El Buzz

All this talk about Yoda’s syntax raises another interesting cross-language movie question – or at least I think it’s interesting: in Toy Story 3, when Buzz Lightyear accidentally gets put into “Spanish mode” by the other toys, what language does he speak in the Spanish language version of the film?

Compared with the variety of methods used to set Yoda’s speech aside from that of others in the international Star Wars dubs, this Toy Story linguistic conundrum is a little more mundane – Buzz still speaks Spanish.

In the Spanish version made for Mexico, the rest of the characters speak the kind of contemporary Spanish that you would likely hear in Mexico, but Spanish Buzz speaks in a thick and flamboyant Castillan accent – the kind of Spanish accent used by old men in Spain and characters in bullfighter movies of old.

In the Spanish version made for Spain, Buzz speaks in a thick Analusian accent – used by people living in southern Spain, different from standard Castellano Spanish.

While most Spanish speakers would still be able to comprehend what Buzz is saying, the difference in speech would certainly be noticed, and so it has pretty much the same result in terms of the scene. However, some of the exaggerated “Spanish” mannerisms (such as Buzz greeting Woody by kissing him on both cheeks) may not work quite so well. It makes a slightly different gag – that resetting Buzz has not resulted in him speaking an entirely different language, but a different dialect of the same language.

This video shows the main “Spanish Buzz” scene from all three versions – the USA version, the Latin America version, and the Spain version.

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