Jess Harnell’s Last Show at House of Blues

09.22.2010

Jess Harnell’s band Rock Sugar performed their last show as the house band at the House of Blues of Sunset Strip on Monday, Septmeber 20th.

The band and their passionate fans hope to get the contract renewed and are asking everyone to write to Malia Rummell at maliarummell(a)livenation.com showing support for the band.

This is; however, not the final concert for Rock Sugar as they have October 2010 concerts scheduled in New Mexico and future dates in development. You can find out more about the band through their official pages on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter (@rocksugarband) and ROCKSUGARBAND.COM.

Here are some recent videos featuring the band via YouTube, including two from their farewell performance at the House of Blues:

~ Ashley Trayder
Staff, Voice Actors in the News


Fans Q&A with Jess Harnell (audio)

08.26.2010

Jess Harnell fans were asked to submit questions for Jess via the Jess Harnell Fans Facebook Group and MySpace fan page. [Fan questions were selected by Voice Actors in the News staff contributor, Ashley Trayder, who is also the administrator of Jess’ fan pages on Facebook and MySpace.]

Instead of typing his replies, Jess took the time to record his answers for the fans. You can listen to the full audio through the Jess Harnell Fan Page on MySpace.

~Ashley Trayder
Voice Actors in the News Staff Contributor


The What I’m Pondering Weakly V

05.11.2010

Continuing the series of random thoughts on random Tuesdays…

– I received my review copy of 80s metal-pop fusion band Rock Sugar featuring frontman Jess Harnell (Animaniacs, Drawn Together) in the mail Monday. My wife — a non-fan who only vaguely knows Jess’ voice through the cartoons I watch — loved the CD from the first song and tried to claim the album for her own. My wife is a harsh music critic too, so I take that as a very good sign that Rock Sugar has a solid hit on their hands. (Album review forthcoming for the blog.)

– Buena Vista Home Video’s press release for Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue states that the movie includes “all-star cast of voice talents” and then doesn’t mention a single one of them.

Hey Disney! If you’re going to hire celebrity voices to help sell your movie, you might want to consider mentioning who they are in your press releases.

Videomaker Magazine requires a “14-day trial membership” in order for me to read their “Top 10 Best Voice Over Tips.”

No, thanks. I’ll just read Marc Cashman’s “12 Top Voice Over Skills” on voices.com for free. I’d rather know “skills” over “tips” anyway, and with Marc you get 2 bonus skills for free!

– Originally, my commentary on the Danish dub of SpongeBob SquarePants was supposed to be included in this edition until I realized it was worthy of its own article.

OnTheNetSuccess.com tells you how to succeed in voiceovers… without doing voiceovers. The author of this article explains the path to VO success in three easy but amusingly odd steps:

1. Get your eyes examined.
2. Try to get your ears flushed.
3. Breathe correctly.

If I knew it was just a simple matter of getting my ears flushed to succeed in voiceovers, I would’ve had it done YEARS ago.

Make sure you check out the comments on this from the VO pros where I posted this on the VO-BB.com.


Comic-Con 2009: Friday-Sunday News Highlights

07.26.2009

Continued Comic-Con news coverage…

The latest updates are time-stamped below as they are added. Please keep checking back for more updates that will be added throughout the week.

Previous reports:

7.25.2009 — Comic-Con 2009 Thursday-Friday, covering Disney/Pixar, Futurama, Marvel’s The Super Hero Squad Show, Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Robot Chicken/Titan Maximum, and More.

7.24.2009 — Comic-Con 2009: Wednesday-Thursday covering Disney 3D/A Christmas Carol, Astro Boy, Halo Legends, Robot Chicken, and More.

