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Completely Different Title / German

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Cat's Eye became "Ein Super Trio".
  • Little Women became "Eine fröhliche Familie" (A joyous family).
  • Hikari no Densetsu was renamed "Die kleinen Superstars" (The little superstars).
  • Captain Tsubasa went under the inane name "Die tollen Fußballstars" (The amazing soccer-stars).
  • Following the theme, Attack No.1 was known as "Mila Superstar", renaming the main character to Mila.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk (1974) (an extended Japanese version of Jack and the Beanstalk, which is it's title in most other countries) became "Tom, Crosby, and the Mouse Brigade".

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comic Titles often got strange translations up until the 80s, during/after which they slowly restored the original titles.
    • SpiderMan was, for a very long time, released as Die Spinne ("The Spider").
    • XMen had it bad, as it got translated as Die Gruppe X ("The Group X"), which doesn't sound like a superhero-team (not even in german).
    • Avengers was translated as Die Rächer, which is a somewhat correct translation ... however, when the first run of NewAvengers was released in German, it was called Spider-Man und die neuen Rächer ("Spider-Man and the New Avengers"), most likely to profit off of the back-then recent success of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. However, every Avengers-title afterwards got to keep the original, English title.

    Film — Animated 
  • An American Tail became Feivel Der Mauswanderer (or Feivel the Mouse Wanderer) in German, to preserve the pun in the title. Auswanderer means emigrant. Also of note is that Feivel is spelled the correct way, whereas in America it is always spelled 'Fievel' to avoid pronunciation confusion.
  • The first dub (i.e. not the Disney one) of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind became known as Star Warriors in Germany. Even though the characters never went near any stars.
  • Future War 198X got two different titles, one for each side of the Berlin wall. "Null Zeit - Zero Hour" (not related to this one) and East Germany got "Das Ende Aller Tage - The End of All Days".
  • Recess: School's Out became Große Pause: Die geheime Mission (Recess: The Secret Mission)
    • Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade became Große Pause: Wir sind Fünftklässler (Recess: We are Fifth Graders)
  • Several Disney films changed to character titles:
    • Lady and the Tramp became Susi und Strolch
    • The Fox and the Hound became Cap und Capper (and Cap und Capper 2 for the sequel)
    • The Rescuers became Bernard und Bianca - Die Mäusepolizei. The added subtitle translates to The Mouse Police.
      • Naturally The Rescuers Down Under followed suit and was renamed to Bernard und Bianca im Känguruhland (Bernard and Bianca in the Land of Kangaroos).
    • An interesting case with 101 Dalmatians, which was known as Pongo und Perdita in its first release years, but later was officially renamed to 101 Dalmatiner.
      • Likewise with The Sword in the Stone. Merlin und Mim in its early years, later renamed to Die Hexe und der Zauberer (The Witch and the Wizard). Actually that sounds even better in English.
    • For The Little Mermaid (1989) the protagonists name was added but the "little" got dropped, and thus became known as Arielle, die Meerjungfrau.
    • Tangled became Rapunzel - Neu verföhnt. The subtitle (roughly be translated to New/Again over-blown dry) sounds similar to Neu Verfilmt (Newly/Again made into an film).
    • Brave became Merida.
    • Frozen became Die Eiskönigin ("The Ice Queen").
    • The Emperor's New Groove became Ein Königreich für ein Lama (A Kingdom for a Llama)
    • Wreck-It Ralph was simply alliterated to Ralph reichts (Ralph had enough), perhaps because wreck-it is hard to pronounce for German children and has no sensible translation to put in a title.
  • The Little Witch: The film adaptation of the Czechoslovak-West German animated series is called Wie die kleine Hexe das Zaubern lernte ("How the Little Witch Learned to Do Magic") in German.
  • The dub of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water is simply titled SpongeBob Schwammkopf 3D (SpongeBob Squarepants 3D). The DVD gives it a more literal translation, "Schwamm aus dem Wasser".
  • The first three films in the Toy Story series keep the same name as the original. However, Toy Story 4 released there under an unusually much more different and longer title than in any other place it released: A Toy Story: Alles hört auf kein Kommando ("A Toy Story: Everything Listens to No Command").
  • The Twelve Tasks of Asterix became Asterix erobert Rom (Asterix conquers Rome).
  • Kubo and the Two Strings became Kubo: The Brave Samurai.
  • The Iron Giant became The Giant from Space.
  • The Princess and the Frog became Kiss the Frog.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • The film of Bridget Jones's Diary was titled "Schokolade zum Frühstück" (Chocolate for Breakfast) in Germany because the book was published under that title there. However, the scene the title refers to didn't make it into the adaptation.
  • The book version of The Bourne Identity was known as "Der Borowski-Betrug" in Germany, and the title character was renamed. Because the name Bourne appears on-screen in the movie, the character's name was changed back, as was the title: "Die Bourne Identität".
