Shearer and Harris Compete for a Million on Jeopardy

04.26.2010

This article was originally published April 26th and has since been updated and expanded. Please scroll down for the latest updates.

Harry Shearer and Neil Patrick Harris are among the nine finalists competing on the JEOPARDY! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational May 3-7 (check your local listings for showtimes in your area).

Of the nine finalists, Shearer and Harris are by far the most prolific voiceoverists in animation.

Shearer, of Simpsons‘ fame, is the voice of many of the show’s popular characters: Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman and Principal Skinner (just to name a “few”).

And Harris has voiced lead and guest starring roles for a number of animated productions: Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Penguins of Madagascar, Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Spider-Man, and even had a cameo as himself on The Simpsons. He’s also voicing Nightwing/Dick Grayson for the upcoming direct-to-video animated feature Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Other celebrity participants in this competition have also voiced animated productions such as Michael McKean (voices on Harvey Birdman, Justice League, Family Guy), Cheech Marin (Cars, The Lion King series, Oliver & Company), Jane Curtin (Antz, Hercules, Recess, Cyberchase), Charles Shaughnessey (Stanley, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, The Tale of Despereaux, Rugrats: All Grown Up), and Jane Kaczmarek (voice of Judge Constance Harm, a recurring character on The Simpsons).

Update: 5.08 — Congratulations to Michael McKean on winning the JEOPARDY! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational. Here’s the final results (via SonyPictures.com):

– Michael McKean: $11,200
15 correct answers / 2 incorrect

– Cheech Marin: $8,000
19 / 5

– Jane Curtin: $11,000
18 / 3

Thanks to McKean’s tournament win, his charity — the International Myeloma Foundation — earns $1,000,000. Jane Curtin’s charity — US Fund for UNICEF — gets $250,000, and Cheech Marin earned $100,000 for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Update: 5.07 — Congrats to Michael McKean on his win for the first round of the finals. Here’s the results (via SonyPictures.com):

– Michael McKean: $21,600
24 correct answers / 0 incorrect

– Cheech Marin: $11,600
13 / 1

– Jane Curtin: $15,800
21 / 3

Update: 5.05Cheech Marin wins over Neil Patrick Harris and Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) in Round 3, which leaves Marin, McKean and Jane Curtin (3rd Rock from the Sun) as the finalists competing May 6-7.

Results from Round 3 (courtesy of SonyPictures.com):

– Neil Patrick Harris: $9,400
17 correct answers / 2 incorrect

– Jane Kaczmarek: $11,400
15 / 2

– Cheech Marin: $16,200
18 / 0

Update: 5.04 @ 11:30 PM — Michael McKean soundly beat his challengers Isaac Mizrahi and Charles Shaughnessey. Final results (courtesy of SonyPictures.com):

– Michael McKean: $18,800
25 correct / 2 incorrect

– Isaac Mizrahi: $9,600
16 / 1

– Charles Shaughnessey: $15,600
17 / 0

Update: 5.03 @ 10:00 PM (EST) — Although Shearer clearly has great knowledge of trivia, he was out-answered by Jane Curtin by 21 correct answers to Shearer’s 15. But he very nearly had a last-minute upset during Final Jeopardy, when she wagered a low amount while Shearer bet everything.

Final results (via SonyPictures.com):

– Pat Sajak: $4,800
12 correct answers, 5 incorrect

– Jane Curtin: $14,600
21 / 2

– Harry Shearer: $12,600
15 / 2

Ah, well…so much for my high hopes for a Spinal Tap cast face-off in the finals with Shearer against Michael McKean.

And courtesy of CBS’s official Jeopardy! YouTube Channel, following are highlights from the quarterfinals and interviews about the celebrities’ respective charities:

Source: Celebwall.com


Next Animated DC DVD: ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’

02.11.2010

toonzone.net reports (via the LA Times) that Batman: Under the Red Hood will be the next at the next DC Comics animated direct-to-video title adapting “the recent storyline from the 2005 Batman comics written by Judd Winick, who is also apparently writing the screenplay to the movie.”

