entertainment

Pixar alters 'Inside Out' visuals for Japanese release, removing broccoli

21 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

If you’re an anime purist, you’ve probably watched at least one title with a localization choice that rubbed you the wrong way. Maybe you were irked by Sailor Moon’s Usagi being called “meatball head” on American TV instead of “dango/dumpling head.” More recently, you might have wondered why Doraemon’s central family ditched all their chopsticks and now eat their Japanese food with forks in their U.S. appearances.

But localization runs in the other direction, too, and it’s just come to light that Pixar has altered part of the artwork in several scenes of "Inside Out" solely for the film’s Japanese release this month.

Let’s try a little experiment. What comes to mind when you hear the word “rice omelet?” Before coming to Japan, I would have thought, “That sounds like about the cheapest, least satisfying meal you could make, and is surely something only eaten by the poorest or laziest college students.” In Japan, though, rice omelets (which are actually made from more than just rice and eggs) are a favorite of kids across the country, and often bring up happy memories of Mom’s delicious home-cooking. Ditto for curry, which for many in Japan is as evocative of their childhood home as it is of India.

In other words, culinary connotations differ between nations, and so Disney and Pixar were a little worried about all the scenes in "Inside Out" where its protagonist, 11-year-old Riley, is faced with the difficult challenge of having to eat a plate of broccoli. To just about any American moviegoer, “broccoli” is effective shorthand for “vegetable widely hated by kids,” but in Japan, the healthy foodstuff doesn’t really have that same image.

It’s not that Japanese kids are all about eating their vegetables, but rather that broccoli isn’t nearly as prevalent in home-made meals as it is in the U.S., and so it’s not a symbol of being pressured by your parents and having only limited control over your own life. So in order to get the same, instantly recognizable frame of reference for Japanese audiences, "Inside Out’s" producers looked into what Japanese kids do hate being served by their parents, and what they found was… green peppers, called "piman" in Japanese.

Pixar could have just switched every mention of “broccoli” in the dialogue to “piman” and called it a day, but instead, the studio went back and changed all images of the former to the latter. This was no minor task, given the number of scenes in which broccoli can be seen in the original version. Still, producers felt it was the right thing to do, and a Disney rep says the decision was made in order to help Japanese audiences better relate to and enjoy the film.

Like many films with kids in their target market, "Inside Out" is being theatrically released in Japan in both Japanese-dubbed and subtitled formats. The change from broccoli to peppers is only present in the dubbed version, which also contains altered signs, newspapers, and other bits of text where Japanese replaces English. The subtitled version’s visuals, meanwhile, are identical to the original version.

If you’re the suspicious type, you could argue that the discrepancies between the two versions are a savvy ploy designed to get fans to watch the movie twice, and thus buy two tickets, in order to get the complete experience. The switch to peppers does make sense from a storytelling standpoint, though, and even as it brushes aside a chance for Japanese audiences to learn a little bit about other cultures, it’s not hard to see why "Inside Out’s" producers went the way they did.

Now, if someone could explain whose idea it was to change the movie’s title to "Inside Head" in Japan.

Source: Cinema Today

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Freaky veggies trending in Japanese groceries, possible precursor to real-life “The Last of Us” -- Personified emotions from Pixar’s “Inside Out” get nifty kanji makeover in Japanese posters! -- The new seasonal menu at family restaurant chain Jonathan’s is curiously simple

© Japan Today

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21 Comments
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rather that broccoli isn’t nearly as prevalent in home-made meals as it is in the U.S

Casey, you do not know what you are talking about. Broccoli is very common and often appears on the table in Japan. It's just that most kids like it and it tastes good. A lot of vegetables in the U.S. are canned, such as brussel sprouts, spinach, etc. They taste like crap.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Do American kids really hate broccoli that much? I'm Australian and the equivalent there would have been brussel sprouts, a foul creation. Broccoli is one of my favourites.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

broccoli her tends to be canned a lot of the times. tho if you get fresh broccoli, it's not bad...mostly

