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How Movies Are Dubbed

Blockbuster movies are often released in several nations at once, and we are used to selecting from several languages on DVDs by now. How much work goes into making other languages work in film? Slate explains how they do it.

The foreign actors’ voices have to match the age, texture, and comedic sense of the original. For a big celebrity such as Johnny Depp or Jim Carrey, a single actor in each country will dub all of the star’s films. Koichi Yamadera, for instance, is the official Jim Carrey of Japan. Studios also sometimes employ local celebrities, like when Disney hired the French singer Charles Aznavour to do the voice of Ed Asner’s protagonist in the movie Up. On rare occasions, the original actor will do the dubbing himself. Viggo Mortensen speaks Spanish, so he did a Spanish dub for Hidalgo. For the Castilian dub of G-Force, Penélope Cruz was unavailable, so her sister, Monica Cruz, got the job instead.

The mechanics of the process are also explained, as well as tricks some voice actors use to tweak their performance. Link

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January 16th, 2010

Stranger to the World


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