Follow TV Tropes


Foreign Re-Score

Go To

For whatever reason, be it legal issues or Creative Differences, a work gets completely re-scored when being released outside its country of origin. These may or may not happen with a bonus serving of No Export for You for the original soundtrack (and in some cases, the new soundtrack as well).

If the original music was done by a separate band (not in-house), then an entire separate license needs to be drawn up for the music, apart from the work itself. In some cases, the band may flat-out refuse, or they may demand huge royalties that would double the expense of porting the work.

Supertrope to Alternative Foreign Theme Song.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

  • 4Kids Entertainment was notorious for doing this with pretty much all of their shows in addition to their general editing (Pokémon: The Series was an exception, at least for the earlier seasons). Notably, in Sonic X, during the Sonic Adventure 2 arc, the game's theme "Live and Learn" kicked in during the climatic ending, but 4Kids replaced it, removing a lot of the impact.
  • After The Pokémon Company International took over as the English dubbers to Pokémon: The Series, they continued the habit of replacing the original Japanese scores, though to a lesser extent, with only music that comes directly from the games receiving this treatment (due to licensing issues).
  • Joe Hisaishi, a veteran composer of Studio Ghibli, was hired to re-score Castle in the Sky for its late 1990's release by Disney. Though Disney's version of the film was not available in Japan (until the recent BD release), it's the only place that soundtrack can be bought.
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie had a J-Pop soundtrack for its original release, which was then changed into a Grunge soundtrack for the English dub done by Manga Entertainment. The recent Discotek Media release allows the viewer to watch the English dub with either the English or Japanese soundtracks.
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold was re-arranged for the French version by Haim Saban because the show's creator Jean Chalopin felt that the Japanese score was not adventurous enough. The latter score was considered for the English dub but was discarded in favor of the French soundtrack. Both soundtracks are cases of No Export for You in that the French score never made it to Japan and the Japanese score was never used elsewhere.
  • The Funimation dubs of Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT have the original score from Shunsuke Kikuichi replaced. Episodes 68-291 of DBZ used a guitar-heavy rock soundtrack by Faulconer Productions, DBGT had a tecno-orchestral score from Mark Menza, and episodes 1-67 of DBZ (dubbed later) had a synth-orchestral score from Nathan M. Johnson. Menza and Johnson also re-scored all the theatrical movies, some of which also featured songs from licensed rock, alternative, and metal bands. The two DBZ TV specials were re-scored by Dale D. Kelly and Mark Aiken, also with licensed songs. This has caused a certain amount of "Macekre vs. Woolseyism" debating, with some feeling the dub score ruined the intent and emotion the original had, while others feel the dub soundtrack fits the action and tone much better, along with sounding less repetitive. Later releases of both shows have the option of restoring the original Kikuchi score. (Dragon Ball never had a replacement soundtrack for its uncut version, and Dragon Ball Z Kai and Dragon Ball Super were made after Funimation stopped rescoring Dragon Ball anime.)
    • Likewise, the original short-lived dub of DBZ that Funimation created with Saban and Ocean Studios had a re-score courtesy of Ron Wasserman (credited to Shuki Levy for contract reasons). The "international" dub of DBZ episodes 123-291 from Ocean Studios, created for broadcast in Europe and Canada, also featured an alternate soundtrack, from Tom Keenlyside and John Mitchell. Although their songs were initially recycled from other projects recorded at Ocean, later episodes had some original music composed.
      • Funimation's short-lived dub of the original Dragon Ball and its first movie was re-scored by Peter Berring.
  • The DiC-Optimum English dub of the first two seasons of Sailor Moon used a completely new soundtrack from Bob Summers. The TV/VHS edits of the movies recycle cues from this soundtrack. While the re-score is despised by some fans, others look back on it with some nostalgia, with a small segment even preferring it. Cloverway and Optimum's dub of the later seasons retained the original soundtrack.
  • Fox's broadcast of The Vision of Escaflowne contained a mix of new music and music from the original score, but the original music was usually played in completely different scenes from where it had originally appeared.
  • The anime adaptation of Maya the Bee has three completely different soundtrack scores that was re-arranged for different parts of the world.
    • The original Japanese version is scored by an actual orchestra which was reused for the Arabic version.
    • The German version is also orchestrated but mostly themed to Jazz and uses 70s era synthesizers. This version is present in all international versions including the British dub from 1979.
    • When the series was brought over to the American and Canadian market by Saban Entertainment. The anime was given a brand new soundtrack and new title cards.
  • When Tokyopop first dubbed Initial D, not only did they replace Eurobeat with other songs, but the entire soundtrack was altered.
  • Happens with English-dubbed versions of Japanese anime by Mondo TV and Interfilm Company (Robin Hood and The Legend of Snow White). The new music is composed by Mark Bradley, Bill Nabb and Terry Wilson.
  • When Nelvana dubbed Cardcaptor Sakura, one of many changes was replacing Takayuki Negishi's original score with new music.
  • The Manga UK release of Cyber City Oedo 808 received a new rock soundtrack scored by Rory McFarlane. It's available as an alternate audio track on Discotek's North American Blu-ray release.
  • Saban's Glitter Force dubs of Smile Pre Cure and Doki Doki Pre Cure completely ditched the original Japanese score for a much more western pop-soundtrack. This also applies to the CGI Dance sequences that plays after each episode, resulting in all of them getting re-animated for the dub.
  • Nelvana's English dub of Medabots replaces the Japanese version's soundtrack with a new drum 'n' bass/industrial score composed by Daniel Fernandez and Jack Procher.

