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4kids Entertainment was influential to/and defined anime and animation in the 90s and 2000s.


Well-Known Member
Everyone may think 4kids Entertainment is the worst thing to have ever happened to animation/anime back in the 90s and 2000s, but I think that 4kids Entertainment did more positive than negative. These days I tend to view 4kids as more of a necessary evil than anything else. Yes they made sweeping changes to shows and were lambasted for it, but I think this was important in the long term.

The New York voice talent pool that they got for their shows were phenomenal. They created an entire generation of anime/animation fans and voice acting buffs, to the point where the 4kids/NY cast of such anime like Yugioh and Pokemon are considered the "definitive" casts for many fans. And whether they intended it or not, they also proved there was a market for uncut anime in the states, paving the way for more mature series to be released. And if anything, the 4kids dub of One Piece essentially discredited the entire Macekre/heavy censorship style of localization as a whole.

And also, a lot of the voice actors that 4kids used definitely weren't mediocre, and in fact, are probably some of the best actors in the industry (these are New York voice actors after all). A lot of them had impressive theatre careers or were on Broadway at some point. You can see this by looking and some of the main casts of shows. Look at Dan Green, Wayne Grayson, Schroeder, Sebastian Arcelus, etc. Another example is whoever thought the 4Kids/NY actors would have such fantastic voices!! I almost cried after just finding this; Joey and Tea are awesome! Wish Yugioh would be a sort of musical showcasing these..!

I miss the 4Kids actors, I don't care what they say! They should do this again. 4kids also just had banger songs. The amount of just musical talent they possessed was wild. TMNT 2003 was one of the most well voiced acted and well scripted version of the turtles ever made. Pokemon's dub, let's face it, was iconic. They were the ones that gave us the incredibly memorable theme songs, and when the dub team changed hands to Pokemon USA, there were riots because the dub cast had been changed. Veronica Taylor, Rachel Lillis, Eric Stuart, Maddie Blaustein (RIP), and others were great. Yugioh is the same way. I do mourn the loss of some of the original soundtrack's better songs, but I think the 4kids openings (especially the battle city era one which added some more mystical elements into it) better represented the show than the Jpop/j-rock of the Japanese version. Also Kaiba's hacker theme slapped. Their Winx Club dub was literally was the 2000s teen girl vibe that was popular during the time and their Shaman King 2001 dub was really the true way to watch the show and the voices were way better than the 2021 dub voices.

Sometimes, I feel like 4Kids Entertainment doesn't get as much credit where it's due, because it was really a company that defined the 90s and 2000s era of anime and animation.