Dubbing is the common film/TV term for the post-production replacement of one person's voice with another. The recording process is also called ADR (automated dialogue replacement) and can often be done by the original actors for better sound quality or because of dialogue changes. The term ADR is also often applied to crowd scenes or atmospheric dialogue (like PAs or phone voices) and is synonymous with looping (since shorter dialogue bits come in loops). Any substantial replacement by a different actor always counts as dubbing (including from one language to another).
The practice was extremely common in film musicals as late as the 1970s (and more sporadically thereafter), with most actors having a different singing voice. Dubbing often occurs when the on-camera performer is cast for reasons of physical appearance or special skills (stunts or dance, for example), in addition to reasons of spoken language, accent, diction, health issues affecting the voice, or simply wanting a different sound for the character.
The process has been used several times in Muppet projects (usually with celebrities or for the aforementioned singing vocals) and even more frequently for most Creatures. While on-screen actors are more occasionally dubbed in Muppet/Creature Shop projects, there have been several instances over the years (sometimes by the usual Muppet performers).
Dubbed actors in Muppet/Henson projects
- Hey Cinderella!: Cinderella (Belinda Montgomery) is dubbed by Carolann Griffin when singing "If I Could Go Dancing."
- Sesame Street
- "Numerosity": The baker is played by stuntman Alex Stevens, but his voice is dubbed by Jim Henson.
- Linda (Linda Bove), while signing her dialogue in thought balloons, has an internal voice-over dubbed by Ivy Austin (singing part of "Wedding Pictures" in Episode 2485, and in Episode 3059).
- A session singer provides the singing voice for Uncle Wally in Episode 2578 (one of four, the others dubbing the Muppet horses who form the Kentucky Derbies).
- The Great Muppet Caper: Miss Piggy makes a point of telling Nicky Holiday (Charles Grodin) that his singing voice in "Piggy's Fantasy" was dubbed ("You can't even sing!").
- Big Bird in China:
- Lighthouse Island: A tavern patron (played by Bruce Armstrong, named in the credits as Carl) is dubbed by Jerry Nelson.
- The StoryTeller: Greek Myths:
- Muppet Treasure Island:
- Muppets Tonight:
- The Muppets:
- Hobo Joe (Zach Galifianakis) is dubbed for his one singing verse by Joanna Newsom.
- The singing of Human Walter (Jim Parsons) is dubbed by the voice of regular Walter, Peter Linz.
- Linz also dubbed one of the Smalltown residents, a hippie (actor uncredited), for his contribution to "Life's a Happy Song."
- Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration:
- Sesamstrasse, in addition to dubbing the original Sesame Street footage into German, sometimes dubbed dialogue for non-German actors (as in the "Verkehrswestern" segments) or singing (several inserts with Peter Bauer redubbed by Christoph Busse).
- Muppet Babies dubbed many of the film clips, especially of older films or when new dialogue was added (most often, Frank Welker doing an impersonation of celebrities like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Darth Vader).
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, in addition to the turtles themselves and other Creatures, dubbed two of the principal actors: Shredder (played by a different actor in each film, with mouth movements and face mostly hidden behind a mask) is dubbed by David McCharen, while Michael McConnohie dubs actor/martial artist Toshishiro Obata as Tatsu.
- The Polar Bear King, since it was a Norwegian film, was dubbed entirely for English language release (all voice actors uncredited).
- Babe, in addition to necessary dubbing of the talking animals, dubbed many of the supporting actors (played by Australian or New Zealand performers) with Los Angeles voice actors. Among other instances, Mrs. Hoggett's friend Valda (Mary Acres) is voiced by Doris "Lunchlady Doris" Grau of The Simpsons, while the judge played by Marshall Napier is dubbed by He-Man voice John Erwin.