Upon being told that Pokémon was going to be shown worldwide, director Masamitsu Hidaka decided to phase Brock out of the Orange Islands season, fearing American audiences would perceive him as a racist stereotype towards asians. However, when his character recieved strong positive reception, he was brought back into the series.
In December 1997, more than 700 Japanese children suffered seizures, vomiting, irritated eyes and other symptoms after viewing a flashing red background in the episode "Electric Soldier Porygon" from the Japanese version of the show. The show was pulled for retooling until April of 1998. "Electric Soldier Porygon" was only shown once (in Japan), and has never been shown again. The episode was dubbed for the American version with the offending animation slowed down and strobe effects deleted, but was never aired.
Following the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001, the episode 'A Scare in the Air' had its title changed to 'Spirits in the Sky' out of respect for the United States fans. The episode 'Tentacool and Tentacruel' was pulled from the rotation due to its storyline which featured a creature that destroyed skyscrapers. In total, there were three episodes that were pulled because of 9/11, which have since been put back since Cartoon Network started showing reruns.
The names of Jessie and James of Team Rocket were changed from their original Japanese names due to cultural reasons. In Japan, they are known as Musashi (Jessie) and Kojiro (James), which is a literary reference to two rival Samurai.
"Pikachu's Goodbye" was not originally in the planned production but was created after the incident caused by "Electric Soldier Porygon." "Holiday Hi-Jynx" was originally to follow "Electric Solider Porygon."
The series uses a couple of sound effects from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987): the Enterprise-D door chime (used when Ash's Pokedex was updated for the G/S Pokemon (season 2)) and the Enterprise-D transporter (used as part of an Electrode or Voltorb self-destruct).
Despite being a Japanese Anime, this show has always been targeted towards an American audience. This is because the video games Pokemon Blue and Red and trading card games were more popular in the USA than in Japan. Thus, the english versions of the first 4 seasons were made before the Japanese versions. Ash in the English versions name isn't Satoshi, and some names of pokemon are respelled english words. Not only that, the characters mouth movements match what they're saying in English, and sometimes they don't match with what they're saying in Japanese. However, 4k entertainment did have a hand in changing the food that they eat.
Two Pokémon soundtracks were released in the USA: 'Pokémon 2.B.A. Master' released on June 29, 1999 by 4Kids Entertainment and KOCH Records (This CD was also released in Quebec Canada, Germany, France, Portugal and Latin American), and 'Totally Pokémon' released on January 23, 2001 by Koch Records. Additionally, a Pokémon CD single entitled 'Pokémon World' was released on February 8, 2000 by KOCH Records.