Pokémon in the United States

(Redirected from Pokémon in United States)
140Kabuto.png This article contains old or outdated information, or has not been updated in a while.
Please check the content of this article and update it as required.
0572Minccino.png This article does not yet meet the quality standards of Bulbapedia. Please feel free to edit this article to make it conform to Bulbapedia norms and conventions.
Pokémon in United States
Pokémon logo English.png
United States Flag.png
Flag of the United States
Language English
Continent North America
Original anime airdates
EP001 September 8, 1998
AG001 March 15, 2003
November 1, 2003
DP001 April 20, 2007
June 4, 2007
BW001 February 12, 2011
XY001 October 19, 2013
January 18, 2014
SM001 December 5, 2016
March 17, 2017
JN001 June 12, 2020
HZ001 March 7, 2024

The Pokémon franchise first reached the United States in 1998 with the release of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions and the premiere of the anime. They contributed to what would be called "Pokemania", a phenomenon that lasted until the early 2000s. Most English translations of Pokémon media, as well as original English-language media such as POKÉMON Detective Pikachu, are based in the United States and then further distributed in other English-speaking countries of the world.

Pokémon games

Most Pokémon games released in Japan are translated into English for the United States, although there are exceptions, such as the WiiWare Mystery Dungeon games. All English-language games are exported to Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries (including those that do not have their own translation of the games, such as Latin America and Brazil). Event Pokémon are regularly released in the United States as well. Nintendo of America, Nintendo's subsidiary in the United States, sometimes publishes Pokémon and Pokémon-related video games, but they handle the local distribution of all Pokémon video games available on Nintendo consoles. Nintendo of America is a major partner to The Pokémon Company International. With very few exceptions such as Pikachu, almost all Pokémon, character and location names are fully localized in the English language, and are referred to as such in English-language media including Bulbapedia itself.

All Pokémon games released on the Switch since Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! have bilingual (English/Spanish) packaging for their standard versions.

Pokémon anime and movies

All English-language dubs of the Pokémon anime were produced in the United States, first by 4Kids Entertainment and later by The Pokémon Company International. Other animated productions, such as Pokémon Origins and Pokémon Generations, are also dubbed in English in the United States either via TPCI or other studios. The live-action film POKÉMON Detective Pikachu is a primarily American production.

While the Pokémon movies were regularly released theatrically in Japan, only movies one through five, the 13th movie, the Zekrom variant of the 14th movie, the 20th movie, and the 21st movie (along with POKÉMON Detective Pikachu) have seen theatrical releases in the US; all other movies have premiered on television and released straight to video, DVD, or streaming.

The anime first got wide exposure in the United States through "Pokémon Shock" coverage,[1] though it did not deter the brand's fame. 4Kids licensed the anime after a February 1997 trip to ShoPro's offices,[2] and The Summit Media Group revealed it had picked up the show for syndication at NATPE 1998.[3] The anime debuted in syndication in the United States on September 7, 1998[4] with the sneak preview debut of Battle Aboard the St. Anne, with an initial order of 52 episodes.[5]

Kids' WB

Kids' WB logo used from 1997-2008

Kids' WB (sometimes styled as Kids WB!) was an American children's television programming block and brand owned by Warner Bros. that first aired on September 9, 1995, on The WB Television Network.[6] On January 24, 2006 it was announced The WB and CBS Corporation's UPN would merge to create The CW.[7] When The WB closed on September 17 that year, the block moved to the new channel and it ran there from September 23, 2006 to May 17, 2008, at which time The CW4Kids was launched to replace it. Kids' WB lived on as the name of a streaming service, until a rebranding on May 17, 2015.

Summit did not see a future for Pokémon in syndication, so they sold the show to Kids' WB.[8][9] New episodes premiered on the block starting with The Problem with Paras on February 13, 1999, while the previous 40 dubbed episodes reran in syndication until September.[2][10] The show proved to be a hit on Kids' WB[11], and it premiered every (non-banned) episode of the anime until the end of season eight. During this time, Warner Bros. Pictures also released the first three Pokémon movies in theaters (and later on home video) under the Kids' WB banner[12][13][14]. From July 2001 until June 2002, Kids' WB's weekday afternoon editions, which included Pokémon, were branded Toonami on Kids' WB.

