Superlative Dubbing: Spanish Dubs
Note: there are two kinds of Spanish dubs. Latin America Dubs or Lat Am Dubs (Which uses Neutral Spanish) and Spaniards dubs (Which uses Spaniard Spanish). They usually are very different, and they can generate a lot of angst between fan of one or the other.
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Anime and Manga
- All Studio Ghibli films. Since Buenavista (aka Disney) took care of the distribution of their films and, as mentioned in the Animation Film folder, they have an incredible localization team for both territories, the Spanish dubs of Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, etc, are nothing else but spectacular.
- A special case with the European Spanish dub of Attack on Titan. The dub is not perfect by any means, since some secondary characters are quite lackluster. However, the overall quality is actually pretty damn good. What makes it noteworthy is that the anime was release in Spain just five months after the anime was finished in Japan. That's a goddamn record! Even more surprising is the fact that many of the cast members aren't very experienced, but still managed to deliver a really good performance.
- Laura Prats, Mikasa's Spaniard voice actress, deserves a special mention. This anime was her voice acting debut and she nailed the character perfectly, to the point that some fans prefer her over Yui Ishikawa!
- Almost no important dubs were made in Argentina, save for one: Serial Experiments Lain Lat Am dub is nothing but a master piece, to say the least. Not only did it translate perfectly the content of the original Japanese series, but it also expended it! Besides, the voices were perfectly choosen.
- The Spaniard dub of SEL, while not as impressive (YMMV), it's also exceptional and very well done.
- Spanish Latin American dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!, couldn't not be described as anything but awesome. This troper in particular can't see this anime in English or Japanese, simply because he saw the LAm Dub.
- Since YouTube deleted all the Lat Am Dubbed episodes, you can use this clip of Anime/YuGiOh the movie as an example. , which was dubbed by the same people. (The quality of the dubbing in the movie is A LOT poorer than the series' quality, but it's best than not showing anything)
- Here you have a part of episode. The quality of the filming is horrible, and the scenes are not really active, but you can see how good the voice acting is. 
- Even LittleKuriboh included parts of the Lat Am Dub in his Abridged Series.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! was not the only series to be saved by the Lat Am dubs from the clutches of 4Kids. The Spanish dub for Shaman King was not only uncut, the portrayal of the characters are also spot on. It's not surprising therefore why so many fans end up watching their episodes en español due to the 4Kids Cut And Paste English dub (even if it faced less cuts than One Piece and Yu-Gi-Oh!) and the So Okay, It's Average Japanese original.
- Until the Digimon4 (which was not awful, but not really good), Digimon got excellent Lat Am dubs, particularly for the first note and third seasons. The series was translated from the original Japanese version and not the American Dub (thing that not always happens), so the script were intact and so where the openings.
- After watching the first episode of the first season in Spanish, I cannot agree with this any harder. Not only did they keep the original music in tact, the voices they chose for every single character are not only perfectly cast, but also extremely adorable! I found the voices of Tai, TK, Biyomon, Gomamon (He's voiced by Tai!), Patamon, and Palmon to be especially cute and endearing. Sora sounds a BIT too squeaky, Matt sounds MUCH younger than I thought he would (which isn't a bad thing), and Mimi's pitch is a little low, but I'm sure they'll improve overtime. NOW I see an example of a truly great Spanish dub. Also, the Spanish opening theme is well sung!
- Lat Am dub managed to pick up an obscure series full off untranslatable-puns like Dotto! Koni-chan and turn it into a cult classic for Spanish speakers. Since there is no way to translate the puns, the series was chock-full Woolseyism, making the plot 50% Woolseyism and 50% Widget Series.
- On a weird subversion, most of the Spanish Dub puns are untranslatable to English as well. So there is no way in which not-Spanish-speakers can fully understand this awesome Dub.
- In Spain, Bleach is one of the top examples of a Superlative Dubbing unfairly brought down by sheer Fan Dumb. The series had some of the best voice actors in Spain that truly nailed almost every single character. The script translation was also amazing. However, fans in Spain still prefered to not pay not even the slightless attention to it. Hence, they stopped dubbing the series at episode 108.
