From Sega Retro
|Founded: 1992? 1995?|
|Merged into: Konami|
|Headquarters: New York City|
4Kids Entertainment was a company headquartered in New York City that licenses children's television shows in the United States and in other countries. 4Kids is best known for producing dubbed versions of Japanese anime series, including Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Sonic X.
Many anime fans in the US are highly critical of 4Kids because of its policy of extensive Americanization of the anime titles it licences. On one hand, such alteration alters the series from what they originally were, and some feel that it defaces the original work and demeans the original author. On the other hand, 4Kids tends to licence only titles targeted to preteens, and is modifying the titles to appeal to the same demographic in the US - leaving the title as is would limit its access in the US, as well as potentially raising the ire of parent groups.
However, in order to combat the complaints, 4Kids has allowed FUNimation, their DVD distributor, to release unedited versions of Shaman King and Yu-Gi-Oh! on DVD as a test (similar to how DiC allowed Pioneer and ADV to release unedited versions of Sailor Moon and Saint Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac)). If the unedited releases do well, 4Kids may expand them, as well as release uncut DVDs to other animes such as Sonic X, Ultimate Muscle, etc. to its entire lineup.
After Deem Bristow passed away, 4Kids supplied voice actors for Sonic games. This has angered many fans who preferred the original cast. However, many have found it amusing to hear 4Kids actors swear in Shadow the Hedgehog.
In 2010, it was announced that almost everybody in the "active" Sonic cast was being replaced with new voice actors. The first voice actor changes were revealed to be for Sonic and Tails, while Mike Pollock will continue his duties as providing the voice for Dr. Eggman. It is unknown if 4Kids are still involved in any capacity after the change, although this is unlikely.
In December 2012, the company was reincorporated as 4Licensing Corporation and the licenses to the TV shows were lost.
- this list may be incomplete