Curiosities about Redubbing
Redubbing is a term used for several actions, all related to editing the soundtrack of an audiovisual product, like an existing film or television show, mainly the voices of the characters, and replace the original one for a new recording.
When speaking about redubbing, you can refer to:
– When the audio track has been previously dubbed to another language and then the voices are re-recorded by other voice over actors.
– When it is replaced by someone else’s voice, in the same language, for fun purposes. YouTube has many examples of these funny versions.
– When it is replaced by someone else’s voice, in the same language, for sound quality purposes, royalties issues (in the case of animated products like cartoons) or even ‘accent issues’. There are examples of films redubbed in the same language but from one country accent to another. This is the case of a non-cartoon film, Hercules in New York, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first feature film, where he had all his lines redubbed because of his Austrian accent.
– When recording the voice of an animated character whose lips movements where designed to say something else. Basically, someone decided to change the lines after the visual track was finished. You can find good examples of this in The Simpsons.
Focusing on the first option, ‘When the audio track has been previously dubbed to another language and then the voices are re-recorded by other voice over actors’, the reasons behind this can vary from legal issues, to the change to new sound systems or it can be because of each distribution company making their own dubbings for cinema, DVD and TV releases. This is the case of Slumdog Milionaire in Mexico, which has a second dubbing done by the DVD Mexican distribution company Videomax.
In countries like Spain and Portugal, the dubbed version of (predominantly) English speaking films was first done in Latin Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese to cut costs. This is the case, for example, of all Disney films in Portugal until The Lion King. In Spain, Latin Spanish voice over was done for all Disney films up to The Beauty and The Beast, when Disney started dubbing films into both, Spanish and Latin Spanish. In this particular case, it happened that when releasing new enhanced versions of the old films, these had been redubbed to Spanish, getting rid of the Latin Spanish voice track version or even to another Latin Spanish version.
Also, most of the Platinum Editions worldwide were redubbed for all languages, probably because of royalties issues. On this legal note, perhaps all started when Peggy Lee (whose voice is featured in Lady and the Tramp) sued Disney in 1988 for marketing a videocassete of her film without her consent, and won her lawsuit. Evangelina Elizondo, who was the voice over voice for Latin Spanish Cinderella, did the same and Disney reddubed the film not to pay her.
So, when in the nineties Disney started redubbing most of its films in different markets, most of the audiences angry because of the change not only for changing the original voices people was used to hear in those films, but also because lines were changed even for songs and vocabulary had lost part of its richness. Snow White, in particular, was redubbed few times for different countries. As an example, for the German market it was first dubbed in 1938, then in 1966, and then in 1994, the only version available in DVD.
This is a guest post by Jessica Wight (@JessicaWight3) on a project for a voice over recording studio in London