- Orihime: The Slam Dunk Latin American Spanish dub (made in Mexico) is brilliant. Special mention goes to René García as Sakuragi, where he basically blows Takeshi Kusao (whom I love as a seiyuu, but this was not his best role) out of the water.
- The Cardcaptor Sakura Lat Am dub was widely recognized at the time as one of the best anime dubs in history. The dub respected all dialog, didn't have censorship unlike the English one, and have a great voice casting that didn't change during the series. Cristina Hernández was an adorable Sakura, Enzo Fortuny plays a pretty good Yukito (which I prefer to Megumi Ogata's performance), and Alfredo Leal as Eriol sounds much less forced than Nozomu Sasaki's.
- The Catalan dub is also very good. Marta Ullod, while a tad annoying at the high notes, is very good. The highlight of the dub is Kero, who sounds absolutely adorable!
- Lequinni: The Latin (Chilean) Spanish dub of You're Under Arrest!! is one of the few times where the tranlated opening themes were so similar to the original songs and sounded even better than them. And the acting was very good too.
- In Spain Rurouni Kenshin stands as a weird example of this trope. The translation and adaptation of the script had A LOT of mistakes, partly because it was translated from the first English dubbing (aka, "the bad one"), keeping all the mistakes from it, like the character names (Kenshi instead of Kenshin, Kori instead of Kaoru and Yoshi instead of Yahiko). Some dialoges were completely different form what they were supposed to be (From time to time, Kenshin talks about KILLING the villains), the Kyoto arc takes place in Edo (¿?) and some lines were totaly anti-climatic or right straight stupid ("¡Basta, basta, basta, basta!"). But on the other hand, the voice actors work were, for the most part, spectacular. Nacho de Porrata is arguably a way better Kenshin than Mayo Suzukaze (even though his lines are more aggressive), Carmen Ambrós nails Kaoru, Sanosuke in Spanish just feels wrong without Mark Ullod's voice, Alfonso García Zambrano pulled off one hell of a Shishio, and so on. It's one of the few Spanish anime dubbings that not only really reproduce the infamous "emotion bursts" and "cool yellings" that Japanese voice actings are so famous for, but also surpass them in many scenes.
- Libertista: I'm a Spaniard, and the Spanish language is widely-spoken and varied enough to account for 2 sorts: the Latin-American Spanish dubs and the actual Spanish ones (from Spain). Thus I can say I've enjoyed many dubs from both sources, though mileages vary heavily and there is a lot of pointless and chauvinistic strife among the fandom. For the Spain-Spanish side, I'd list Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, and Crayon Shin Chan as excellent. Outlaw Star's and Shin-chan's dubs are superior to the original ones, as they portray the characters' personality more accurately (Shinnosuke Nohara is a meme of his own right (¡¡¡Trooooompa!!!). Biker Mice from Mars is very decently adapted too. For the Latin American-Spanish side, I must say I find them usually more suited for comedy, for it appears that ham and other pork derivates are the usual diet among voice actors: the dubs of Drawn Together and Samurai Pizza Cats are absolutely fantastic and hilarious.
- Dragon Ball Z That one anime that has become a cult classic almost in the whole entire world, specially in Latin America to the extend of Saint Seiya in Brazil. Its is often praised for having perfect dubbings For Goku, Piccolo, Vegeta, and everyone else doing great. Sadly Adverted in Dragonball Kai were mentioned characters had their voices changed for the worse.
- The Dragon Ball dub is so iconic in Latin America, that most of the Dragonball Evolution copies distributed in cinemas were the dubbed ones, just because of Mario Castañeda and Carlos Segundo (Goku and Picollo, respectible) reprising their roles at publics demand (their voices weren't in the first dubbed trailer). In fact, it's pretty much the only reason why most people went to see the movie. Also, a meme usually found in Latin American forums has an image of Goku followed by this phrase: "Hi! I'm Goku. And you are reading this with my voice!".