Brandon Vietti will direct, and the voice cast will feature Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) as Batman, Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) as the Red Hood, Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing, John DiMaggio as the Joker, and Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter franchise) as Ra’s al-Ghul.

Sorry, I can’t hold back the commentary on this one. This is the third voice for Batman in a year. Come on Warners/DC Comics — make up your mind, for crying out!

Granted, William Baldwin as Batman in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is forgivable since it’s an “alternate universe” kind of story. Otherwise, Batman should be voiced by Kevin Conroy, and only Kevin Conroy. Even Christian Bale‘s Batman should have been overdubbed by Kevin Conroy.


Neil Patrick Harris Guests on Nick’s ‘Penguins’

02.11.2010

For Immediate Release

Neil Patrick Harris Takes on The Penguins of Madagascar in DreamWorks Animation’s Hit Comedy’s First Nickelodeon Special, ‘Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge,’ Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.

Harris Guest Stars as the Evil “Dr. Blowhole” in Primetime Presidents’ Day Special

January 20, 2010: 09:27 AM ET

BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ — Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private face off against the malevolent dolphin, Dr. Blowhole, in The Penguins of Madagascar’s first Nickelodeon special, “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge,” premiering Monday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) guest stars in the half-hour special as the penguins’ long-time nemesis out for revenge and to finally conquer the world. The DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) series, which regularly airs Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. (ET/PT), is currently TV’s number-two animated show with kids 2-11 and with total viewers on basic cable for the past year, behind only SpongeBob SquarePants. The show also holds the record as Nickelodeon’s most-watched series premiere in network history with 6.4 million total viewers.

“The Penguins of Madagascar has been a huge success in transferring from film to television,” said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. “We’re thrilled to give fans this fantastic TV special featuring the multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris as a hilariously disgruntled dolphin.”

Neil Patrick Harris Takes on The Penguins of Madagascar In DreamWorks Animation's Hit Comedy's First Nickelodeon Special, 'Dr. Blowhole's Revenge,' Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. (PRNewsFoto/Nickelodeon)

In “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge,” Dr. Blowhole, tired of the penguins foiling his plans to rule land and sea, has returned to annihilate the band of brothers so he may take over the world once and for all. The first step in his plan is to kidnap King Julien, who Dr. Blowhole mistakenly thinks is Skipper’s best friend. The penguins set off to rescue their annoying lemur neighbor, only to find they have waddled right into a shocking double-cross. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private must escape the trap and save the planet before Dr. Blowhole succeeds in flooding the Earth’s surface in an effort to wipe out the existence of all land mammals.

Harris currently stars as Barney Stinson in the hit series “How I Met Your Mother.” His additional credits include the voice of Steve in the animated feature film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, host of the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, star of the popular internet series, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and he has spoofed himself in the movie Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, as well its sequel.

From Feb. 8 through Feb. 15, leading up to the “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge” on-air premiere, Nick.com will launch The Penguins of Madagascar The Rise of Blowhole – a convergent gaming event mirroring the on-air episode themes where fans can go on four missions with the daredevil Penguin crew as they battle their long-time nemesis, Dr. Blowhole. Fans who tune in to “Dr. Blowhole’s Revenge” on Nickelodeon will get a special code that unlocks the fourth and final gaming mission: The Zoo Is Not Enough.

The series follows the exploits of the beloved penguin brothers from DreamWorks Animation’s hit feature films Madagascar ($532 million worldwide gross) and Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa (nearly $579 million worldwide). Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are a group of penguins who believe they are an elite strike force with top-tier commando skills that is headquartered at New York City’s Central Park Zoo. Their orderly world is disrupted by the arrival of the lemurs, who are led by the imperially deluded King Julien.

