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Who are the English Voices on the dub version of Miyazaki's SPIRITED AWAY'

Harry here... Can DISNEY figure out how to make a brilliant film appeal to the populace of the United States? Well, we know that a certain Pixar Genius is personally supervising the 'English-version' of SPIRITED AWAY with Miyazaki's watchful gaze... Can they pull it off? Can the biggest film in the history of Japan conquer the United States, or is this country only interested in American culture stories? GOD I HOPE NOT. I want this to clean up. Let's pray. In the meanwhile, here's the voices that they're working with....

Harry,

The actors doing the voiceovers for "Spirited Away" are Daveigh Chase as the little girl Chihiro,

Jason Marsden as the boy Haku,

David Ogden Stiers as the Boiler Room Man,

Suzanne Pleshette as the Twin Witches,

Lauren Holly as Mom,

Michael Chiklis as Dad,

Susan Egan as Lin,

and John Ratzenberger as the Bathhouse Manager.

Let's hope Disney can figure out how to distribute this one. Don't get your hopes up though.

I worked for Disney Feature Animation for years - it's just getting worse over there. Nothing but horror stories from my pals at Feature Animation.

Sorry to report that part.

Cheers!

hahadisney

Readers Talkback
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  • April 10, 2002, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Who's doin the translation this time

    by Aronld Scazziger

    The NEIL again? Or Lasseter himself? Someone clear this up please.

  • April 10, 2002, 7:01 a.m. CST

    I, too, am relieved by the fact that I don't know these voic

    by jaymrobinson

    ...now will that help or hurt it at the box office? I have seen this film in Japan. It is quite wonderful. It is amazing how true to life the character of 'Chihiro' is. By that, I mean that she acts like you would expect a real child to act. The world of 'sen to chihiro' is filled with amazing creatures and artistry like has never been witnessed in western cinema. Do yourself a favor and watch as many of Miyazaki's films as you can get your hands on. They are all absolutely wonderful labors of love. Most everybody's favorite, however, is Miyazaki's first feature 'kaze no tani no nausicaa' (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind). But will it ever see wide-spread release on western shores?

  • April 10, 2002, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Attack of the TV has beens!

    by Lazarus Long

    What the fuck is going on here? Last time Disney gets a hold of great actors like Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver, Billy Crudup, and Claire Danes. This time we get Cliff from "Cheers", Suzanne Pleshette from the old Bob Newhart show, Winchester from M*A*S*H, and Michael Chiklis from "Daddio"? Apparently Disney doesn't understand that THEY mismarketed Princess Mononoke, and now they don't want to risk getting some A list talent and losing money. Bunch of assholes. Hopefully these people are up to the task and the English language version will be great regardless.

  • April 10, 2002, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Who gives a damn! If you choose the english dub over the origin

    by Horseflesh

    Learn to read subtitles.

  • April 10, 2002, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Where's Castle in the Sky?

    by holidill

    I've been dying for this film to come out for years. C'mon Disney! And isn't that James Marsden from X-men and Disturbing Behavior?

  • And it's not like Claire Danes was any great shakes either, considering all she really had to do was act fierce and could barely do that right. Don't get me wrong, the Mononoke dub didn't ruin my experience watching Mononoke in a theater, but I'm so glad Disney included the Japanese audio on the DVD. Then again, I've just gotten to the point where I love hearing spoken Japanese, even if I cannot begin to pretend to understand the language.

  • April 10, 2002, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Dubs

    by GermanCity

    I'll agree with anyone that the original japanese is the way to go. And I have no trouble reading subtitles. However, there is one little sticky point that still makes the dub matter. As we know, the english is almost always presented in DD 5.1 while the japanese is normally 2.0. As important as the spoken word is, it is a damn shame to have to sacrifice the digital soundscape. If anyone can think of a way of changing this, let us all know.