On January 22, 2005, Kids' WB was the first to air the English version of the seventh movie, Destiny Deoxys. It was also first to air the Pokémon 10th Anniversary special, The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, on April 29, 2006, before it aired in Japan. This special was the first to be dubbed by The Pokémon Company International (then known as Pokémon USA), rather than 4Kids Entertainment, and the only such episode that would air on Kids' WB.

In 2006 it was announced that Kids WB would no longer be airing non-Warner Bros. shows. New Pokémon episodes debuted on Cartoon Network starting on September 8, 2006[15][16], with Kids' WB's reruns of the show ending that month.

Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network logo since May 29, 2010
Main article: Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network is an American children's television network that was launched on October 1, 1992[17] after Turner Broadcasting System purchased the animation studio Hanna-Barbera. Following Turner's acquisition by Time Warner in 1996, the network was placed under the same umbrella as Kids' WB. Since its establishment, international variants of the channel have launched around the world. Since March 4, 2019, Cartoon Network has been part of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, a division of Warner Bros.[18]

Cartoon Network first aired Pokémon Chronicles in the United States from June 3[19] to November 25, 2006, during its Toonami block. Following the anime being dropped by Kids' WB, Season nine premiered on Cartoon Network on September 8, 2006[16]. Cartoon Network had previously aired reruns of episodes from the anime's earlier seasons, such as season five, and almost every episode through season 19 aired on the channel at some point. On their website, Cartoon Network featured several online games featuring Pokémon characters.

Cartoon Network sparked controversy through its practice of replacing end credit sequences with their own generic ones. For the airing of movies this meant that epilogues were often skipped, and for the first airing of the 13th movie several scenes were omitted[20].

The show stayed with the network until the end of season 19, with the last reruns airing in January 2017. New episodes would start airing on Disney XD.

Boomerang logo since January 19, 2015


Boomerang redirects here. For the move known as Bone Boomerang in Japanese, see Bonemerang (move).

Boomerang is a cable network owned by Warner Bros., operating as a sister station to Cartoon Network. Boomerang was launched as a block on Cartoon Network on December 8, 1992, shortly after the launch of the channel, and it was later spun off as its own network on April 1, 2000[21].

Boomerang first started airing episodes of season one the Pokémon anime in 2006, and again in March of 2010. As of October 2012, the channel had aired episodes from Pokémon - I Choose You! to Memories are Made of Bliss! and prior to 2017, episodes were aired at 6 and 6:30 PM ET/PT (5 and 5:30 PM CT) on weekdays. During the anime's time on the network, Boomerang aired the banned episode Holiday Hi-Jynx.

Pokémon anime reruns left the channel when the series left Cartoon Network for Disney XD, in February 2017.

Toonami Jetstream

Toonami Jetstream logo

Toonami Jetstream was an ad-supported streaming video on demand service run as a partnership between Cartoon Network and VIZ Media between July 17, 2006 and January 30, 2009[22][23].

The third season of the Pokémon anime debuted on the service on October 9, 2006 under the Johto Journeys banner, beginning with The Pokémon Water War (as the service followed TV broadcast order), and finishing with The Fortune Hunters on October 1, 2007. Pokémon Chronicles also debuted on Jetstream on October 9, 2006, beginning with part one of The Legend of Thunder! and finishing with Pikachu's Winter Vacation (the Christmas Night/Kanga Games combined episode) on March 5, 2007.

Season four debuted on May 28, 2007 under the Johto League Champions banner, beginning with A Goldenrod Opportunity and finishing with Machoke, Machoke Man! on May 27, 2008. Season five made its way to the service on June 16, 2008 under the Master Quest banner, starting with Around the Whirlpool and ending with Some Like It Hot on January 13, 2009.

Season nine debuted on the service on November 17, 2008 under the Battle Frontier banner, starting with Fear Factor Phony and ending with Reversing the Charges on January 13, 2009.

Toonami Jetstream released episodes new to the service every Monday, unless a particular Monday was a United States holiday, which in most cases meant the debut was on a different day (such as the following Tuesday or the preceding Friday). Like other shows, new Pokémon episodes in then-current seasons debuted every week and remained available for six weeks after they debuted on the service. The service also offered short previews of the movies Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, Two Degrees of Separation!, and The Rise of Darkrai prior to their television debuts.