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I read somewhere that broccoli loses half its nutrients by the time it hits the supermarket, and a quarter after cooking. So is it really that great unless you grow it yourself?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Loved broccoli as a kid in America. We never ate canned veggies like bicultural did, and I have to agree with dcog9065 that brussel sprouts are far more disgusting.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow ~ where do you live, Saul and bicultural? I agree with Michelle. I suppose it is a regional opinion. America is a huge nation and I am often surprised by what is "normal" in one section of the country! In Oregon, broccoli is grown fairly locally. I have never seen or even heard of canned broccoli. Most kids love it, calling it "little trees". What a shock to hear some people eat it from a can....sounds horrid! We love fresh broccoli!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

it's a national pasttime for kids in the US to hate broccoli. it's a learned behavior as much as anything else.

that and the fact that brocolli looks like miniature trees from a witch's forest. and who wants to eat THAT???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Broccoli's wonderful. If I were on death row, I'd want it for my last meal. With cauliflower and Italian dressing....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Love broccoli! Could just about replace the good old spud for me. Never seen it in a can, but then I've never looked for it in a can. Always have it fresh!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the Japanese go as nuts for this movie as they sadly did about Frozen I guess it's a sound business decision to tailor it a bit closer to the local (dis)tastes. :) Regarding the broccoli, there was a segment on tv during lunch now where they visited Pixar and an annoying girl asked them questions about the production. It turns out that broccoli pizza is served at Pixar's cafeteria. I seem to recall broccoli being an optional topping at pizza domino too though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bicultural: "Casey, you do not know what you are talking about. Broccoli is very common and often appears on the table in Japan. It's just that most kids like it and it tastes good. A lot of vegetables in the U.S. are canned, such as brussel sprouts, spinach, etc. They taste like crap."

And one could say you also don't know what YOU are talking about. Yes, they have canned vegetables at home that are often a cheap staple, but that's no different from the frozen vegetables you get here (or there). I know a LOT of people, especially these days, who can't afford to buy a head -- or rather, a QUARTER of what you might call a head in North America -- for 200 - 300 yen a pop. And kids would NEVER get 'a plate' of it, but rather maybe one or two florets, which they might cover in salad dressing.

I'd say piman is a pretty good choice as an equivalent, although I never hated broccoli nor knew too many, and kudos to Pixar for going above and beyond and changing all the scenes. One thing, though... I would think that brussel sprouts were the more hated vegetable way back when. Has that changed? And they are definitely healthy, and now I love them, but as a kid I didn't like the texture.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Lots of kids don't broccoli in Japan but it does lag behind capsicum and egg plant for sure

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've definitely never heard of canned broccoli and I'm from the American midwest. Maybe frozen broccoli but never canned. Even for me brussel sprouts would have been a better reference (though I love them now).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I love broccoli, but do hate green peppers! I am neither American nor Japanese though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Personally I like broccoli, though I'm Japanese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Since there's changes between the sub and dub videos, how's that gonna work when the Blu-ray disc is released?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So China isn't the only country where film-makers have to change the content of their films to cater it's market.......

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Surely sprouts would have been the 'one fits all' option, very few children around the world like sprouts. Hell, I know a ton of adults that won't touch them either, myself included.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is nothing worse than faddy eaters. Sure sign of someone who was not brought up properly.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh. My. God. When I was a kid I could've slept on a bed made of broccoli cause I loved it so much. But like any veggie or food, they got fans and haters. To each their own.

But I gotta pile on this canned broccoli comment, I mean where did you find this? Just google "canned broccoli" and you can't find anything made in the US. There's a Greek and an Italian company that makes canned broccoli. And if you're interested, the reason there really isn't canned broccoli because the canning process would be too hard on the broccoli and unable to keep it looking pretty.

Now frozen veggies, yeah, many countries do the frozen variety.

But back to broccoli, there are so many amazing recipes: just steam and serve! or a broccoli soup! or a broccoli and cashew salad or a casserole or quiche... Oh my mouth is watering!

Hip-hip-hooray for broccoli!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

George HW Bush hated broccoli.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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