Andy Richter (Late Night with Conan O’ Brien) and Tom McGrath (co-created the penguin characters and directed both Madagascar films) reprise their roles as Mort and Skipper from the feature films. Nicole Sullivan (Rita Rocks) voices the role of Marlene the otter, Jeff Bennett (Enchanted) voices Kowalski, James Patrick Stuart (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) voices Private, John DiMaggio (Futurama) voices Rico and Danny Jacobs (Futurama) stars as Julien, King of the Lemurs. The Penguins of Madagascar is executive produced by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, (Disney’s Kim Possible and Hercules, Sky High) and is produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.

About DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series, live entertainment properties and online virtual worlds, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 18 animated feature films, including the franchise properties, Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.


Batman: The Brave and The Bold Soundtrack Release

10.09.2009

For Immediate Release

The Caped Crusader faces a new villain in the upcoming Batman: The Brave & The Bold episode, “Mayhem of the Music Meister!” The episode, from Warner Bros Animation, features the voice of Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) as the Music Meister, a menacing villain who is able to exert powerful mind-control through song. Producers and cast members received a standing ovation following a sneak-preview at Comic-Con this past July and, after much anticipation, the episode will finally air Friday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network.

On Saturday, October 24, New Line Records will release Batman: The Brave & The Bold: Mayhem of the Music Meister! – Soundtrack from the Animated Television Show digitally on iTunes and other digital music outlets. Amazon.com will offer fans the exclusive option of purchasing either a hard or digital copy of the soundtrack. The soundtrack will feature all five original songs from the episode as well as the highly sought Batman: The Brave & The Bold theme.

“Being approached by the producers to do a ‘Batman Musical’ was a complete surprise and total thrill,” said composers Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis and Kristopher Carter. The phenomenal cast and musicians brought each song to life and we are so happy New Line Records has agreed to release a soundtrack so that this music can be enjoyed by Batman fans worldwide.”

About Batman: The Brave & The Bold
Extremely popular on Cartoon Network with its combination of fast-paced action and humor, Batman: The Brave and the Bold is executive produced by Sam Register, with James Tucker and Linda M. Steiner as producers. The voice cast includes Diedrich Bader as Batman, James Arnold Taylor as Green Arrow, Will Friedle as Blue Beetle, Tom Kenny as Plastic Man, John DiMaggio as Aquaman and Corey Burton as Red Tornado.


Comic-Con 2009: Thursday-Friday News Highlights

07.25.2009

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 weekend. Also, photos are forthcoming!

7:05 PMThe Pixar Blog has a photo and recap of the Disney/Pixar panel.

And on a related note, this is the current confirmed voice cast for Toy Story 3: Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz Lightyear), Joan Cusack (Jessie), Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head), Wallace Shawn (Rex), Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Jodi Benson (Barbie), Michael Keaton (Ken), Ned Beatty (Lotso), and James Anthony Cotton (Chuckles the Clown).

And if you’re scratching your head wondering who “Chuckles the Clown” is, The Pixar Blog interviewed the actor about the role back in February 2009.

It is rumored that Lucy Liu (voices in Kung Fu Panda, King of the Hill, Futurama) and child actor Emily Hahn may be lending their voices to the film as well, but this has yet to be confirmed.

John Lasseter told MTV News in a November 2008 interview that the voice of Slinky Dog (originally performed by the late Jim Varney) is being provided by “another actor… an old friend of Jim’s [we found] who sounds an awful lot like him.”

Elsewhere, The New York Times has a Comic-Con recap with a comment on the Disney/Pixar panel that John Lasseter “let slip that the Disney animation shop will be soon be posting tidbits about its works in progress online, beginning with a video blog he expects to begin in the next day or two.” As of this writing, I have not been able to find a link for this — The Times comment is vague and they didn’t provide a link, but I’ll try to track it down.

[For more Toy Story 3 news, scroll down to the last entry on this post.]

6:00 PMFuturama update with response from John DiMaggio and panel details direct from Comic-Con.

5:20 PMPress release for new book from voice actors Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal, Voice-Over Voice Actor: What It’s Like Behind The Mic.

