“Celebrity dubbing” controversy emerged after NewJeans Danielle becomes voice actress for “The Little Mermaid” Ariel

As the Korean dubbing casting lineup for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was revealed, the “celebrity dubbing” controversy reemerged. 

On May 2nd, Disney Korea announced on its official SNS that they had selected Jung Sang Hoon and Jung Young Joo as Korean dubbing artists for the characters Sebastian and Ursula, respectively, in the upcoming movie “The Little Mermaid”. In the meantime, they also revealed the silhouette of the person who will be in charge of Ariel in the Korean dubbed version, asking viewers to guess.


Based on an animation of the same name, “The Little Mermaid” is a live-action movie that depicts the adventure of the little mermaid Ariel, who dreams of the world beyond the sea, as she saves Prince Eric and moves towards the human world that she was not allowed to discover.

Netizens quickly found out the identity of Ariel’s dubbing artist based on the silhouette hint. She is Danielle of the popular idol group NewJeans, which rose to stardom as soon as they debuted last year. However, upon this revelation, the public showed a rather cold reaction. This is because many movies have been ruined as dubbing was entrusted to unqualified entertainers such as actors, singers, and comedians, instead of professional voice actors.

The Little Mermaid

Danille’s Korean pronunciation is awkward because she lived in Australia during her childhood. Moreover, the upcoming “The Little Mermaid” is a musical film that requires not only acting but also singing. This is why netizens are raising more concerns.

In this regard, a post about the controversy over the Korean dubbing of the Japanese animation film “Your Name”, released in Korea in 2017, was brought up on the same day and drew attention to various Korean online communities, such as theqoo.

At the time, Media Castle, the distributor of “Your Name”, cast actors, such as Ji Chang Wook for the role of Taki and Kim So Hyun for the role of Mitsuha, instead of professional voice actors. Anime and voice actor fans objected to this, but the recording continued to be pushed ahead in the end.

As a result, the Korean dubbed version of “My Name” received poor reviews. Movie fans poured criticism, stating that the actors’ voice tones did not match the characters.

In 2020, Media Castle announced that they would release a redubbed version with professional voice actors. Three years later, they released the main trailer for the redubbed version of “Your Name” on April 25th. Famous voice actors such as Lee Kyung Tae and Kim Ga Ryeong participated in the recording of this redubbed movie, which is scheduled to air this month.

Source: Wikitree

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