September 6 2006
SOS Dubbing of Astrid Lindgren's "The Children of Noisy Village"
06/09/2006 - What would Brita, Lasse and Olle from "Noisy Village" sound like in Estonian? Achieving the correct tone and conveying different moods with the voice: this was what three children from SOS Children's Village Keila in Estonia learnt to do during their time in a sound studio. Their voices will be used to dub the three main characters in the film "The Children of Noisy Village" into Estonian.
"The Children of Noisy Village" was thirteen-year-old Merilin's favourite Astrid Lindgren story. Merilin, who lives in SOS Children's Village Keila in Estonia, is not alone in her enthusiasm for the wonderful work of the Swedish children's author. Translated into more than 70 languages, imaginative and happy stories such as those about Pippi Longstocking, "Karlsson on the Roof", "Emil of Maple Hills", "The Brothers Lionheart" and "Ronia the Robber's Daughter" have stolen the hearts of children across the world.
"Laughing was the hardest part. I wouldn't have thought that it would be so hard to laugh in a way that it sounds natural", said Merilin, speaking of her time in the sound studio. And there is a lot to laugh about in "Noisy Village", the small village with three farms, such as when the boys boast about how daring they are or when the cunning girls hatch a new plan.
Merilin, eleven-year-old Tanel and seven-year-old Mari spent two weeks in the sound studio learning how to convey the cheerful stories from the Swedish village idyll in the correct tone, with the right pitch of voice and expressiveness. They went over the same sentences time and time again. There were days when it was 40°C in the studio, so they needed a great deal of discipline and patience to concentrate on work for seven to eight hours a day.
Sound engineer Katrin Kuusik is very happy with the children from the SOS Children's Village whose voices were used for the Estonian version. She normally works with children who already have experience in dubbing films. "You have to be very clever to do this work. You need patience and talent. I was able to completely rely on them even though they were new to the work. All three of them performed very well."
There will be a strong media presence at the premiere of the Estonian version of "The Children of Noisy Village", because only a handful of films are translated into Estonian. Mari and Merilin were even invited to appear on a national television show to talk about their experiences in the sound studio. The three young people are naturally proud of what they have done. All three can hardly wait for the premiere, when they will see the results of their work in the cinema. "I am even listed as an actress in the credits", says Merilin happily. And since the sequel to the film is due to be dubbed soon, they will then be able to demonstrate their skills once again.
A winner of many international awards, four years after her death, Astrid Lindgren is still the most well-known children's authors in the world. Next year, SOS Children's Villages Sweden will start a campaign with Astrid Lindgren's family to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth, which will see the construction of an "Astrid Lindgren SOS Children's Village" in Africa.