2:40 PMIGN.com has the press release for Marvel’s The Super Hero Squad Show, which boasts a massive voice cast:

Tom Kenny (aka Spongebob) as Iron Man, Captain America and M.O.D.O.K., Grey DeLisle (Fairly Oddparents) as Ms. Marvel and the Enchantress, Alimi Ballard (“NUMB3RS”) as the Falcon, and Charlie Adler (“Cow & Chicken,” “Transformers” 1 & 2) as Dr. Doom. In addition, superstar guests have joined the cast to play various villains and heroes from throughout the Marvel universe, including Shawn Ashmore (“X-Men” films) as Iceman, LeVar Burton (“Ali,” “Roots”) as Rhodey, Taye Diggs (Private Practice) as the Black Panther, Robert Englund (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”) as Dormammu, Greg Grunberg (“Heroes”) as Ant-Man, Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”) as the Red Skull, Lena Headey (“Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as the Black Widow, Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”) as Sif, Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Ugly Truth”) as Stardust, Wayne Knight (“Seinfeld”) as Egghead, James Marsters (“Smallville,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) as Mr. Fantastic, Jennifer Morrison (“Star Trek,” “House”) as the Wasp, Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) as Hawkeye, Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules,” “Meet The Spartans”) as Ka-Zar, George Takei (“Heroes,” “Star Trek”) as Galactus and Michelle Trachtenberg (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Gossip Girl”) as the Valkyrie. The cast is also joined by comics legend Stan Lee (co-creator of “Spider-Man,” the “Fantastic Four,” the “X-Men,” “Iron Man,” the “Hulk,” “Thor” and many other Marvel characters) in a recurring role as the Mayor of Super Hero City.

“The talent that has signed on truly speaks to the strength of the Marvel brand as well as the uniqueness of this series,” says Eric Rollman, Marvel’s President of Animation commented. “This is the first time Marvel has produced an action-comedy show and the reaction from both broadcasters and celebrity talent indicates we have something very special in the making.”

Actors not mentioned in the press release but listed on IMDb.com (and most have been confirmed for the show) include Tamera Mowry as Misty Knight, Tara Strong as Scarlet Witch, Steve Blum as Wolverine and Abomination, Maurice LaMarche as Magneto, Scott Menville as Quicksilver, Travis Willingham as Hulk and Human Torch, Hynden Walch as Jean Grey, David Boat as Thor, Antony Del Rio as Reptile, and Ted Biaselli as Mole Man.

2:30 PM — Added several new interview links to my coverage of Disney’s live-action/CGI feature film G-Force which opened in theaters this weekend.

2:20 PM — Movieweb.com has video interviews with Freddie Highmore and Kristin Bell, voices of Astro Boy and Cora.

2:10 PMMovieweb has a video interview with Bobb’e J. Thompson voice of Cal Deveraux in Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, as well as an interview with director Chris Miller.

Movieweb has a featurette from Where The Wild Things Are.

2:05 PMAccess Hollywood has a preview of Tron Legacy. Additionally, Movieweb has a video interview with cast members Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, and Olivia Wilde. [Don’t ask how this applies to this blog’s coverage. I don’t need to justify it. It’s freaking TRON and I’m a geek, okay?]

Update: 2:00 PMMovieweb has a video interview with the Drawn Together creative team on what to expect in the movie and Season 5.

Original post first published 7.25.2009, 3:56 AM:

IGN.com has additional details on yesterday’s San Diego Comic-Con news coverage of the upcoming stop-motion comedy Titan Maximum created by Robot Chicken creative team members Matthew Senreich and Tom Root who wanted to do their own spin on Voltron, but make it “as stupid and destructive as possible.”

IGN’s review of the short preview that was shown:

[What] we can expect is a foul-mouthed parody of not only the Mecha cartoon genre, but of pop culture as well, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the talent involved. The creators admitted the concept of teenagers saving the Universe in real life was ridiculous, so they ran with that idea. What would really happen if a Princess, a nerd, an animal and an overweight guy were a team called Titan Force Five who joined up to form a giant fighting robot called Titan Maximum? We can only assume something horrible, apocalyptic and funny as hell.

