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Akira Toriyama with his pet cat, Koge (1987)

The AB Groupe dub was an English dub of films from the Dragon Ball franchise produced by the French company AB Groupe. It is colloquially referred to as the Big Green dub due to Piccolo being renamed "Big Green". The dub is also known as the Toonami UK dub and Bridge Entertainment dub.

History

From 2000 to 2003, AB Groupe commissioned alternate English dubs of the Dragon Ball franchise for distribution in the UK and Netherlands through Cartoon Network. These dubs notably featured voices from Canadian dubbing studios Ocean Productions and later, Blue Water, which would also later be broadcast on Canadian television by way of YTV. However, AB had already begun producing English dubs of the films and TV specials, these were first released on home video in the Netherlands using Bridge Entertainment Group as the distributor. Here they released nine of the thirteen Dragon Ball Z movies and both TV specials on DVD. The UK would also see DVDs and VHS tapes of this dub being distributed in 2003 through Warner Vision International. However, only the movies Super Battle in the World, The Strongest Guy in the World and Super Saiyan, Goku were distributed before being discontinued.

These AB Groupe dubs of the films and TV specials were notable for being recorded in France using English speaking actors. It is not known why AB did not also commission the same Canadian studios to dub the movies as they did with the series, however, based on the Bridge Entertainment release dates, it can be speculated that the French production either started at an earlier point or at roughly the same time as the Canadian production.

This dub used the French dub audio tracks and video masters, and adapted their scripts from the French translations. The AB Groupe dub is notorious for having poor voice acting, presumably due to poor or rushed voice direction and scripts, as well as potentially the French Rythmo Band technique being commonplace for dubbing in France. There is also unusual character nomenclature as a result of using the French dub names. For example, as in the French dub, Krillin is named "Clearin", Bulma is named "Blooma", the Saiyans are called "Space Warriors" and Super Saiyans are called "Super Warriors". Most notably, this dub also refers to Piccolo as "Big Green", which is where the infamous nickname for the dub first originated.

These versions of the movies and TV specials were eventually all broadcast on Toonami UK for a marathon in 2005.[1][2][3] The Legend of Shenron, Sleeping Beauty in Devil Castle, The Great Mystical Adventure, the first nine Dragon Ball Z movies, the two Dragon Ball Z TV specials, and Four-Star Dragonball is the Proof of Courage all featured this particular cast.

YTV did not broadcast the AB produced movie dubs in the same way that they did for the Canadian series dubs. While there is speculation that this was because YTV adhered to a Canadian content broadcasting rule, this is disputed due to the channel also broadcasting non Canadian programming in addition to a substantial amount of Funimation's Texas produced Dragon Ball Z dub. It is instead more likely that AB simply did not have any distribution outlet in North America and that Ocean Productions handled distribution directly to YTV instead, hence their company logo being featured at the end of the YTV broadcasts.

This dub has been translated and used in Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.

Films/Specials

Dragon Ball Z

AB Groupe's English dub of the Dragon Ball Z films/specials was labeled out of order on DVD and VHS in the Netherlands. Some of the titles were changed, but most based on Toei's original English titles for each movie.[4]

  1. Super Battle in the World (Movie 3)
  2. The Strongest Guy in the World (Movie 2)
  3. Super Saiyan, Goku (Movie 4)
  4. Super Rivals (Movie 5)
  5. Fight! 10 Billion Power Warriors (Movie 6)
  6. Super Battle of the Three Super Saiyans (Movie 7)
  7. The Burning Battles (Movie 8)
  8. Super Guy in the Galaxy (Movie 9)
  9. The Father of Goku (Special 1)
  10. Gohan and Trunks (Special 2)
  11. In Pursuit of Garlic (Movie 1)

Dragon Ball

  1. The Legend of Shenron
  2. Sleeping Beauty in Devil Castle
  3. The Great Mystical Adventure

Dragon Ball GT

  1. Four-Star Dragonball is the Proof of Courage[5]

Cast

The names of the cast used in this dub has never been disclosed, although it has long been believed that the cast consisted of American and British actors living in France. Some fans have also speculated that members of the cast may have appeared in the animated series Code Lyoko.

In 2015, actress Sharon Mann was confirmed as the voice of Krillin in this dub[6] as well as other characters, including some adult male characters (e.g. Vegeta's adult form in The Father of Goku sounds the same as his child form).

Other voice actors such as Jodie Forrest, David Gasman, Doug Rand and Paul Bandey are also now strongly believed to have appeared in this dub (although they have not been officially confirmed yet). Before he was identified, many people referred to Paul Bandey as the "Old Bastard" (and many still do) due to him sounding quite old and poorly voicing a large number of characters. It was recently revealed that Ed Marcus was also involved in this dub, having voiced some roles that were originally claimed to be performed by Bandey. Some fans have even joked to have found that there was a second "Old Bastard".

Even before information for identifying the voice actors started to be determined, Forrest had confirmed her involvement in this dub in a Code Lyoko-themed forum. She said that she had performed the voice of young Gohan.[7]

Gallery

Trivia

  • The original Japanese soundtrack by Shunsuke Kikuchi was retained, although the Japanese opening "Cha-La Head-Cha-La" and Japanese insert songs were occasionally replaced with instrumental mixes.
  • AB Groupe's previous English dub done with Ocean often avoided words such as "kill" (presumably due to pressure from broadcasters Toonami UK and YTV). However, such terms are used freely in this dub, despite the fact it was also aired on Toonami UK.
  • In the Big Green dub of Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks, the narrator says that all the Z-Fighters except Piccolo survived the Androids' attack, despite the fact that they are clearly shown being killed on-screen.
  • Despite Super Saiyan being called "Super Warriors" in the dub, the fourth movie was titled Super Saiyan, Goku and the seventh movie was called Super Battle of the Three Super Saiyans, respectively.
  • The ending credits at the end of the Big Green dub of Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone still shows the voice actors and crew from the Ocean/Pioneer dub.
    • Similarily, the Big Green dub of History of Trunks (known as Gohan and Trunks), the French title of the special (L'Histoire de Trunks) was kept for some reason.

See also

References

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