Within the ever growing community of Anime fans — stay with me here for a moment — there are always a contingent who are such purists that they will only watch the subtitled (or, original language) version of the series or movie. And there are even ridiculous elitists within those purists who view the only legitimate Anime experience as being without subtitles because one has a working understanding Japanese. Everyone else just enjoys whatever version is easiest to get. “Cowboy Bebop” is pretty much the only mutually agreed upon exception to this rule by all parties, because the English voice actors really do an incredible, peerless job.
If you’re lucky enough to be around these types of fans then you know how vocal they can be, and that always makes me wonder if this issue translates to Japanese fans of English-language cinema. I know whenever I see a reel of “The Simpsons” from, say, Italy, I think how unfortunate it is that Italians don’t get to hear the actually really subtle brilliance of Dan Castellaneta’s Homer. I bring this up, because the Japanese trailer for Pixar’s tears of joy capturing event this summer, Brave, is great on the one hand for showcasing new footage that explores a lot more of the plot’s moving pieces. But, on the other hand, the trailer is in Japanese, and thus suffers from missing the distinct brogues of Kelly McDonald, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, and Emma Thompson that are likely to make this English version its own peerless endeavor.
The trailer also ups the quotient on both whimsy and mysticism, while significantly downplaying the gender politics of it all:
Speaking of whimsy, The Mary Sue points out that the Merida and the Frightening Forest take could easily be misconstrued as a Studio Ghibli production. A quick glance at the movie’s full length Japanese poster pretty much nails that point to the wall:
This is not a bad thing.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He actually really is curious about how international movie fans view subtitles.