10:15 PM — I have an early call time Monday morning for a TV shoot and unfortunately don’t have time to provide more coverage this evening. In the meantime, here are two photos from the Drawn Together and Chowder events, courtesy of the talented Tara Strong:

'Drawn Together' voice cast: Cree Summer, Jess Harnell, Tara Strong. (Photo credit: Tara Strong)

'Drawn Together' voice cast: Cree Summer, Jess Harnell, Tara Strong. (Photo credit: Tara Strong)

San Diego Comic-Con 2009 'Chowder' autograph session: (L to R) Dana Snyder, C.H. Greenblatt, Tara Strong. (Photo credit: Tara Strong)

San Diego Comic-Con 2009 'Chowder' autograph session: (L to R) Dana Snyder, C.H. Greenblatt, Tara Strong. (Photo credit: Tara Strong)

A very special thanks to Tara for sharing these photos. More news and photos to come!

5:15: PM — News direct from Mark Hamill at the the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game panel, on the Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode mentioned earlier with guest star Julie Newmar voicing Martha Wayne:

Adam West as Thomas Wayne
Mark Hamill as The Spectre
Kevin Conroy as The Phantom Stranger

A special thanks to “dark knight 90” for posting this update to Toon Zone’s DC Animation Forum.

I’ll have more coverage of this panel later. But right now, I have a voice-over session I need to get to.

5:00 PM — Highlights of Newsarama.com‘s full panel report on Marvel’s animated Hero Up! Super Hero Squad Show:

+ Show is described as “a major animation detour for Marvel” in that they “dared to be funny.” Producer Cort Lane describes Hero Up! “as a mash-up of the Marvel Universe, with tongue firmly in cheek”:

Captain America is an antiquated old warhorse who still thinks Roosevelt is in office and says things like “ah, those were the days, hot jazz and skinny eyebrows.”

The Silver Surfer is a cosmically powered beach bum. The Hulk is a simple-minded behemoth who’s easily distracted and entertained.

+ This will be the first time in Marvel history where they have “done a [TV] show that merges all the Marvel universes into one series.”

+ Stan “The Man” Lee voices The Mayor of Hero City, and says “seeing many of the characters he helped create decades ago in such a different type of show, poking fun at the superhero genre, was ‘wonderful.'” Lee adds that the voice cast is “undoubtedly the best… I have ever worked with.”

+ As reported earlier, Cartoon Network will debut the series September 19th with a 4-episode marathon.

A complete cast list for the show was published here on Saturday, and scroll down for some additional news on this series.

4:45 PMHome Media Magazine has a promo for the Batman: The Brave and The Bold Volume 1 DVD release, with quotes from James Arnold Taylor (Green Arrow) and casting/voice director Andrea Romano.

4:40 PMGameTrailers.com has the trailer for Metalocalypse: Dethgame based on the Adult Swim property.

3:55 PM — Highlights from Newsarama.com‘s full report on the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 video game scheduled for release September 15th:

+ When asked about the voice talents’ history with the properties, Armin Shimerman (voice of Green Goblin and other characters in the game) says that he’s “loved comics longer than most panel attendees have lived, and so the characters were always in his head. When he had the opportunity to audition for the game, for the part of the Green Goblin, the higher-ups liked it, and so things went forward.”

Fred Tatasciore (voice of Thing, Hulk and other game characters) says he is also a “longtime fan, and added that he didn’t mind doing long, hard research with the comics.” The audience demanded to hear him say “It’s clobberin’ time!” which was met with wild enthusiasm.

+ When asked about the “variation in voices by the actors,” Shimerman said he “looks at the characters and their needs and wants in life, and goes from there. The challenge, he said, is recalling what you’ve done in sessions long past, and reclaiming that voice.”

+ When a fan asked about the “most interesting part of doing superheroic voices” and called it “not acting,” he was booed by the audience. Shimerman replied that “most interesting part is that all they have when they work is the director, a mic and a script, so it takes a lot of imagination to create the performance without any visual reference. It’s like carving, and you cut away what doesn’t work until you get there.”

