Thursday, January 29, 2015

German Intro and Theme Song For the New Series (With Historical Context Add-On!)

The new German intro sequence recently made it online as a television recording from Super RTL's Toggo block (except for the first few seconds, which are cut off in the below video). Unlike the French theme song, the German version is a straight dubbing of the original, English-language theme. It's worth noting that Super RTL airs the series in full HD, and the picture quality is terrific. It's my understanding that many of the Boomerang channels do not yet broadcast in high definition, though perhaps that varies from region to region.

Anyay, I find the difference between the new German and French theme songs interesting; because the original series' German theme song (below) was actually based on the French 1983 song - complete with German lyrics throughout the song! In fact, the entire German translation of the 1980s series is based on the French dub*, something which explains, for instance, why Penny is named "Sofi" (after Sophie) and Brain "Fino" in Germany.

I suspect this originally had to do with geographical convenience. Because of French channel's FR3's involvement with the series, Inspector Gadget was distributed in both English-language and French-language versions from the very start in the fall of 1983. Germany is one of France's neighboring countries, so it was probably much easier for the German dubbers, back in the 80s, to get access to FR3's French-language PAL masters than to licence the English-language NTSC masters from LBS (Lexington Broadcast Services). And Germany was not the only country to make use of the French masters, either: it varies greatly from country to country around the globe whether their localized dubbing of Inspector Gadget is based on the English- or French-language masters. That's a bigger discussion than what I intended with this post, though. For now, have a listen to the German intro sequence for the original "Inspektor Gadget"...

*Note that I'm saying "dub" here. It's a widespread misunderstanding on the internet that Inspector Gadget's original production language was French, but as I've mentioned before, it really wasn't. The scripts were written and the voices were recorded in English first (for Season 1, at Nelvana in Canada; for Season 2, at DiC in Los Angeles). The French-language version of the series was translated from the English version. (But again, a topic for another day...)


  1. I can tell you so far that Germans are just like that.
    Mind you, when we had cable television for the first time in 1993 and I found the German channel RTL 2, that was broadcasting tons of anime back then - characters names, opening and ending song were all changed. :-D So I guess it's more suitable for them after all.

  2. Ugh, I was loving this blog when I saw all those interesting articles about the drawings in the original series. But now I'm wading through heaps and heaps of articles about that TERRIBLE reboot series. I HATE IT. Magnificent and skillful animation versus cheap cgi graphics? Are you kidding me?

    1. Ha ha! Your feedback certainly changed its tune quickly. :P I actually agree with you to a certain point: Over the past year and a half, there have been WAY too few posts here related to the original 1983 series, which remains my first love. I have found it important to update about developments regarding the reboot series for several reasons. For one thing, I did set out from the start with this site to do both current news posts and articles on the 1980s series. Also, it's the first time in almost a decade that we have had a new animated Inspector Gadget production, and the first new TV series since 2002. I found it all pretty exciting when it was announced.

      But I'll admit it has become tiring to do THIS many news updates... and it has left me with little energy to do posts and articles about the original. I do actually want to focus more on the original series and less on news in the future. My two latest posts reflect that... and I have more up my sleeve.

      If you find the reboot series terrible -- well, that's your opinion, of course. :) Personally, I have a more divided view on it -- some parts I like, some I definitely don't. And I wouldn't call the CGI animation cheap myself. There are some animated shows out there with more lavish animation, yes; and there are economical decicions being made... but I still find the CGI pretty good for television standards.

      Of course, I do prefer the hand-drawn design and animation of the original -- especially in episodes where the best Japanese animation studioes were used, such as "No Flies On Us", "Haunted Castle", "Greenfinger", "The Japanese Connection" etc. If I could do a new TV series I'd go for a hand-drawn style/technique in a second. But CGI is the trend in TV animation these days, and within that realm, I think we could have gotten a lot worse. (See the utter trainwreck "Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever" (2005) for a definition of "a lot worse".)

      But if you're not interested in the reboot at all, it probably IS a waste of your time to wade through all those articles and news about it from the recent months. Let me give you a suggestion: Skip back to around April or February 2014 in the Blog Archive (down below in the right-hand column), and work your way backwards from there. Yes, there were posts about the (then-upcoming) reboot series even at that point -- but also many more posts related to the original series than there's been here recently. (That said, I HAVE occacionally done posts related to the 1983 series more recently, too. So scroll through the entire archive if you want all of it.)

      Add-on thought: Your strong preference towards the original has made me wonder if I shoud label the posts related to the 1983 series "Original Series" or something in that vein. It would take some work to go back and do this with all the posts, but maybe it could still be worthwhile. Is this something readers are interested in?

    2. Thanks for your reply! I'm sorry I sounded so aggressive but.... you just can't mention the new CG Gadget series around me, it ruffles my feathers! :P
      It should be noted that I'm always extremely suspicious about any reboot or sequel of shows and movies I loved as a kid. I usually perceive them as destruction or mock-up of something I loved.
      A reboot/sequel should damn well be a whole lot like the original show, to surpass my innate distrust. When the show went the CG route, it already lost me from the beginning. (I'm also of the idea that they've done CG because CG is just cheaper.... so they tought about money first.)

      Furthermore, look at Lupin 3rd. That series celebrated its anniversary by getting a weird, but interesting series that reintepreted it as a PG-rated show ("A woman called Fujiko"). I would have liked to see Gadget do that!
      And even if gritty reboots aren't your thing, Lupin 3rd juuuust at this very moment get a brand new series, an italian-japanese collaboration that is so much like the original show it's insane. I haven't seen the first episode yet, but the trailers I've seen amazed me as that new series is indistinguishable from the original!!

      Long story short: Lupin 3rd got an interesting gritty reboot and a new series that is so identical to the original one it's like it came from a time machine.
      Gadget got some uninspired CG cash-in, or so I feel.
      And even tough Lupin is even more popular than Gadget here in Italy, I wish Gadget had gotten the same luxury treatment the Lupin saga did these recent years!