The latest PP podcast, made me want to talk about localization in Cars 2, the film I know best. The sheer amount of writings in Cars 2 must have made it quite a thing to localize, as Laura Meyer confirmed.
On this subject, there is this video on Pixar's official website: http://www.pixar.com/features_films/CARS-2#Film-Trailers/Making Of/node/4076 (go to Making Of and choose C2:Translation) While it's centered on the voice dubbing of the international versions, there is a glimpse at the localization process with a few examples, and they even show Laura Meyer at work on Mater's letter!
The thing I find most fascinating though about the localization effort in Cars 2 is that, as you may know, they did something pretty extreme... You remember this scene, which is meant to be a cameo appearance of Lewis Hamilton and Jeff Gordon? Now while Hamilton is pretty well know worldwide, you can't say the same of Jeff Gordon... So:
Jeff Gorvette, voiced by Jeff Gordon - Original
Frosty, voiced by Mark Winterbottom - Australian dub
Sebastian Schnell, voiced by Sebastian Vettel - German dub
Fernando Alonso, voiced by… Fernando Alonso -Spain Spanish dub
Long Ge - Chinese dub
Vitaly Petrov voiced by himself - Russian dub
Memo Rojas voiced by himself - Latin American dub; image from disneyscreencaps.com
Flash, voiced Jan Nilsson - Swedish dub
Carla Veloso, voiced Claudia Leitte, in the Brazil Portuguese dub
Raoul ÇaRoule - (France) French dub…
In this one scene, the Pixar team actually replaced the US flag-bearing Jeff Gorvette for an all new car (well, with some exceptions) using Max Schnell's body! In most cases the character is also voiced by a personality better known than Jeff Gordon in that country.
They even did it again when the scene reappears in Mater's nightmare.
These images were all gathered thanks to some great contributors on Pixar Wiki. Most of these are official images that were made available, except for the Brazilian and Latino which are screenshots found on the web.
Do you know any others? For instance, I've always wondered if Shu Todoroki took the spot in the Japanese version...
Also, a note about the French version... That image of Raoul ÇaRoule is extremely rare. For some reason it seems (I can't know for sure) that it was not used in the final film? And if so, I'm really puzzled about where it could have been used, if anywhere? The only instance I know is mirrored here. Maybe can someone from France enlighten me?
Wow, this got unexpectedly long... Oh well, it's good for reference.