When a dubbing company wants to market a television show, film, or video game from another country, they'll do the usual stuff like translation and localization. But they've got one problem with it: they don't think its theme song will work for their audience. So what do they do about this? Write a completely new theme for it, of course! Maybe they don't like the original song or maybe they think the new song will make the show, movie, or game more popular. Regardless of how popular the song is in the original version, the dubbing company thinks it's unsuitable for their viewers. This can qualify for both the opening and ending theme.
If you watched the subbed version you will either prefer the original theme tune, the newly written one, or both, so Your Mileage May Vary
This is fairly common for American dubs of anime, especially if it is marketed towards kids, but it can happen in other countries as well.
This is also an aversion of The Song Remains the Same
, where the original song is kept and left in its initial language. If the song remains the same, but has radically different lyrics from the original, then it goes under What Song Was This Again?
- When 4Kids dubbed One Piece they replaced the adventurous "We Are" opening with a rap about the plot, characters, and basically being a pirate. Many fans of the original were not pleased.
- They were originally going to dub the original song, but ditched it in favor of the rap. Smart move, 4Kids!
- The German version of One Piece also has a theme song different from the Japanese version. It can be found here.
- For the US version of Tokyo Mew Mew, 4Kids used a pop song called "Team Up" which was about working together and falling in love.
- The American version of Sonic X used "Gotta Go Fast'' as opposed to "Sonic Drive".
- The English dubs use various theme songs for each of the Pokémon shows, all of them different from the Japanese versions.
- All of the anime that 4Kids dubs usually have a different theme song than the Japanese version. They also usually abolish the ending theme and play an instrumental version of the intro song. One of the things that anime fans constantly complain about is the dub song being inferior to the original.
- The English dub of Digimon for the first 3 seasons also used a rap song instead of "Butterfly" for its theme song. Your Mileage May Vary on which is better but the dub version is definitely an Ear Worm. The other two used different theme songs. To be fair, though, Saban Entertainment was unable to license the original soundtrack, so they had to make up their own. Which doesn't stop some of the dub's other songs from being awesome.
- The Japanese theme song of Mon Colle Knights is much different than the English. Compare the majestic Japanese theme to the orchestral, action-sounding English theme song.
- The Samurai Pizza Cats Japanese theme song also differs greatly from the English version.
- The English version of Hamtaro uses two opening songs different from the Japanese version. However, it does use the tune of the first Japanese ending theme.
- While not necessarily anime, it was animated in Japan: Transformers Animated used a different opening/ending theme than the American version.
- While America of How to Train Your Dragon has "Sticks and Stones", the Japanese version uses a J-pop song called "Emerald" written by Becky♪♯.
- For the Japanese release of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Shoko Nakagawa wrote "Rainbow Forecast" as the ending theme, differing slightly from Miranda Cosgrove's "Raining Sunshine". If you picture the ending credits with this, the song actually fits pretty well.
- For Robots, Japan uses "Mawaru Sora" written by Hitomi Yaida. The European theme is "From Zero to Hero" by Sarah Connor.
- In Japan, Ice Age, a family comedy, has a surprisingly melancholy theme song. It's called "Hitoshizuku" which translates to "A Single Drop of Tears". This could be because the first movie is Darker and Edgier than the other two.
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire has a different theme song for the Japanese version, called "Crystal Vine", written by DREAMS COME TRUE.
- The Japanese dub of Monster House has "Seishun no Tobira".
- Meet the Robinsons uses "Hitomi Hiraite" by Mitsuki as the Japanese theme song.
- Disney's A Christmas Carol uses "Present" in the Japanese version.
- The Japanese version of Kung Fu Panda uses "Your Seed" as the theme song.
- Over the Hedge has "Key of Heart" as its Japanese theme and "People Say" as its Korean theme. Both were sung by BoA, who was the voice of Heather the opossum in both versions, making this a "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune.
- For the Tinkerbell films, they use "Fairy Song" as the theme song for the first film and "You Were" for the second film.
