(Big name star) as the voice of... Ugh!

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by Vermithrax 4, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    Just wondering if anyone else has grown weary of big name stars always being cast as voices in animated features. I mean, didn't there used to be such a thing as voiceover artists, like Mel Blanc, June Foray, Thurl Ravenscroft, Paul Frees and Robie Lester. Yeah, I know big names have been used for years, even as far back as the Rankin-Bass days, but it just seems to me that modern-day productions are desperate to just stick as big a name on the character as they can, even though the actor may have absolutely no talent for voiceover work and whether or not his/her voice even fits the type of character. This is probably going to sound like sacrilege but Tom Hanks' voice in no way fit the character of Woody in "Toy Story". I mean did he sound anything like a cowboy? No. And did Kesley Grammer sound anything like an old prospector? Again, no. This is just a pet peeve of mine and I was just curious if anyone else shared it. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  2. Larry Young

    Larry Young Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,645
    I thought Tom Hanks' folksy 21st century Jimmy Stweart was perfect for Woody, who isn't supposed to be a cowboy, but Andy's dead father's toy and surrogate. I think Hank and Allen are perfect.

    I'll agree with you on Grammer, though.
     
  3. hankey01

    hankey01 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,476
    Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake as Yogi and Boo Boo. Ugh...why?! Get some real voice talent.
     
  4. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,560
    I was just discussing with a friend recently my opinion that Thurl Ravenscroft had the coolest name EVER.
     
  5. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

    Trophy Points:
    6,750
    There are so many really good professional voice actors out there but studios think adding a big star will help even when it takes away from the character. You see Disney do this all the time when they bring an anime over, they'd rather get an ill fitting star than an actor who does anime and is used to the style. I remember back in the 90s one anime had Elizabeth Berkley (from Showgirls) and Kiefer Sutherland and neither really fit the characters. The exception was Warner Bros keeping the same actors for a decade starting with Batman the Animated series all the way to Justice league unlimited.
     
  6. Talisen

    Talisen Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,682
    Generally, I don't have any problem, given that the voice fits the character. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen were perfect. I saw a presentation from Pixar years ago that played a few other choices with a bit of early animation and none worked.

    Hell, I'll spend half the film wracking my brain for the name of an actor I'm hearing. We watched Rango last night and even though I knew it was Johnny Depp, I wasn't distracted, he put a lot of character and nuance in his voice that it didn't sound like Depp. The rest of the cast were known actors but fairly average as far as vocalizations went so it wasn't until the credit could I place the voice.

    The only time it gets to be an issue is when the actors voice is instantly recognizable (morgan freeman or James Earl Jones for example) unless it's part of the effect. Or I would get annoyed if the entire film is based around the character that's simply a spoof of that actor (sharks tale, Antz), thankfully, Dreamworks learned that it doesn't work.

    Miyazaki's films that Disney has recently re-dubbed have been extremely well done. Even Billy Crystal's flame creature from Howl's moving castle works.

    If you watch a lot of recent superhero type cartoons, you'll see a lot of character voice actors (the recent Mel blancs of the day I guess) with the occasional Face actor thrown in. Fred Tatasciore or Tara Strong both do a lot of voice work across the board (movies, TV and video games)
     
  7. Larry Young

    Larry Young Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,645
    That guy does an awesome Hulk in The Avengers.
     
  8. dblv25

    dblv25 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    16
    We lost the best "cross-over" star this year in Mark Hamill. He's one of the best, and his voice as the Joker will be missed
     
  9. Java

    Java Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,242
    You make it sound like he died.
     
  10. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    4,325
    He did do the Joker in a Robot Chicken sketch in season 5. :)
     
  11. dblv25

    dblv25 New Member

    Trophy Points:
    16

    Retire...die...is there really a difference?
     
