Should Bad Singers be Dubbed?

Hello, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to. Did you all see the remake of Beauty and the Beast? That Emma Watson got some pipes on her, huh? She’s just like a well-oiled car, in that
there’s certainly been a lot of auto-tuning. [booing] Good, good. I can feel your anger.
The hate is swelling in you now! Regardless of your thoughts on this movie (it blows), most people can agree that
Emma Watson is no Paige O’Hara (O’Hara as Belle)
I want adventure in the great wide somewhere! (Watson as Belle)
I want adventure in the great wide somewhere! But if she can’t sing it better or in an entertainingly unique way, why sing it at all? This is not the first time in the past
several years we’ve asked this question Big-name actors like the Rock,
Emma Stone, Pierce Brosnan– “And I’m Javert!” And of course, our darling little song Crowe. All have singing voices, most people would agree, are not that musically impressive. At least certainly not strong enough to
survive in musical theater. For years, though, this wasn’t really seen as a
problem as when an actor couldn’t sing They just dub them! Yeah, nobody even cared. If you could sing, great! But if not, you were still loved! You just got
someone else to sing your part for you But recently there’s been this big thing about not dubbing singers, even if they’re not musically inclined! Because of that our eardrums
have paid with Gerard Butler– “All that the Phantom!” Marlon Brando- (Brando in Guys and Dolls)
“But there is room for doubt.” Even Eastwood gave it a try,
much to our everlasting horror (Eastwood in Paint Your Wagon)
“But suddenly my words reach someone else’s ear.” So the big question is: if an actor is not a good singer, should they be dubbed? Well, let’s look at the pros and cons! The big argument is that if an actor is dubbed,
it takes away from their performance! It’s not the actor’s inflections, tone, or even voice. So many would say we’re not
actually watching the actor. I’ll admit there are times where an
obvious dub can get in the way. Johnathan Taylor Thomas’s voice change in
Lion King is pretty distracting. Simba (speaking)
Well when I’m king, that’ll be the first thing to go. Simba (singing)
I’m gonna be the main/mane event!
Like no king was before! But then again, Matthew Broderick’s
dubbing is almost identical. (Joseph Williams as Simba)
So many things to tell her, but how to make her see? VO: Cary Elwes’s dubbing is laughably
noticeable in Quest for Camelot. Gared (speaking)
Really? I’ll have to take your word for that. Gared (singing)
Everything breathes, and I know each breath! But George Clooney’s in O Brother, Where art Thou?
has made the song a helpful favorite! (Clooney singing “Man of Constant Sorrow) I don’t think that song would be as big a hit
if George used his original vocals on that one… Nevertheless, I get the argument. When a dub is really obvious, it CAN take you
out of the moment. But if an actor isn’t a singer, why have them sing? Isn’t that the whole reason we watch people to begin with, to see them do things we can’t? Gregory Peck is impressive because he’s a better actor than most of the people in the audience Audra McDonald is impressive because
her singing range is incredible compared to anyone else most likely listening to her! Both create an emotional reaction with their gift. Of course there are some that can do both:
Idina Menzel, Julie Andrews, Hugh Jackman… The list goes on, but not for an incredibly long time. Most can either act well and sing bad
or act bad and sing well. While star power is not quite as huge as it used to be
in the past, it still counts for a lot in movies. And having a big name can, and usually does,
bring a lot more people in So the idea of putting in a big draw in a genre that’s now becoming popular again is no big shock, but forcing them to be out of their element
in a field where people spend YEARS tuning their gifts seems pretty unfair. Now don’t get me wrong, Hollywood is the Land of Unfair, but if someone can make you cry with THIS: (Michael Crawford as The Phantom)
This is the point of no return! And it’s being replaced with THIS: (Gerard Butler as The Phantom)
This is the point of no return! People are going to notice. But there is something interesting that’s
happening with bad singers and film, that sometimes could work in
their favor: having charm! Compare, for example,
two bad singers in two different films. First we have Russel Crowe from Les Mis. (Russel Crowe as Javert)
Lord, let me find him, that I may see him
safe behind bars… Next we have The Rock from Moana (The Rock as Maui)
There’s no need to pray! It’s okay! You’re Welcome!
HA! I guess it’s just my way of being me! Even though both of these voices are not especially great, the Rock sounded a lot better, didn’t he? Look at how unfocused, uncomfortable,
and uninterested Crowe seems, He looks like he’s more concerned about how to carry a tune rather than being a passionate character. The Rock, on the other hand, listen to his inflections, look at how he’s animated! Observe how 100% in the moment he is! (The Rock as Maui)
What can I say except you’re welcome
For the tides, the sun, the sky! Despite both these two not being good singers,
the Rock is having so much more fun and doing a much better job at sucking you in
that it doesn’t even really matter! Now let’s switch it around. Let’s have another Disney song
with another Les Mis song! Anne Hathaway, by no means, has given the
best rendition of I Dreamed a Dream! There are literally dozens of other recordings of singers with powerhouse voices who can do it a lot better, But her performance is engaging, gets you invested, makes you feel every ounce of pain
this person has gone through. (Hathaway as Fantine)
But there are dreams that cannot be,
And there are storms we cannot weather. Compare this to the Beauty and the Beast remake, where poor Emma Watson sounds like she’s reading notes in a recording studio rather than discovering her
captor might have a redeemable humanity, (Emma as Belle)
There’s something sweet and almost kind,
But he was mean, and he was coarse and unrefined It’s so cold, lifeless, and robotic that of COURSE
