Verizon’s stream of the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features bewildering Pikachu segment

2020 marks the 20th consecutive year of Pikachu being a part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Pokémon Company celebrated the occasion with a dance number. They also teased the logo for next year’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the franchise.

Verizon live-streamed the parade on Twitter and YouTube. The broadcast was hosted by Saved by the Bell star Mario Lopez and his family from their home in Los Angelos. I’m a big fan of making events like this more accessible, but there was something off about Verizon’s stream.

The segment opens with an aggressively excited introduction from Lopez, followed by a smile that’s held just long enough to be uncomfortable. The dance is nothing special. It’s exactly what you would expect from a “troop of dancing Pikachu’s.”

What’s odd is the musical choice.

Instead of the instrumental version of the Pokemon theme song that can be heard in this video, Verizon replaced it with what sounds like music from a Christmas movie right before something sinister happens.

The YouTube copyright algorithm was kind enough to tell me the name of the song is “Christmas Cheer,” but they conveniently left out the name of the artist. I assume this is because YouTube doesn’t care about who’s work you may be infringing upon, just that you might owe someone money.

To make things even stranger, you can faintly hear someone talking on the phone. This can’t possibly be the sound from the original video; otherwise, you would hear the Pokémon theme playing.

Where did this audio come from?

The lesson that we can learn from this is that editing matters. What should be a silly Pokémon dance video turns into something mildly uncomfortable.

Verizon’s entire stream is like this. All. Three. Hours.

[Source: Verizon’s YouTube]

Gary Piano
Gary Piano
Fake Anime Fan. Professional Audio Boy. Founder of GONZO.MOE.