- The European Spanish dub of Elfen Lied is damn fine, especially considering that Spaniard dubs, due to their accent, are quite unpopular in Latin America. Hear Lucy when she's busy gouging out Bando's eyes: "¿La pasas bien?... Bah, me aburres". Although the dub of Bakuretsu Tenshi is sometimes weak, it has some jewels like giving Jo a little bit of Tourette's syndrome:
- In the Spanish dub: "Fuck dammit, if you say one more fucking word I'll kill you!" ("¡Chingada madre, si dices una sola pinche palabra más te mato!").
- The Latin American dub of Saint Seiya. Need I say more?
- The first Spaniard dub of the original series is not particularly remembered (it wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as other anime dubs, even at its time). Dubs of more recent arcs and re-dubs, on the other hand, are top-notch.
Film - Animation
- The Disney Animated Canon. ALL OF IT. Both in Spaniard Spanish and Latin America Spanish. Here we have some highlight examples:
- First, the songs. They are usually so well adapted that, if a Disney song was a hit in the United States, you can bet your ass the localized Spanish versions were too.
- The original Latin American dub of Sleeping Beauty, man, that's such a masterful work of art! Rosario Munoz Ledo's performance as Maleficent is especially amazing. Just watch this clip! Supposedly Walt Disney himself was a fan of this dub, it's often considered to be superior to the original English version, and it's thought to be a great achievement in Latin American dubbing. Unfortunately, it was "replaced" in 2001 with an all new dub with very boring and underwhelming voice acting. To this day, fans are still on Disney LA's heals about giving the original 1959 dub a DVD release.
- I think this much longer clip better illustrates the awesomeness that is Maleficent's 1959 Latin American voice.
- Beauty and the Beast was a landmark, since it was the first movie in the canon which had a proper Spaniard Spanish dub. Before that, all the Disney movies and shows only had the Latin American dub, which was used in Spain as well. Disney decided to expand its Spanish localization team to make Spaniard dubs and this movie was the first showcase. And the results were amazing! The film got some of the best voice actors of the country, the translations were top notch, and the songs are still sung up to this day.
- In Spain, even critics of dubbing bow before the much missed Constantino Romero, who gave his voice to Mufasa in The Lion King and Judge Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where he dubbed a song for the first time in his extended career (Romero himself considered this one of his favorite works).
- Latin Amrica doesn't stays behind, to be fair it is need a great voice to sing this, no matter the language
- Since Phil Collins did most of the translation of his songs in Tarzan, different versions tend to sound the same, yet Woolseyism keeps the flux of the song going. Interestingly enough, since Collins' non-native accent sounded the same to both Spaniards and Latin Americans alike, Disney used the same versions for both Spanish dubs.
- The Latin American dub of Cats Don't Dance. In particular the songs. I don't know what it is about Latin dubs—as I've heard a lot of very talented Latin American singers—but it's just rare to find a dub with the singing on the same level as the original. Observe.
- Both (Latin American and Spaniard) Spanish versions of The Brave Little Toaster are equally well done, especially the Spaniard Spanish dub.
Films — Live-Action
- The original Star Wars trilogy is considered to have one of the most memorable Spaniard dubs ever. Its cast got an entire generation of awesome voice actors in their prime, like Salvador Vidal for Luke, Camilo García for Han, Maria Luisa Solá for Leia, Luis Posada for Obi-Wan, etc, etc. And of course, Constantino Romero for Darth Vader, who made the Dark Lord of the Sith just as memorable in Spanish as James Earl Jones made him in English (maybe even more, since while Jones was a little bit off sometimes in Episode IV, Romero was spectacular throughout all three movies).
- The Lat Am dub of the Spider-Man movies has not only the virtue of having amazing voice actors (this particular sub-loving trooper feels the voices of Spidey, MJ and Harry improve the original performances), but also the bonus of using them for the dubbing of both Spider-Man: The New Animated Series and The Spectacular Spider-Man, giving the three movies and both animated series a continuity missing in the originals. Sadly averted with Ultimate Spider-Man and the new movie.