we’re going to notice the flaws even more, as well as the technical corrections made afterwards. Now I know a lot of you really like this movie,
so I will say this role can’t be easy! [Emma Watson] portraying Kristen Stewart
portraying Belle HAS to be difficult. [ Booing ] Good, good! Strike me down with all of your hatred
and your journey toward the Dark Side will be complete! There’s plenty of other actors who
have won people over in a similar wa,y despite them not having the most phenomenal voice. Johnny Depp’s madness in Sweeney Todd distracted enough people to get an Oscar nod, Emma Stone actually WON an Oscar despite her singing being flawed yet beautifully vulnerable, and Disney once again helped
Robin Williams’s dazzling energy leap off the screen in this larger-than-life roller coaster! (Robin as the Genie)
Friend! (Robin as the Genie)
Friend! Like! (Robin as the Genie)
Friend! Like! Meeeee! It’s not great singing, but it’s a great voice
and sometimes, that’s enough! And bizarrely enough, it can work both ways! In My Fair Lady, Audrey Hepburn is dubbed
while Rex Harrison isn’t, despite Hepburn obviously having a better voice than him! (Hepburn as Eliza)
Lots of chocolates for me to eat!
Lots of coal makin’ lots of ‘eat! (Rex as Henry Higgins)
–or worse, hear a Cornishman converse.
I’d rather hear a choir singing flat. But again, this isn’t what was needed for the movie. HER musical sequences needed to be huge and grand, while HIS musical sequences need to be snarky and witty His form of talk-singing, as some people call it,
works perfect for what’s needed while Hepburn’s good, but not great, voice would have weakened what was needed in her scenes. (Marni Nixon dubbing Hepburn)
I get words all day through, first from him, now from you.
Is that all you blighters can do?! (Hepburn’s actual voice)
I get words all day through, first from him, now from you.
Is that all you blighters can do?! Her voice is totally passable, but it’s not huge and this sequence needed a huge voice So yes, there are times where a good singer
needs to be replaced with a great one while a bad singer can just be kept and,
surprisingly, they can both work Sometimes though it makes it worse. In The Phantom of the Opera, Minnie Driver is dubbed
despite the fact that she can sing Just not great like an opera singer,
which was required for the role Yet everyone else is allowed to use their real voices
despite them obviously struggling like hell! Now only do we have non-singers singing, But we have an ACTUAL professional singer
to compare them to! That just makes things a million times more awful! So with all this going back and forth,
what’s it all amount to? Well, maybe some actors should be dubbed while other actors should be allowed to sing. Depending on what’s needed for the movie. If a non-singer can pull off the emotion of the scene stronger than a professional singer, it makes sense to use them. If the emotion of the scene completely
rests on how well the song is sung, it should probably go to the dubbing department. The Rock and Hathaway have emotional ups and downs that their vocal flaws can make more effective. it also gives more leeway to hide their weaknesses. Watson and Crowe’s short breaths and audio correcting can’t be hidden as well in what’s supposed to be a grand sweeping epic, so it would
make sense then to dub them over! Especially when we have
something to compare it to already! It just makes it that much harder to make it their own! (Philip Quast as Javert)
This I swear by the STARS! (Crowe as Javert)
This I swear by the STARS! And to those saying that dubbing
takes away from an actor’s performance, I’d say it’s like any other special effect! Some are done great, some are done poorly, but you still work with it to create an illusion that results in a strong emotion. It doesn’t matter what means you use
to get there, or who did the most work as long as the audience is engaged by what’s going on. An actor doesn’t insist they do their own special effects makeup, they leave that to the professionals! Yet they still have to act with it to suck the audience in. That’s exactly how dubbing is supposed to work if it’s done right. There’s also no shame if someone’s not a good singer. A playwright doesn’t have to be an
actor to get an emotional response, a special effects artist doesn’t have to be a writer to suck somebody into a new world! So why would anyone expect an actor also has to be a singer to win an audience over? It’s all an illusion anyway and the better it dazzles, the more we forget we’re just sitting in a seat watching a screen. We instead feel like we’re being absorbed into a different environment So rather than letting poor actors like Pierce Brosnan– (Brosnan in Mamma Mia!)
Where are those happy days?
They seem so hard to find. Or Lee Marvin– (Marvin in Paint Your Wagon)
Wheels are made for rollin’, mules are made to pack. embarrass themselves again. Just remember, film is a collaborative art form! Asong as the focus is taking people on an amazing journey, people are always ready to hear that music,
no matter how it’s done or who sings it. I’m the Nostalgia Critic.
I remember it so you don’t have to! Hey, Doug Walker here doing the charity shout-out and this week, we are doing the Waterkeeper Alliance This is the world’s fastest-growing
environmental movement. With more than 200 local Waterkeepers patrolling rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways on six continents, Waterkeepers defends their communities against anyone who’s tainted their right to clean water. They speak with a single powerful voice as they tackle the world’s most pressing water issues. The Alliance stands behind every Waterkeeper, increasing their ability to function as community defenders in their efforts
to protect the world’s waterways. They support them by providing expertise in science, law, strategic planning, and communication, Making them more effective in their community of courtrooms and classroom. If you look at this site & their YouTube page, you can experience all the various ways that they help people get the clean water that they deserve. This is a great organization that deserves to get
as much support as it can. So click on the link and see how you, too, can help millions of people drink safe

