Entertainment Quantified

Feb 10, 2020 - Film

Dubbed vs Subtitles

A long time ago I wrote a post on High Definition and Director’s Intent. I mention this because lately, namely after Parasite won so many Oscars, people have been having an argument over what is better: Dubbed or Subtitled. I feel that the answer comes from the same place that High Definition and Director’s Intent came from: What is the director’s intent?

The last movie that I watched for LucasFilms THX was Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away. It was a truly amazing film and one thing that I had to do for LucasFilms was watch it multiple times in different theaters. Luckily I got to see the dubbed version and the subtitled version. I noticed that the story was slightly different between the two. I feel like the Japanese Language version with English Subtitles was closer to the director’s intent, and as such it’s the version that I recommend people watch.

It seemed to me that with the dubbed version you have to get the words in to match the scene, and thus they had to change what was actually said. Losing some of the intent along the way. When I watch non-English movies, I prefer the subtitled version of the film because of my experience with Spirited Away.

What do you think? Please let me know on Twitter.