- The Back to the Future trilogy Spaniard dub. Although the translation had some mistakes, like the name of the Flux Capacitor, it made up for them with some brilliant examples of Woolseyism, like the translations of Marty and Doc's Catch Phrases ("¡Qué fuerte!" for "This is heavy!" and "¡Santo cielo!" for "Great Scott!"), which have full Memetic Mutation status in Spain, even to this day. But what made the dub work the most was the outstanding performances of Jordi Pons as Marty and Luis Posada Mendoza as Doc. The rest of the cast were also unforgettable.
- Woody Allen loves Joan Pera, the voice actor who dubs him in Spain to the point that Allen said in an interview that he "makes a better Woody Allen than himself". Allen even wrote a small role just for him in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Live Action TV
- Spain is not only famous for good voice acting in animation, but in live action as well. Take for example House. The voice acting and translations are almost always between "pretty damn good" and "spectacular". The best example is House's voice actor, Luis Pórcar. He's so good that most dubbing haters don't even dare to speak bad about his performance. And those who do, are incapable of finding a good argument beyond the fact that Pórcar's voice doesn't sound quite like Hugh Laurie's.
- Another Spaniard example was Friends. All the voice actors for the central six characters were perfectly casted, and a lot of people prefer them to the original, even among many OV purists.
- The first Metal Gear Solid game is considered up to this day as THE example of good video game dubbing in Spain. There even is some fierce debate about whether Alfonso Vallés was a better Solid Snake than David Hayter. The catch is, though, that the following games in the series were not dubbed to Spanish, while David Hayter improved his acting and Snake's character with each new instalment. Hence, the debate is totally pointless (and unfair) by now.
- Kingdom Hearts II had an unexpected great dubbing. At first there was some suspicion, since Sora was voiced by Adolfo Moreno, Spanish voice actor of Pokémon's Ash Ketchum. But he nailed the character, despite the comments of some people. Some secondary characters were a little bit off (Roger Isasi-Isasmendi was a disappointing, emotionless Cloud) and some Disney characters didn't have the same voice actors as in the movies (this was specially evident in Jack Sparrow's case), but the general level of the voice acting was really good. Too bad it's the only Spanish dubbed game in the whole series.
- Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City have some of the best voice acting in years. It's especially worth noting that for Batman they hired Claudio Serrano, who dubs Christian Bale in the Chistopher Nolan movies. Although some people argue he sounds a little bit too young for the Batman of the games, the Continuity Nod was a nice touch. Also, José Padilla as the Joker had very little to envy to Mark Hamill's performance.
- The Lat Am dub for LEGO Lord Of The Rings was also excellent, with most of the cast of the movies reprising their roles, the sole exception being Frodo, who was voiced by the very talented Eduardo Garza
- The Uncharted series. Full stop.
- The Prince of Persia series. Specially Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Ricardo Escobar as the Prince is one of the best performances in a video game EVER) and Prince of Persia (2008) (David Robles and Mar Bordallo made one hell of a couple).
- This may sound like cheating, since most of countries choose Spaniard over Lat Am, mostly because Lat Am is more expensive and also Spaniard should work with both, so Microsoft games is the major Lat Am dubber, only Microsoft Certified games are dubbed
- Many Hanna-Barbera series, which were met with little enthusiasm on the U.S., became absolute classics on Mexico, thanks to the quality and creativity of their dubs. Noteworthy mentions include Top Cat, The Flintstones and Pixie and Dixie.
- In Pixie and Dixie's case, Pixie speaks with a cuban accent, Dixie's voice is that of a mexican, and Mr. Jinks became a hilarious spaniard from Andalucía. The script changed for the better, too: comical add-libbing was at the order of the day, and scenes that had no jokes -or not dialogue at all- in the original version were spiced up to no end.
- The Simpsons in the Latin American dubbing, was absolutely hilarious and considered a cult classic by many!! Anyone who understands Spanish, aside from some wordplay that can't be translated, will have a better time watching this dub. The Seasonal Rot of the later seasons became more evident in the Latin American when Fox decided to change (most of) the dub actors in season 16. The dub has not been the same ever since.