    Asian Animation 

  • The English version of Leafie, a Hen into the Wild has a new score composed by Patrick Cannell replacing the original score.
  • Happens with North Korean animation by SEK (such as Squirrel and Hedgehog, The Great Book of Nature and Toy Toons, and the films Prince Moon and Princess Sun and Young Fisherman & Black Dragon), licensed overseas by Mondo TV. The new music is composed by John Sposito.

    Film — Animation 

  • In Toy Story 2, "The Star-Spangled Banner" played when Buzz gave a motivational speech as the American flag faded in behind him. For foreign releases, it was replaced with an original piece as the visual changed to a rotating globe with fireworks.

    Film — Live Action 

  • The song "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" ("Jerusalem of Gold") is featured in the Schindler's List soundtrack and plays during a key moment near the end of the film. This caused some controversy in Israel when the film was released because the song was written in 1967 and is widely known in Israel as a pop and folk song. The song was therefore edited out of the Israeli release of the film and replaced by the song "Eli, Eli", which was written by the Jewish Hungarian poet Hannah Szenes during World War II and is more appropriate for the time period and subject matter of the film.
  • When March of the Penguins was released outside France, Emelie Simon's vocal score was replaced by a score by Alex Wurman.
  • The soundtrack for The Raid was originally done by Indonesian composers Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal, who had worked with director Gareth Evans on Merantau. When Sony Pictures Classics managed to acquire the international distribution rights for the film (re-christened as The Raid: Redemption for the United States), they hired Joseph Trapanesenote  and Linkin Park/Fort Minor frontman Mike Shinoda to create a new score for the film.
  • International releases of Gone with the Wind had a different prologue scroll that was meant to explain The American Civil War to foreign audiences. So, instead of a slow, choral rendition of "Dixie", the international version used a bombastic rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic".
  • For the North American release of The Neverending Story, Klaus Doldinger's classical orchestra soundtrack was replaced in large parts by a synthesizer-based soundtrack by Giorgio Moroder.
  • Some of the Compilation Movies that The Man from U.N.C.L.E. generated for international theatrical release. Needed to have original music (others kept the music composed for the episodes.
  • When New World Pictures bought distribution rights to Def-Con 4, Christopher Young wrote a new score intended to make the film seem expansive than it actually was. New World later used some of Young's music in The Return of Godzilla.
  • When shown in Europe, the Australian horror film Patrick was given a new score courtesy of Italian prog-rockers Goblin.

    Live Action TV 


  • Show Boat:
    • British productions almost invariably replace Frank and Ellie's Trocadero number, "Good-bye, Ma Lady Love," with "How'd You Like To Spoon with Me?" The latter song, unlike the other old Victorian and Edwardian songs used in this scene, was composed by Jerome Kern (in 1905).
    • The 1928 Drury Lane production had a newly-written Eleven O'Clock Number for Kim, "Dance Away the Night." This was heard in British productions but not in American ones until the 1994 Broadway revival threw in a snippet of it played over a radio.