  • Toni Morrison's Beloved was published as Menschenkind ("Child of Man", in analogy to the Biblical Menschensohn, "Son of Man").
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities became Fegefeuer der Eitelkeiten ("Purgatory of Vanities").
  • Dee Brown's book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee became the more vague Begrabt mein Herz an der Biegung des Flusses ("Bury My Heart at the Bend of the River").
  • Childwold by Joyce Carol Oates became Im Dickicht der Kindheit ("In the Thicket of Childhood").
  • Exiled author Stefan Heym wrote the novel The Crusaders (1948) based on his experiences in a psychological warfare unit of the US Army from D-Day onwards. When a German version was produced in 1950, it was titled Der bittere Lorbeer ("The Bitter Laurels").
  • Most German editions of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment (Prestuplenie i nakazanie) are entitled Schuld und Sühne (Guilt and Atonement).
  • Cry, the Beloved Country was retitled Denn sie sollen getrösted werden ("For They Shall Be Consoled"), a quote from the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler became Sonnenfinsternis, "Solar Eclipse".
  • For Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, they really wanted to use One-Word Title Theme Naming.
  • The Edge Chronicles became Die Klippenland-Chroniken (The Chronicles of the Cliff Country).
  • Astrid Lindgren's Emil i Lönneberga was named "Michel aus Lönneberga" in Germany due to preventing it for being mistaken for the also popular German children`s novel "Emil und die Detektive" by Erich Kästner.
  • Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms is In einem anderen Land ("In Another Country").
  • The German version of From Here to Eternity elaborates on the partial quote from a Rudyard Kipling poem, being titled Verdammt in alle Ewigkeit ("Damned To All Eternity").
  • Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow is Die Enden der Parabel ("The Ends of the Parabola").
  • Harry Potter is not immune in German either: The second book, Chamber of Secrets became Kammer des Schreckens which means... "Chamber of horror". It may fit, but is more straightforward.
  • The Hunger Games became Die Tribute von Panem ("The Tribute of Panem"), both the first book and the trilogy.
  • The Hurog duology, consisting of Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood was published under the title Drachenzauber ("Dragon Magic'') in German.
  • Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon has the German title Tolldreiste Kerle in rasselnden Raketen (roughly: "Daring Guys in Rattling Rockets")
    • Actually, that's only the title for the 1967 British movie - to match better with the similar Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines made 2 years earlier. The book and other adaptations are titled much closer to the original.
  • The Last Gentleman by Walker Percy has the disconcerting German title Der Idiot des Südens ("The Idiot of the South") in reference to Dostoyevsky's The Idiot.
  • Logan's Run has inexplicably the title Flucht ins 23. Jahrhundert ("Escape into the 23rd Century") in German. Yes, the protagonists escape from something, but not into a different time period.
  • Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey: Busman's Honeymoon is Hochzeit kommt vor dem Fall, "Wedding Goeth Before the Fall", playing on Hochmut "pride".
  • The Millennium Trilogy was similar: Verblendung, Verdammnis and Vergebung - Blindness, Doom and Pardon.
  • Face of the Dark Palmira, a side novel by Vladimir Vasiliyev set in the Night Watch (Series) universe, was published as Bewahrer des Chaos (preserver of chaos) in German.
  • Notre Dame de Paris in all versions is known as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame ("The Bell-Ringer of Notre Dame").
  • The original Swedish title of Simona Ahrnstedt's debut novel, Överenskommelser, can be translated into "Agreements" or "Understandings". But the German title, "Ein ungezähmtes Mädchen", can be translated into "An untamed girl".
  • Zig-zagged with the Rivers of London series. Rivers of London is translated directly as Die Flüsse von London; Moon Over Soho gets a slight addition to become Schwarzer Mond Über Soho ("Black Moon Over Soho"); Whispers Under Ground is Ein Wispern unter Baker Street (A Whisper Under Baker Street, presumably to keep the London locations going); Broken Homes gets the completely different and not entirely accurate Der Böse Ort ("The Evil Place"); Foxglove Summer is translated directly as Fingerhut-Sommer; and The Hanging Tree becomes Der Galgen von Tyburn ("The Gallows of Tyburn", a more direct reference to the same thing, and returning to the London locations theme).
  • Haruki Murakami's book South of the Border, West of the Sun became Gefährliche Geliebte ("Dangerous Lover") in German. The original title was refering to two great themes in the book, while the translated one doesn't really fit. It also changed the fact that most of Murakami's books are named after song titles.
  • Through the Looking-Glass became known as Alice im Spiegelland. ("Alice in the Mirror-land")
  • To Kill a Mockingbird is Wer die Nachtigall stört ("Who Disturbs the Nightingale").
  • Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media was published as Die magischen Kanäle ("The Magic Channels").
  • Isaac Asimov's "Feminine Intuition": The 1970 German translation calls this "Jane 5" instead of translating the English title, promoting the robot to titular importance.

