Dark Vegeta-Sama wrote:That theme song isn't specific to the Westwood dub. It actually predates it, although it was indeed used for it as well.
Rather, it is the opening theme that the series had in Canada throughout the entirety of its run, regardless of at which point in the series it was, or who the cast was. It was there right from the early FUNi/Saban/Ocean days, right through FUNi's in-house recast and into the Westwood run. Each and every single episode of the series had it (except for, randomly and inexplicably, episode 21 of the FUNi/Saban/Ocean dub in which Nappa kills Piccolo).
I suppose it's most accurate to just refer to it as the Canadian version of "Rock the Dragon." The only times the American version of "Rock the Dragon" ever aired in Canada were the aforementioned episode 21 (every time that particular episode would air in reruns), the eventual airings of the edited TV versions of the first 3 FUNi/Pioneer movies in late 2001, and bizarrely, when episode 1 was re-aired for YTV's 20th Anniversary in 2008.
Yup, everyone here knows Dragon, Dragon Ball theme but not so much Rock the Dragon. As a kid, when Rock the Dragon played rarely in the opening but did sometimes over the typical Canadian version (I didn't realize it was for just that one episode so that's new info to me). As a kid, I tried to record Rock the Dragon but the Canadian version would always prevail
Rock the Dragon--when it did play oh so rarely--just blew my mind haha!
But yes, older Canadians know the "alternate" version more than Rock the Dragon.
So the alternate opening was probably used to satisfy Cancon laws.
Yeah, it was pretty mind-blowing. Strange as it may seem to non-Canadians, the American version of "Rock the Dragon" was, for lack of a better term, foreign to us. On the extremely rare occasion when it would air, it was a pretty awesome alternative to what we were typically getting. It's certainly more exciting and a lot catchier.
When I first started researching the show online and found some of the earlier websites of the time like Chris Psaros' DBZ Uncensored
, I found it odd that the older online fandom would bash "Rock the Dragon" constantly. Yeah, I get it, it's not the Japanese opening, but for an American kid in the late '90s, "Rock the Dragon" would've been a pretty cool intro.
Perhaps if American fans had to endure the Canadian theme for all those years instead, they would've appreciated "Rock the Dragon" more by comparison.
90sDBZ wrote:That's interesting stuff. It's not surprising that AB Groupe didn't directly supervise that dub being a French company and all. I've always believed that they are the reason it's so rushed though, given that they were the company distributing it to the networks and were likely demanding it be dubbed at a fast pace. It's also likely they were the ones providing the budget for it.
As for why it was made there's no way to know for sure, but there was an old interview on this site with Ian James Corlett who speculated it was "an anomaly of rights".
There's also another weird thing about the situation. The fact that Canada didn't switch to it until the Cell Games while the UK, Ireland, and Holland got it at the Android saga which sort of puts the Canadian content theory in doubt. And the Westwood dub contained extra cuts when it aired in the UK but I've seen some Canadian fans claim it didn't for them. Furermore when the UK got the Funimation dubbed Fusion saga on the air for a couple of months it aired without any extra cuts but later when the Westwood version aired it had the extra cuts.
As confusing as all that is, even in this day and age Bang Zoom Super existed for no obvious reason.
I'm suggesting the Canadian Content law as a possible reason for why there was ever a Canadian theme song made for the series to begin with. The actual production of the Westwood dub, which came later, was a separate matter.
It is rather unfortunate that Canada never aired the earlier portion of the Westwood dub, but an obvious reason is that by the time the Westwood dub entered production, Canada had already aired those early Android/Cell episodes, and YTV may not have had the appetite to re-purchase those episodes all over again from another distributor. However, YTV's relationship with FUNimation supposedly broke down and the Westwood dub was then available as a cheaper alternative, or at least that's what was discussed online at the time. It is true that FUNi did not provide YTV with all of season 4 (missing the last 12 episodes), so it certainly seems like a possibility. FUNimation's season 4 consisted of episodes 103-179, ending with the episode where Trunks returns to the future and finally destroys the Androids, but YTV was only given episodes 103-167 even though they presumably would've paid for the entire season. Episode 168, which is right in the middle of the Cell Games, is where YTV picked up the Westwood dub after we'd had to endure several months of reruns.