Titan Maximum is slated to premiere Sept 27th at 11:30 pm on Adult Swim. IGN adds that the pilot will be a half-hour special, while “subsequent episodes will be 15 minutes long.” The voice cast includes Robot Chicken regulars Breckin Meyer, Seth Green and Dan Milano, and listen for “familiar” guest voices Rachel Leigh Cook, Donald Faison, and Billy Dee Williams as Admiral Bitchface.

Another update on the Futurama recasting, this one courtesy of Maurice LaMarche.

Newsarama.com has coverage of Cartoon Network’s Batman: The Brave and The Bold panel, revealing news that the original Catwoman Julie Newmar will voice Martha Wayne by way of a flashback scene in the episode “Chill of the Night.”

Newsarama says, “The highlight of the panel… was the premiere screening of the episode featuring Neil Patrick Harris as The Music Meister. It’s a musical episode that has to be seen – and heard – to be believed. Whether you like musicals or not, you’ll appreciate the effort that went into crafting this ingenious, and downright catchy, story. Harris is his typically brilliant self as the Evil Orchestrator, and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Aquaman and Gorilla Grodd two-step, with Black Mantis pirouetting stage left. It certainly struck the right chord with the SDCC audience, which gave the panelists a standing ovation when the final note was hit.”

+ IGN.com has more detailed coverage of the panel:

The audience obviously loved [John] DiMaggio‘s Aquaman, with [Michael] Jelenic recalling that he was resistant when the voice actor came up with Aquaman’s catchphrase, “Outrageous” – which DiMaggio said onstage to more cheers. As [Deidrich] Bader put it, it might not seem like much on the page, but then neither was, in his words, “What are you talking about, Willis?” Taylor added that he felt Aquaman, who originally was going to be played more straight, is essentially, “John when the mic isn’t on.”

As for “Mayhem of the Music Meister” – If you don’t want to know any spoilers at all, stop with this paragraph, but know this: It’s simply awesome and one of the best and most entertaining episodes of any TV series, animated or live-action, I’ve seen this year.

IGN also has a full review of the musical episode, so don’t click the link above if you don’t want spoilers.

When asked whether Superman and Wonder Woman might appear on the series, series producer Sam Register says they “have thoughts about” using them, “though it seemed some work had to be done to get the powers to be to allow permission to use those characters.” And when asked by a fan if they would adapt Crisis on Infinite Earths, Register answered, “Only if we can do it as a musical!”

– Voice actor Erin Fitzgerald (Bleach, Ed, Edd, and Eddy) says that the Batgirl: Year One digital motion comic debuted on iTunes Friday. Erin provides the voice of Black Canary, and Keith Silverstein (Bleach, Naruto) voices Robin.

Warner Premiere hosted an entire panel on motion comics: “Graphic Novels in the Digital Age,” with industry guests including animation writer/producer Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Freakazoid!). Newsarama.com has full coverage of the panel, with details on previous iTunes motion comics releases Batman: Black and White (previously mentioned here) and Watchmen, and announcements of new and upcoming titles: Batgirl: Year One, Superman: Red Son, and Batman: Black & White Collection 2. Warner Premiere’s press release is also included.

No details on the voices for these projects were provided by Warner Premiere or even mentioned at the panel, but I’ll try to do a follow-up with their PR department to rectify that.

Newsarama.com has full coverage of the DC Universe Animated panel which featured Green Lantern: First Flight and Batman/Superman: Public Enemies. Two highlights with mention of the voice actors:

[Lantern director Lauren] Montgomery praised [Victor] Garber for nailing Sinestro’s sense of entitlement and superiority. [Voice director Andrea] Romano praised the work of the two lead voices.

“You would have thought Christopher Meloni (Hal Jordan) and Victor Garber had been working together for years,” Romano said. “They were so good together.”

Garber, BTW, was not the first choice to voice Sinestro. Deadwood star Ian McShane was, according to [Bruce] Timm.

[Kevin] Conroy says part of the reason the DC ‘toons are so good is that Romano insists the voice actors lay their tracks down together. He says interaction between the actors ultimately translates to the animated final work.”