Tatasciore added “how much they become the characters, and how they must create a lot more in one’s head to get there. It is acting, but it is a different kind of thing. And they don’t act off other people.”

Stan Lee defended the voice acting as well: “An actor in a movie can use their whole body to convey expression; hands, face, eyes- but a voice actor only has his own voice. And it’s very difficult, and many don’t realize how difficult, or how good these guys are.”

And both Shimerman and Tatasciore agreed that it was a great honor to voice such iconic characters.

+ Characters confirmed to appear in the game (from the trailer that debuted at the panel): Gambit, Wolverine, Phoenix, Venom, Juggernaut, Thor, Human Torch, Patriot, Captain America, and Deadpool. It was hinted that Marvel Comics legend Stan “The Man” Lee may also be an unlockable bonus character as a character model of Lee was previewed, at which Lee responded, “Is that me? He looks more lively than me. No, if I don’t say it’s beautiful they’ll kill me.”

Click here to read the complete report, plus view videos of the character animation for Gambit and Jean Grey/Phoenix.

3:30 PMToon Zone has a preview image and trailers for the upcoming Marvel Anime titles Wolverine and Iron Man, as well as a full report of the Marvel Animation panel. Here are some highlights:

+ “Nicktoons will be broadcasting all 26 episodes of Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes…[including] all the episodes that Cartoon Network neglected to broadcast in the US.”

+ Commentary on the Thor: Tales of Asgard preview (click the link above for plot details) notes that Matthew Wolf returns as the voice of Thor from Hulk Vs.. The direct-to-DVD title is slated for release in 2011.

+ Characters appearing in season 2 of Wolverine and the X-Men include Havok, Colossus, Colossus’ sister Magik, and Deadpool who will be voiced by Nolan North (the voice of Cyclops in season 1) who also voiced Deadpool in Hulk Vs..

+ “Steven Blum… said being the undisputed and definitive voice of Wolverine is a dream come true.” Blum adds that his performance for Wolverine in Marvel Super Hero Squad will have a more “comedic spin.” Blum also tells Toon Zone that “Wolverine actually says ‘Snikt’ in the show.”

+ Marvel Super Hero Squad will premiere on Cartoon Network in September 2009.

+ Toon Zone has commentary on the previews for Marvel Anime/Madhouse productions Wolverine and Iron Man, as well as Planet Hulk. All three are direct-to-DVD features planned for release in 2010.

+ Two more Marvel Anime features were announced for Blade and X-Men.

2:05 PM — Another update on my Futurama recasting feature article with additional details on upcoming episodes and a possible feature film.

1:50 PMBlogger “Movie Mom” comments on Stan Freberg‘s panel:

One of the most endearing aspects of Comic-Con is seeing the audience enthusiasm for people whose work has been overlooked or forgotten by the mainstream. It was a thrill to see a packed ballroom cheering for Stan Freberg, who talked about his experiences doing voices with Mel Blanc for more than 400 cartoons, helping to create “Beany and Cecil,” and revolutionizing advertising with his cheeky commercials for Pizza Rolls and Contadina.

Here’s the TV ad for “Pizza Rolls” she’s referring to:

If I’m not mistaken, that looks like Stan making a cameo around the 0:06-08 mark.

“Movie Mom” also promises upcoming coverage of the panels for Chowder, The Misadventures of Flapjack, and Robot Chicken.

6:40 AMFancast.com has an “extended trailer” of FOX’s upcoming Family Guy spinoff, The Cleveland Show.

6:35 AMDaemonsMovies.com has some additional highlights from the Disney 3D panel presentation of the 3D/CGI feature film A Christmas Carol, including a photo of all 8 characters Jim Carrey will be voicing in the film.

+ The animators used “flush technology” to mimic and record human facial expressions. [I think that might be a typo, since “flush technology” involves plumbing. Probably meant “flash.”]

+ Director Robert Zemeckis says he thinks Carrey is “the perfect actor for [motion] capture recording, because he’s great at building characters. He works with his whole body and understands comedic timing.”

