On the Fourth Day ’til Christmas…

12.21.2009

Next in the series of Holiday animated treats is “It’s A Very Merry Eek’s-Mas” from the Fox Kids series Eek! The Cat.

This episode originally aired December 11th, 1993 and is notable in that it was the only one of the series to air during prime time, and it’s one of my favorites from the entire Eek! series as well (which is less than notable). The plot involves Eek trying to reunite Sharky the Shark Dog with his family and help Santa save Christmas after being abandoned by his elves and reindeer (and left with a broken leg too).

It’s chock full o’cartoony fun goodness, and you really have to watch it more than once to catch all the visual gags, clever puns (like “Elmo the Brown-Nose Reindeer”), cultural references and Holiday-special spoofiness. Even the musical score includes some subtle gags.

It also features great comedic performances by the cast. They are included below so as not to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen this.

With that said, please enjoy all that is “It’s A Very Merry Eek’s-Mas”:

Last I heard, Disney owns the rights to this series, which means there’s a snowman’s chance in hades it will ever be released on DVD. But here’s hoping anyway.

As for the voice credits… unfortunately, there’s very little data available to identify the voices individually. IMDb and Wikipedia had practically nothing on this episode, and even on the most comprehensive Eek fan site the voice credits are limited to trivia bits.

And since the actual screen credits list only the cast names (and two of them are misspelled), I’ve made the effort to I.D. the voices by ear:

Bill Kopp as Eek, Skyhawk-1, addl. Reindeer and Elf voices
Tawny Kitaen as Annabelle
Savage Steve Holland as Elmo the Elk
Bobcat Goldthwait as Rudolph
The Barbi Twins as Themselves (aka, “The Greatest Minds in the World”)
E.G. Daily as Delores (Little Girl)
Gary Owens as Clive Buttburn (TV Reporter)
Brad Garrett as Big Brother Roy, “Hat Rack” Reindeer, “Bird Dog” Fighter Pilot
Anita Dangler as Mrs. Claus
– and William Shatner as Santa, Larry (Talk Show Host)

…with additional Reindeer and Elf voices by Charlie Adler, John Kassir, and Cam Clarke.

I’ve also found two sources crediting Tim Curry as the voice of the narrator (IMDb, TV.com), but he’s not mentioned in the actual screen credits. Furthermore, the Boris Karloff-esque “Grinch” imitation in this episode doesn’t sound much like Curry to my ear. I’ll check with Bill Kopp to verify this, and maybe I can coax him into sharing some behind-the-scenes details on this episode while I’m at it. (I’ll provide an update on his reply.)

Previous post: 12.20.2009 — ‘Prep and Landing’ Featured Cartoon

Related post: 7.07.2009 — Bill Kopp, Brad Garrett Producing New Adult Animated Series

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Updates: Bill Kopp, Brad Garrett, Mel Blanc

08.20.2009

Some addendums to previous posts:

– A Voice Actors in the News exclusivea promo image for the Dumb Bunny and Jackass adult animated comedy series produced by Bill Kopp and Brad Garrett, with some additional details direct from Bill Kopp.

– Added several video clips and links to my Mel Blanc tribute.


Garrett, Gottfried to Roast Joan Rivers

07.15.2009

Entertainment Weekly reports that Brad Garrett (Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, A Bugs’ Life) and Gilbert Gottfried (Cyberchase, Fairly Odd Parents, Disney’s Aladdin) are among the guest roasters for Comedy Central’s Roast of Joan Rivers.

Viewers can expect plenty of adult language and scripted dirty jokes when the special airs August 9th at 10 PM (ET) on Comedy Central.

Related post: 7.07.2009 — Bill Kopp, Brad Garrett Producing New Adult Animated Series


Article Updates: Weird Al Yankovic, Bill Kopp/Brad Garrett, ‘Chowder’/Tara Strong

07.13.2009

I have been quietly adding some updates and additional links to some previous articles since last week, so since I can’t do “bumps” on previous posts, here’s what’s new:

– Due to a high volume of blog traffic from fans searching on Weird Al Yankovic following the recent opening of the “Al’s Brain” exhibit at the OC Fair, I have added nearly a dozen new links and updates to both my previous articles: Explore Weird Al’s Brain, and Weird Al Yankovic News Round-Up.

Bill Kopp has provided an update with a little more info [click here] on the Dumb Bunny and Jackass series he is developing with Brad Garrett.

– Added some info regarding an autograph signing event for Chowder to what has become the second most-read article on this blog since March: The Last Recording Session for ‘Chowder’?


Bill Kopp, Brad Garrett Producing New Adult Animated Series

07.07.2009

The Hollywood Reporter reports:

Brad Garrett is getting animated.

Garrett, star of the Fox comedy series ” ‘Til Death,” is developing “Dumb Bunny and Jackass,” a half-hour animated comedy series for Sony Pictures TV, the studio behind “Death.”

The R-rated project, which is targeted for cable, is based on characters created by Bill Kopp (“Eek! The Cat,” “Toonsylvania”) and follows the lives of the most popular cartoon duo in history after their fall from stardom.

Garrett is attached to voice one of the two leads as well as executive produce the show through his banner, Mope Prods. Also exec producing are Glenn Robbins and Doug Wald; Kopp is on board as co-executive producer.

Update: 8.14.2009 — A Voice Actors in the News EXCLUSIVE! Bill Kopp has graciously provided the “calling card” that he and Brad Garrett are using to pitch Dumb Bunny and Jackass to networks.

'Calling card' image courtesy of Bill Kopp.

