Top 10 Animated Movie Characters That Were Changed In Other Countries



Top 10 Animated Movie Characters That Were Changed In Other Countries

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Can you spot the difference? For this list, we'll be looking at various animated film characters that were changed in some capacity to respect and honor another country's culture. Our countdown includes Sigourney Weaver, Mamá Coco, Jeff Gorvette, and more!
Script Written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 animated movie characters that were changed in other countries

A rose by any other name... Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 animated movie characters that were changed in other countries.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various animated film characters that were changed in some capacity to respect and honor another country’s culture.

#10: Doris

“Shrek 2” (2004)

You may remember Doris as the ugly stepsister and bartender from “Shrek 2.” Her manly voice is used as a punchline - only, this manly voice is provided by two different people. In the United States, Doris is voiced by talk show host Larry King, who is well-known for his distinctive baritone. In the United Kingdom, Doris is voiced by English talk show host Jonathan Ross. Believe it or not, this isn’t the only cultural difference found in the movie. In the American release, the red carpet host is Joan Rivers. In the UK, this host is voiced by Kate Thornton, who is known for presenting “The X Factor” and “This Morning.”

#9: Mamá Coco

“Coco” (2017)

“Coco” is a beautiful movie, and its title is for Mamá Coco, the ailing but kind-hearted great-grandmother of protagonist Miguel. And while “Coco” is a simplistic and catchy name, it needed to be changed in Brazil. There, “Coco” was released as “Viva! A Vida É Uma Festa!”, which roughly translates to “Cheers! (or Hurray!) Life Is a Party!” Noty exactly an elegant or simple title. That’s because “Coco” sounds a lot like the Portugese word “cocô,” which means “poop.” This means that Mama Coco’s name was also changed; to Ines. We can’t very well have a character named Mama Poop now, can we?

#8: Sigourney Weaver

“Finding Dory” (2016)

Sigourney Weaver doesn’t appear in “Finding Dory,” but her disembodied voice does! She initially welcomes the fish to the Marine Life Institute and becomes a bit of a recurring joke throughout the movie. But in international markets, the voice of Sigourney Weaver is perhaps less instantly recognizable. As such, this little cameo was localized in other countries. The intercom is voiced by no less than a dozen people throughout the world! These include a Mexican astronaut, a French journalist, a German world-class swimmer, a Swedish animal expert, and a Japanese singer. You have to respect the length that Pixar goes to!

#7: Jeff Gorvette

“Cars 2” (2011)

Jeff Gorvette has a brief speaking role in “Cars 2” and makes a cameo appearance in the third. His character name is an obvious play on Jeff Gordon, a famous American race car driver who also provided Gorvette’s voice. But, much like Sigourney Weaver, Gorvette was replaced with more appropriate localized drivers in the international versions. And it’s not just the voice that’s replaced, but the actual character for some scenes! Some of these racers include Fernando Alonso, Vitaly Petrov, Sebastian Vettel, and Laurent Larcher. This wasn’t the first time that the “Cars” series changed over localization purposes. In the first movie, Lightning’s agent Harv is voiced by Jeremy Piven in the American release and Jeremy Clarkson in the UK version.

#6: Bomb Voyage

“The Incredibles” (2004)

Bomb Voyage is a French villain seen at the very beginning of the first “Incredibles” movie. Buddy accidentally distracts Mr. Incredible from fighting him, and he later makes a great escape by planting a bomb on Buddy’s cape. His name is a fairly obvious pun on the French phrase “bon voyage.” But ironically, his name was changed in the French release of the film. In the French dub, Bomb Voyage is named “Folamour,” which translates to “Strangelove.” This is because the second b in “bomb” is not silent in French, resulting in a name that is both harder to pronounce and not quite as “punny.”

#5: Moana

“Moana” (2016)

Throughout much of Europe, the character Moana was renamed Vaiana due to a copyright issue; the name “Moana” is a registered trademark in a number of countries, including Poland and Spain. As such, the title of the movie was also changed to “Vaiana” in these markets. But Italy has a far more hilarious reason for changing Moana’s name. In Italy, the movie was released as “Oceania” to allegedly avoid confusion with an late Italian adult film star named Moana Pozzi, who often went simply by Moana. While Disney stayed quiet on the subject, the film’s directors reportedly confirmed that the name was changed due to Pozzi. We guess Disney didn’t want Italian children Googling “Moana” and finding… that.

#4: The Hockey Players

“Inside Out” (2015)

Believe it or not, the sport going on inside Riley’s father’s head changes depending on the locality. In the American version, her father is thinking about hockey. This makes sense, considering he’s from snowy Minnesota. But in other versions, her father is actually thinking about football, or soccer if you prefer that name. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. According to director Pete Docter, they made this change to reflect football’s popularity in non-American countries. However, he also admits that some football-heavy countries didn’t take kindly to this change, as they believed that hockey made more sense within the context of the character and the narrative.

#3: Rochelle

“Planes” (2013)

We know Rochelle as the pink and white airplane from Quebec. As you can probably imagine, her nationality and paint job were changed in international versions to more accurately reflect a given country’s heritage and personality. In Brazil, she is blue, green, white, and yellow and named Carolina. In Germany, she is black, white, yellow, and red and named Heidi. In Italy, she is green, white, and red and named Azzurra. And in Russia, she is white, blue, and red and named Tanya. And while she retains the name Rochelle in the Australian release, she was repainted red, green, yellow, black, and white.

#2: Minty Zaki

“Wreck-It Ralph” (2012)

Sugar Rush’s Minty Zaki is named after the esteemed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli and director of the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away” (among many other movies). Some countries have done their own twist on the Minty Zaki pun, including the Brazilian Portugese Menta Zaki and the Romanian Mentolata Zaki, whereas other countries dropped the Miyazaki nod in favor of more straightforward mint-related name puns. These include the Dutch Minti Snoepie, the Finnish Minttu Pastillii, and the Icelandic Minta Pilla. And then there’s Poland and France, who broke with tradition and named her Bato Nugat and Suzette Alanis, respectively. Her French name comes from “sucette,” the French word for “lollipop,” while the Polish one comes from “nougat.”

#1: The News Anchors

“Zootopia” (2016)

One of the funniest gags in “Zootopia” is the Zootopia News Network, which features news anchors with punny names. In the US, Canada, Germany, and France, the anchor alongside Fabienne Growley is Peter Moosebridge, a play on news anchor Peter Mansbridge. He is still a moose in the UK version but is named Moosos Alexander, who takes his name after Vassos Alexander. However, this anchor is totally different in other countries. In Australia, he is David Koalabell. In Japan, he is Michael Tanuyama. And in Brazil he is a jaguar named Onçardo Boi Chá, a play on Ricardo Boechat. That’s the best one. Aside from Peter Moosebridge, of course.