Many EXTREME cartoons of the 1990s fell short in their theme songs by not having lyrics. The otherwise hyper-manly Biker Mice from Mars is one of them, and Fox's X-Men is another. Ultraforce nearly falls into that camp, but there are, shall we say, special circumstances. Ultraforce's intro is a stunning simple affair, as it consists entirely of a man yelling ULTRAFORRRRRCE while viewers meet a bunch of C-list superhero from the Malibu Comics barrel-bottom. Our favorite is Contrary, who has a terrible superhero name and rides around in a hover-chair. Her superpower apparently involves stimulating the brain's pleasure points, but it's hard to make that edgy without violating broadcast standards.
4) Toxic Crusaders
The Toxic Crusaders cartoon proved that parental watchdog groups weren't really paying attention to children's TV in the early 1990s. Shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were upbraided for their violence, but there was no outcry when Fox aired an animated series based on Troma's notoriously tasteless Toxic Avenger films. Perhaps that's because Toxic Crusaders was sanitized heavily and reached borderline Captain Planet levels of environmentalism. The most threatening thing about the cartoon is its opening song. Of course, it's not as heavy as the actual Toxic Avenger film theme song, but the show's theme still does its best to get kids worked up over TOXIC CRUUUUU-SADERS. Those kids soon found that the cartoon's less a violent revenge fantasy and more of a snarky-cute parody where no one really minds being hideously mutated. Oh, and it's important to recycle.
3) Bots Master
The Bots Master is a clear case of overstaying a welcome. A cartoon about a teenage hero and his garish knockoff Transformer robots would've been acceptable in the fog of the 1980s, but Bots Master hails from 1993. It was even more hideous by then, and the show's creators dressed it up with 3-D effects and a vaguely hip-hop opening number. Because those kids like that rap music, y'know. JJ Cool L and MC Hamster and all that. Like the show itself, the Bots Master intro doesn't know when to quit. After an agonizing roll call brings us young rebel Ziv Zoolander and his insufferable Boyzz Brigade, the music meanders on for thirty more seconds of wordless funk-techno noodling and strangely animated nonsense. It fails to distract from the fact that one robot is named Ninjzz. Say it out loud, now.
WildC.A.T.S comes not from toy lines or classic cartoon history, but from the early '90s comic industry, which was bloated, mercenary, and unfailingly X-TREME. Among the unimaginative superhero teams that clogged many comic pages, WildC.A.T.S (that stands for Covert Action Teams!) is most flatteringly described as "Jim Lee's X-Men rip-off that's still better than any of Rob Liefeld's X-Men rip-offs." And to prove it, WildC.A.T.S actually got a cartoon while Liefeld's Youngblood TV show died on the operating table. It's hard for an animated series to capture the inanity of bad '90s comics in a single opening theme, but WildC.A.T.S did it by rhyming "heroes" and "zeroes," a task best left to professionals like Vanilla Ice. And then it shrieked its name at kids until they gave in and watched it.
1) Stunt Dawgs
It's very likely that many cartoon producers disdain their audiences, but Stunt Dawgs goes beyond that. Stunt Dawgs is the product of rank, unfiltered loathing. It's a slapstick cartoon about Hollywood stuntmen (and women) and their crooked director of a rival, but like many Saturday-morning fillers that Fox inflicted on children of the 1990s, Stunt Dawgs HATES the viewer. And that hatred starts with a screaming introduction of the STUNT DAAAAAAWGS. Every uninventive cast member gets a grating bit of verse, characters make constant honking noises to indicate surprise, and there's a self-mocking line or two, just to show that the people responsible knew exactly what they were doing. Stunt Dawgs may deserve credit for getting a villain named "Richard Fungus" on the air, but that doesn't excuse everything else it was.