A trip down the memory lane with Grendizer

there's this kiosk at discovery mall dedicated to grendizer collectibles - looking at it brought back so many memories in a flash of a second! for most of you, grendizer is a cartoon, a fantastic song, a hero, villains and what have you, but for me it's all that and a bit more...

back in the 70's, my aunt had a production house in beirut and in addition to producing tv commercials, they used to have a dubbing studio which basically bought the distribution rights of so many cartoons like sindbad, the smurfs, boul & bill and of course grendizer! later on they started the mexican dubbing trend with "anta aw la ahad" and the whole series that followed..

back to grendizer, when i was a child i used to visit my aunt's studio very often and watch the making of the cartoons, which made me very popular at school as i used to know before everyone else what's coming next, in addition to having merchandizing freebees from my aunt to brag about :)

i used to read the scripts and see them come to live with the fantastic talents, watching them from behind the glass as they acted the scenes - wahid jalal did grendizer's voice, as for the rest i can't even remember their names.

after dubbing comes the editing, this is where the voice is basically laid on the characters visuals, fixing the "lipsing" was quite a hassle, arabic and japanese are drastically different - sometimes they used to change some words so the voice and image get in sync.

with the smurfs my experience was even better as i also helped translating some scripts from english to arabic - i did a few episodes, can't even remember which ones, but it was so much fun going through the process from translating to seeing the final product.

grendizer brings so many good childhood memories, i love the series and every time i see the characters or even hear the song i feel like a child again.

apologies for the quality of the pictures, zdistrict has better ones that you can check here - there's also a grendizer website museum in the uk that you can check here.

    4 Responses to “A trip down the memory lane with Grendizer”

    1. Danderma says:

      I read this post while singing "3alli 3alli ba6ala fleet… "

      God you were so LUCKY!!! I wish you were a blogger back then so I'd ask for a tour :p

      I love the old school dubbing, I enjoyed listening to the beautiful Arabic being spoken to us. I learned Arabic properly from my watching cartoons! You must hear some of the horribly dubbed cartoons of this day and time! Some even speak the local dialect and change the names to something local and horrid!

      Now given that you were an insider, do you know who renames the characters? And whether or not the decision to cut out some "inappropriate" episodes was done pre-dubbing? If not, then those episodes are somewhere with someone waiting to be unearthed :D

    2. 965malls says:

      Hi danderma – great feedback! Let me start from the end, the character names are chosen by the studio and they are either a direct translation of the foreign name, or a creation based on the character – the translators used to help, and my aunt used to put the names, I had the chance to attend a few brainstorming sessions – I forgot to mention “Zeina & Nahhoul”, in this cartoon the names were chosen depending on the character – as for the “inappropriate” episodes, censorship used to happen before dubbing, at the script translation level.

      Totally agree with you on today’s dubbing quality, the problem is people today don’t realize that dubbing should be done by professional actors – look at Disney cartoons, they are all done by famous actors, this is not by mistake, voice is also an act, when you act your voice you create a character – somewhere somehow the industry got lost and today very few good actors are into dubbing.

    3. Marzouq says:

      Those were the days! We were on top of the game and were ahead of everyone with these shows, they really worked hard to get cool, fun, and quality shows. Grandizer is just something else, seriously an amazing show! And the store really brought back memories! Loved the things they had and the guys were really nice guys too!

    4. 965malls says:

      absolutely – it has become like a cult, they should have a club just like hogs

    Leave a Reply