6:10 AMTVSquad.com has highlights of the Henson Company’s Farscape panel hosted by Brian Henson:

+ A new Farscape complete series DVD box set was announced which will include “more than 90 minutes of extra footage and 29 episode commentaries.”

+ Henson announced new Farscape webisodes were in development.

+ Fraggle Rock announced as a feature film; Henson assured audience it was “on the schedule.”

+ Dark Crystal sequel The Power of the Dark Crystal “will accompany the Fraggles into theaters in a couple of years.”

+ SciFiCool.com has some additional details on a Farscape revival:

According to Henson, they are looking at the very real possibility of continuing the Farscape story, or as Henson puts it more than once, “the next big chapter”. The plan was originally to do a series of short, 5-minute long webisodes and parlay that into something bigger. Neither Henson nor O’Bannon would elaborate on what that “next chapter” is, or in what form (Henson did remarked that they have talked about a Farscape movie when prompted by a fan), but everyone involved seemed very keen on doing more with the Farscape universe.

5:30 AM — Highlights from G4TV.com coverage of the Star Wars Spectacular panel:

+ The MMORPG video game Star Wars: The Old Republic will be released on October 6th.

+ Star Wars Celebration 5 announced for summer 2010.

+ Star Wars in Concert begins a “worldwide arena tour” and exhibit October 1st, 2009. The show will be narrated by Anthony Daniels (voice of C-3PO). Read the press release at StarWars.com.

+ Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 2 described as “more intense” and will air on Cartoon Network “later this fall.”

+ Anthony Daniels says C3PO is an “exageration of his actual voice” and mentioned that he voiced Legolas in Ralph Bakshi’s 1970s version of Lord of the Rings.

+ The voice cast performed a live table read of an upcoming Clone Wars episode. [I’ll do my best to find footage of this and link to it later.] It revealed spoilers, which if you want to read them click on the G4TV link above.

Additionally, Toon Zone has the Season 2 trailer for Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

5:00 AMSeth Green posts pics of the Robot Chicken Skate Party on Twitter and silly Comic-Con video footage via Facebook:

Twitpic #1
Twitpic #2

Elsewhere, AdultSwim.com has a video feature on “A Day in the Life of Robot Chicken.”

4:20 AMToon Zone has coverage of the the DC Animated Universe panel, with press releases and photos of Kevin Conroy, Clancy Brown, and casting/voice director Andrea Romano.

4:00 AM — Another update on the Futurama recasting. This time with an “update” from Variety, and a full panel report.

On a related note, Phil LaMarr is now on Twitter. Also check out his recently-launched official site: PhilLaMarr.com.

Phil also participated in an additional autograph session at Comic-Con to promote the indie film directed by Tim Russ, A Night At The Silent Theater. This production from Highlander Films features Phil in an on-camera role with co-stars Tony Todd (Candy Man) and Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager).

3:35 AM — Not that most reading this will give a flying frog, but I just surpassed 100 followers on Twitter. Why anyone would want to follow me anywhere, I’ll never understand. I’d just get them lost. But seriously, I find it very flattering that so many people would actually want to follow my status posts.

3:30 AM — Following up on yesterday’s news regarding the Batgirl: Year One motion comic (now available on iTunes), voice actor Erin Fitzgerald says in addition to Keith Silverstein (Robin) the other voices are performed by Neil Ross, Lex Lang, and Kate Higgins (Batgirl). Erin adds that beside voicing Black Canary, “I’m every other female in this series.”

Previous reports:

7.25.2009 — Comic-Con 2009 Thursday-Friday, covering Disney/Pixar, Futurama, Marvel’s The Super Hero Squad Show, Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Robot Chicken/Titan Maximum, and More.

7.24.2009 — Comic-Con 2009: Wednesday-Thursday covering Disney 3D/A Christmas Carol, Astro Boy, Halo Legends, Robot Chicken, and More.


