This descriptive chart and commentary are offered as an appendix to the article published in 2019 by Alderete Diez, Pilar & Harrington Fernández, Owen (2019). ‘Shortsighted translations: Censorship in the three Manolito Gafotas books translated into American English’ In Elvira Cámara Aguilera (Ed.), Traducciones, adaptaciones y doble destinatario en literatura infantil y juvenil. London: Peter Lang. In this appendix, we offer some examples of the subtitling and dubbing practices in the two films produced on the Manolito Gafotas series, as a point of comparison with the censoring editorial practices exhibited in the English textual translations and exposed in an article by Carolina Travalia[1]. It is important to highlight the contradicting norms between textual translation practices – or even creative textual practice – and audiovisual translation (both dubbing and subtitling) in children’s literature/fiction or transmedia products created for children and young adults. Textual practices as observed above and classified by Emer O’Sullivan (2005) lean towards a much more conservative approach to children and young adults fostering monocultural globalized approaches to identity and culture. This appendix adds descriptive data to this norm proving that in the Manolito Gafotas series adds to the proof of this contradictory translation practice.

For this appendix, we will just focus on the two film adaptations of the series, because the TV Series, broadcasted by Antena 3 from 2004, does not have English subtitles or dubbing now. The two existing films, Manolito Gafotas was produced by Miguel Albaladejo in 1999 y ¡Mola ser jefe!, the second one, was produced by Joan Potauen in 2001. The book series has been translated to more than twenty languages, but as our article above proves it has suffered censorship and editing outside the Spanish-speaking world. Ortiz (2013) comments on the paradox that some countries that promote this surveillance of children’s products would, for instance, not supervise the sale of firearms. As we explained in the article above, all examples of physical violence were attenuated with a consistent political and moral correction to the point of omission of illustration depicting naked women on a painting in the Prado Museum.

The first film premiered on the 25th of June 1999. The adaptation was economically motivated by the success that Manolito had had on the radio, and as a literary text so far. It managed to stay on the cinemas for 31 weeks and made 2.5 million euro in the next two years (Lindo, 2000: 25). Filmax, the producer, recruited Elvira Lindo as a script writer and they let her choose the director she prefers for this endeavour. Miguel Albaladejo, Lindo has commented that at that moment her little character wanted to be a film star and she felt compelled to look after him, because everybody knows what happens to child film stars, they can derail, and that is why she chose the best foster parent, Miguel Albaladejo. She said that she was very certain that she was going to treat Manolito with the same respect she had for him, and that she wished the force to be with him and for Spanish kid to finally have the film hero they deserve (Lindo, 2000: 8).

As Elvira Lindo affirmed in the interview for García Mérida’s thesis, she regretted selling Manolito’s rights to Filmax, after their decision to produce a second film two years later, without the author’s blessing with Joan Potau and the script was written by Lola Salvador (101). Once again, the film is motivated by marketing motives and premieres on the 22nd of June 2011. This second film departed from the approach of the first film, and Elvira did not have the same input, but we wanted to offer the following examples in contrast with examples from the texts to highlight the different approaches promoted for translators through editors and textual/audiovisual producers when they render the Spanish versions into English, in this specific case, into American English. The author’s input for our purposes is not as relevant as the development of Manolito Gafotas’s identity and the depiction of his relationships with other characters – and the identity of these characters that he relates to.

[1] Travalia, C. (2019). Un Manolito Gafotas modélico: la purificación y corrección en la traducción al inglés de la serie española. Meta, 64(2), 393–417.


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AVT in the English versions of the Manolito Gafotas Films Copyright © 2023 by Pilar Alderete Diez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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