    Live Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series became known as Raumschiff Enterprise in Germany (although DVD releases later restored the original title). Star Trek: The Animated Series became Die Enterprise. Star Trek: The Next Generation became known as Raumschiff Enterprise: Das Nächste Jahrhundert (i. e. "Spaceship Enterprise: The Next Century"). Star Trek: Voyager became known as Star Trek: Raumschiff Voyager.
    • This became a problem when the last show was called "Enterprise", as Germans had been calling both the first and the second show by that name for decades.
    • It also applies to episodes themselves. The TNG two-parter "Best of Both Worlds" is given the title "In den Händen der Borg" ("In the Hands of the Borg").
  • In West Germany, The Bionic Woman became (re-translated) "The Seven Million Dollar Woman".
  • Black Sheep Squadron was known in German as Pazifikgeschwader 214 ("Pacific Squadron 214")
  • Home Improvement is called Hör mal wer da hämmert (roughly "Listen, who's hammering").
  • The TV series The Avengers (1960s) is known in German as Mit Schirm, Charme und Melone ("With Umbrella, Charm and Bowler Hat").
  • Bewitched is known as Verliebt in eine Hexe'' ("In Love with a Witch").
  • The TV series The Brady Bunch was shown as Drei Mädchen und drei Jungen ("Three Girls and Three Boys"). The movie became Brady Family.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer was translated to Buffy - Im Bann der Dämonen ("Buffy - Under the Spell of the Demons'').
  • Charlie's Angels is Drei Engel für Charlie ("Three Angels for Charlie").
  • Deadliest Catch is Der gefährlichste Job Alaskas ("The Most Dangerous Job in Alaska").
  • Dynasty (1981) was Der Denver-Clan.
  • The TV series Get Smart was shown under different names over the time: 'Super-Max, der Meisterspion (Super-Max, the master spy) ,Mini-Max and Die unglaublichen Abenteuer des Maxwell Smart (Tthe Incredible adventures of Maxwell Smart). The film as Der Agent Maxwell Smart.''
  • The German-dubbed version of Hogan's Heroes is entitled Ein Käfig voller Helden ("A Cage Full of Heroes"), an obvious Shout-Out to the German title of La Cage aux folles. It has also been named Stacheldraht und Fersengeld ("Barbed Wire and Heels").
  • The title I Dream of Jeannie quotes a song that is not terribly well-known in German-speaking countries, so on German TV they opted for the pun Bezaubernde Jeannie - "Enchanting Jeannie".
  • The TV series I Spy was Tennischläger und Kanonen, "Tennis Raquets and Guns".
  • The Invaders (1967) was Invasion von der Wega ("Invasion from Vega").
  • Kojak was Einsatz in Manhattan ("Mission in Manhattan").
  • Married... with Children is Eine schrecklich nette Familie, "A terribly (pun intended) nice family".
  • The original TV series Mission: Impossible was Kobra, übernehmen Sie ("Cobra, You Take Over (the assignment)"), and its 1988 revival was In geheimer Mission ("On Secret Mission"). The Tom Cruise movies use the original title.
  • The old TV series Mr. Terrific was entitled Immer wenn er Pillen nahm, "Every Time He Took Pills".
  • Moonlighting was Das Modell und der Schnüffler ("The Model and the Snoop").
  • Murder, She Wrote was released under the somewhat ambiguous title Mord ist ihr Hobby ("Murder Is Her Hobby").
    • Also known as Immer wenn sie Krimis schrieb ("Whenever she wrote crime stories") during the first run in Germany.
  • The TV series The Odd Couple was Männerwirtschaft ("A Men's Household").
  • The Tony Curtis/Roger Moore series The Persuaders became popular in a notoriously loosely dubbed version, Die Zwei ("The Two").
  • Quantum Leap became Zurück in die Vergangenheit ("Back to the Past"). Could be a case of Translation Matchmaking, as Back to the Future was translated literally.
  • Space: 1999 was Mondbasis Alpha 1 ("Moonbase Alpha 1").
  • Spin City is broadcast as Chaos City. Both titles are equally accurate.
  • Ironside was Der Chef, which means "The Boss".
  • Rawhide was released as Cowboys and Tausend Meilen Staub ("A Thousand Miles of Dust").
  • The TV series The Untouchables was shown as Chicago 1930.
  • Weirdsister College became known as Eine Lausige Hexe in Cambridge ("The Worst Witch In Cambrige").