'Calling card' image courtesy of Bill Kopp.

Bill says that he and Brad are pitching the show to three networks in the coming week, including FX and Comedy Central.

Bill adds that he is doing some VO for the upcoming season of the FOX sitcom ‘Til Death (starring Brad Garrett), and that he recently wrapped production on 26 half-hour episodes of the American Greetings-sponsored Twisted Whiskers — a fully-produced TV show based on the popular greeting card line of amusingly exaggerated, pop-eyed pets. Unfortunately, American Greetings has been unsuccessful to date in securing a US distributor for this series.

For a glimpse at what the show might have been, there are a series of nine computer-animated shorts available on TwistedWhiskers.com. And be sure to watch “Novel Kitty,” with Bill providing the voice of Flouncie.

Update: 7.09.2009 — Got a reply from Bill Kopp with a bit more detail on the show:

So far it looks like Brad is the Jackass and I will be voicing the Bunny. There is still a bit of [development] to do so we haven’t yet figured out the rest of the cast. We are aiming for Comedy Central.

Bill has offered an opportunity to do an exclusive interview with him in the near future once more details have materialized.

I’ve been following Bill’s career since the early 90’s and I’m absolutely ecstatic over this news. Bill’s one of those great talents who doesn’t get enough recognition for his contributions to the animation industry as an artist, animator, director, producer, writer, and voice actor. Besides creating/co-creating/producing several great animated comedies like Eek! The Cat/Eek!stravaganza, Snookums and Meat: Funny Cartoon Show, Toonsylvania, and Mad Jack the Pirate, he’s also voiced many characters on the same shows.

I posted an (incomplete) chronology of his work back in 2001 for The Voice Actor Appreciation Group (and I’m happy to say I have since gotten in touch with Bill since that article was posted).

More recently, Bill has worked for Warner Bros as director, writer, and voice actor on the direct-to-DVD releases of Tom and Jerry: The Fast and The Furry (2005) and Tom and Jerry Blast Off to Mars! (2005 — and the DVD includes behind-the-scenes footage featuring Bill), as well as the 2004 Looney Tunes short “Hare and Loathing in Las Vegas” which was intended to be released theatrically with Looney Tunes: Back in Action (but has since still not been released in the US that I know of).

One of my favorite moments from Eek! was the episode “Eek’s Sneek Peek” where viewers were taken on a satirical tour of the production on the show, including cameos by Bill and co-creator Savage Steve Holland, as seen here via YouTube (fast-forward to the 2-minute mark):

A hearty congratulations to Bill on getting Dumb Bunny and Jackass in development. Can’t wait to see it!


Pat Fraley Presents: Study Under The Stars (and other upcoming VO events)

07.07.2009

Veteran cartoon voice actor and voice coach Pat Fraley will be teaching a “One Day Advanced Comedy for Voice Over” workshop in Los Angeles Saturday, August 1st with special guests Brad Garrett (Ratatouille, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo), Ed Asner (Pixar’s Up, Freakazoid!), and Vanessa Marshall (The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy).

For more details on the event, including an audio intro to the workshop by Pat, visit PatFraley.com.

Pat is also hosting an “Accents on Dialects” master workshop in LA on July 11th, with special guests Phil Proctor (Rugrats, Dr. Dolittle film series) and Vanessa Marshall, and Pat even offers a free audio lesson on dialects as well. More upcoming dates are available on his website.

Additionally, on July 11th in Burbank, CA, anime voice actor and director Tony Oliver will be hosting The Bang Zoom!® Adventures in Voice Acting Workshop for Beginners, and both beginner and intermediate workshops in Baltimore, MD July 19-20. More details on these events and the upcoming schedule is available at AdventuresInVoiceActing.com.

And I must apologize to my readers for falling behind keeping track of upcoming voice actor-related events in recent months. Due to my work schedule, I’m unable to keep up with them as often as I’d like. (I even missed attending a workshop with Pat Fraley here in Atlanta for the same reason.) But for those who have an interest in these events, here are some resources that have been very helpful for me:

Voice Over Xtra offers a very detailed and continually-updated calendar of voice-over classes and workshops and other related industry events.
Voiceover Universe: Events — not as detailed as Voice Over Xtra’s calendar, but still useful for staying informed of upcoming VO classes/workshops/events direct from the voice talents hosting them.
Voice Chasers added an Events page earlier this year which focuses primarily on convention appearances.
AnimeCons.com is bar none THE BEST source for anime convention schedules and for cons with anime personalities in attendance. They also offer regular news, a monthly podcast, feature articles and con guides, forum, and an extremely-handy convention guest database for looking up individual con appearances.
– I offer a calendar of upcoming events for members of The Voice Actor Appreciation Society (listed on the menu tab), although I’m planning to move it to a new location in the future due to a lack of proper edit tools to maintain it.

I’ll be doing a follow-up post with a comprehensive schedule of events for the upcoming (sold out) San Diego Comic-Con as a handy guide for those who are attending to print out and take with them. I’m planning to attend as of this posting, but unfortunately I have some conflicts with my work schedule and may have to cancel if I can’t get them worked out in the next two weeks.


Azaria, Garrett Competing in Charity Poker Tournament

07.02.2009

The Las Vegas Sun reports that Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Anastasia, Night at the Museum 2), Brad Garrett (Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, A Bugs’ Life), and Jason Alexander (Duckman, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) are among the celebrity guests participating in the annual “Ante Up for Africa” charity poker tournament which has raised nearly $2 million since 2006.

The event will air August 11th on ESPN as a 3-hour TV special.