Films and TV Shows That Are Better Dubbed in Spanish
As a kid growing up in Mexico, I looked forward to our bi-weekly family jaunts to the local movie theatre. While my cinematic world did include movies made in Mexico, Hollywood always seemed to take precedence – especially when it came to children’s films. We would always moan and complain when we saw that a movie we’d been waiting months to see had finally hit theatres and was (Gasp!) dubbed over in Spanish. For some reason, it always stuck in my brain that dubbed movies weren’t as good as their English versions, however, now I have to disagree. Maybe it’s because they bring back childhood memories, or perhaps it’s the different twist on humour or romance, but here are my top four films (or TV shows) that I think are actually better dubbed!
‘Shrek’ (and I’m talking about the first movie here) was a huge deal when it first came out in Mexico because the voice of Donkey was dubbed over by one of the nation’s top comedic actors: Eugenio Derbez. What made the Mexican version of ‘Shrek’ particularly brilliant was that it wasn’t just translated, it was localised and adjusted to the culture, language, and yes, even style of humour. In fact, the same thing happened with translations of ‘Shrek’ the world over. Pop culture references and jokes were replaced with local ones; hence this film will go down in history as one of the best dubbed movies of all time (but we all know the absolute best is still the Mexican version).
The Princess Bride
‘The Princess Bride’ is a classic and is amazing in almost any language. Dubbing a film vs. an animation is a lot harder because there can be an unpleasant disconnect between the movement of the actors’ mouths and the words being spoken, but the Spanish version of ‘The Princess Bride’ is actually pretty spot on and easy to watch! The best part about this particular film is that it’s dialogue heavy and also a comedy so you’ll really work at improving your comprehension skills while having a blast laughing along.
While ‘Friends’ is actually a TV sitcom and not a film, it’s pretty darn amazing dubbed in Spanish. Almost everyone is familiar with ‘Friends’ and have seen an episode or two (or all 10 seasons, we won’t judge) in their native language. What makes this popular show so easy to watch in Spanish is the fact that the dialogue and jokes are pretty universal and easy to translate. Even the iconic character of Janice is hilarious in Spanish. You won’t regret watching ‘Friends’ dubbed!
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You can’t go wrong with almost any Disney dubbing, but ‘Frozen’ is particularly great because you have multiple Spanish options to choose from. The popular ‘Let It Go’ song which took the world by storm was recorded in three different versions for Spanish audiences. The talented Mexico native Carmen Sarahi sang the song and played the role of Elsa for the Latin American version of the film, while the Spanish Gisela did the same for the version released in Spain. And even better, Disney brought in Argentinian singer Martina Stoessel to do soundtrack interpretations of the song for both the Latin America and Spain releases. No matter which version you prefer, this timeless tale will stick with you in both English and Spanish and you’ll be singing ‘Libre Soy’ at the top of your lungs in no time at all!
If you are still uncomfortable with the idea of watching dubbed movies, another great way to practice your Spanish is by watching films in English but with Spanish subtitles. Netflix has started offering a lot of Spanish subtitle options as of late and you can get your ‘Orange is the New Black’ and ‘House of Cards’ binge fix while working on your language skills at the same time. Just remember, whether watching dubbed or with subtitles, be sure to actively watch. Put away your phone and eliminate other distractions so you can focus on the nuances of the language and have a great time. Happy watching!
Do you have any Spanish dubbed favourites that you actually think are better than their English versions? Share your suggestions with us!