- Hoodwinked has its own Japanese theme song.
- Shrek the Third has a different theme song for the Japanese version, called "Love is the Greatest Thing" by w inds.
- The Japanese version of The Smurfs uses Hey! Say! JUMP's "Magic Power" as its theme song. Again, a couple of the singers were voice actors in the Japanese dub.
- The Japanese version of Happy Feet uses "Hoshi wo Mezashite" by NEWS as the theme song. One of the singers voiced Mumble in the dub.
- In Japan, The Day After Tomorrow gets a theme song called "More Than a Million Miles" by a band called...Day After Tomorrow.
- Kimura Kaela's "Jasper" is the theme song for Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium. You can view the music video here but beware, it's a Mind Screw.
- The second Arthur and the Invisibles has this as its Japanese theme song.
- The theme song of the Japanese version of Open Season is called "Tookage" by Chemistry.
- "Everlasting" by BoA is the image song for Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist.
- The Japanese version of the 2009 U.S. film Hachi: A Dog's Tale is "Wasurenai yo" by Aoyama Thelma.
- There is a Japanese theme song for the Thunderbirds movie.
- DREAMS COME TRUE's "Winter Song" is the theme song for the movie Sleepless In Seattle, although the lyrics are in English.
- The Japanese version of Twilight: New Moon uses Kato Miliyah's "Destiny" as its theme song.
- Rie Fu's "Until I Say" is the Japanese theme of the 2005 film Heidi.
- The Japanese theme song of Spider-Man 2 is called "Web of Night" by T.M. Revolution.
- The Japanese theme for Sin City is "Violet Sauce" by Namie Amuro.
- "Solve" is the image song for the Japanese release of Little Nicky.
- "Sailing My Life", sung by Hirahara Ayaka and Fujisawa Norisama, is the theme song for the Japanese version of Disney Nature's Oceans.
- The various Law & Order series had their theme tunes changed in the UK, possibly because musical tastes changed by the time the original series made it over the Atlantic. Although with the advent of Law & Order: UK (which uses a theme tune which sounds reminiscent of the original ones) they seem to have switched to the original themes.
- Powerpuff Girls has a couple opening and ending songs. Most of them were written by Power Puff Soul, a band of singers who joined together for this series, and one of the members includes Megumi Hayashibara!
- Ben 10 has a different ending theme for the Japanese version called "Ladybird Girl", a love song, which is not very fitting for a show about transforming into multiple aliens.
- There are several opening and ending themes for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They can all be found here.
- The Italian version of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a different opening song. It can be found here.
- The ending theme song for Ruby Gloom in the Japanese version is called "Siren" by Nana Kitade, who used the alias "Ruby Gloom" for this single.
- The Japanese version of Peter Rabbit has a different theme song
- Japanese Dora the Explorer uses "Sound Space Scope" as its Japanese ending theme song.
- The Japanese X-Men not only writes a different theme song, it completely reanimates the opening! It also uses a new ending.
- Japanese '90s Iron Man also uses a different opening theme song.
- The Japanese uses a different theme song for Animesque French show Totally Spies!!
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has an opening theme that emphasizes the nonsensical comedy of the show. The French version has lyrics and a slightly more heroic vibe.
- There's different theme songs for the Japanese version of various Hanna-Barbera cartoons, such as Wacky Races, Space Ghost, Josie And The Pussy Cats, and The Funky Phantom.
- Japanese Tom and Jerry has a different opening theme.
- Japanese Boondocks has a different opening theme.
- Rip Slyme wrote a new theme song for the Japanese version of SpongeBob SquarePants. You can find it here.
- The Japanese version of the Donkey Kong Country has a different opening and ending theme.
- In Japan, the theme song for Class of 3000 is called "Funky Teacher" by Seamo.
- The Japanese version of Magic School Bus also has different opening and ending themes. One of the ending themes is called "Dream On" by Junko Iwao.
- Peppa Pig has an alternative Japanese theme song.