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: the theme song. Sometimes when translating a media product, the localizers may opt out of using the original opening and/or ending theme song for their home country. So what do they do about this? Instead of dubbing the original song, they'll replace it with a completely different theme song, of course!
This usually happens for two reasons. One reason is for marketing purposes. The company may want to replace the song with a different one because they believe it will help make the show more popular with their target audience. This usually results in the tune of the new theme song bringing out very different mood from the original theme song. Another reason for changing the theme song is because the original song is licensed by a singer and they can't use the music.
Changing the theme song is common for English dubs of anime series geared towards children, especially if the show is airing on a television network, but it happens outside of North America as well; the practice of having completely different music is arguably even more common in Japan, where there is an entire industry based around creating Anime Theme Songs, and Italy, where it's easier to list the animated series who don't have at least one.
This is also an aversion of The Song Remains the Same, where the original song is kept and left in its initial language, and Translated Cover Version, where the original theme song is dubbed with more-or-less a direct translation of the original lyrics. If the song keeps the same melody of the original, but has radically different lyrics, then it goes under What Song Was This Again?.
When the entire soundtrack is replaced, it's a Foreign Re-Score. Not to be confused with Foreign Language Theme, where the original theme is written in another language, or Replaced the Theme Tune, where the show replaces its own theme song with another one.
- In English-speaking regions and most countries, the children's product line Kandoo had a music video made to promote it called "You've Got The Moves". When this music video was shown in France and in French-speaking Canada, a different song called "C'est moi qui fais tout" accompanied it.
- The Polish dub of the Flufflings commercial has quite a different jingle .
- Very different jingles are heard on the French and European Spanish dubs of the Mr. Bucket commercial, replacing the famous "Put Your Balls in My Mouth" jingle.
- Whilst the English version of the original Connect 4 commercial has no music, the Italian dub adds music.
- The European Spanish dubs of many different Play-Doh commercials use a different jingle, here is an example.
- The UK And European versions of the Mouse Trap 1994 commercial uses a completely different jingle Compare the USA and Canadian versions.
- The French version of the 1989 Operation commercial does this as well.
- The Spanish and Portuguese versions of the original Hungry Hungry Hippos commercial use a modified jingle.
- The UK and European versions of the 2003 Buckaroo advert do this as well
- The UK version of the original "Don't Wake Daddy" advert has a totally different theme.
- The French dub of the old Efeun ad used a totally different theme
- Toys 'R' Us is known for their long-running American jingle "I Don't Wanna Grow Up (I'm A Toys 'R' Us Kid)", In the UK, they used this for a brief time, but in 1989 the UK branch introduced a completely different theme song, "Magical Place".
- The Spanish Dub of the Loopin Louie ad used a completely different theme.
- Also Greek (At 1:09)
- The Spanish dub of the Go Go Worms game commercial used a theme that sounds nothing like the English theme.
- The Spanish and Greek dubs of the Electronic Talking Battleship commercial use the theme from the Famous Sinkings Commercials. The Greek dub also has the formatting from it and uses footage from it.
- The Latin Spanish Dub Of The 1988 Bed Bugs Commercial Has A Remix Of The 1985 Commercial Theme.
- The Hungarian dub of several Baby Born ads used an instrumental version of "This Old Man" (AKA Barney & Friends's "I Love You" song) as the theme, as seen here.
- The UK And European Versions Of The Sonny The Seal Commercial Use A Quite Different Theme And Spain Changes It Again
- Chicken Croquette In Spain, Used A Very Different Theme
- Same With Lucky Ducks
- The UK Zany Zappers/Wrist Racers Ad Used A Completely Different Jingle On The Sany Zappers Part, And A Higher Pitched Version Of The Wrist Racers Jingle. See It Here
- A strange example of this happening in the same country: Chicago flooring company Luna uses this jingle in it's English ads, which is the same in Spanish but with different numbers. However, up until the mid-2000's, the Spanish jingle used a different tune.
- A Variation, The UK Version Of The Micro Machines Super Van City Ad Had The Jingle Sped Way Up
- The EU Portuguese Dub Of The Baby Alive Advert Does This, Check It Out
- Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf have two examples of this:
- The Cantonese dub used the Cantonese version of the theme song for the first movie as the theme song for the episodes 101-200 which aired on TVB Jade.
- The Hindi dub, called Kya Bakra Hai! ("What a Goat!"), features an entirely different theme song with a more Indian feel to it.