The practice of removing all the dialogue from an existing movie or television show, and replacing it with an entirely new recording. Most common, of course, when translating a show for audiences which don't speak the original language.
This poses few problems when dubbing an animated feature, such as an anime or Disney film. Unfortunately, live action stuff sometimes results in dialogue which fails to flow naturally
or is subtly out of sync with the character's lip movements, causing many fans of imported films to (violently) prefer the original language version
, relying instead on subtitles to understand what's going on. At worst, it can be hilarious
— take, for the perfect example, the Godzilla
Sometimes, rather than attempt to recreate the original dialogue, the copyright holders will simply replace the entire thing with new dialogue, to humorous effect — a Gag Dub
- Godzilla: Though played (mostly) straight, these films tend to be hilarious to English speakers, as the translated dialogue is often multiple seconds out of synch with the original lip motion.
- One of the most famous examples in Britain is The Magic Roundabout, which took the French show Le Manège enchanté and redubbed it with a completely new script by Eric Thompson. The 2005 CGI feature film adaptation was then redubbed in the US as Doogal; the dub replaced all but two of the British celebrities who provided voices for the characters with American ones.
- The initial American release of Mad Max had all the dialog redubbed by American actors, without the Australian accents.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger's first feature film, Hercules in New York had all his lines redubbed by an actor without the Austrian accent. Later, when English-speaking audiences had become accustomed to Schwarzenegger's Austrian accent, it was rereleased with the original audio track restored. It's up to debate whether that was a good idea...
- Andie McDowell's lines in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes were redubbed, by Glenn Close. This was because McDowell was unable to do an English accent.
- The Life and Death of Peter Sellers had a sad example. After he and his wife separate, Peter redubs his wife's lines so that it sounds like they stayed together.
- Parodied in an episode of The Simpsons. The retirement home has a redubbed Gone with the Wind where Scarlett & Rhett stay together and all the American Civil War parts were removed.
- Weirdly, The Gods Must Be Crazy was redubbed for North American release even though the actors who weren't Bushmen spoke English. It was thought that their South African accents would be difficult to understand.
- The Thomas the Tank Engine fan community is notorious for doing this, but occasionally end up doing an (arguably) better job than the original narrator, mostly due to the fact that many of these fan redubs have /very/ large casts.
- One of the most notorious instances of this happens in the unintentionally hilarious 1968 drama The Legend of Lylah Clare. It seems actress Kim Novak could not handle the German accent, so another actress with a much deeper voice dubbed on the Lylah voice when required. While this did indeed make it seem like her meek actress character was possessed by the ghost of the dead Lylah, it's also very obvious dubbing. Made all the funnier by the heavily Italian-accented Rossella Falk as Lylah's former dialogue coach!
- One of the most pointless redubbings was in Arthur, in which Arthur's new voice actor redubbed the season during which his original voice actor had gone through puberty. Especially jarring for viewers who had viewed the episodes before the edits. That said, Mark Rendall is near universally viewed as a better actor than Justin Bradley, who the producers claimed lacked the vocal range of Arthur's original voice actor, Michael Yarmush, and would make Arthur sound whiny when he was upset. Mark Rendall is also generally considered Arthur's second best voice actor, behind Michael Yarmush.
- In the 2006 DVD re-release for An American Tail in the scene where the three orphans torment Fievel, two of their voices were redubbed: the fat one and the short one. Originally they were voiced by children, but in the redubbed dialogue the fat one is given a low gravely voice and the short one is given a nasally voice, both by grown men.
- When releasing anime movies and shows that have pre-existing dubs, Sentai Filmworks, on rare occasions, may record an entirely new dub and include it along with the previous dub. An example would be their release of Appleseednote . Not only did they include the original Animaze dub, they also made an alternate dub using Seraphim Digital Studios for the purpose of maintaining consistency with the English dub of Appleseed Ex Machina, which was also recorded by Seraphim Digital Studios.
- Yugoslavian movie The Battle of Neretva was filmed with an international cast which included Orson Welles, Yul Brynner and Franco Nero. However, the movie was mostly in Croatian and Serbian, and the foreign actors mispronounced a lot of lines, so they were eventually redubbed.
- When VIZ Media acquired the rights to the Sailor Moon anime, rather than securing the license to the censored 90s dub, they opted instead to redub from scratch, retranslating the scripts to be faithful to the original and utilizing veteran voice actors. Of note, not only are all episodes covered by DIC and Cloverway getting the treatment, but also Sailor Stars, the theatrical movies, and all tie-in specials. Interestingly, this will avert Crystal's recasting as unlike in Japan, the same cast plan to cover that as well.
- A few years before the Sgt. Frog anime finally made it to North America, it was dubbed into English by Sony's anime-themed satellite channel Animax, giving it the title Sergeant Keroro. Although the acting (decent for Animax) may not have been quite up to American standards, this dub was considerably more faithful to the Japanese script than Funimation's dub. As a result, there are a few script purists who prefer it. A few clips of the Animax dub can be found online, for those curious enough to sample it.