Stephen Childs


  1. Jenifer Lawrence singing the hanging tree like a person from a poor coal mine colony that sings lullabies to her sister works great.

  2. Idk… I really like Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler, and the Rock’s voices. I also think that Anne Hathaway’s version of I dreamed a Dream might actually be the best one because of her emotion in it.

    Lol but Emma Watson is awful

  3. I actually didn’t mind Russell Crowe's singing in LES MISÉRABLES as I felt it fit the vision of what that film was going for.

  4. Johnathan Taylor Thomas's dubbing was fine. The entire time, I thought HE was the one singing, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW LITTLE KIDS WITH GOOD VOICES SOUND!!!!!

  5. The solution is simple. By like Australia. Almost every Australian actor has to have musical training and experience before they get big. The 90s best comedy skit shows of Australia was full of comedians who regularly starred in musicals.

  6. Bad singers should not be dubbed.
    They should not be cast for bad singing roles to begin with.

  7. I think that Lee Marvin falls more under the Moana category. There is so much spirit in his voice that wouldn't be conveyed by a dubbing.

  8. I like how much effort that the rock puts into anything. Its why he became famous because how much passion he put in. Rather wrestling and willing to take risk and go into movies.

  9. That's one point for those who don't want to watch a movie in original version if it's not their native language : in french those characters who sing are often dubbed by singers, so there's no problem with the songs. Belle has a good voice in both the animated movie and the recent movie, so it didn't bother me. But I listen to the musical "The Phantom of the Opera" very often, and each time I see a piece of the movie, I'm more decided not to watch it !

  10. I, actually, liked Johny Depp's Singing. It was, somewhat, flawed but in a good and emotional way. It was still Singing.

  11. I think the only reason I can't tell that these people are that bad at singing is because I'm 75% tone deaf XD

  12. There are plenty of ppl out there who can sing AND act. They just don't get the opportunities.

  13. I will never understand why people keep bashing Gerard Butler's and Russel Crowe's singing. They aren't great, I'll admit, but if they were so awful I won't have given The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables a chance. Many people forget the affect musical movies have. For most, the movie version is the first version of the musical they will ever see. Doesn't it make sense for the movie musicals to be worse than the stage production but still good enough to make people like the story and music? And that's what both PTO and Les Mis did for me: they weren't spectacular movies because they weren't trying to be. They are movies you're supposed to find in the 5 dollar section at walmart that you like enough to go see the stage production. While people don't like to hear this, film is a superior art to stage performances simply because you can do more with it. So you have to make the stage musical look way better than something that already has a leg up. Having decent singers is the perfect way to make your movie decent which is all it needs to be.

  14. Another great example is Robin Williams' and Shelley Duvall's singing in Popeye.

  15. I only allow 2 movies with singing in them
    Nightmare before christmas
    And the original jungle book
    And that's it
    I'm watching a movie
    Not a fucking musicle

  16. I am with you Critic. Beauty and the Beast 2017 absolutely sucks. However I love Phantom of the Opera and think that Gerard Butler's performance was good because he was trying out new things and I think he doesn't sound that bad but hey.

