Why is a story about a Japanese boy who must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father voiced by white actors? Do animated films where the characters represent a PoC need to be voiced by someone of that represented race?
The answer should be an easy “yes” but we have seen time after time that Hollywood does not feel the need to honor that from Lilo & Stitch (2002) where title character Lilo is voiced by a white actress to Aladdin (1992) where the title character is voiced by a white actor.
The director of Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) feels that an actor’s vocal ability to have nuance and emotion is more important than their background. Audiences want familiarity so the trends we see in live action carry over onto animation and Asian-Americans are overlooked. https://www.buzzfeed.com/susancheng/kubo-and-the-two-strings?utm_term=.bkAzqgBgr#.weBOmEvEG
Kubo features a predominantly white cast: Charlize Theron, Art Parkingson, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and Matthew McConaughey. The excuses for well-known voices seem like just that- excuses. If no one introduces new vocals, how would an Asian actor ever make the rotation?
Blogger: Ruchi Fruitwala