Before Ranma 1/2 and Sailormoon, there was Doraemon, Nintama Rantarou, and even Kimba the White Lion. I remember watching some episodes as a small kid for the sole purpose of improving my Mandarin (the only anime available and on television were dubbed from Taiwan).
But I remember now there was a show even before all of that, of a yellow Twinkies car rolling over hills and hills. I remember the opening theme song well, because it started with “ben ben…. benbenbenbenbenbenbenbenbeeeeennn” (奔奔). I never figured out what the anime was called though. Until now.
So here’s in all honest truth, my earliest memory of anime, before grade school:
I knew that Twinkies car as “Ben Ben” (奔奔), but never knew it was called Bumpety Boo or Hey! Bunbu (へーい！ブンブー). I remember an episode where the car had a tooth decay from eating too many sweets, and his rider tried to help to take it out. Their nemesis – a goofy professor – even tried to help by (bizarrely) doing a native dance and chew on a stick of hot coals (the tooth was out when a girl passing by offered a banana).
That show lasted for a year, and I clean forgot about it – but not its theme song.