To celebrate the 2007 release of Pokémon Snap on the Virtual Console, Pokémon.com announced that episodes featuring Todd Snap would be offered for one week later in December[24]. The plan was later modified in favour of traditional weekly progression; his three Johto appearances appeared as part of the normal Johto League Champions progression, with his Kanto appearances appearing on January 14, 22 and 28, 2008. The Todd version of Todd Snap's Kanto episodes were the ones used on Toonami Jetstream. This appeared to align with the retcon of making Snap the character's surname when Pokémon Snap was announced for the Virtual Console.

On January 20, 2009, Toonami Jetstream switched all available offerings with "top 10" lists from most of their at-the-time current shows, which for the Pokémon anime only included episodes from season five. On January 30, 2009, the service shut down completely, and on May 15, 2009, the anime launched on Cartoon Network Video.

Cartoon Network Video

Former Cartoon Network Video logo

Cartoon Network Video is a streaming video on demand service owned and operated by Cartoon Network that is available via their website or apps. The service launched on September 22, 2006 and was originally a sister service to Toonami Jetstream. It became Cartoon Network's only VOD service upon Jetsteam's shutdown on January 30, 2009.

On May 15, 2009, season 12 of the anime launched on Cartoon Network Video beginning with Get Your Rotom Running! and ending with Gotta Get a Gible! on May 17, 2010. On December 14, 2009, 97 episodes from the first two seasons (including the entirety of season two) were made available on the service.

On February 1, 2010, one episode from season three (The Pokémon Water War) was added to the service. However, this addition may have been in error, as the episode was removed a few days later. Two months later, the entire third season was re-added but the episodes were not working for many users and they were once again taken down the following month.

Initially, Cartoon Network Video released episodes new to the service every Monday, unless a particular Monday was a United States holiday, in which case the debut was often on a different day (such as the following Tuesday). Episodes were made available the Monday following their original dub airdates and remained on the service for two weeks. However, in subsequent years episodes were uploaded later than previously and remained available for only one week.

After a October 2009 revamp, the service began using a 16:9 widescreen video player. Content originally produced in 16:9, including all anime episodes starting with Classroom Training, were shown properly on this video player regardless of the aspect ratio the episode was aired in on the Cartoon Network channel, but content originally produced in 4:3 fullscreen, such as Pokémon episodes from earlier seasons, were stretched to fill the frame.

As with Toonami Jetstream, the Todd versions of the episodes Todd Snap appears in were the ones used on Cartoon Network Video. Additionally, episodes that involved the Orange Archipelago in any way used the theme music from the televised airings, meaning Pokémon World was first used on The Lost Lapras, with Pokémon Theme used for the three episodes prior.

Disney XD

Disney XD logo since 2015
Main article: Disney XD

Disney XD is a cable channel owned and operated by Disney Branded Television, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, that launched as a replacement for Toon Disney (and its Jetix block) on February 13, 2009[25].

Disney XD began airing season 20 of the anime on December 5, 2016, with a marathon that included the episodes Alola to New Adventure! and The Guardian's Challenge! along with the United States premiere of the movie Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel. New episodes aired on Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM ET/PT (8:00 AM CT) and the network has gone on to air season 21 and 22. The network has also aired movies one, two, three, and 16 and premiered I Choose You! and The Power of Us.

Disney XD also carries the Latin American Spanish dub through the second audio program (SAP) channel (or a separate channel carrying the Spanish audio feed, depending on the provider).

On April 23, 2020 it was announced that season 23 of the anime would premiere exclusively on Netflix, starting on June 12, 2020.[26] Reruns of Ultra Legends continued to air on Disney XD until January 2021.

Toon Disney

Toon Disney was an American cable channel owned by Disney Channels Worldwide that began broadcasting on April 18, 1998[27] and was replaced by Disney XD on February 13, 2009[25]. During this time, parent company The Walt Disney Company owned Miramax Films who held the distribution rights to Celebi: The Voice of the Forest, Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias, Jirachi: Wish Maker, and Destiny Deoxys in the United States and these movies were aired on Toon Disney.

DisneyNOW logo


DisneyNOW is an American authenticated video on-demand service owned and operated by Disney Branded Television that launched on September 29, 2017.[28] The service replaced three previous services (Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD, and Watch Disney Junior) that had launched in June 2012.[29] The service is available on its website or via dedicated apps for iOS, Android or Smart TV devices.[30] While some content is available for free, most requires an active cable subscription for access.