  17. Damn that wasnt George's voice. That ruins one of my favorite songs in a movie.

  18. I don't think the main trait or characteristic of Belle is to be a good singer though. Yes it's a musical and the character sings but the main focus of Belle is the she's clever and resourceful.
    Please don't attack me

  19. What is the movie called where the women was singing and crying?
    She sang so beautiful…!
    I want to watch that movie

    Thank You 🙏

  20. Does anybody know which recording was used for the phantom of the opera clip?

  21. These are the videos I love, where Doug just actually just sits and analyzes. He really has some intelligent insights into film.

  22. No one of these Actors are bad singers.
    Okey Maybe gerard butler. I don’t know what you are talking about. Emma Watson is a good Singer !

  23. unpopular opinion: I think russell crowe sounds AWESOME in les mis, second only to anne hathaway and MAYBE samantha barks. the true bad singer in that movie is hugh jackman.

    Edit: I'm not saying that hugh jackman is a bad singer in general. quite the opposite is true, in fact. the last song he sings, as he is in the process of dying, is fantastic, for example. however, he has some very obvious singing hiccups in les mis, more so than the rest of the cast imo.

  24. Only mbti fans will get this, but I have to say it anyway: He's such an INTP.

  25. The Rock may not have a great voice, and Moana is by no means in my top 50 favorite movies list, but he made the song so much fun it's up there with Robin Williams' Friend Like Me. Again, for me. Probably not everyone's favorite opinion, but mine.

    Speak of the devil, he mentions Robin Williams' song, too.

  26. Thank u for this and hey I'm sorry u had to sit through the Beauty and the Beast remake

  27. Can someone answer me the question. Why does everyone hate Russell Crowe in Les Mis? He did an amazing job in that movie. Stars was one of the best songs in the movie. I really just don’t get what he did so wrong. So what his voice is not the best. He still did and amazing job.

  28. Hm, so coming back to this I think I see more of your point. Maybe the actors and such aren't bad singers, not bad, BAD, but they clearly aren't as trained as a professional singer would be, so the difference is obvious when you have the point of reference. What should matter is how well their performance fits the role and the story. Still, I don't really understand in some instances why, say the Rock, is labeled as a bad singer. I guess that's just a label to say that he's clearly not the most trained in this field, but I think calling him bad is a step too far. Then again, perhaps that's the point, to create a controversy and draw attention so that people might listen more to what you have to say. Or maybe you genuinely think he sounds bad, but then again, I don't have the experience with musicals and voices that you do. I have no idea what makes a good singing performance. I'm just a total amateur who's trying to learn what this is all about, so you probably know something I don't, probably a lot of things actually. Still, I can't in good conscience call Dwayne's singing bad. Perhaps not as experienced as someone else, but certainly not bad. The comparisons do help clarify some points, but I still don't understand why some performance you do label as bad. That's the one thing I don't understand. What about Dwayne's performance, or Anne Hathaway's makes them truly bad? I just can't see it. Maybe other people can sing these parts better, but they weren't like Emma Watson, who I can agree, does sound pretty robotic in The Beauty and the Beast. (I did say I liked that before, and it is still enjoyable now, but I like to think that I have matured since then and can admit to being caught up in the moment.) Anyway, great review and message. Really, the only question I have is, "What makes a bad performance, a bad performance, especially in the examples you've given here. My main highlight being Dwayne's performance in Moana as there is nothing else to compare it to, at least moviewise. What made his performance bad by itself since there was no prior performer (to my knowledge)?"

  29. Basically ,,If the song needs to be well sung then get a great singer but if you need a lot of emotion portrayed in the performance then let the actor sing"

  30. I think the rock's just so goddamn endearing in every imaginable way that his singing a little badly just fits the character he plays. Also, he ain't really a bad singer.

    Also, I kind of like imperfect song from imperfect characters. I think Emma Watson was bad because she was tuned. If it was just her singing badly, her flawed character would be more consistent. One reason I never liked musicals before was just how picture perfect the singing was (sole exception being the Disney animated Beauty/Beast – Gaston's song is my favorite ever)

  31. It depends on the movie and and the actor.

    And I loved Emma Watson’s performance in Beauty and the Beast…

  32. Possibly not, but bad dubbers should always be singed. I'm looking at you, T-Pain.

  33. Revisiting this, wasn't "Paint Your Wagon" with Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood a comedy that was also a tongue-in-cheek parody of musicals? I always thought that was the point and, hence why, they didn't do any dubbing. I thought that was part of the joke. I could be wrong but I don't see Eastwood or Marvin insisting on singing their parts. Seems more like a choice to poke a bit of fun at musicals.