It was also announced at the panel that the DC Shorts program has been officially greenlit for production. Newsarama confirmed “that a series of shorts will be created to be included with DCU’s Direct-to-DVD films.” The first short produced will tie-in with the Jonah Hex feature film coming to theaters June 18, 2010, and starring Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex), Megan Fox (Transformers), Will Arnett (Monsters vs Aliens), and John Malkovich (Con Air, In The Line of Fire).

IGN.com reports that Avatar: The Game (the video game version of James Cameron’s feature film of the same name) will feature the voices of Sigourney Weaver (Dr. Grace Augustine), Michelle Rodriguez (Trudy Chacon), Giovanni Ribisi (Parker Selfridge) and Stephen Lang (Col. Quaritch).

IGN adds, “Rodriguez’s character, Trudy Chacon, functions as the player’s chopper pilot throughout the Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 system and PC versions of the game. Ribisi reprises his role as the arrogant Parker Selfridge, appearing exclusively in the Wii version of the game. The film’s antagonist, Col. Quaritch, played and voiced by Lang, will appear in the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC versions.”

Yahoo! Movies has “red carpet” photos from Comic-Con, including Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Robot Chicken), James Marsden (X-Men), Freddie Highmore (Astro Boy), and Kristin Bell (voice of Cora in Astro Boy).

RopeofSilicon.com has coverage of the Disney/Pixar panel, where it was announced that Michael Keaton (Batman, Cars) would be providing the voice for Barbie’s plastic pal Ken for Toy Story 3:

Yup, Barbie is back in Toy Story 3 in a much larger role and Ken will be making his big screen debut as Keaton returns to Pixar after voicing Chick Hicks in Cars. Unkrich ended the news saying, “I think he was born to play Ken,” just before they played a bonus feature called “Groovin’ with Ken” poking fun at the plastic sidekick to Barbie telling him many thought of him as a glorified accessory and pointing out how his name is three times smaller on the packaging than Barbie’s. It was pretty good stuff.

As for the plot of Toy Story 3 the film will center on the idea of Andy and his growing up and too old for his toys. Lasseter said, “It’s one thing to make peace with something and another thing to find yourself at that day.” At the start of the movie Andy is grown up and heading off to college and the film will focus on the emotional implications of that.

“At Pixar we believe it is important to focus to not only make [a movie] funny and make it beautiful, but [to also focus on] the emotion.” And with Toy Story 3 they set out to find “a totally different emotional core” than what they explored in the first two films.

Other highlights of the Disney/Pixar panel:

+ Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich said they have been working on the film “about three years and the voice cast has already laid down their tracks and a quarter of the film is animated.”
+ Preview of scenes from Toy Story and Toy Story in 3D.
+ Beauty & The Beast in 3D preview. (Coming to theaters February 12, 2010.)
+ Preview of the made-for-TV ABC animated special Prep & Landing about “a group of elite elves that prep the scene before Santa arrives each night. It will air this holiday season. According to IMDb.com, the voice cast includes Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) as Magee, Dave Foley (Pixar’s A Bug’s Life) as Wayne, and Derek Richardson (Men in Trees) as Lanny.
+ Previews of two scenes from The Princess and the Frog, one featuring Keith David singing “Friends on the Other Side.”
+ Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki was a panel guest, introduced by John Lasseter who said, “I think this guy is one of the most important filmmakers working today.” Then they offered an extended preview of Ponyo. RopeofSilocon.com says, “While we weren’t able to really grasp the narrative it was a lesson in unique animation as a film from Miyazaki looks like nothing you have seen before, that is unless you are comparing to another Miyazaki film.”

Previous report: 7.24.9009 —


Voting Opens for 2009 Game Show Awards

04.22.2009

The Game Show Network has opened the polls for public voting in their annual Game Show Awards, and golly bob howdy, they’ve included a category for game show announcers!

The nominees include:

Joe Cipriano, Deal or No Deal
Rich Fields, The Price is Right
Johnny Gilbert, Jeopardy!
Charlie O’Donnell, Wheel of Fortune
Burton Richardson, Family Feud
Mark Thompson, Don’t Forget the Lyrics!