  • April 10, 2002, 9:53 a.m. CST

    anime in America

    by The Vok

    Horseflesh, if one chooses to watch the dubbed version, it's not because one is afraid of subtitles and therefore a cocksmoker. It's because the ONLY way to see Spirited Away on the big screen on this side of the pond will be the Disney-dubbed version. Do you really suggest that no one should see this made-for-theatrical-release movie in an actual cinema? What kind of testament to its creators would that be? Nope, given the situation with the North American market for anime, I for one will definitely give the Disney dub my support despite my preference for subtitles. It was so sweet earlier this year to see Metropolis in theatrical release with subtitles, but it didn't make a dime, serving more as an ad for the upcoming DVD. Given Disney's investment in Miyazaki's films (which at the very least has increased North American mainstream audiences' appreciation of his work; just look how well Kiki's Delivery Service sold when it debuted on VHS), it's no wonder that Spirited Away is being handled differently than Metropolis was by Sony. Can the biggest film in Japanese history conquer the U.S.? Not likely, for the very fact that is the biggest film in Japanese history. The only way Spirited Away could win Japanese audiences from big, internationally-marketed Hollywood fare was that it was made very particularly for those Japanese audiences. And one thing I love about Japan is they don't give a rat's ass whether or not their movies make any money over here. They've got their very own vibrant and rich culture and they don't need our approval or appreciation. That doesn't mean, however, that if Spirited Away is not a hit in North America, the U.S. is only interested in U.S. culture stories. What a simplistic generalization. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a hit in the U.S. So was Amelie. So was Life Is Beautiful. So was Il Postino. Where is the proof that the U.S. is only interested in its own stories? The difference is that Spirited Away's mainstream hit status in Japan doesn't necessarily carry over to the U.S. The audiences in both countries like different things. If it does become a hit in North America, hey, I'll cheer for that kind of breakthrough, why not? But I don't expect that to happen. I expect it will garner some attention. I expect that it will find a loyal niche audience at least, as did Princess Mononoke a few years ago. I expect that critics will try to give it some attention. But in the mainstream arena, up against movies made very particularly for American tastes, the risk is much higher, and all bets are off.

  • April 10, 2002, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Dubs vs. Subs

    by double_A_Ron

    I like to watch the movie and not read it. Sorry. Looking at words and missing 40% of the incredible artwork of Miyazaki is just stupid. Especially when you have a wonderful and elegant screenplay translation by Neil Gaiman (SP?) and memorable, sometimes perfect, spoken performances in movies like Princess Mononoke. I watched the sub version for 15 minutes and noticed how the engrish subtitles were just ruining the flow of the movie and the characters in the film. Then I went back to the dub. Now, don't get me wrong. This only works this well in animated films. I've NEVER seen a good dub for a live action film. Life is beautiful is 10x better subbed. I wouldn't THINK of watching Crouching Tiger' dubbed (UG!) But even in those films there is a conscious fight to get off the text and back to the magic of the moving picture. Double A Ron

  • April 10, 2002, 10:13 a.m. CST

    dubs vs. subs addendum

    by double_A_Ron

    Did I say Life is Beautiful was 10 times better? Make that 100. The beginning car scene freaked me and my wife out as the subs were flying so fast and we just felt like we were missing everything. SO, we watched it subbed. It was painful at times, but we still thought the film was amazing. I was curious, so we started watching the film again with the subs on and WHAT A DIFFERENCE. The dub translation is terrible! The movie is LOL funny in the beginning instead of just silly. We sat and watched the ENTIRE film again. BUT this is a live action film and a bad translation. With a good translation and an animated film, dubs can be superior. It just takes more work and care than most anime companies will swallow. For the longest time these companies just wanted the quick buck from hyper violent, sexual cartoons and they just slapped together a rotten dub. That's why anti-subbers we born. If done right, however, I believe a good dub is far superior. The Pioneer Akira is a great example, as is the Princess Mononoke release and even Kiki's and the American Totoro. All useless, in my opinion, to be stuck struggling to read and watch at once.

  • April 10, 2002, 10:28 a.m. CST

    The problem isn't that the overdubs are bad...

    by pedant

    ...it's that anime sucks.

  • April 10, 2002, 10:35 a.m. CST

    My guess is that it'll play on 400 screens max...

    by Kiyone

    (Condensed from my posts on rec.arts.anime.misc) It would be *nice* if Spirited Away did play on that many, but it's really just a Technicolor pipe dream, I'm afraid. If Disney played Spirited Away on just 200-400 screens it would be an unparalled accomplishment for a theatrical release of an anime in North America, excluding anime based on kiddy "monster" video games. Princess Mononoke played on just 139 screens at its widest, and Columbia/Tristar played Metropolis on, at most, 16 screens each weekend (although the prints were touring, so it has played on more than 16 screens). 200-400 screens doesn't sound like a lot when compared to the distribution of crap like National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2022 screens this past weekend), but, if Spirited Away did play on 400 screens, it would still be just a public transit ride away for the vast majority of Americans and Canadians, at least those of you living in suburbia. But, no, it won't be playing at suburban shopping mall multiplexes. I can see Spirited Away doing Amelie-like business ($30 million domestic) if Disney markets it the same way it did with Amelie (released by Miramax) and plays it on a similar number of screens (Amelie played on 298 screens at its widest). $250 million domestic b.o., as one "expert" predicted in an L.A. Times article is just a pie-in-the-sky pipe dream, although I would like it to make that much. I don't think it's reasonable to expect Disney to open Spirited Away on 2000 screens, because no anime, save Pokemon and Digimon, has ever played on 1/10th the number of screens theatrically. Let's see how well anime features do on a few *hundred* screens first, then maybe we'll see a few true "wide" theatrical releases of anime.