  34. Tbh I really liked Crowe and the other bad examples in the end.

  35. The Rock isin't a good example since he actually can sing. I remmber WWE Raw episodes where he would just show up with a guitar and sing. He actually has singing chops

  36. Lmao Emma Watson’s singing in Beauty and the Beast legit sounds like an android

  37. Does Doug just have really high standards? Some of his examples of bad singers sound fine to me

    Emma Watson sounds like Kara executed her music program though

    Actually I take that back even Kara the robot sings more naturally

  38. Good good strike me down with all of your complaints and your journey twards the dark side will be complete.

  39. Matthew Broderick can sing though. He was on broadway for heavens sake.

  40. I could see The Rock gladly singing “You’re Welcome” for a fan, and having a lot of fun with it.

  41. I know what should be dubbed me I suck at singing goodnight everyone

  42. There's nothing wrong with The Rock's singing tho. It suits the song very well.

  43. Now I want a Jurassic Park musical remake.
    I'm being eaten
    By a dinosaaauuur!"

  44. I don't get the hate around the Rock's singing. Nothing was wrong with it.

  45. I'm doing a parody of Hooked on a feeling but i want to be dubbed with the original singer. Just imagine the singer of the original sings a parody.

  46. As an amateur musical comedy actor, I usually put a lot of emotion in my singing because I personally think that a good voice is less important that transmitting the intensity of a scene to the audience

  47. I would take Emma Stone's a little weak singing over Emma Watson's autotuned. Emma Stone's voice wasn't god awful. It was a little weak but I was satisfied. I felt like Emma Stone's voice in La La Land fit.

  48. 1:48 The dude just gave up and outright "SPOKE" instead of sang the rest of the song.

    "But there is room for- DOUBT."


  49. In my own humble (yet conceited) opinion, the ideal solution for casting a musical (be it on stage or on screen) is to cast performers who are good singers AND good actors. I'm not crazy about having 2 different voices for one character because I find the discontinuity jarring. With all the multi-talented people out there auditioning for roles, how hard could it be to find performers who can do both?

  50. I don't know how or why but I found that Emma Watsons voice sounded way better in the theater than on the recording! Maybe they brushed the cinematic audio a little more to soften the obvious auto tune use but I heard a clear distinction

  51. I agree with everything except I thought Dwayne did a great job singing, and Gerard was FANTASTIC as the Phantom—both singing and acting. SO much raw emotion, and a good movie portrayal of the character on screen versus the precision and perfection of the stage version of the character.

  52. Robin Williams as The Genie is my favorite example of good acting and emotion outweighing other shortcomings. Robin was by no means a singer, but the man crushed it as Genie because he had so much personality.
    That man's death was truly a terrible loss. Rest in peace, Robin Williams

  53. its all an illusion any way. man a lot of people need to hear that.

  54. I don't see why Russell Crowne is dubbed the worst singer except people say his voice is dry. His voice is amazing and epic to me.

  55. I think one of the best none dubbed actors singing in movies was Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash in Walk The Line

  56. I refuse, I always hear this stuff. But honestly i think Butler did good as Phantom, gave it more roughness and emotion. It suited the part in my mind.

  57. Don’t get me wrong, Gerard Butler made me cry too…

    From ultimate cringe.

  58. Me before playing video: I wonder how long it'll take for Doug to play the "And I'm Javert" clip
    Video: one minute and five seconds
    Me: OF COURSE!

  59. Critic: "Emma Watson portraying Kristen Stewart portraying Belle has to be difficult."
    No joke, Kristen Stewart was one of the actresses considered to play Belle in the LA "BATB".

  60. The scenes that you showed from Moana and Beauty and the Beast sounded ridiculously pitch corrected. I thought with Melodyne, Disney would be able to get seemless tuning but both the Rock and Emma Watson sound super artificial.

  61. I don't think it matters HOW the song is done as long as it's done good. I don't care if it's auto tuned. Messed with in the edit. Dubbed. Whatever makes it work. Do some songs Autotuned, do some normal voice. Do some dubbed all in the same movie for all I care. As you said. the meaning of film is ALL to do whatever it takes to make the best movie. As long as it's non-distinguishable then it should be done that way. WHATEVER it takes to make it work best. Though this is coming from a filmaker…. So my vision could be skewed.

  62. Dub them over with somebody with a better singing voice, then give them credit. Think of it as a stunt doube… Or don't, I like laughing at the bad stuff too.

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