‘Drawn Together’ Movie Officially Announced

07.22.2009

On July 14th, I broke the news here (thanks to Tara Strong) that the Drawn Together movie was “coming out soon.”

Thanks to a fresh press release from Comedy Central, we now have a new official title for the movie The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! and an official release date — March 2010.

Here are more details from the press release:

“‘Drawn Together’s’ reunion with COMEDY CENTRAL is like marrying an old ex-girlfriend,” said show creators Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser. “I mean, are we doing this because we love each other and are destined to be together? Or is it because neither one of us could do any better? As is often the case, it’s probably both.”

“Matt and Dave are a creatively talented duo with a twisted sensibility that is completely uninhibited and admirable,” said Lauren Corrao, head of original programming and development for Comedy Central. “Without the constraints of producing for basic cable, this movie will showcase their chops the way fans of the show have been waiting for.”

“The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!” stars the incorrigible cast of the most hilarious animated reality show ever to air on basic cable. When the mystery-solving musician, Foxxy, notices she and her fellow housemates can curse without being bleeped — something they’ve never been able to do before — they realize that their show has been cancelled. Determined to get back on the air, they venture to such far-off lands as Bedrock, a Fairy Tale Village and the fantastical Make-a-Point Land, all the while outrunning their enemies who are hell bent on keeping them off the air and are prepared to use any means necessary to do so.

“The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!” is bigger, badder and uncensored and certainly lives up to its tainted heritage and provides the audience with a not-so-healthy heaping of what everyone has come to know and secretly love from the show. Namely, copious amounts of drunken-revelry, taboo-busting and cartoon-on-cartoon violence.

A “The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!” panel will be held at Comic-Con in San Diego on Thursday, July 23 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT in room 6BCF, with guests Silverstein, Jeser and stars Cree Summer (Foxxy Love, “Transformers: Animated”), James Arnold Taylor (Wooldoor Sockbat/The Jew Producer; “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), Abbey McBride (Ling-Ling), Jess Harnell (Captain Hero) and Tara Strong (Toot Braunstein and Princess Clara).


New JibJab ‘Obama’ Cartoon Features Jess Harnell

06.21.2009

Voice actor Jess Harnell (Animaniacs, Drawn Together) is the comic crooning voice behind the latest JibJab short, “He’s Barack Obama.” Funny stuff. Click and enjoy.

JibJab briefly mentions Jess on their blog as well:

Lead vocals were sung by Jess Harnell, who has voiced thousands of TV and Film characters, including Wakko Warner on Animaniacs, and who sings lead vocals for the heavy metal band, Pop Sugar. Gabriel Mann sang lead on the beautiful opener as well as the harmonies throughout the song. There is nothing more amazing than watching Gabe meticulously lay down 20 tracks of vocals to construct a harmony.

(Thanks to Kristy @ Voice Chasers and Doreen @ leftforever.com for the links.)


‘Transformers’ Cast Autographs Included in Trading Card Set

03.20.2009

Transformers fan site Seibertron.com is reporting that the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen trading card set from Topps will include special chase cards with “certified, authentic autographs” from members of the voice cast: Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Mark Ryan (Bumblebee), Charles Adler (Starscream), Robert Foxworth (Ratchet), and Jess Harnell (Ironhide).

Wax Heaven (trading cards blog) originally reported this news, and promises to offer images of the card set when they become available.

And in related Transformers news (following up on the previous post regarding the voice cast), director Michael Bay stated in an interview that John Turturo will be serving double-duty in the film — reprising his role as Agent Simmons and providing the voice for an “old Transformer who loses screws and bolts at every move,” a description which matches the bio for Jetfire which was revealed earlier this year.

Additional Source: TFW2005.com

Previous Transformers news: 3.10.2009 — Michael Bay Wants Frank Welker for Transformers Movie Sequel