It's my first post in this forum I've been regularly viewing since the beginning of season 16.
I wanted to participate as I feel that not enough french Simpsons fans are expressing themselves on this board! I think that here, in France - and more generally, in Europe - we can have a different point of view about the show, as its french version (french as in France; don't know much about the canadian version) is, IMHO, very special.
I don't know if some of you have already heard or seen an episode in French, but the voices are, IMHO again (and without any form of patriotism), almost as excellent as the american voices, sometimes even better (I sometimes see an episode in both French and American).
For your information, here is the french cast:
- Homer, Abraham, Otto: Philippe Peythieu
- Marge, Patty, Selma, Jacqueline Bouvier: Véronique Augereau (she's also Philippe Peythieu's wife in the real life, just like Marge & Homer)
- Bart, Jimbo: Joëlle Guigui
- Lisa, Milhouse: Aurélia Bruno
- Ned, Lovejoy, Apu, Barney, Smithers...: Patrick Guillemin from season 1 to season 9 (he dubbed many characters from the Looney Tunes, especially Sylvester & Daffy Duck), and Pierre Laurent starting from season 10
- Moe, Lenny, Willie...: Gilbert Levy
- Burns, Wiggum, Skinner, Dr. Hibbert, Krusty, Kent Brockman, Joe Quimby, Sideshow Bob, Sideshow Mel, Snake...: Michel Modo (he played in numberous movies with Louis de Funès, for those who know him)
At the beginning of the show, the actors weren't really at ease, and thus, their voices clearly evolved through the seasons, especially for Philippe Peythieu, which had a stronger and old-sounding voice for Homer in seasons 1 & 2; he starting playing with a funnier voice in season 3 to finally find the actual voice of Homer starting from season 4. About Véronique Augereau aka. Marge, she had a younger voice at the beginning, adopted a most distorted voice at the middle of the show, to finally find a good balance between a young and an altered voice starting from seasons 9/10, becoming far much closer than Julie Kavner's american voice, even better sometimes.
I think that I have some opinions about the show that many of you will not agree with, but I think I should write them:
- I do not really like seasons 1 & 2; not because they're older, but it's mainly because of the french dubbing issues I explained, and because I really discovered the show (eg. watching it on TV) in the late 90s. I can't appreciate those seasons as much as many of you do, that's why Bart is absolutely not my favourite character, and that's why I do not agree with those saying that "Bart Gets an F", "Bart Gets Hit By a Car" or "Bart the General" are the best episodes so far.
- If I really appreciate the original version of the show, I do not like at all the voices that are given to oldest characters; I absolutely don't like Burns' original voice (first time I heard it, I thought that I was hearing a young whispering man), I think that its french equivalent sounds much more old hellish; I don't like original Jasper's voice, and, IMO, Abraham's voice is far much better in French than in the original version, French version makes me laughing out loud every time I hear it; it's not the case with the american voice. Anyway, I love many of the other american voices, especially Homer (see below), Lisa (the French actress says herself that she's not at ease with singing; Yeardley Smith has a marvelous voice, especially when singing) and Bart (both French & American actresses do an excellent job since the beginning of the series).
- I think that French Homer is funnier in many situations; Dan Castellaneta and Philippe Peythieu are both doing a very good job (comparing their work starting from season 4) but, unlike many of you, jerkass Homer is VERY fun to hear in French. His expressions aren't the same, actually:
* he says "Aaaargh!" instead of "Waaaaaah!"
* he says "Yooohoooooo" instead of "Wohoo"
* he says "T'oh" instead of "D'oh" (actually, it's coming from a mistake; Philippe heard and tought that Homer was saying "T'oh" when he was first auditioning for the voice).
* he has some famous regular expressions here in France, like "Pinaise" (you can translate it as something lighter than "Damn"), "Bilibiothèque" instead of "Bibliothèque" (french word for "Library"), and so on.
- AND, unlike many (not to say *ALL*) of you, I do not hate "Kill The Alligator and Run" at all. I think that it's a fairly decent episode for a season 11 episode and I really don't see what is *really* wrong in that episode. To me, episodes like "New Kids on the Blecch" or "Saddlestore Galactica" are FAR MUCH awful than this one, which I would rate something between a B and a C-, but absolutely not with an F like many of you do.
- Anyway, I completely agree than seasons 11/12 are the worst ever (despite of many good episodes like "Brother's Little Helper", "E-I-E-I-(D'oh)", "Take my Wife, Sleaze", "The Mansion Family" (the best of season 11, IMO), "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses", and "Pygmoelian". And for season 12, there are very bad episodes but also very good ones, like "Scary Tales come True" from THOH XI, "Homer vs. Dignity", "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes", "Skinner's Sense of Snow", "Hungry Hungry Homer" (competing with TCWMS and "Trilogy of Error" for the best ep. of this season), "Simpsons Safari" (no, unlike many of you who rate this ep. a F, I REALLY like it), "Trilogy of Error" (best of season 12, IMO), and "Simpsons Tall Tales".
- And, because of what I've just explained before, I completely agree with this equation: S11 < S12 < S13 < S14 < S15 < S16. The show is progressively retrieving its quality from the golden era (starting for me with seasons 3-4), and I hope it'll continue in this way. I can't wait for S16 to be translated and aired in France.
As a final word, I would say that I was pleased to share with you a little part of the French version of the show, and I hope that I've encouraged you to discover it, because it's very good, without, again, being "patriotic". I will finish by saying that I might not be as active as most of you on this forum, because writing in English about the Simpsons is very hard for a French guy like me (I must carefully translate the episodes titles, and of course, English is not my native language).