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Voice Over Dream Teams, Past and Present

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

May 19, 2010

Comments (30)

The Animaniacs and Pinky and the BrainA dream team represents the best of the best.

We've seen this phenomenon play out in sport, film, and sometimes if we're lucky, in the realms of politics and or leadership within an industry.

Have you ever thought that this too might be something we experience and can identify with in terms of the voice over industry?

Dream Teams in Voice Over

Dream teams do happen in voice over and the area where this is immediately obvious is in animation.

Character voice acting draws nearer to us than any other application of voice over, for a number of good reasons. Animated characters that are portrayed in episodic content or film have a longer shelf life and are widely distributed, becoming part of our culture and woven into the fabric of our lives.

Dream teams, for our purposes, are more like dream voice casts. These voice casts have chemistry, talent and heart.

A One Man Voice Cast

A voice artist who was a dream team all in one was Mel Blanc, The Man of a Thousand Voices. Mel was the first person to give voice to dozens of Warner Bros. characters on Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies during the Golden Age of American Animation including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Wile E. Coyote, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepé Le Pew and more. Mel joined other voice casts in productions by Hanna-Barbera voicing characters such as Barney Rubble, Mr. Spacely, Heathcliff and hundreds of others. For those who might be wondering, Mel was also the original voice of Woody Woodpecker (produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures). He had the role for some time before he signed an exclusive contract with Warner Bros.

The Rise of the Voice Cast

In the more recent past, we've been entertained by amazing voice casts, some that have even defined the perception of what voice acting ought to be by generations of cartoon lovers.

When I took an informal Voices.com survey on Facebook, these cartoons were most commonly cited as being among favourite Voice Over Dream Teams and Voice Casts in an animated series:

๏ Batman: The Animated Series
๏ The Animaniacs
๏ The Simpsons
๏ Spongebob
๏ Mel Blanc (in a class of his own)

What's Your Favourite Voice Cast in an Animated Series?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Stephanie

Related Topics: animation, Barney, Batman, Batman: TAS, cartoons, industry, voice acting, voiceovers


Comments


    Hands down Futurama.

    I'll spare everyone and not list all the actors, but each and every one of them can do no wrong in my book.

    Posted by:

      The Simpsons is the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series in history. That achievement alone puts it in "dreamworld". The "dream team" of producers and writers that have contributed to the series over the decades launches our favorite Springfield family into iconic cultural status. The cast's ability to stick to their guns and weather intense negotiations has propelled their per episode pay to a dreamy $400,000. But above all, the effect that the series has had on our culture trumps money, accolades and longevity. Yesterday I recorded a few episodes for a new series that will debut in the fall on the PBS Sprout pre-school network. I stood at the microphones with a talented group of actors to record cartoon shorts that will appear regularly in a live action series. The studio where we worked was Klasky Csupo. The same set of circumstances that existed in the infancy of the Simpson's. While I would never compare this project to the Simpson's, the legacy of the Simpson's singular achievement in the entertainment industry was not lost on me. The Simpson's set the standard we shoot for. That high standard is in large part due to the excellence of the "dream cast" Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer.

      Posted by:
      • John Taylor
      • May 19, 2010 11:00 AM

        One of my all time fav's is Dan Povenmire writer, director and producer of Phineas & Ferb. He is also the voice of Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. Absolutely brilliant!!

        Posted by:
        • Jud Niven
        • May 19, 2010 11:51 AM

          Of course the cast from The Simpsons, and the voices from Animaniacs, the group of voice actors from Tiny Toon Adventures were outstanding as well.

          Posted by:

            All Time: Batman The Animated Series.

            Posted by:

              Although Mel Blanc was often the entire cast...I'll go with 'Animaniacs' for overall ensemble mayhem!

              Posted by:

                All the Animaniacs characters.

                Posted by:
                • Carol Depke
                • May 19, 2010 1:37 PM

                  In terms of whole cast, my vote is the Flintstones. Simpsons and Scooby-doo tied for second.

                  Posted by:

                    The Simpsons.......

                    Posted by:

                      Spongebob

                      Posted by:

                        The cast of Drawn Together was just amazing.

