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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Voice actors, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 6 of 6
1. 13 Animation Directors You Might Not Have Known Also Voiced Characters

Whether it be for lack of budget or a desire to take center stage, series creators lending their own voices to their animated television shows has always been fairly commonplace – Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill), John Kricfalusi (Ren and Stimpy), Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) immediately spring to mind. However, in recent years, more and more feature directors have started getting in on the trend. From throwaway one-liners to continuous roles throughout entire franchises, here is a list of some animation directors and the characters they brought to life in their own films.

1. Eric Goldberg

As the animation director for Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), Goldberg not only supervised the animation of the WB’s classic characters but he voiced some of them as well. Goldberg recorded the dialogue of Marvin the Martian, Tweety Bird and Speedy Gonzalez.

2. Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

The distinctive sputters, spurts and high-speed mutterings of The Minions in Despicable Me (2010) and Despicable Me 2 (2013) belong to the films’ co-directors Pierre Coffin (above left) and Chris Renaud. And as the character’s popularity grows, so does their vocal commitment, as the two will reprise their roles in next year’s prequel Minions.

3. Ralph Bakshi

In his debut film Fritz the Cat (1972), director Ralph Bakshi voiced one of the boorish antagonist Pig Cops, who is also referred to as “Ralph” multiple times in his scenes.

4. Brad Bird

Agnes Gooch, Edith Head, Patricia Highsmith, Linda Hunt – when it comes to figuring out who inspired the character of Edna Mode, people love to toss out many names, but in the end, the cutthroat designer of superhero fashion was brought to life by The Incredibles (2004) director Brad Bird.

5. Rich Moore

Rich Moore, director of Wreck-It Ralph (2012) provided the dreary monotone of acidic jawbreaker Sour Bill, the henchman to the bombastic King Candy.

6. Richard Williams

Even to this day, the toon celebrity cameos in Who Framed Roger Rabbit(1988) remain some of the best nods to the golden age of cartoons, especially that of Droopy Dog, who gets his opportunity to best Eddie Valiant with some traditional ‘toon high-jinks as a tricky elevator operator, sluggishly voiced by the film’s animation director Richard Williams.

7. Chris Wedge

What began as the high-strung snivels and snarls of Scrat in Ice Age (2002) has become a second career for director Chris Wedge who has gone on to vocally personify the prehistoric rodent in 3 sequels, 6 short films, 2 video games and in a walk-on role in an episode of Family Guy.

8. Chris Miller

Royal messengers, tower guards, army commanders, friars and penguins, story artist Chris Miller has lent his voice-over skills to numerous animated films, most notably his returning roles as Geppetto and The Magic Mirror in the Shrek franchise, including Shrek the Third (2007), which he co-directed.

9. Mark Dindal

The often ignored and underrated animated film Cats Don’t Dance (1997) features some beautiful hand-drawn work and stellar vocal performances, including that of director Mark Dindal as the tight-lipped bodyguard/butler Max.

10. Joe Ranft

Pixar story artist, the late Joe Ranft, brought a handful of memorable animated characters to life, including Heimlich (A Bug’s Life), Wheezy the Penguin (Toy Story 2) and Jacques the Cleaner Shrimp (Finding Nemo). But it was in Cars (2006), which he co-directed, that he voiced three characters including the semi-truck Jerry Recycled Batteries.

11. Chris Sanders

In Lilo & Stitch (2002) co-director Chris Sanders takes on the nuanced role of Alien Experiment 626, aka “Stitch,” who escapes from an intergalactic prison only to find himself trapped on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

12. Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

Nathan Greno (above right) and Byron Howard not only paired up as co-directors of Tangled (2010) but also doubled as duos of Thugs and Guards in the animated picture.

13. John Lasseter

With five features under his belt, John Lasseter has had plenty of opportunity to throw himself behind the microphone, however upon review of his filmography, you’ll find he has chosen his roles very carefully, as the role of John Lassetire in Cars 2 (2011) and the hilariously bug-zapped Harry the Mosquito in A Bug’s Life (1998).

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2. Peter Robbins, Voice of Charlie Brown, Arrested in San Diego

You’re a bad man, Charlie Brown! Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown in animated specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, was arrested last Sunday on an outstanding felony warrant and held on $550,000 bail. The charges: four felony counts of making a threat to cause death or great bodily injury and a single felony count of stalking. More details in the San Diego Union-Tribune

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On an upbeat note, Robbins seems like a fun guy when he’s not stalking people and sports a cool Peanuts tattoo on his arm:

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3. Cloris Leachman Admits Why She Likes Voice Acting: Money

Celebrities rarely admit that they only lend their voices to animated projects because it’s easy money. Well, Cloris Leachman comes clean in this interview:

Yes. You were in “The Muppet” movie, you were the voice in two different Miyazaki movies — “Castle in the Sky” and “Ponyo” — you were in “Iron Giant,” “Sky High.” What draws you to these movies?
Cloris Leachman: Money.

Anything else?
Cloris Leachman: I’m free.

Do you ever think of it as broadening your fanbase?
Cloris Leachman: No. I don’t think about that.

What about something like “Iron Giant?”
Cloris Leachman: You’re in a recording studio. I didn’t even know the name of it.

(Photo of Cloris Leachman via s_bukley/Shutterstock)


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4. Voice Actor panel and Chuck Jones cartoons @ Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be hosting two back-to-back animation events in August. The first, on Thursday night August 19th, will be a panel on the art of animation voice acting. Panelists will include June Foray, Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh), Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10 and anime) and Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse), animation directors Bob Peterson (Dug) and James Baxter, and casting director Rick Dempsey. Voices of Character will be moderated by animation historian Charles Solomon.

The second program, the next night Friday August 20th, will be a screening of all nine Oscar nominated and winning Chuck Jones cartoons in 35mm. The program will include For Scent-imental Reasons (1949), So Much For So Little (1949), Mouse Wreckers (1948), From A To Z-Z-Z-Z (1953), High Note (1960), Beep Prepared (1961), Nelly’s Folly (1961), Now Hear This (1962) and The Dot and The Line (1962, pictured above).

Tickets for these events go on sale August 2nd, general admission is $5 (students with a valid ID $3). Both programs will start at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, California.

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5. A Documentary About Voice Actors

This is the trailer for I Know That Voice, an upcoming documentary about voice actors. The trailer unfortunately makes the film look unfocused and lacking a point of view. The primary appeal of the documentary (if the trailer is any indication) appears to be filmed interviews with lots of popular voice actors talking about themselves and being goofy onscreen. Four minutes of that goes a long way. Let’s hope the final product offers some greater insight into the art of voice acting besides revealing that Mel Blanc was a legend and actors do video game voice-over nowadays.


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6. Fun Things To Try With A Garbage Can

This clip is a pretty good example of why Frank Welker is one of the most skilled, not to mention prolific, modern day voice actors:


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