With many international releases, the names of films can sometimes be vastly different from the original. The changes are made for a variety of reasons due to language, culture, or style. This begs the question: How much of an impact do these title changes make on the people who see them?
Just for fun, we took 19 movies from other countries that have had their names changed for Japanese audiences, translated them back to English and put them in their original posters.
So join us for such gems as Academy Award-nominated "Nairobi Bees," "Love is Deja Vu" with Bill Murray, and cult classic "Captain Supermarket." What, never heard of them!? Posters follow at the end of the story.
Sometimes the names are changed to be more detailed than the originals. Apparently simple titles like "Frozen" or "Despicable Me" raise concerns with filmmakers that potential moviegoers in Japan won’t get hooked. Sometimes it’s helpful to let people know that "Frozen," for example, was largely influenced by Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Snow Queen."
In the case of other animated works, giving a little more of the plot was in order. After all, titles like “Despicable Me” don’t really tell audiences an awful lot…
怪盗グルーの月泥棒 (Despicable Me)
マルコヴィッチの穴 (Being John Malkovich)
As you can see, when doing this the titles can get rather lengthy. But that doesn’t stop those in charge from adding in as many extra details as possible. Check out these wonderfully verbose efforts.
素敵な相棒 フランクじいさんとロボットヘルパー (Robot & Frank)
It’s almost as if some movie posters had left the extra negative space ready for just such an occasion.
世界で一番パパが好き! (Jersey Girl)
Of all these, "The Butler" got the rawest deal. As if poor Cecil hadn’t had a rough enough life, now the Japanese title makes him out to be some kind of cry baby.
大統領の執事の涙 (The Butler)
And then there’s the title for the cult classic "Army of Darkness" which has quite a couple flaws. For starters, this title gives away the funny little surprise twist at the end of the movie. Also, I don’t think S Mart was a supermarket per se considering he bought his boomstick there.
キャプテン・スーパーマーケット (Army of Darkness)
However, the awesome Japanese poster more than makes up for this. The cans of Bruce Campbell Soup that Ash is standing on are a particularly nice touch.
The rest of the "Evil Dead" series is given an arguably better title in Japanese.
死霊のはらわたII (Evil Dead II)
Speaking of title improvements -- "Apocalypse Now." Supposedly inspired from a hippie button that read “Nirvana Now,” it sounds clunky and dated these days. Apparently someone connected to the Japanese release agreed, but what is this title supposed to mean?. Is it supposed to be the apocalypse made by hell or the apocalypse in hell?
地獄の黙示録 (Apocalypse Now)
The first Final Destination movie in Japan kept the same title as its Western release, but for the many sequels to follow someone involved realized there were no more planes in the sequels and thus changed the name accordingly: by naming the main thing the staring teens avoided dying in with the prefix “dead.” A simple, yet surprisingly effective formula.
ファイナル・デッドコースター (Final Destination 3)
Perhaps the worst title of all is "The Constant Gardener." The name probably has some significance, but from a marketing standpoint it hardly hooks the casual movie-goer into checking it out. The Japanese title however, promises much more in the way of thrills and danger.
ナイロビの蜂 (The Constant Gardener)
Probably the most popular reason to change a movie title is because of linguistic and cultural differences. Something that can be summed up in a few words like an English or Chinese idiom would take a lot more explaining in another language. Probably best to just flat out change it in that case…
最高の人生の見つけ方 (The Bucket List)
グリーン・デスティニー (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
ショーシャンクの空に (The Shawshank Redemption)
恋はデジャ・ブ (Groundhog Day)
There’s no Miss Congeniality in Japanese beauty pageants, otherwise they wouldn’t have changed it to "Dangerous Beauty." Oddly enough, "Dangerous Beauty" is also the name of a period drama that came out a couple years before the Sandra Bullock film. The name just happened to be free because the name "Dangerous Beauty" in Japan was changed to "Courtesan Veronica" (娼婦ベロニカ).
デンジャラス・ビューティー (Miss Congeniality)
Finally, we’ll leave you with this… for which we have no explanation. However, it appears it took the combined acting talents of George Clooney and Jeff Bridges to pull off the challenging role of “A Wall.”
ヤギと男と男と壁と (The Men Who Stare at Goats)
Read more stories from Rocket News24. -- There’s an App for That (and That and That and That…) -- Ladies Beware! 9 Things Men Don’t Want to Find in a Girl’s Room -- Why doesn’t Japan hate America for dropping the A-bombs?© RocketNews24