    Video Games 
  • Pokkén Tournament became Pokémon Tekken possibly due to the word "Pocken" being the German name for the smallpox disease.
  • The Panzer General series:
    • Panzer General (i.e. the first one) was just Panzer General.
    • Allied General became Panzer General II.
    • When Panzer General II came about, it became Panzer General IIID (even though it was still rather 2D).
    • When Panzer General 3D Assault (actually 3D!) came about, it became Panzer General IV: Western Assault.
    • Panzer General III: Scorched Earth became Panzer General: Unternehmen Barbarossa (named after the invasion of the Soviet Union).
    • People's General became Dynasty General, which is neither German nor very fitting for a game where you play the People's Republic of China.
    • Pacific General became Pazifik Admiral, which is an actually sensible change, considering the bigger focus on naval battles.

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is called Spongebob Schwammkopf ("Spongebob Spongehead") — Also a pun on "Schwachkopf" ("idiot")
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is called Chip und Chap: Die Ritter des Rechts (roughly "Chip and Chap: The Knights of Justice"), thus preserving the "RR" initials in the Rescue Rangers logo. However, the name is never really used outside of the title card and theme song, in the show they're known as Die Rettungstruppe, which is much closer to Rescue Rangers.
    • Interestingly enough, before the show hit our lands, Chip n' Dale from the Classic Disney Shorts used to be known as Ahörnchen und Behörnchen (a pun on Eichhörnchen = red squirrel and "Ahorn": maple).
  • For TaleSpin there was absolutely no way audiences would understand the pun between aviation and storytelling, so it received a rhyming Character Title known as Käpt'n Balu und seine tollkühne Crew (Captain Baloo and his Daredevil Crew).
  • Goof Troop became known as Goofy und Max.
  • The German version of Avatar: The Last Airbender changed it to Avatar: Der Herr der Elemente (Avatar: Master/Lord of the Elements).
  • Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street became Große Pause: Fröhliche Weihnachten (Recess: Merry Christmas)


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