Physical Disabilities Don’t Hold Voice Actors Back

Robert David Hall is best known as coroner Dr. Albert Robbins on the television show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Previously, his voice was heard on the children’s cartoon G.I. Joe as well as on various radio commercials and other children’s cartoons.

If you had never seen Hall on television before, would you expect to see a man who walks with the aid or crutches? Most likely not – but this is the case with Hall, who has two prosthetic legs due to an automobile accident in 1978.

Hall has never let this slow him down though, choosing instead to use his disability as an aid to raise awareness for others. He has been involved in numerous fund raisers and awareness campaigns over the years.

As Hall says:

“Just because I’m a person with a disability, that shouldn’t limit me.”

You can read more about Hall’s endeavors on VOX Daily.

Do Animated Films Need Celebrity Voices?

So often nowadays an animated film is marketed on the basis of the voices behind the characters. Whether it’s Jerry Seinfeld or Jack Black, sometimes you have to wonder if audiences come to see the film or to hear those celebrity voices that they recognize?

Possibly the most popular animated television series (and now a film) of all time is, of course, The Simpsons. Quick – can you name the voices behind Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, or any of the main characters? Likely not all of them, unless you’re a die-hard fan. Would you recognize them if you saw them on the street? I doubt it!

Photo by pforret

Here we have six voice actors who you can hear daily on television. Their voices drive a television empire – no one would ever consider asking someone like Angelina Jolie to replace one of them!

I agree with Peter Martin of Cinematical, who wrote a great article on this subject yesterday. We don’t need celebrity voices in cartoons anymore – especially movies that are aimed at kids who don’t know these voices anyway.

Voice Acting industry blogger Stephanie Ciccarelli wrote on the subject or celebrities being cast in major animated films not too long ago and had many voice actors chime in with their thoughts in the comments. Read her article Celebrity Voice Actors VS Pro Voice Actors Debate.

Voice Acting Reviews: Bee Movie

If you’re a fan of Jerry Seinfeld, you should definitely watch Bee Movie, now out on DVD.  In addition to his credits as writer and producer, Jerry voices the main character, Barry B. Benson, as he enters the working world of bees and finds himself on a grand adventure in New York.

This is Jerry’s first role as a voice actor, and he certainly brings life to his character!  The voice is unmistakable as his, however he makes it unique and believeable.

Jerry is joined by actors such as Renee Zellweger, Patrick Warburton (an actor whose voice you hear quite a bit on television and in film), Chris Rock, and John Goodman.  You’ll hear cameos from celebrity voices such as Sting (how apropos!) and Oprah Winfrey as well.  This is an A-list cast to be sure!

Reviewer Stephanie Ciccarelli says that she was particularly impressed by John Goodman’s voice acting:

Blow the doors down, powerful, electric and showered the booth with an ever-so-convincing southern drawl. Worth watching and waiting for. It was clear that he was having a lot of fun with this role.

That itself sounds like reason enough to enjoy the celebrity voices in this great film!  Read the rest of her review here.

Welcome To Celebrity Voices

The voices of celebrities are hard to escape. Film, television, and musical stars can be heard where you least expect them!

Here are just a few examples of celebrity voices:

Thomas and Friends

Thomas and Friends

Narrators of Thomas and Friends

The popular children’s show Thomas and Friends has been voiced by celebrities for many years:

  • Ringo Starr provided the voice of Mr. Conductor from 1985-1991
  • George Carlin narrated the show and voiced Mr Conductor from 1991-1998 in North America
  • UK narrator Michael Angelis voiced these roles in Great Britain
  • Alec Baldwin joined the company (1998-2003) providing narration, character voices, and even starring in a full-length motion picture.
  • Michael Brandon, a native of Brooklyn, New York, is the current US narrator (2004 to present).

Who’s The Voice of Apple / Intel?

Why, it’s Kiefer Sutherland, of course! You’ll be impressed by his list of voice over credits. Who knew?

Voice Acting Perks for Movie Actors

You thought movie stars had it easy before? Wait until you read this article – their perks when they voice act are amazing. They hardly have to prepare as they might for a regular acting role, they can record VO in their PJs, and the pay? Still great.

Warren Buffett, Voice Actor?

Well, it seems you don’t even need to be an actor to be a celebrity voice actor. It’s true – Warren Buffett has provided candid VO narration for a new children’s video series called “The Secret Millionaire’s Club,” aimed at teaching kids about money and finance.

Frank and Gordon

Canadians will know who Frank and Gordon are – they’re the beaver mascots of telephone provider Bell Canada. You may have already recognized their voices – Rick Mercer and Norm MacDonald!