    Video Games 

  • Sonic the Hedgehog CD is well-known for replacing the original soundtrack, by Naofumi Hataya and Masafumi Ogata, with new music composed by Spencer Nilsen and David Young for the North American version. Meanwhile, the European and Australian versions got the Hataya/Ogata soundtrack. The PC version of the game used the Nilsen/Young soundtrack for all language versions, while Gems Collection used it in the North American, European and Australian versions (but retained the Hataya soundtrack in the Japanese version). Eventually, the 2011 remake allowed the player to toggle between both soundtracks across all language versions (sans lyrics for the Japanese theme songs). Sonic Origins retains the option to switch soundtracks, while also reinstating the lyrics for the Japanese themes.
  • The Famicom Disk System cartridge slot has extra pins that some games used to expand the audio capabilities. When the console was exported in North America and Europe as the Nintendo Entertainment System, the pins were replaced with an anti-piracy subsystem, meaning that games that used it had to re-scored for the music to sound good. A list of games that use these pins can be found here [1]. A visualization of the audio channels of Castlevania III, one of the most notable examples, can be found here [2].
  • Guilty Gear XX #Reload has an entirely new soundtrack for the Korean release composed by Sin Hae Chul. It's considered to be just as good as the original soundtrack.
  • Shinobi Legions had an all-new score done for the European release by Richard Jacques.
  • Mega Man has a history of doing this:
    • Mega Man 8, the PS1 version of Mega Man X3, and Mega Man X4 have full vocalized songs in their original Japanese releases, which were replaced with different tunes when brought over internationally.
    • The Under the Sea stage for Mega Man X5 (also known as Duff Mcwhalen/Tidal Whale's stage) has a completely original soundtrack in the Japanese version, but in the international versions, it's a remix of Bubble Crab's stage music from Mega Man X2.
  • X-Kaliber 2097 had all the music from the Japanese version (Sword Maniac) replaced with tracks from Psykosonik's Self-Titled Album for Activision's international release.
    • Similarly, Bio Metal had its original music replaced with tracks from 2 Unlimited's debut album Get Ready!.
  • Crash Bandicoot: The Japanese release for the game has alternative music made by the original composer, Josh Mancell for 4 of the boss fights and Tawna's bonus levels. The remaining PS1 titles had new menu themes made for the Japanese versions.
  • Gran Turismo 1 and 2 for the original PlayStation. In Japanese, they had original jazz fusion soundtracks by Masahiro Andoh and Isamu Ohira; the Western releases had them replaced with licensed rock songs. The subsequent games unified the soundtracks for all regional releases - except for the opening theme, which in Japanese is always Andoh's "Moon Over The Castle."
  • The international versions of Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return have a completely different soundtrack from the Japanese version.
  • Most of the music in the NES version of Rygar was replaced for the English release, for whatever reason.
  • After Burner III: The Japanese release of the Sega CD version employs a jazzy/fusion score, which the international releases swapped out with the arranged soundtrack from the FM Towns port of After Burner.
  • The Japanese version of the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi trilogy (where it's known there as the Sparking! series) re-uses the Shunsuke Kikuchi anime soundtrack for its battle themes. Meanwhile, the North American, European and Australian releases has Kenji Yamamoto (Tenkaichi 1, recycling the soundtrack from the Budokai series), Takanori Arima (Tenkaichi 2), and Toshiyuki Kishi (Tenkaichi 3) handling the games' soundtracks.
  • The North American version of Cyber Speedway replaces the original electronic/trance soundtrack with a rock soundtrack by obscure band The Bygone Dogs.
  • The NES version of Rygar had a totally redone soundtrack for the North American version. Some of the new songs soundly vaguely like songs that Americans would be familiar with, such as the opening area sounding similar to the theme from the Superman movie.

    Western Animation 

  • Frosty the Snowman: A significant part of the original score is replaced with two renditions of the Frosty the Snowman music, including the opening and ending themes, in the Greek dub. One of them is done by 101 Strings Orchestra.
  • Winx Club: Several of the shows' transformation themes had their instrumentals altered for certain dubs.
    • "We Girls are the Winx":
      • While Cinélume kept the Italian key for season 1, they would later lower the pitch and partially re-score it in season 2.
      • The Romanian dub by Nickelodeon would use the Italian instrumental in English key for the third season.
      • In an interesting inversion, the Russian cover of this song used a higher key instead.
    • "Enchantix":
      • The English version of this song had a completely re-done instrumental that was once again in a lower key; this also applied to the Turkish dub, as both were sung by the same singer (Yasemin Sannino).
      • Oddly enough, the Finnish, Romanian, and Russian dubs use the Italian instrumental, but with the English key.
    • "Sirenix": The Sinhalese dub of The Mystery of the Abyss used a remix of the Sirenix instrumental.
  • Thomas & Friends: When Season 7 (the last of the classic era) aired in North America, they replaced Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell's score with a new score by Robert Hartshorne. This is because on TV, Season 7 aired alongside Season 8 (the start of the HIT era), which also had a score by Hartshorne, and they didn't want to confuse kids. The North American version also redubbed a few Season 6 episodes with Hartshorne music (and Michael Brandon re-narrating over Alec Baldwin).


Video Example(s):


Brother My Brother

Along with an entirely new orchestral score, the English dub of Pokemon: The First Movie by Warner Bros. has a slew of 90s pop songs included within it; a notable example is Brother My Brother by Blessid Union of Souls, which was spliced and edited to fit the pacing of the clone fight scene (contrasting the original Japanese version, which reuses music from the anime).

Video: The Pokemon Theatrical Releases Defined An Era (SBN3)

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ForeignReScore

Media sources: