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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk => Polls => Topic started by: 1SO on September 10, 2013, 01:17:37 AM

Title: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on September 10, 2013, 01:17:37 AM
It seems most people have a definite preference. I think the Pixar supervised English dubs have done an excellent job.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on September 10, 2013, 05:39:11 AM
I am not too fussed, with animation dubbing does not bother me. Mostly because the lipsync is out anyway.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on September 10, 2013, 07:24:02 AM
I give a slight edge to subbed, but the dubs tend to be so good that I think it's just a matter of personal preference.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: FLYmeatwad on September 10, 2013, 09:05:38 AM
Would veer towards subbed, especially on a big screen, but not overly concerned. Would like to see The Wind Rises subbed if possible.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Bondo on September 10, 2013, 11:01:17 AM
Always and ever dubbed...and not just Ghibli or animated.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Melvil on September 10, 2013, 11:40:44 AM
Always and ever subbed. Ghibli dubs are as good as dubs get, but they're still not good enough.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: MartinTeller on September 10, 2013, 11:45:14 AM
Always and ever subbed. Ghibli dubs are as good as dubs get, but they're still not good enough.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Lobby on September 10, 2013, 01:03:30 PM
When I watch Pixar and Disney films I always try to find the English version instead of the Swedish dubbed one. Lip synked or not it feels like the natural thing to see it at it was done originally.

It was natural to me to think the same way about Ghibli movies. Of couse I wanted to have the original voices. Or: that's what I thought. Now I'm not as dogmatic about it anymore, not after watching My neighbour Totoro. The Japanese voices in that film ripped my ears into pieces. They were just too high and shrill, to the extent that they distracted me. I couldn't think about anything else but how much I hated them. And that's not a good way to watch a movie. So after 20 min or so I gave up on it and watched the movie dubbed. The relief! Now I could enjoy it.

I've watched other Gibli movies with Japanese voices and Swedish subtitles. So my response is: it depends. On a principal level I'd rather watch the original, but there are exceptions, when you just can't stand the voice in question,and in those cases I see no wrong going with other voices.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on September 10, 2013, 01:10:02 PM
Definitely a point to consider. I think Minnie Driver does a better Lady Eboshi than Yuko Tanaka, but Claire Danes is terrible.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: WillMunny on September 10, 2013, 03:40:00 PM
Always and ever subbed. Ghibli dubs are as good as dubs get, but they're still not good enough.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Melvil on September 10, 2013, 03:55:52 PM
I think one of the big problems is how drastically different a character can be perceived by recasting the voice actor. Howl (of Moving Castle fame), for example, seems to almost have an entirely different personality when given Christian Bale's gruff voice compared to the original. I think there's probably some intentional westernization going on with the voice-casting, and it's not that they're going to make the movie bad by altering your perception of certain characters, but I fundamentally believe that it's always best to experience an artists work as directly as possible, and it's especially off putting when they play fast and loose with such an important aspect.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Totoro on September 10, 2013, 07:36:56 PM
I don't care and the people that do care aggravate me. "You haven't TRULY seen Spirited Away if you have only watched the English dubs!!!!!!!!1111111111111"  >:(
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on September 10, 2013, 08:24:46 PM
I see the English Dubs as a Certified Copy and just as valid a work of art as the Japanese original.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Bondo on September 10, 2013, 11:18:17 PM
Like Lobby's experience with at least one film, I've found the voice acting in a fair amount of Japanese anime to be a bit too shrill or emotionally spastic. Sometimes at least the dub will tone this down.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Melvil on September 11, 2013, 12:58:02 AM
I see the English Dubs as a Certified Copy and just as valid a work of art as the Japanese original.

Perhaps, but I feel like I'm rolling the dice on whether I'm getting a "certified copy" or a cheap imitation for every dub I watch. Since there's no downside for me to go with the original I just prefer avoiding all of the potential problems that come with dubbing.

Like Lobby's experience with at least one film, I've found the voice acting in a fair amount of Japanese anime to be a bit too shrill or emotionally spastic. Sometimes at least the dub will tone this down.

This idea could be a whole topic on it's own, it's pretty interesting. On the one hand I'm all for Lobby finding whatever way she needed to be able to enjoy My Neighbor Totoro for instance. I appreciate that if you're annoyed by it you're annoyed by it. But on the other hand, I think films should be judged as a whole package, and it seems weirdly incongruent to just swap out part of a film with a stylistically different approach like that. For me, the energy or the girls voices in Totoro has become a defining feature of it, and I relish the culturally distinct approaches that foreign films bring.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on September 11, 2013, 07:25:25 AM
I see the English Dubs as a Certified Copy and just as valid a work of art as the Japanese original.
But the beauty of a copy is that it points us to the original.  :D
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: oneaprilday on September 11, 2013, 10:39:53 AM
Until all my kids are readers, it's dubs for us.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: oldkid on September 11, 2013, 11:05:32 AM
In almost all non-English films I prefer subs, but with Miyazaki, I allow myself to watch dubs because M approved the dubs.  Still, I need to re-watch all his films in subs, because I haven't seen them yet.  Oh, what a chore...
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: FLYmeatwad on September 11, 2013, 11:11:11 AM
I prefer playing Ni No Kuni dubbed, if that means anything since it's a Ghibli work.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on December 10, 2013, 04:12:37 PM
Something to note in relation to this. The dubbed version of From Up on Poppy Hill opens with an insufferable bit of narration. I'm not sure if the whole film does that because I switched over to subbed, which didn't contain that narration, and restarted the film. I wonder if other dubbed films take such liberties.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on December 10, 2013, 06:25:58 PM
Something to note in relation to this. The dubbed version of From Up on Poppy Hill opens with an insufferable bit of narration. I'm not sure if the whole film does that because I switched over to subbed, which didn't contain that narration, and restarted the film. I wonder if other dubbed films take such liberties.

On the other hand, the dub of Princess Mononoke opens with the THE GREATEST NARRATION EVER by Keith David.

(http://i.imgur.com/9D07DFb.jpg)
He really sets the tone. :)

You miss out on that with the sub. I don't think you get any narration at all. :(



The primary reason I watch foreign films with subtitles is because with dubbing they can never match up the mouth moving to the words. But with animated movies it isn't a problem, so I always watch the dub.

Additionally, I find it myself far more likely to make an emotional connection to the characters with a dub. Or get a joke. Or not miss the imagination on screen.

Like Lobby's experience with at least one film, I've found the voice acting in a fair amount of Japanese anime to be a bit too... emotionally spastic.

Absolutely. If you perceive the emotions as being cartoony they'll never really register like they ought to imo.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: FLYmeatwad on December 11, 2013, 10:52:46 AM
Interested to hear if it does before I decide how I will watch it, if anyone has any insight.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: oldkid on December 15, 2013, 01:36:43 AM
Princess Mononoke Subbed

Perhaps I mentioned above that I have only watched the Ghibli standards dubbed.  I decided that I need to re-watch them all subbed to see the difference, and to give my opinion properly on this deep, abiding issue.  As I watch each one, I will give my review to give a true, balanced opinion.

Princess Mononoke dubs had one major problem: Billy Bob Thorton as the monk working for the emperor.  He was too obvious, too in-your-face celebrity. And the tone he set didn't seem to match the character.  The Japanese voice was that kind of irritating comedic actor often found in anime, but at least he was part of the cast. BBT stood out like a sore thumb.

But, it turns out, that was the least of the dubs problems.  The real issue was the translation of the script that not only changed things, but anglicized them.  I knew already that Mononoke was set in a samurai time, but it never really felt like a samurai movie.  The dubs created some never-world Japan in which Japanese cultural touchstones didn't exist.  The subbed Mononoke is very much set in a centuries-old Japan, despite it being some Shinto alternative fantasy world.  With the subs I would certainly have included Mononoke in my samurai movie marathon (oh, how I wish I had!), as the themes of true nobility and restrained violence are included there.  Subbed Mononoke is even more a fantasy with political ramifications, because it is much more connected to a real, historical context.

The Japanese voices were of a type with Japanese acting that I'm familiar.  There were jokesters, the noble women and the hero.  They are all variations of the types, as the priest jokester was also the motivating force, and the women were noble, but one-sided.  The hero is an uber-hero, saving all without regard to their alignment or loyalty.  But since these Japanese types were easy to determine with the Japanese actors, it was easier to see their significance and differences.

I'm thinking I'm gunna like this occasional marathon.  It will give new life to my viewing of my Ghibli favorites.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Melvil on December 15, 2013, 03:15:08 PM
This is quite interesting, oldkid! I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts. The tonal changes based on voice casting have always bothered me (I remember I never got further in the Mononoke dub than when BBT showed up), but it's particularly interesting to hear how the translation differences affect your perception of the story.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on December 23, 2013, 05:54:42 PM
Princess Mononoke dubs had one major problem: Billy Bob Thorton as the monk working for the emperor.  He was too obvious, too in-your-face celebrity. And the tone he set didn't seem to match the character.

I feel like I should've written a disclaimer for this before you experience it, but then I worried that maybe I'd just make it that much more noticable by pointing it out!

I can't sit here and say Billy-Bob didn't feel "weird" to me the first time I watched the film. It totally did. And that's without even experiencing the the Japanese audio beforehand, which in some ways must "define" the character and make the differences that much more stark. But in all honesty it's not something I even notice anymore. Actually it's gone beyond that even. Now I actually look forward to his lines!

My advice is not "keep watching it until you get used to it". I don't really have any advice. I just wanted to explain why Billy Bob is not a hang-up for me. Given how much of a bad fit it was for you I thought you might want to know how someone could see it any other way. :)
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: oldkid on December 23, 2013, 06:41:29 PM
I've seen Princess Mononoke (dub) many, many times.  I only watched the dubs until this last viewing. Billy Bob's voice acting gets more noticeable the more I watch it.  From here on out, I'll probably stick to the subs on this film, anyway.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on December 23, 2013, 06:54:37 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/hu20oju.jpg)

:)
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: oldkid on January 09, 2014, 12:14:00 PM
Howl's Moving Castle (subs)

On this one, I think I prefer the dubs.  Certainly Billy Crystal is better in the role of Calcifer than Tatsuya Gashūin, although there is a balance there.  Clearly Crystal is a "celebrity voice" who is always himself, but he is less cartoony than Gashuin, which allows Calcifer to seem more identifiable.  And while Calcifer is a supporting character, he is at the heart of the film, and with Crystal in the role, he seems more significant.  Honestly, I'm not sure why.

On the other hand, Takuya Kimura does a better job on Howl than Christian Bale.  Bale does his "everyman" boring voice, while Kimura makes me want to melt when I hear his voice, which is what you want.  In the movie, we really see Howl through Sophie's loving eyes, and so a kind of "dreamy" voice is good for him.

But whichever version I watch-- subs or dubs-- the film is charming, if not deep.  I laugh a lot and have a continuous warmth in my heart.  Not top rate Miyazaki, I think (although the plot is as complex as any he's done) but a solid effort and an entertaining and occasionally thoughtful story.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Melvil on January 09, 2014, 03:09:39 PM
Billy Crystal is good as Calcifer, but I do prefer the Japanese casting just to separate the character from such a recognizable voice. Bale's Howl is the casting that kills the dub for me though, I really hate how differently his portrayal comes across from the original casting.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 08, 2015, 02:23:23 PM
I don't ever watch anything dubbed.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Teproc on July 08, 2015, 02:38:38 PM
I don't ever watch anything dubbed.

Same here, and I don't see why animated movies should be any different. It's obviously more tolerable to watch a dubbed animated movie because you don't suffer the sound/image disconnect, but on principle, I believe movies should be watched as the artist intended, which is in their original language.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Monty on July 08, 2015, 03:30:35 PM
Werner Herzog in the dubbed version of The Wind Rises :o was a little off-putting. Also it must be said that a lot of the target audience for Studio Ghibli may be kids...sorry young adults, which may explain the dubbed versions.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on July 08, 2015, 03:45:23 PM
Herzog in The Wind Rises was genius. As brilliant as Michael Keaton in Porco Rosso.

I find that Disney/Pixar has put a lot of care into the casting and recording of the voices. I watch Ghibli films more for the imagery than the voice work. Subtitles cover some of the image, and the overall effect is like a magazine cover with that subscription address marring the composition. I don't believe the artist intended for that either.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Teproc on July 08, 2015, 03:57:21 PM
Well, wouldn't that argument hold for live-action movies as well ? Certainly there are live-action films that are more notable for their imagery than their performances.

Part of it seems to be that voice-over performances don't seem to be considered as such, which I don't agree with. I could see saying that both have value precisely because dubbed offers other performances, but at that point I would almost consider it as an alternative version of the movie.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on July 08, 2015, 04:06:47 PM
Considering I don't speak Japanese, it's presumptive to say the subtitled version holds truer to the original vocal performance. I'd just be judging by the sounds as I know them to relate to English. Doesn't that also create an alternate version of the movie? (Insert Certified Copy argument.)
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Teproc on July 08, 2015, 04:23:16 PM
Considering I don't speak Japanese, it's presumptive to say the subtitled version holds truer to the original vocal performance.

Well, it is the original vocal performance, so I'm not sure what you mean here. I also don't know how that's unique to animated movies, but I assume you don't feel the same way about foreign-language live-action movies.

P.S. : I have not seen Copie Conforme/Certified Copy yet, but if the argument is that you'll perceive the performance differently because you don't speak Japanese, I'd argue that no one perceives performance in exactly the same way anyway. So by that definition, every movie has infinite alternate versions, one for each person watching it.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Paul Phoenix on July 08, 2015, 04:33:10 PM
Original with subtitles. I prefer to watch anime with their original voices than the dubbed ones because I want to see what the original artist had intended with his work, not what some dubber thinks how the voices should sound like (or what the dialogues should be, for that matter; dubbers change dialogues sometimes for the sake of 'translation').
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on July 08, 2015, 05:34:59 PM
Considering I don't speak Japanese, it's presumptive to say the subtitled version holds truer to the original vocal performance.

Well, it is the original vocal performance, so I'm not sure what you mean here.
What we take to be the "original vocal performance" is actually our ears and brain decoding that performance to match the words on the screen. We hope that we're getting the inflection to match up, but it's really our take on that combination of sound and word, and not as pure and true as subtitle purists (dub snobs) like to believe.

I also don't know how that's unique to animated movies, but I assume you don't feel the same way about foreign-language live-action movies.
It's not, and twice now you've tried to apply my argument outside of Studio Ghibli, which is the debate on this table. I almost always watch foreign language films with subtitles, but while I have no argument for subtitling being better or worse than dubbing, when it comes to Studio Ghibli, I often select the dub. I find it to be as acceptable an alternative as any dub I know. You may see it as colorizing black and white films, but if that be the case, these are the best of that bunch to the point where I don't notice something is off and simply get lost in the film. I have more problems with dubbing in Leone's Dollars Trilogy, and those are often done by the actual actors.


every movie has infinite alternate versions, one for each person watching it.
And each version is a work of art unto itself. That is the argument of Copie Conforme/Certified Copy.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Teproc on July 08, 2015, 05:44:36 PM
To clarify, I'm not trying to distort what you're saying by applying it to works outside the subject at hand, I'm trying to understand why you draw a line between animated and non-animated in that regard. I guess you don't have to have any better reason than "it doesn't bother me in this specific case but it does in others", but I'm interested if there's more than that.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on July 08, 2015, 05:55:23 PM
Okay. I didn't think you were trying to disagree like a legal loophole. (BTW, I'm loving this discussion.) I grew up with Japanese anime and karate films that were horribly, carelessly dubbed. It gives one a knee-jerk reaction to say that all dubbing is always bad. I've seen that carry over as close to this discussion as Princess Mononoke, which was dubbed under Miramax (though I think some Pixar people were involved.) They took great care in hiring Neil Gaiman to write the translated script, but then they cast actors who were the names (that they could afford) and some of the match-ups don't fit.

Since Lasseter spear-headed the campaign to allow Pixar to handle the English Dubs, I think he's done a very good job treating these films with care. Pete Docter was in charge of Howl's Moving Castle. That is why Studio Ghibli is a specific case where I am fine with the dubbed version.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: oldkid on July 08, 2015, 09:29:23 PM
The Ghibli dubs are certainly unique because of the care given to them.  The Miyazaki ones were also approved by him.  So I have more confidence in these dubs than any others out there.  I have been learning that reading subs gives one a different perspective on some of the scenes, and certainly the acting is different.  But I still stand by the dubs of this Studio.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 09, 2015, 04:29:27 AM
Approval is different than directing/leading though. That Miyazaki has agreed to those dubs means he is content with the final work, not that it is absolutely true to the original -assuming that's what you care about. I have immense respect for Miyazaki as an artist, but without explicit knowledge of his criteria any trust in his approval is mostly blind. He could have a tendency to westernize his works, even if I doubt that is the case.

If you take the Certified Copy argument, which is an interesting one, then you are left with a choice between two equally valid works of art. I would always go for the original one because I am more interested in Miyazaki's directing than Docter's or Lasseter's or any other Western dubber, however good a director he may be. And, now this may be pure prejudice, I feel an original version is more genuine to the movie than a foreign one.

For the American crowd (ie almost everyone) : Do you think Americans tend to be more reluctant to agree to subtitles than foreigners -who often have little choice in the matter ?

NB : It's refreshing to have a discussion about dubbing that doesn't revolve around how impossibly difficult it is to read all those words on the screen as fast as they appear.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: verbALs on July 09, 2015, 06:32:01 AM
Who watched Jules et Jim recently? Didn't it feel like reading a textbook at high speed?

Btw it's a universal thing. American films seem badly recorded coz I can't hear the words so a subtitles track is useful even if English is your first language

Whereas I felt Starred Up wasn't appreciated so much if the dialogue wasn't native. I should think someone said "do one" at some point during that film noff. When they were being polite.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 09, 2015, 06:35:00 AM
American films seem badly recorded coz I can't hear the words so a subtitles track is useful even if English is your first language

Agreed.

Whereas I felt Starred Up wasn't appreciated so much if the dialogue wasn't native.

Double agreed.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: MartinTeller on July 09, 2015, 09:48:59 AM
For the American crowd (ie almost everyone) : Do you think Americans tend to be more reluctant to agree to subtitles than foreigners -who often have little choice in the matter ?

Doesn't Russia dub every single film?  Or is that a misconception I picked up somewhere?  I think I've heard the same thing about a couple of other countries.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 09, 2015, 09:54:55 AM
I know France does but they also have original versions. What you get depends on the cinema or the projection you choose.

And I think all movies dub all animated movies and children movies.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on July 09, 2015, 10:20:18 AM
NB : It's refreshing to have a discussion about dubbing that doesn't revolve around how impossibly difficult it is to read all those words on the screen as fast as they appear.

It's equally refreshing to not have it revolve around someone being less cultured if they watch the dubbed version.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Junior on July 09, 2015, 10:26:52 AM
I watched Starred Up with subtitles on but I only used them when I needed to. How cool does that make me?
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 09, 2015, 10:39:36 AM
I watched Starred Up with subtitles on but I only used them when I needed to. How cool does that make me?

Like, cockney cool.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Junior on July 09, 2015, 10:51:13 AM
I'll take it?
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 09, 2015, 11:03:55 AM
Cheers mate.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on July 09, 2015, 12:13:37 PM
Whereas I felt Starred Up wasn't appreciated so much if the dialogue wasn't native. I should think someone said "do one" at some point during that film noff. When they were being polite.

Noted.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Teproc on July 09, 2015, 01:09:46 PM
I know France does but they also have original versions. What you get depends on the cinema or the projection you choose.

I can confirm that, only I'll add that you only get subtitled movies in big cities. Where I live (around 250K inhabitants), you can see subtitled arthouse films, but don't have that option for anything outside of that (mostly blockbusters, but also includes something like Ex Machina), which means the random movie-goer will always watch dubbed movies.

I believe everything gets dubbed in Germany as well, though I think subtitled movies might be more easily available to everyone. It's widely considered here that dubbed movies are a major factor in our generally awful level of English (though obviously not the only one).

I watched Starred Up with subtitles on but I only used them when I needed to. How cool does that make me?

I used to make fun of Americans having to use subtitles forr Australian/British movies (or TV shows, Misfits for example), then I watched Mommy. Turned the subtitles right on, though it did get easier after a while.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 09, 2015, 01:38:01 PM
I believe everything gets dubbed in Germany as well, though I think subtitled movies might be more easily available to everyone. It's widely considered here that dubbed movies are a major factor in our generally awful level of English (though obviously not the only one).

I think the TV dub laws and preferences are more responsible for that than cinema.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on July 09, 2015, 01:50:12 PM
I mean to me I just don't get the same level of emotional responsiveness out of the Japanese language track. They speak loudly or softly, and in context I can tell if they're angry or not, but beyond that there's very little in the way of nuance to be picked up. The English language dubbers aren't simply mimicking the tone of the Japanese track, as if it were a rudimentary Jackie Chan dub, they're putting in real thoughtful performances themselves, and in many cases may be more talented than the original actors.

And while the Japanese language track may reflect Miyazaki's vision, it doesn't necessarily mean it has to be your favourite. He's directing people to read the same words, by and large, as the English language director... and they're both making judgments about what they believe sounds right. And while nobody would question Miyazaki's adeptness as an animator and storyteller, I've never heard the argument that he's also a superior caster and director of voice talent. To my ear, his voice actors sound every bit as Japanese (that is to say, typical) as any other anime I've watched. None of it is distinguishable. None of it is intelligible. I wouldn't know a good Japanese voice performance from a bad one.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 09, 2015, 01:53:42 PM
I mean to me I just don't get the same level of emotional responsiveness out of the Japanese language track. They speak loudly or softly, and in context I can tell if they're angry or not, but beyond that there's very little in the way of nuance to be picked up. The English language dubbers aren't simply mimicking the tone of the Japanese track, as if it were a rudimentary Jackie Chan dub, they're putting in real thoughtful performances themselves, and in many cases may be more talented than the original actors.

And while the Japanese language track may reflect Miyazaki's vision, it doesn't necessarily mean it has to be your favourite. He's directing people to read the same words, by and large, as the English language director... and they're both making judgments about what they believe sounds right. And while nobody would question Miyazaki's adeptness as an animator and storyteller, I've never heard the argument that he's also a superior caster and director of voice talent. To my ear, his voice actors sound every bit as Japanese (that is to say, typical) as any other anime I've watched. None of it is distinguishable. None of it is intelligible. I wouldn't know a good Japanese voice performance from a bad one.

But isn't there something to be said about being exposed to different manners of speech and inflection ?
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on July 09, 2015, 01:57:34 PM
Japanese kids tend to sound more annoying, especially when performing for animation.


'noff, I was hoping you'd jump in here because you're a big fan of Rumble in the Bronx. Ever watch it subtitled? Ever desire to?
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Junior on July 09, 2015, 01:58:15 PM
The Miyazaki doc that was filmed during the making of The Wind Rises goes into some detail on why Hideaki Anno was chosen to play Jiro. It talks about his soft but gravelly voice that fits the character quite well. I tend to agree.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Teproc on July 09, 2015, 02:57:49 PM
None of it is intelligible. I wouldn't know a good Japanese voice performance from a bad one.

While you obviously won't approach a performance in the same way when you can't understand the individual words, you still can have an opinion on the performance. You comment yourself on tone and volume changes, those are clearly a huge part of a vocal performance.

As far as Miyazaki not being known for casting great voice talent... perhaps that is precisely because many people watch his movies dubbed and thus don't have an opinion in that matter ? If he was known for that in Japan, I wouldn't know about it, though maybe people on here who are more knowledgeable about cinema in general would, I don't know.

I wish I remembered my initial viewings (dubbed in French) of his movies better, but I know they all improved on rewatch for me, especially Totoro, which would theoretically be the worse since it's mostly two kids and there's a decent amount of screaming/crying. Maturity might be a bigger factor than dubbed/subbed in that regard, and we're not even talking about the same dubs though so maybe the English dubs are special. I suppose that wouldn't be surprising if Pixar was involved.

I think the TV dub laws and preferences are more responsible for that than cinema.

You're right of course, I see it more as a whole but TV probably does more harm than cinema on that level.

Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 09, 2015, 03:00:32 PM
Bonus point : Original version adds a foreignness to the movie that I feel is welcome. Like the Indian languages in Apocalypto.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on July 09, 2015, 06:48:14 PM
But isn't there something to be said about being exposed to different manners of speech and inflection ?

I would agree that there is. I would say in the case of animation though it comes at too high a cost. All things considered I find I lose more than I gain. Live action on the other hand, completely the opposite (short of Jackie Chan style films).
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on July 09, 2015, 06:53:54 PM
'noff, I was hoping you'd jump in here because you're a big fan of Rumble in the Bronx. Ever watch it subtitled? Ever desire to?

I never have and really wouldn't want to. I think even in cases where it was my only choice I would sooner turn the subs off and just listen to the language I don't understand, rather than spend any time reading. Because the dialogue is always insanely stupid, you'd have more fun just dubbing the film yourself on the fly. :)) I find the english dubs do provide their own degree of enjoyment too.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Sandy on July 09, 2015, 07:06:12 PM
 :))

Watching movies with you must be a blast!




If Princess Mononoke wasn't dubbed, I wouldn't be able to listen to Billy Crudup. :(

Unthinkable.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: 1SO on July 09, 2015, 07:06:52 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/cjED7XM.jpg)


This also reminds me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which was in Mandarin even though most of the cast spoke Cantonese. People who knew Mandarin though the cast was all around terrible, but I couldn't tell because the vocal inflections sounded fine with the dialogue on screen.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on July 09, 2015, 07:11:39 PM
The Miyazaki doc that was filmed during the making of The Wind Rises goes into some detail on why Hideaki Anno was chosen to play Jiro. It talks about his soft but gravelly voice that fits the character quite well. I tend to agree.

But we have soft gravelly voices here too! :)

None of it is intelligible. I wouldn't know a good Japanese voice performance from a bad one.

While you obviously won't approach a performance in the same way when you can't understand the individual words, you still can have an opinion on the performance. You comment yourself on tone and volume changes, those are clearly a huge part of a vocal performance.


Tone and volume interpretation gets tricky when you get into languages like Japanese though I think because, if I'm not mistake, it is a tonal language. Emphasis and word order being what it is, I don't find it all that intuitive like I do languages that are more closely related to English. Even in live action movies where I nearly exclusively choose subtitles I must admit that that there are times I find the the vibe of the character quite at odds with what seems natural for the situation. I often wonder if I'm just getting the wrong sense because of the tone required of the language or the performance. :-\
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: smirnoff on July 09, 2015, 07:17:06 PM
If Princess Mononoke wasn't dubbed, I wouldn't be able to listen to Billy Crudup. :(

Unthinkable.

Truly!

This also reminds me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which was in Mandarin even though most of the cast spoke Cantonese. People who knew Mandarin thought the cast was all around terrible, but I couldn't tell because the vocal inflections sounded fine with the dialogue on screen.

Same for me.
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: DarkeningHumour on July 10, 2015, 12:41:39 AM
I don't know what a Billy Cruddup is but the original version is so lovely.

And that thing about Cantonese speakers having to act in Mandarin boggles the mind. Why would Lee do that ? Surely there must have been ways around it ? It would be like asking Italians to act in Spanish. (Actually bar that, you would probably end up dubbing the Italians anyway.)
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: sdedalus on July 10, 2015, 10:47:01 AM
Dubbing into Cantonese or Mandarin is extremely common in Chinese cinema and has been for decades. It's only becoming more so as the Hong Kong and Mainland film industries are increasingly integrated. For Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun-fat were native Cantonese speakers while Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen and Cheng Pei-pei are Mandarin speakers. If Yeoh and Chow spoke Mandarin poorly (I don't know, I don't speak either language) that would only further mark them as outsiders, which their characters are. There's a similar effect at work in Drug War in which all the cops are Mainlanders (Mandarin speakers) and all the criminals are Hong Kongers (Cantonese speakers).
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 14, 2016, 07:16:18 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/MsmqM7v.jpg)
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: oldkid on July 15, 2016, 01:59:59 AM
LOLOL
Title: Re: Studio Ghibli: English or Japanese
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on October 22, 2017, 03:53:35 PM
Was going to mention that it looks like the GKids rereleases that started this month include the coveted English subs translated from the original Japanese instead of just the notorious "dubtitles." Went to several review sources and it seems to be that each version has two English subtitle sets, one for the English dub and one translated from the Japanese.

Apparently, this is already the case for a few of the Disney releases (http://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?s=9de9b0168aedf2d5dd0af807a7dc344d&p=13872007&postcount=22), but the vast majority seem to look like they'll be improvements.

Part that sucks about this is now I'm going to probably dump most of the Disney versions I have and slowly rebuild my collection.