All episodes from the original series, Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon the Series: Black & White, Pokémon the Series: XY, and Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon in circulation have been available on DisneyNOW (and previously on Watch Disney XD), and as of June 28, 2020,[31] movies eleven through fourteen were also available on the service.


On May 2, 2020, the Latin Spanish dub of Pokémon - I Choose You! aired on TeleXitos, a Spanish-language sister channel of Telemundo. On May 3, 2020, the first five seasons began airing on TeleXitos on Sunday afternoons. This was the first time since 2006 that the anime had aired on over-the-air television.


Netflix logo since June 2014
Main article: Netflix

Netflix is a subscription video on demand service owned and operated by Netflix, Inc. that was launched in the United States January 2007[32]. The service has since expanded worldwide (except in Crimea, Mainland China, Syria, North Korea and Russia).

The Pokémon anime first became available on Netflix on March 1, 2014[33], and since then season one, 20, 21, & 22, along with movies 20 and 21, have appeared on the service.

On January 21, 2020, it was announced that the movie Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution would exclusively premiere on Netflix around the world (outside of Japan and South Korea) on Pokémon Day (February 27), 2020[34].

Starting with season 23, the anime moved from Disney XD to premiere on Netflix, with the first twelve episodes on June 12, 2020, and subsequent batches dropping each quarter.[26].

On March 7, 2024, Netflix will start showing Pokémon Horizons: The Series.

Other digital distribution

The Pokémon anime is also available on Prime Video, Google TV, YouTube, Hulu, the iTunes Store, Hoopla, and Xfinity Stream[35][36] in the United States. It was formerly available on Pokémon TV and Kabillion[37].

Service Available content
Prime Video
See: List of digital home video releases of Pokémon anime
iTunes Store
Google Play
See: Hulu


Xfinity Stream

Pokémon manga

VIZ Media, based out of San Francisco, California, has licensed and translated several Pokémon manga titles in the United States, including Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, movie manga adaptations, and the popular Pokémon Adventures manga.

Pokémon Trading Card Game

An English-language translation of the Pokémon Trading Card Game has been sold in the United States since the release of Base Set in 1999, and continues to this day. Most English sets do not correspond exactly to the Japanese sets they are translated from; they often incorporate additional cards from Japanese promotions and theme decks. English-language cards are the most widely distributed worldwide; as with the games, they are exported to other English-speaking countries, but are also often sold alongside localized translations and in countries where no local translation exists. Currently, only English-language cards are tournament legal in the United States.

Pokémon merchandise

Pokémon merchandising has been handled by various distributors in the United States. When the franchise debuted, merchandising was handled by Hasbro. Originally, toys and merchandise were simply imported from Japan, but later Hasbro created their own toys and games for distribution in the US. In 2004, rights passed to Jakks Pacific, which produced their own merchandise as well. In January 2013, merchandise rights were given to Takara Tomy and largely imported from Japan. Unlike other Pokémon merchandise in the US, Tomy's merchandise has multilingual packaging shared with Europe that features seven Western languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch), including localized Pokémon and character names where applicable. As of 2018, Wicked Cool Toys now handles the merchandise.

The United States is home to the only North American Pokémon Center stores, with one store operating in New York City, New York (now Nintendo New York) and two mall kiosks in Washington state. The Pokémon Center online store also currently only ships to the United States.


Several promotional events have been held in the United States for Pokémon video games and other media. Many of these events included playable game demos, distribution of event Pokémon, and other incentives such as promotional cards from the Trading Card Game.

Promotional tours include the Pokémon 2000 Stadium Tour, the Pokémon Gold and Silver Adventure Tour, Pokémon Rocks America, Pokémon 10th Anniversary Journey Across America, and the Pokémon Black and White Sampling Tour.

The World Championships have been held by Play! Pokémon (formerly Pokémon Organized Play) annually in the United States since 2004. So far, only one World Championship has been held outside of the United States, which was the 2013 World Championships in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions series of concerts has been touring the United States since 2014. The United States was the first country the concerts appeared in.

