Ten Classic Cartoon Rock Stars

No, this is not a list of musicians who are most like cartoon characters, so you'll find no Iggy Pop, Twisted Sister, or Lady Gaga on the list. Rather, this is a collection of stars who have been captured in animated form: some for children, some not so much for kids. But all these animated rockers are worth checking out and would probably make Walt Disney turn over in his cryogenic chamber.


The Icelandic chanteuse was always a care-free spirit, but never more so than in her 1997 video for "I Miss You" animated by John Kricfalusi the mad mind behind Ren & Stimpy. Bjork never wore less then she did in this video both in live action and animated form. Watch out for the cameo by Fred Flintstone.

The Beatles

You are undoubtedly aware of Yellow Submarine, the 1968 movie that introduced the world to the Blue Meanies. But there was also a Saturday morning Beatles cartoon that ran 39 episodes from 1965-67. The Fab Four could not be bothered with voicing the characters (they did have a day job they were attending to), so instead the voice of Boris from Rocky and Bullwinkle was cast as both John Lennon and George Harrison.

The Sex Pistols

From their 1980 movie The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, the punk quartet characterized their fame during a 90-second sequence in surreal Robert Crumb-underground comix style.

Mama Cass Elliot

You may not remember The New Scooby Doo Movies episode which featured celebrity guest stars solving mysteries with Scooby's gang like The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, and Batman. In the 1973, episode titled "The Haunted Candy Factory" Scooby Dooby Doo helps the former Mamas and the Papas singer figure out who the Green Globs are running around Mama Cass' candy factory. Sonny & Cher and the Monkee's Davy Jones also had their own episodes.


In the first Popeye cartoon in a quarter century, the Chicago Americana band performed their 2011 song "Dawned on Me" on a dock where an animated version of singer Jeff Tweedy steals Olive Oyl from the violent grips of Popeye and Bluto.

The Jackson 5

Michael and his four brothers went on an adventure every Saturday morning from 1971-73 on The Jackson 5ive, where they were joined in animated form by Motown President Berry Gordy. Though none of the Jacksons or Gordy contributed with their voices, that is actually Diana Ross who voiced herself on the premiere episode.

M.C. Hammer

The problem with cartoons is they take a lot of time to produce. By the time the 1991 series Hammertime featuring rapper MC Hammer made it to ABC on Saturday mornings, the kids had already moved on to the gangsta rap of N.W.A.


The Simpsons have had countless musical guests appear in animated form from Paul McCartney to The Ramones to Justin Bieber. Perhaps the most famous example was 1996's Homerpalooza which featured Simpsonized versions of Cypress Hill, Sonic Youth, Peter Frampton, and the Smashing Pumpkins.

Milli Vanilli

A mere two weeks before the duo were exposed for lip-synching and not actually recording their best selling debut album, the duo appeared on The Adventures of Super Mario 3 in an episode titled "Do the Koopa." The duo ironically are credited with providing the voices, even as someone else was singing "Blame it on the Rain" and "Girl You Know It's True." After the scandal broke, the episode was re-edited so Milli Vanilli songs were no longer featured.

Kanye West

In the 2008 music video for "Heartless," West is animated in rotoscope style where everything is filmed and then drawn over. It pays tribute to the 1981 Ralph Bakshi cartoon feature American Pop that was created in the same way.

New Party Rules for Millennials

10 Best Hipster Bars in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Top 20 Sexiest R&B Songs from the '90s to Today

Ten Best Florida Metal Bands of All Time

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
David Rolland is a freelance writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland