A Nod To Greatness #8: The GI Joe Movie Intro

Remember when movies for kids were cool?

Remember when movies for kids were cool?

I can vividly remember most of the cartoon movies I saw when I was a child. As adults we think that our intelligence strengthens our imagination, often forgetting what it was like to be a child. When we were young our imaginations soared to places our now adult and logical brains tell is are not possible or are too dangerous. I can remember, in some cases, where I was sitting when I saw some of the cartoons of my youth. I was just left of center screen for Transformers and I remember being dead center but a little bit close to the screen for Cinderella. More than I can remember all of these things, though, I remember the buzz in the air of the movie theatre when, sitting just right of center, the intro for the GI Joe movie came on. As children who watched the show daily I would be lying if I said expectations were anything less than in the stratosphere. Expectations were blown away, though. Everything was blown away. All that remained was Desire. Desire to see the movie that came after that intro. I contend that the GI Joe movie was the greatest movie of my childhood, but we’re not here to talk about the movie. We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty on the into for the movie, which is so good it tells a small story of its own that connects the viewer to the show but also gets them into the right mood for the movie.

The new song is, in my opinion, even better than the one from the show and is really one of the most important parts of why this intro was so well done. Again, from the perspective of the young target audience, it has most of the memorable parts from the television show in tact, creating the feeling of familiarity but at the same time it kicks it up seventeen notches. I can remember the rush of excitement I got. At first I was a little hurt that they had changed the theme, but I remember that hurt lasting for seconds only as it dawned on me that this was no betrayal. I can still appreciate the lyrics now. “Can the world oppose, deadliest of foes? Cobra. Cobraaaaa!!!” Who wrote that? They’re my hero. I have the utmost respect for people who write something for children but they handle the job as an adult and don’t dumb it down because kids are stupid. I feel like a lot of the shows directed at kids now imply that they’re too stupid to grasp things we understand as adults and this is a mistake. Whoever wrote that song had their heart in the game. I know, I should look it up and tell you who it was. I was being lazy. [Twenty minutes pass] I’m no longer considering myself lazy on this but I have no idea who wrote it. I tried to look it up but got lost in a mess of different information. If you find out I’ll give you a really sweet prize if you reply with the information. Also thousands of readers will appreciate your wisdom and likely have sex relations with you. The onus is now on you.



Another thing I’d like to point out is how much is going on in this three minute clip. You essentially have a battle between as many members of both factions as could possibly be squeezed into the frame with the good guys winning just in the nick of time. If any kid crawled out of a cave and directly into a movie theatre without knowing anything about the show they would still be able to understand the power struggle between Cobra and the Joes. In three minutes they manage to show you everything you need to know about both sides. The balloons and the cobra parachutes, the reflection on Cobra Commander’s face when he gets punched off of the statue and both sides fighting each other ruthlessly. I have to wonder if even some of the parents who had brought their children in to see the movie were a little charmed by the way it opened. Also, of note, one of the People We Look Up To, Shipwreck makes it into the video and comically almost gets shot in the face. Only Shipwreck can pull that off with such panache. In a time where we have to make an entire movie about introducing characters to the random idiots who were not a fan of the source material for the movie, we can only look back on these days with longing for the way it used to be. The way it was when you pandered to the fans instead of to the idiots who will watch the movie and forget everything about it two weeks later.

I would argue that the intro for the GI Joe movie had more thought put into it than The Phantom Menace did for the entire movie. As kids we appreciated the extra effort and, to be honest, we remembered it growing up. Movies now are made to be discarded for the many sequels that will spawn in their name. Did they think we didn’t appreciate it? My brothers and I had hundreds of GI Joe toys. They were our prized possessions. We’re all very sorry we didn’t write thank you letters when the movie was over. Do we really have to suffer through the garbage they make for kids now though? One day soon someone will pluck their head from their ass and make a movie that respects children the way GI Joe the movie did and it will explode in popularity, prompting many idiots the world around to wonder why they didn’t think of it first. Chances are it’s because they have less imagination than your average seven year old does.

**Edit: It was pointed out to me that I had searched poorly for the author of the song and I now know who is responsible:

Lyrics by: Barry Harman
Music by: Ford Kinder and Spencer Michlin

Excellent job, both of you. You made my and a lot of other kids’ childhoods immeasurably better. You should be proud.

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2 Responses to A Nod To Greatness #8: The GI Joe Movie Intro

  1. trollownt says:

    Amazing! Cobra didn’t even do anything. They were just parachuting with confetti. Then one guy got a little overzealous and broke a video camera. GI Joe saw that and was like “check out these mother fuckers” and proceeded to blow up everything. Seriously, like 15 explosions per second for the rest of the video!

    • snaughty says:

      The overzealous guy was actually a robot. They were added in because people noticed it was hard to animate a battle with both sides shooting and neither side getting hit over and over. This way there were bipeds who could be shot in the chest and fall to their electronic untimely demises.

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