams or reality. Did you make up that jazzy jingle about Magilla Gorilla? Do you randomly daydream about the Powerpuff Girls fighting a giant fish-monster on a Godzilla set?
Well, good news, fam. You’re far from alone…AND those memories are very, very real.
In case you’re not tracking yet, we’re going to take a trip back about 20 years to Cartoon Network Groovies, a series of music videos that featured some of our favorite cartoon characters. We’re not going to cover all of them though, just the best 10.
“Signal in the Sky”
Not only was this song catchy, the video is memorable for a handful of reasons. First, superhero fights are almost never told from the perspective of the passers-by who were just living their normal lives before a bloated blowfish decided to drop the people’s elbow on Town Hall. While letting Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup save the day, “Signal in the Sky” doesn’t let them steal the show.
“The Incredible Shrinking Day”
For an entire generation, Ed, Edd, and Eddy set the standard for what a carefree summer was supposed to be. Long before the kid with the triangle-shaped head and his mostly-silent brother hit the scene. Getting into trouble, obsessing over candy, and avoiding the heat was all you wanted to do. The reason “The Incredible Shrinking Day” worked so well is because it captured every part of that spirit from the show and packed it into a couple of minutes.
“Secrets” – will.i.am
There may be some mixed feelings about will.i.am these days, but put yourself back in the shoes you wore in 2000. The Black Eyed Peas hadn’t even made their top songs yet. Hell, Fergie wasn’t even in the group yet! Nah, back in 2000, the Black Eyed Peas were the backpacker’s secret weapon so seeing will.i.am on Cartoon Network was, arguably, the first sign of bigger things to come.
Confession: This song is the reason this list exists. For YEARS, I’ve caught myself humming and randomly yelling “JJJJAAABBBEEERRRRRJAW!” with no explanation. Then, one day, it hit me. This song was GOLD.
Not only is it possibly the best Cartoon Network Groovies song ever, but it brought Jabberjaw into current culture by updating the crew’s clothes (and giving Jabberjaw a beard and giant nose ring..??) I can never play this song just once. It’s been stuck in my head for almost 20 years, and I hope the same thing happens to ALL of you. [insert evil laugh]
“Josie and the Pussycats”
Before Riverdale gave Josie and the Pussycats a major makeover, Cartoon Network already gave us a glimpse of how they’d look if they aged along with us through decades of music. This video features every genre from disco, to techno, to dad rock.
It’s very hard to not fill this list with Powerpuff Girl content, but we can’t give them all the shine. So as the second and final entry of this list we have “Chemical X.” While a lot of the Cartoon Network Groovies had a more pop/soft rock sound, this joint was straight up R&B. Come TTTHHHHRRROOUUUGGGGHH with the rhythm and blues!
Although it’s the shortest selection on this list, “Pork Jam” is far from the weakest. As a curious eight-year-old, this song was the only excuse I needed to jump out of bed and run around my bedroom with my fists in the air (a.k.a. dancing).
“Back to the Lab Again”
This joint should’ve been on the radio. As one of the few songs from the collection to be straight-up rap bars, this was definitely a personal favorite.
I’ll never know what came first. A song called “Circles” that could be applied to The Flintstones recycling backgrounds or the other way around. All I know is that the foresight that went into combining this song with the classic cartoon was a home run.
“Gorilla 4 Sale”
If this list had the desired effect, you’ve been jamming for the past 20 minutes or so. Sadly, no jam session can go on forever. To send you on your way on a smooth exit, let’s visit “Gorilla 4 Sale,” a great song about a cartoon no one really watched.
As there are plenty more of these songs, feel free to let us know which ones you like the most.
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