And a few celebrities who have done some voice acting are nominated in the category for “Favorite Celebrity Player,” including Neil Patrick Harris, William Shatner, Dan Whitney (aka Larry The Cable Guy), and Craig Ferguson. And “Favorite Game Show Host” includes Howie Mandel (Bobby’s World, Gremlins), but I refuse to vote in this category because they snubbed the fantastically talented John O’Hurley (Duck Dodgers, SpongeBob SquarePants, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command) who hosts The Family Feud.

But if you’re not as nitpicky as I am, you can vote online via The Game Show Network. Winners will be announced on-air via GSN on June 6th.

Source: Voice Over Times


The Legacy of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ Continues

03.31.2009

More than a decade before commentaries became a standard bonus feature on DVD releases, providing commentary on crappy sci-fi/fantasy B-movies was the entire plot of the TV series (and feature film), Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Although there were some major cast and crew changes during the show’s 1988-1999 run, that did not prevent MST3K from developing a strong fan following…so strong a following, in fact, that members of the show’s cast and crew have returned to their “roots” and are back providing their notorious brand of comedic commentary for films again through newer projects.

MST3K’s creator and original host Joel Hodgson created Cinematic Titanic in 2007, and in addition to performing live shows also began producing a series of B-movie MST3K-esque DVDs and digital downloads which are available through the offiicial site: CinematicTitanic.com. Hodgson is joined on the commentaries by former MST3K cast members Trace Beaulieu (voice of Crow T. Robot), J. Elvis Weinstein (voice of Tom Servo, Gypsy) , Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank), and Mary Jo Pehl (voice of Magic Voice).

MST3K actor/writer/director/music composer Michael J. Nelson partnered with former MST3K co-stars Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett to form The Film Crew. The trio hosted segments produced for cable movie channels, and produced a handful of commentaries for DVDs released by Shout! Factory in 2007.

Due to legal entanglements, The Film Crew fizzled and Nelson moved forward to create a much more prolific and successful project, RiffTrax.com. If you haven’t yet heard of RiffTrax, they’re downloadble audio commentaries riffing on a wide variety of genre films such as Jaws, Transformers, Star Wars, Star Trek, and many others. Through RiffTrax.com, users can download commentary tracks and listen to them as they watch the movies. RiffTrax has also produced a series of shorts and VOD movies, and offers user-contributed commentaries through the site as well.

RiffTrax feature the voices of MST3K alums Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett (voice of Crow T. Robot), Kevin Murphy (voice of Tom Servo, Cambot), Mary Jo Pehl, and Bridget (Jones) Nelson, as well as guest “riffers” Weird Al Yankovic, Fred Willard, Chad Vader (aka Matt Sloan), and Neil Patrick Harris — all whom have done a fair share of voice acting.

Prices for RiffTrax downloads vary between .99 and $3.99, which is pretty dang cheap entertainment if you ask me, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.

Also, if you want to see one of the early influences on MST3K, check out the 1963 Jay Ward series Fractured Flickers, for which the complete series was released on DVD in 2004. The show featured silent and vintage B&W films overdubbed with music and dialog performed by a cast of actors well-known for their cartoon voice work: Hans Conried, Paul Frees, June Foray, and Bill Scott, with guest appearances by Edward Everett Horton (Rocky & Bullwinkle narrator), Sebastian Cabot (Pooh narrator), Roddy McDowall (Pinky & The Brain), Paul Lynde (Charlotte’s Web), Pat Carroll (The Little Mermaid), Bob Newhart (The Rescuers), and Zsa Zsa Gabor (The Rescuers).

Here are some preview clips of the series via YouTube.com:

Fractured Flickers with Hans Conried (opening/closing titles and a brief segment)
Rod Serling “Interviewed” by Hans Conried
Barbara Eden on Fractured Flickers
Peter Lorre – The Quitter (Fractured Flickers – 1963)