The Hobbit trailer — synchronized in German

[ETA: look in the comments for a link to the dubbed Italian version of the trailer.]

Thanks for Nimue for the tip, and yes, I agree with her. Really poor voicing choice; the timbre and pitch of this guy’s voice is nothing like Richard Armitage’s. This is not an official trailer, yet, so maybe there’s still time to rethink this and hire someone else. Sorry, poor, voiceless German dubbing actor, I know this could be the chance of a lifetime for you, especially if Armitage ends up a lot more movies (really successful actors tend to get the same German dubbing them consistently, and some film aficionados even discuss the acting capacities of a particular dubber / synchronizer — good dubbing really *is* an art) but listening to you makes me thankful I can understand Armitage in the original language, and anxious about the film’s chance to affect Armitage’s international reputation for the first time.

It really counteracts what Armitage has seemed to be doing with his voice since last February — trying to deepen the pitch and gruffen (no, that’s not a word) the timbre.

And yes, Germans in big cities will have access to OmU — a subtitled version of the film. Let’s hope they go. And let’s hope, if this is the final dubber for his voice, that Mr. Armitage can shake off his frustrations. This is undoubtedly something he can’t control. [And something — United Agents — to consider as a provision in future contract negotiations.]

Here’s a great post [in Spanish] on dubbings of Armitage with several examples to listen to.

~ by Servetus on January 21, 2012.

16 Responses to “The Hobbit trailer — synchronized in German”

  1. Correction: I read somewhere on the web that this was still an inofficial trailer, but apparently it’s official?


  2. Yes – Nimue and you are both right. I’ve watched the dubbed trailer on YT today and it was even worse than I feared. Now I know why I went to see The King’s Speech in the original version even though I had to drive to another town to do so. I know the German audience wouldn’t accept watching a major movie in the original version with German subtitles but with this trailer most of the voices made me cringe. However, the LOTR movies were shown in an original version in most major cities – so there’s hope…
    I don’t think the dubbing will have an adverse effect on the general audience though. They will never have heard the original voices of Freemann, Armitage etc.
    I hope you’re feeling a bit better today? Gute Besserung! And don’t watch the trailer again – it might make you feel unwell again 😉


    • I fully agree. Most Germans will have no original voice to compare it to.
      The song already was bad, but when Thorin started to speak… oh my…
      I am not going to watch that version again or I might draw back my intention to watch TH. How fortunate I am to have access to the cinemas of a big city. With RA in such a big role, it would be torture to wait for the DVD’s with the original language version ;o)


  3. Thanks for your mention, darling! I have just talked this morning with @CassiaDeWarren about the official Italian trailer. That is she show me:

    There isn’t an available trailer in Spanish but I will tell you if I find it.


    • Maybe it is because I don’t understand most of it that this sound much more as if the actors just read the text instead of acting it out as it should be. In that respect I prefer the German version that I understand. “Casa Baggins” instead of Bag End cracked me up! At least the translation of the German version is okay.


      • I also think there may be subtle differences in acting styles by culture. When I used to see English films dubbed in German there was always five minutes of accustoming myself to what felt like a more heavily narrative style of acting. Like the German actors were trying harder somehow to tell me a story. That’s a very imprecise description of my reaction but it was there.


  4. Reblogged this on y que iba yo a contar and commented:
    “El Hobbit” en alemán e italiano.


  5. I expect from a dubbed version that it sounds fairly natural and not totally artificial and that I’m not constantly reminded that I watch a dubbed version. That is the case with lots of American series, especially sitcoms, but this trailer doesn’t make me cringe in that respect. I don’t think most of the audience would be bothered by this particular piece of dubbing.

    This is apparently the official trailer, but there is a fair chance that the voices will be different in the final version. They need the completed movie before they can do any serious dubbing, even if they use the same voices, it is not dubbed in context but just the trailer.


  6. “anxious about the film’s chance to affect Armitage’s international reputation for the first time.”

    Every international actor has to deal with that and when I read that no matter how unrecognisable he will, he will still have the voice and eyes, I always thought, that he couldn’t rely on his voice in Germany and many other countries. Just like strongly relying on the eyes doesn’t work on stage, relying on the voice doesn’t work in dubbed versions. He has to be good enough to convince without the voice I’m afraid. And I also think (in the light of the recent discussion) part of the appeal of his voice is not the acting he does with it, but it’s erotic effect.


  7. I agree that a big piece of it is what you expect to hear. I credit the move to Germany with killing off a very active interest in Star Trek and its spinoffs because I found the voices jarring.

    Armitage’s vocal quality is developing and changing, which is interesting. He seems to be thinking about what people find necessary for a role and working on accommodating that. This would also be worth a post (sigh, too many topics, too little time)


  8. There probably is something to the idea that the dubbed voice seems wrong because it isn’t what we expect. But, I can’t help but think that the higher register of the dubbed voice takes away from the kingliness and gravity of the character, which I at least associate in part with the lowered voice.


  9. Thanks to Anke from the German board for the info: someone commented on YT who seems to close to the production and confirmed that this is NOT the final cast, so there is still hope. Maybe they could even find a singer (not necessarily the same person as the voice actor) with the right pitch of voice.


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