Imagine that when Homer opened his mouth in The Simpsons Movieand said "D'oh!", somebody other than Dan Castellaneta uttered that magical catchphrase. Or that someone other than Nancy Cartwright voiced Bart, or someone other than Yeardley Smith was Lisa, or some other scratchy-voiced actress tried to imitate Julie Kavner as Marge, or that Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria (combined, about a billion characters) were not involved. I would have stormed out of the theater! OK, I probably would have heard about it on the Internet first, but still ... it would be an outrage.

That's what's happened to loyal Japanese fans of The Simpsons. After watching the show on pay television since 1992 and becoming accustomed to hearing the same familiar Japanese voice cast, 20th Century Fox announced in September that in order to create "the ideal fun Japanese family," new, celebrity voice actors had been cast for The Simpsons Movie. Don Brown of Ryuganjicommented: "They've really f**ked up big time with this line-up." (Brown lives in Japan and blogs about Japanese film news that's not readily available in English.) As he pointed out, "You could probably argue that the fault for this lies with Hollywood itself, which has reduced most of its animated output to a glorified celebrity circle-jerk by employing well-known actors and personalities largely for the audience they bring rather than an ability to disappear into a role and merge with a character. The ultimately futile outcry over The Simpsons situation is a reminder that the exact same approach has also taken hold here in Japan."

He wasn't the only one disturbed by the decision. Local fans immediately began a campaign to reinstate the original voice cast and -- surprise! -- 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Japan recently announced the original cast would record a version for the DVD release in Japan. Brown says that if Japanese residents "just want to see it with English dialogue, rest assured that there will be subtitled prints as well as the dubious dubbed edition." The film opens in Japan on December 15. As for the US, the English-language DVD releases on December 18.