                        Posted by:

                          Space Ghost Coast to Coast

                          Posted by:
                          • Suzanne Reardon-Mulhall
                          • May 19, 2010 1:42 PM

                            Has animated set-ups, but love the narrator who does Mythbusters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmafAiLHUXI&feature=related

                            Posted by:
                            • Marc Raffa
                            • May 19, 2010 1:43 PM

                              Oooh, yeah...Simpsons and Sponge-Bob!

                              Posted by:

                                Hands down: Jeff Garcia as Sheen in Jimmy Neutron. One of those characters where you aren't sure if the genius comes from the writers or the voice actor...but after a few witty zings, does it really matter? :-)

                                Posted by:

                                  Batman The Animated Series. Seriously, check out that cast. Amazing.

                                  Posted by:
                                  • Trent Clifton
                                  • May 19, 2010 1:46 PM

                                    Nothing beats the brilliance of Sponge Bob! A magnificent cast!

                                    Posted by:

                                      Family Guy

                                      Posted by:
                                      • Trish McFerran
                                      • May 19, 2010 1:47 PM

                                        The Simpsons

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Lavonne Adams
                                        • May 19, 2010 1:47 PM

                                          Mel Blanc who never set out to do voices...and he's the father of so much we do today in animation.

                                          Posted by:

                                            The voice cast of Justice League / Justice League Unlimited

                                            Posted by:

                                              The Simpsons

                                              Posted by:

                                                I think I've weighed in before with Batman: the Animated Series and Animaniacs. Simpsons, Flintstones, and Jetsons.

                                                A couple of newer kids on the block worth mentioning:
                                                "The Venture Brothers." The voice-actors nail the hilarious writing! Not easy, either. There are real, relatable, honest and funny moments stuffed into this bizarre parody of Johnny Quest and superhero cartoons. Phrases have to be delivered 'just-so' or the jokes would fall flat. More so than usual, I think.

                                                Also: "Kim Possible." Gary Cole, Jean Smart as the parents for starters! Nancy Cartwright and Patrick Warburton also contribute. Warburton always kills me-He could read the phone book and I'd laugh!

                                                Posted by:

                                                  The grandfather of animated voices, is--of course---as you mentioned--Mel Blanc.
                                                  But who, in today's world, can compare, or even come CLOSE?
                                                  Not many.
                                                  I think the Simpsons have done an incredible job as a 'dream team.' But really give props to SETH McFARLANE and FAMILY GUY. Seth does most of the voices on the show, and has really set the bar for today's animation.
                                                  My animation hero IS Seth.

                                                  Posted by:

                                                    Hello Stephanie,

                                                    I would say Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn were some of my favorite voiceover casts.... there are so many to think about. I truly admired all of them.

                                                    Respectfully,

                                                    Linwood Powell

                                                    Posted by:
                                                    • Linwood Powell
                                                    • May 20, 2010 10:24 AM

                                                      Mel Blanc has my vote. I grew up watching Bugs Bunny every Saturday!!

                                                      Posted by:
                                                      • Dyvonne King
                                                      • May 21, 2010 10:12 AM

                                                        I really loved the VO cast of Cowboy Bebop. The perfomances made the characters seem so natural. Everything had a good ebb and flow to it.

                                                        Posted by:
                                                        • Jeremiah Jones
                                                        • May 28, 2010 8:09 PM

                                                          We can't forget Jay Ward Productions: Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman, Fractured Fairy Tails, Hoppity Hooper, George of the Jungle, Tom Slick and Super Chicken. Capt Crunch, Quisp & Quake cereals plus Fractured Flickers.

                                                          June Foray, Bill Scott, Paul Frees, Daws Butler and William Conrad, with Edward Everett Horton as the Narrator of the Fractured Fairy Tales and Charlie Ruggles as Aesop, narrator of the Aesop and Son cartoons that were added later. (The Bullwinkle Show also introduced Dudley Do-Right, with Scott, Foray, Frees, occasionally Conrad and, in every installment, the glorious Hans Conried stealing the show as Snidely Whiplash.)

                                                          Posted by:

                                                            The Simpsons are the best, hands down. I wish I could be more avant garde in my answer, but I cant be. The Simpsons blow anything else away. Hank Azaria in particular is a genius and a half.

                                                            Posted by:

                                                              If I remember correctly, the crew that VO "Gargoyles" included many of the Star Trek Generations crew. that was pretty good too.

                                                              Posted by:
                                                              • Cliff Rodwell
                                                              • June 4, 2010 2:29 PM

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