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The Best Fridays Opening

That would be the opening sequence that was used beginning in 2003, when the Cartoon Cartoon Fridays block was renamed to Fridays.

Back in the 2000s, Cartoon Network would often premiere new episodes of their various shows on Friday nights, in their Cartoon Cartoon Fridays programming block; at the beginning of the block, they would show a short opening sequence, which changed over the years. Though I can recall somewhat the various openings used from the block's beginning in 1999 to 2003 (it is the first 6 minutes and 22 seconds of the video), it was truly the opening that premiered in late 2003, as part of the block's major overhaul which introduced live-action hosts and segments (along with its renaming to Fridays), which I most remember.

Unlike the previous openings, which were purely animated and showed little more than clips from the shows or the characters simply moving around the screen, the new 2003 opening combined live-action footage with animation: it showed—amazingly for me as a kid back then—the cartoon characters that had by then become so familiar to me casually walking around and interacting with real objects and real people in the real world. More than this, the focus of the opening is a tour through a Cartoon Network office building (or perhaps even the network's headquarters), which plays to an incredible fantasy that the cartoon characters are real, and are actually involved in the operation of the channel, which, I should think, many kids might have imagined after seeing it. The combined live action and animation makes this opening very cool and memorable, and it is also very well-made, with catchy music—doubtless much time and effort must have been put into it, far more, I would venture to guess, than any of the previous openings for the block. If the purpose of the opening was to get me excited to watch the block, then it definitely achieved this goal far better than any of the previous ones did.

Regrettably, I cannot remember when this opening was retired. It was slightly altered on a few occasions to include new characters, as an acknowledgment of those new series' place on the network: one variant, for instance, includes characters from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (which weren't present in the first video I linked to), suggesting that it was used at least until November 2004, though I recall with some fogginess that it was shown well into 2005. Even though, by 2005, I had seen this opening many times, it never got old; I always enjoyed watching it, and even today, it still manages to bring a smile to my face, partly because I feel that I am seeing my old childhood friends when I can recognize nearly all of the characters who appear, and partly because it reminds me of Cartoon Network's golden years, when even something of marginal importance like the opening sequence of a weekly programming block was given this much care and attention.

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This page last modified on 29 March 2021.