  12. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

    Trophy Points:
    6,750
    I'm probably the only person who does this but I always try to figure out the voice actors, especially ones who do a wide range like Tara Strong. The one who has been doing a lot of work lately is John DiMaggio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I never knew he did so much other than Bender but even his take on the Joker in Batman: Under the Red Hood was really great and even had a slight hint of mark Hamill to it.
     
  13. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    A lot of great insight here, I appreciate all the responses.

    I was never a fan of Hamill's Joker, I always thought he made the character totally silly instead of menacing, more like Ceasar Romero. But then again I didn't necessarily grow up with that series, my true Joker was Nicholson and it was tough getting past that. But all the other voice actors in BATMAN: TAS are outstanding.

    It's interesting to compare two similar films, "Babe", that didn't use any notable actors as voices and "Charlotte's Web" that has a major name doing just about every animal voice in the film. "Babe" is clearly the better film, imo. Every voice in "Charlotte's Web" sounds like the actor came into the studio, read their lines as quickly as they could, got paid, then bolted. Julia Roberts was terrible as Charlotte and even Sam Shepard turned in a very lackluster narration. I mean seriously, why cast Robert Redford to play a horse? Reba McIntyre as a cow??? At least the animated "Charlotte" from the 70s has Debbie Reynolds as a very matronly Charlotte.
     
  14. Java

    Java Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,242
    Oh man, Hamill's Joker was a great balance between silly, maniacal and deadly. To me he got the Joker right.

    I recently watched "Gnomeo and Juliet" (hey I have kids, back off :p )

    I think ALL the voices were famous people and I must say they did a great job. I do agree with the OP though, voice actors of the past seem to be non-existent and the studios go with "big names" to improve the box office.
     
  15. MisterScrub

    MisterScrub Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    341

    I think it was called Armitage
     
  16. IndyBlues

    IndyBlues Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,036
    Sylvester Stallone as the voice of the lion in The Zookeeper,.....oof!!

    It was horrible,... And I'm a fan, lol.
    Mike
     
  17. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    3,080
    There are plenty of amazing voice actors who simply don't have a knack for traditional acting. It's a shame to see them edged out due to star power. Often times those dedicated to voice acting as their sole career are better too...
     
  18. Talisen

    Talisen Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,682
    I was just reminded that Billy Crystal was originally supposed to play Buzz Lightyear - imagine that!
     
  19. Jeyl

    Jeyl Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,670
    This is the absolute worst.

    Justing Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney. Who did they voice?

    Alvin, Simon and Theodore in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.

    It's one thing to have big celebrities who can't really bring modest voice work to a character, but this was just insulting since you can't even recognize their voices when it's sped up like that! You could have Cate Blanchett as the voice of a chipmunk and it would sound the same.
     
  20. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    3,810
    Jesus, Hamill's dead? What happened??! How did I miss this?

    Don't do that to me. :lol
     
  21. darthgordon

    darthgordon Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,961
    Not sure why Hamill would give up the Joker. As far as I'm concerned, in an animated feature he IS the Joker. I would have loved to have seen him in Under the Red Hood.
     
  22. WarPig

    WarPig Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,981
    'cause he's playing the villain in the new Indiana Jones movie! :lol

    (and if you believe that, I have some nice investment land you'll be interested in!!)
     
  23. infymys

    infymys Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,355
    Titan A.E.

    Mediocre movie with big name actors for voice overs.
     
  24. RBJ

    RBJ Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    746
    Jessica Eisenberg as that bird RIO was the worst. Should have gotten Billy West!
     
  25. Alan Castillo

    Alan Castillo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,255
    Having heard them, I cannot imagine anyone else but Eddie Murphey doing Mushu the Dragon in Mulan, or Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots in Shrek.

    Absolutely cracking ! :lol :thumbsup
     
  26. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    566
    I've always thought one of the WORST voiceover casting decisions was Sean Connery as the dragon in "Dragonheart". Very ill-fitting vocals and WHY did they have to make the dragon resemble Connery???
     

Share This Page