External links


  1. TV Cartoon's Flashes Send 700 Japanese Into Seizures - The New York Times (December 18, 1997)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Creating the Craze for Pokemon: Licensing Agent Bet on U.S. Kids - The Wall Street Journal (August 16, 1999)
  3. NATPE 1998: It's A Tough Market But Someone is Selling... - Animation World Network (February 1, 1998)
  4. Pokémon - Toon Zone (archived from the original April 25, 2000; retrieved May 19, 2020)
  5. Pokémon Hits The World - Animation World Network (October 3, 1998)
  6. WB Raises the Animation Ante - Los Angeles Times (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  7. UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network - New York Times (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  8. NATPE 1999: Tons of Product But No Air Time - Animation World Network (March 1, 1999)
  9. Kids WB! picks "Pokémon" - Animation World Network (January 28, 1999)
  10. KIDS TV ALERT - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (September 2, 1999)
  11. Pokemon Takes 'Em All! - WarnerMedia (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  12. First Day of Release of Pokémon The First Movie Buoyed by Huge Showing of Kids - WarnerMedia (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  13. Kids WB! Presents Pokémon the Movie 2000, Opening July 21 - WarnerMedia (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  14. Lampson Elementary School in Garden Grove Wins World Premiere of 'Kids' WB! Presents Pokémon 3 The Movie' - WarnerMedia (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  15. Press Release: New Season of "Pokémon" to Air Exclusively on Cartoon Network - Toon Zone (archived from the original October 4, 2006; retrieved May 19, 2020)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Pokémon - Fear Factor Phony - Toon Zone (archived from the original October 17, 2007; retrieved May 19, 2020)
  17. That's All Cartoons, Folks - 24 Hours Daily - The Philadelphia Inquirer (archived from the original February 4, 2014; retrieved May 19, 2020)
  18. Warner Bros. Wants to Rev Up Kid’s Content With Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera - Variety (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  19. Cartoon Network Acquires "Pokemon" Series for June 3 Premiere - Toon Zone (archived from the original June 19, 2006; retrieved May 19, 2020)
  20. TPCi not happy about Cartoon Network movie cut - Bulbanews (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  21. Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Return on New Boomerang - Los Angeles Times (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  22. Toonami Jetstream Video-Streaming Service Shuts Down - Anime News Network (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  23. Toonami Jetstream closes its doors - Bulbanews (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  24. Pokémon Snap to launch Dec. 10 in Wii Shop Channel - Bulbanews (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Disney XD Unwraps On Friday The 13th - Multichannel News (archived from the original June 16, 2011; retrieved May 19, 2020)
  26. 26.0 26.1 The Pokémon Company International and Netflix Team Up For U.S. Premiere Of “Pokémon Journeys: The Series” - The Pokémon Company International (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  27. Toon Disney Launch - Animation World Magazine (retrieved May 19, 2020)
  28. Disney Unifies Kids’ Cable Channels in ‘DisneyNow’ App - Variety (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  29. Disney launches streaming apps for the iPhone and iPad, Comcast gets them first - The Verge (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  30. Watch Now. Play Now. DisneyNOW. - DisneyNOW (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  31. Pokémon - DisneyNOW (retrieved June 28, 2020)
  32. Netflix to Deliver Movies to the PC - New York Times (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  33. Pokémon anime to stream on Netflix - Bulbanews (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  34. Pokémon And Netflix Team Up for Global Release Of ‘Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution’ - The Pokémon Company International (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  35. Pokémon Comes to XFINITY On Demand - Pokémon Global News (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  36. Pokémon Comes to XFINITY On Demand - GoNintendo (retrieved June 21, 2021)
  37. Kabillion Channel Surfs onto Sling TV - License Global (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  38. Search - Television - Hoopla (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  39. hoopla Digital expands popular BingePass offering with launch of Pokémon partnership - Library Technology Guides (retrieved May 1, 2024)
  40. Search - Movies - Hoopla (retrieved May 20, 2020)
  41. Pokémon - Xfinity Stream (retrieved May 20, 2020)

The Pokémon franchise around the world
Africa: South Africa
The Americas: BrazilCanadaLatin AmericaUnited States
Asia: Greater ChinaIndonesiaJapanMalaysiaPhilippinesSingaporeSouth AsiaSouth KoreaThailandVietnam
Europe: AlbaniaBelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCzech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreece
HungaryIcelandIrelandItalyLatviaLithuaniaNetherlandsNorth MacedoniaNorwayPoland
PortugalRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSlovakiaSpainSwedenUkraineUnited Kingdom
Middle East: Arab worldIsraelTurkey
Oceania: AustraliaNew Zealand

  This article is part of Project Globe, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon franchise around the world.