Dubbing English into English

Just saw the Multi Grain Cheerios commercial. You know, the one with the husband putting his foot in his mouth asking his wife if she was on a diet. (“What else does the box say?” “The box says ‘Shut up, Steve.'”) I kind of like the commercial. Don’t know why. The original version of it uses the actors actual voices, British accents and all. Just saw a version on an American TV station in which the voices have been redubbed with American accents.

Snippet of British-accented version shown in Canada:

Why? Do Americans not understand English if it is spoken with a non-American accent? Or do they buy less if the accent isn’t American? Seems someone is selling Americans short.

It reminds me of watching Mad Max years ago. It’s an Australian movie, manned by Australian actors in all their Strine glory. But when it was originally released in North America, all of the voices were redubbed with American accents. Now, I’ll grant you that Australian accents can be tough to follow at times. (So can a Southern US or Newfie one, at times.) But, again, I think someone sold Americans short by assuming that they couldn’t handle an movie full of Australian accents. When it was released on video, it was released with the original voices and it makes such a huge difference in the experience. It’s not the first time a movie or TV show has had to be Americanized in order to be deemed acceptable to American audiences. If I was American, I’d be offended.

[Post edited July 13/2008 to add Youtube video of Americanized version of commercial and Jan. 2/2009 to add Youtube clip of British version shown in Canada.]


8 thoughts on “Dubbing English into English

  1. Found a few older references to this particular commercial. (What can I say: I’ve only seen the Americanized one since I’ve been working from home, where I occasionally watch courtroom TV shows on Fox in the afternoon.) In one thread, a poster quotes a reply they received from General Mills:

    This ad was originally produced and ran in the UK with one of our global brands. General Mills Canada took the ad, changed the product to Multigrain Cheerios but left the voiceover. General Mills US then took the Canadian spot, changed the package to the US Multigrain Cheerios and synched over the voices.

  2. I’m an American and I’ve delt with accents for about 11 years since moving to Cleveland. Cleveland has one of the richest cultural cities in America. Even more than New York. I don’t know why some people have trouble with accents. Although I think the reason they changed the voices in this commercial is just so people wouldn’t know they stole the commerical.

    But just like Hollywood killed off the father in “Good Times” just because they felt it was odd that a Black Family had a stable father figure in their lives. Hollywood is full of <rap. They are a big reason this country is going down hill in morals. The lawyers and atheists are trying to force their beliefs on us.

    I think just because Hollywood has trouble with something they try to force it on us as well.

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