- Look on the bright side. Marina Huerta, the original voice of Bart, returned after a hiatus. She also became Marge.
- This holds especially true since the voices are brought down from their cartoon-ish English interpretations to a more down-to-earth style. While many other cartoons would suffer from this change, in the case of the Simpsons it worked perfectly!. The only sad thing that for every 200 awesome translations and woolseyism there was one glaringly obvious bad translations (Robo-Richard Simmons was translated to Lorenzo Lamas)
- Also something that improves the series is that each character has his own dubber (except for very minor characters). This also helps to avoid goofy voices, which are necessary in the English version since every voice-actor makes 6 to 10 roles.
- Actually, the The Simpsons dubbing from Spain is also spectacular. Matt Groening himself recognized it as the best European dubbing of the series, by far. Too bad its level dropped severely when Carlos Revilla, the voice acting director, script writer and Homer Simpson's voice actor, passed away in 2000. However, up to this day it's still pretty good.
- Futurama's Spain Spanish dub is hilarious. Iván Muelas (Fry), Olga Cano (Leela) and Abraham Aguilar (Bender) are on the same level as Billy West, Katey Sagal and John DiMaggio, if not better. Specially Bender, who in the Spanish VA speaks as he is talking between his teeth (his accent from the original English voice is impossible to reproduce in Spanish, after all). It's impossible not to laugh with him.
- South Park has some really good Spanish dubbing, both for Lat Am and Spain.
- Radlum: I am not able to watch the series in the original language; if there are jokes that have to be in English to be understood then I use close captioning to read them.
- It should be said that there are two Lat Am dubs of South Park: the Mexican one and the one from Miami. The last one is used in South America because the Mexican was too regional, and use so much profanity than this trooper at least can't imagine the series in another version without feeling like a watered down version of the former.
- Also, Patricia Azan probably gives one of my favourite performances of Cartman. Her performance is colorful and expressive, as though she combines every aspect of the character into one; he's crazy, but he's a child. He's angry, but can also be scared. Her Cartman is more child-like in tone even than the other female performers, so she makes him sound just as bratty as he needs to be. In every way, she's perfect.
- Batman: The Animated Series was a tremendous hit in Spain as much as the United States and the awesome dub had a lot do with it. The case on Batman's voice is specially worth noting. The voice actor chosen for the role was Fernando de Luis, since he dubbed Michael Keaton in the Spanish dub of Batman Returns. The catch? His voice is rather high pitched, instead of the deep voice pitch of Kevin Conroy. The other catch? It still worked! De Luis still managed to pull off one hell of a badass Batman and made him just as memorable.
- Batman is currently dubbed by actor Claudio Serrano, who started dubbing Christian Bale (and, ironically, Ben Affleck) and became the voice of the character. However, De Luis is a legend in his own right for those who grew up with Batman TAS
- Take a look and check it out: Batman TAS in European Spanish
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series was also a big hit in Spain, and yes, the dub had a lot to do with it too. Spider-Man's charisma was left intact from the original version thanks to a great script translation and an awesome performance by Juan Antonio Arroyo, who is still considered up to this day as the best Spaniard Spider-Man ever.
- I do not speak Spanish. But I caught an episode of Justice League Unlimited in Spanish, and I've gotta say, it was awesome. Batman and Luthor were spot on, Superman sounds a little deeper but still very good, and whoever was playing Darkseid...holy shit the man was terrifying. He manages to be even lower than Michael Ironside, and has an absolutely Darth Vader-esque menace to his voice. If anyone can tell me who that was...
- In Lat Am Esteban Garcia has been the voice of Lex Luthor in most incarnations since Superman: The Animated Series, not without a good reason, tough
- While the Latin-American dubbing of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic isn't entirely spectacular, it does have a few perfectly cast voices: Pinkie Pie, Derpy, and Princess Cadance. Seriously, Melissa Gedeon is so adorable as Pinkie Pie, so much so that she's at the same level as Andrea Libman, if not even better than her! Just listen to the Latin-American version of the Smile Song (There's no choir due to an error caused by the TV station that aired it, but that doesn't make it any less awesome)