Your voices are familiar

Your voices are familiar

I love the artistry of voice artists…um, and the voices! 😉

What’s a voice artist?  Well, the short answer is that they are actors whose voices appear when their faces don’t.  They do movies, TV shows, commercials, videogames, and more. 

There’s a difference, at least for me, between somebody who makes a living doing different voices and a “face actor” who does her or his own voice once in a cartoon.

That’s become more common in the past few years…famous folks doing cartoons.

There’s nothing wrong with that (although voice acting is different…and not all the famous face actors can make it work). 

For me, though, I want somebody who can do different voices…and more importantly, different characters.  Yes, they have to have characters…they can’t just make funny vowels, they have to be able to move you. 

The most famous voice artist was Mel Blanc.  He was an incredible talent (and it isn’t just talent…there’s skill in there, too).  Think about Bugs Bunny…and Porky Pig…and Yosemite Sam.  They not only sound different, they are different.  They act differently and think differently.

Now, you may be able to pick out a Mel Blanc voice.  They do sound different…sometimes very different, but with Mel Blanc, it’s about the acting.  You know, sort of like Frank Sinatra…he wasn’t the best technical singer, but it’s hard to match how he communicates emotion.

I have to say, I was always a particular fan of Paul Frees.  He didn’t have the versatility of Mel Blanc, but I loved his characters.  Boris Badenov, definitely…but especially Ludwig Von Drake.  His voice work in The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean is legendary.  He could intone as he did The Time Machine, or be pure character like Morocco Mole in Secret Squirrel. 

An obvious question: do they make voice artists like that any more?  Absolutely!  Rob Paulsen really amazes me.  Compare his voice work as Pinky in Pinky and the Brain and as Jack Fenton, Danny Phantom’s dad.  Totally different!  That’s a tiny sample from a guy with literally hundreds of credits.

There was a time I thought I could do voice work, but I really kind of blew out my voice entertaining my kid.  🙂  What’s funny is that I knew I was doing it…but it was totally worth it!  😉  Oh, I can still pull out some good character voice, but the crystal clarity style is gone.

I’ll write more about specific voice artists in other posts, but I did want to promote one website meanwhile:

Voice Chasers

They let you search by actor, but also by character.  🙂  Quick, what character do these actors have in common: Jeremy Sisto; Olan Soule; Gary Owens; Ron Perlman; Will Friedle; Diedrich Bader; and Kevin Conroy?  You might have known it from the last two, but if I throw Adam West in there?  Yes…they’re Batman.  🙂

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle


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