The Pokémon anime’s original English theme song Gotta Catch ‘Em All is an icon of 90s pop culture, and just about every Millennial is able to recite at least one verse from memory at a moment’s notice. But this iconic theme wasn’t from the Japanese version of the anime, so where did it come from, and what are its creators up to now?

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Simply titled the “Pokémon Theme,” the opening song for the English Pokémon Dub’s first 80 episodes was written by John Seigler and John Loeffler, and produced by John Loeffler. The main vocals were performed by Jason Paige, who had a lot of experience with jingles. The song was originally developed for 4Kids Entertainment, the American company responsible for localizing the Pokémon anime until 2005, and went through several iterations before it arrived in its final form. The song was meant to drive home the series’ slogan, “Gotta Catch’em All,” and earlier versions of the song were written that used other slogans.


Pokemon’s First Dub Opening Was Sung By Musician Jason Paige

Pokemon: A still from the original opening credits sequence played with the Theme.

The head of 4Kids approached Loeffler’s company, who they had worked with in the past, hoping for a catchy jingle for marketing purposes. Siegler and Loeffler worked together to write both the lyrics and music, while Siegler did the recording himself. After auditioning several singers, the company finally settled on Jason Paige to sing the song, as he had a youthful voice that didn’t sound too childish. The theme was so wildly popular that it was licensed for all kinds of other Pokémon products, and they soon decided to create a full album, the 2 B A Master album, which was released in 1999 and rapidly went platinum. The album featured other Pokémon songs by Siegler and Loeffler, and Paige was also invited back to sing an extended version of the theme, as well as a new Viridian City song. Unfortunately, many of the artists involved (including Paige) felt like they weren’t getting their fair cut, and the song became the subject of lawsuits for years.

Today, Loeffler is an executive at BMG and runs a company known as Fieldhouse Music. Siegler would continue to work with Pokémon and 4Kids for ten years, and already had a career as an accomplished bassist, playing alongside well-known artists like Hall & Oates. Jason Paige still performs jingles, and has toured with several bands, including a period where he was the frontman for the band Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Jason Paige recently recorded his own goodbye to the retiring of Pokémon hero Ash Ketchum, whose time in the anime ended in March 2023.

The Pokémon Theme has an irrevocable place in pop culture history, and all three should be proud of the incredibly catchy song that they created and performed. Pokémon has continued to use covers of the song in recent films, and it’s clear that the song’s legacy is far from over.

Source(s): jasonpaige.com, Billboard



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