  • April 10, 2002, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Left something out...

    by Kiyone

    "It would be *nice* if Spirited Away did play on that many, but it's really just a Technicolor pipe dream, I'm afraid." By "that many", I was responding to wishful speculation that Disney would give ths film a wide release (2000-3700 screens).

  • April 10, 2002, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Re: Hollidill

    by CZ

    Dubs sell. It's a fact of marketing. By the by, that's Jason Marsden, not James. The one who's actually been a VA for over a decade.

  • April 10, 2002, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Looks like most are from previous Pixar movies

    by IAmLegolas

    But it's a none issue for me as I'll be watching the Japanese audio as soon as it hits DVD. Nice to see Spike from BUFFY on there though.

  • April 10, 2002, 12:44 p.m. CST

    My bad

    by IAmLegolas

    I think I'm dyslexic, I was thinking of James Marsters!!!!

  • April 10, 2002, 12:44 p.m. CST

    I'm Just Glad This Is Getting Released Here

    by NoCureForFools

    Americans are dumb, perhaps the dumbest people on the planet (but we are entertaining at least, which is the only thing we have: we are like the inebriated song and dance men who always get a laugh even when we stumble and *accidentally* stab the waiter in the face over and over again with a broken bottle), which is why stuff like Monoke and Spirited Away is hard to market. most Americans are dumb and they like it that way. luckily, theres always the arthouse circuit and home entertainment which will keep this stuff alive. i don't mind the dubbed theatrical releases if they are done well -- the Monoke dub was well done -- as long as the DVD contains the original dialouge with subtitles, which it probably will.

  • April 10, 2002, 12:57 p.m. CST

    See the Japanese version THIS MONTH in San Fran

    by otis von zipper

    3 showings of the "non-dubbed" version are happening this month at the San Francisco Film Festival. I have my ticket. SFFS.org for more info.

  • April 10, 2002, 1:22 p.m. CST

    subs over dubs

    by Devils Halo

    i will not watch a dub of this film. every miyazaki film i've watched, has been subtitled. nausicaa, laputa, and mononoke were all subs. i don't have a problem with it. if you do, then i suggest seeing the film twice learning the story then watching it the second time for the visuals. forces me to learn japanese (which is a good thing) but to release it as a dubbed movie is turning it into a pokemon film. and miyazaki films are far far far from being a pokemon movie and disney shouldn't treat it like one.

  • April 10, 2002, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Freaking anime snobs!

    by BiPolarBear

    Give me a break. True, I'll take a sub over a poor dub any day of the week. You couldn't pay me to watch the original dub on the old VHS release of Akira. But I'll take a high-quality dub over a sub too. I've watched Princess Mononoke in English and in Japanese, I've even watched it in English while reading the literal translation subtitles to see how Gaiman's script deviated. Want to know how much? Not at all. Any changes that were syntax changes, not content changes. I will gladly watch a quality dub. Your opinion may vary, but don't try and convince me I'm wrong. Someone once actually tried to convince me that I was missing out on the subtle nuances of the original Japanese voice performance by watching in English. Know what? I'd miss it anyway if I watched it in Japanese, BECAUSE I DON'T SPEAK JAPANESE!! I'm not picking up any subtle nuances from the gibberish coming out of these people's mouths. So please, quit trying to sway me. If you want to learn Japanese so you can watch anime in its original language, be my guest.

  • April 11, 2002, 12:59 a.m. CST

    I WANT CASTLE IN THE SKY! i WANT CASTLE IN THE SKY! I WANT CAS

    by BloodDonorMan

    I saw the preview for the Disney dub of Castle in the Sky years ago on the Kiki Delivery Service video. The trailer said "Coming in 1998!" Well, 1998 came and went and no Castle in the Sky! It's been 4 years, how much longer will we have to wait??!!