Complete List of Dragon*Con Voice Actor Events

09.03.2010

I’ve been asked by several individuals attending Dragon*Con if I would list all of the voice actor panels I’m involved with along with other related panels of note. As you will see below, there are so many related events that this was a rather daunting task. I hope my efforts will be useful as a guide to those attending the con.

Please note that the schedule and guests listed below are subject to change. Check The Daily Dragon regularly for up-to-the-minute schedule and guest updates.

Locations for each panel/event are not listed due to the possibility of changes. For those attending Dragon*Con please check your Pocket Program Guide, and every morning when you arrive at the con be sure to pick up a copy of The Daily Dragon from the local D*Con Info booth which contains all updates and changes.

FRIDAY

– 10:00 AM – Snydecast & FRED Entertainment
Featuring Dana Snyder.

– 11:30 AM – Aqua Teen Hunger Force/Squidbillies Panel
Featuring live script reads with a full cast: Jim Fortier, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Daniel Baker (Unknown Hinson), Daniel McDevitt, Dana Snyder, Bobby Ellerbee, Mary Kraft, and Scott Hilley. Autograph session to follow.

– 1:00 PM – Bill Corbett (Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Rifftrax)

– 2:30 PM – Trace Beaulieu (MST3K, Cinematic Titanic)

– 2:30 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Clone Wars cast members Ashley Eckstein, Phil LaMarr and Daniel Logan.

– 2:30 PM – Voice Acting for Podcasters
Panel description: “Learn the finer points of voice acting and voice overs to enhance your podcast.” [No industry guests listed for this event.]

– 4:00 PM – Darkstar: The Interactive Movie
Featuring MST3K’s Trace Beaulieu

– 4:00 PM – Voice Actors
Panel moderated by Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, featuring panelists C. Martin Croker, George Lowe, Billy West, Dana Snyder, and John DiMaggio. (Additional guests possible for this panel.)

– 5:30 PM – The Animation Fan Fun Panel
Hosted by yours truly, Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, with special industry guests (TBA). Light on commentary and packed with voice actor improv, a wild Old Time Radio script read, and trivia contest with prizes. Sponsored by toonzone.net and Voice Actors in the News.

– 5:30 PM – Akira: The Great Dub Debate – Streamline or Pioneer?
Fan panel discussing the two dubs of the classic anime film.

– 7:00 PM – Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
Live performance by local audio drama troupe.

– 7:00 PM – [adult swim] Comedy
Fan panel with industry guests TBA.

– 8:30 PM – Aqua Teen Hunger Force Fan Panel
Industry guests also possible for this panel.

– 8:30 PM – MST3K and Cinematic Titanic
Historic live performance featuring Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and J. Weinstein. [This is nearly a 6-hour event.]

– 1:30 AM – WEEP
Live concert featuring Venture Bros‘ Doc Hammer on lead vocals and guitar.

SATURDAY

– 11:30 AM – Voice Actors
Panel moderated by Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton, featuring panelists C. Martin Croker, George Lowe, Billy West, Dana Snyder, John DiMaggio, and Tom Kenny. (Additional guests possible for this panel.)

– 11:30 AM – MST3K
Panel presentation featuring Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and J. Weinstein.

– 1:00 PM – Venture Bros. Guests
Featuring Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick. Autograph session to follow.

– 1:00 PM – FUNimation Entertainment Industry Panel and Q&A
Possible industry guests in attendance.

– 1:00 PM – Star Wars Costume Contest
Emceed by Ashley Eckstein.

– 4:00 PM – Bizarro Saturday Morning
Adult Swim voice actor/animator/artist C. Martin Croker hosts this vintage film showcase. Here’s Clay’s description of the show:
“Bizarro Saturday Morning” is a film series (all 16mm from my own collection) that I’ve shown around the South – but primarily at [Atlanta’s] Historic Plaza Theater – of vintage, rarely seen and usually offbeat cartoons from the 1930s through the 1980s intercut with vintage Toy and TV spots mostly from the 1960s and 70s.”

– 4:00 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Phil LaMarr and Daniel Logan.

– 8:30 PM – Quantum Quest
Animated feature film screening with guest Tom Kenny.

– 8:30 PM – FUNimation presents: Anime’s Greatest Hits – The Best Scenes
Possible industry guests in attendance.

– 10:00 PM – Nuts on the Road: The Quiz Show
Improvised game show with contestants Dana Snyder, Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Adam Savage, J. Weinstein and Kevin Murphy.

SUNDAY

– 10:00 AM – Tom Servo vs Tom Servo
MST3K event featuring Kevin Murphy vs J. Elvis Weinstein.

– 11:30 AM – Squidbillies Fan Panel
Possible industry guests in attendance.

– 11:30 AM – Gargoyles: The Animated Series
Featuring cast members Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis.

– 1:00 PM – Stories with Uncle George
George Lowe’s popular one-man panel show.

– 1:00 PM – Meet the Stars of Star Wars
Featuring Daniel Logan and Ashley Eckstein.

– 2:30 PM – Voice Acting Workshop
Featuring voice-over professional September Day and anime/video game voice actor Bob Carter.
Panel description: “Ever wanted to break into the voice over industry but just didn’t know where to start? Don’t have thousands to spend flying out to Los Angeles or New York for weekend-long workshops? How about coming to a workshop to learn what it REALLY takes to get started in this awesome industry right here in Atlanta? You don’t need a ton of money to launch your voice over career!”

– 2:30 PM – MST3K: Meet the Mads
Panel featuring Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, J. Weinstein, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy.

– 4:00 PM – Futurama Cast Panel
Featuring Billy West, John DiMaggio and Phil LaMarr. (Maurice LaMarche unfortunately had to cancel his appearance at the convention.)

– 4:00 PM – Master Shake Tells it Like it Is
Featuring Dana Snyder.

– 5:30 – FUNimation Anime Sneak Peaks and Prizes
Possible industry guests in attendance.

– 5:30 – Meet Chad Vader!
Featuring the star of popular YouTube adventures of Darth Vader’s less fortunate brother, Chad Vader, who has also voiced Vader for LucasArts video games.

– 5:30 PM – Rifftrax Live…sort of
Featuring Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy.

– 7:00 PM – What’s on Dana Snyder’s iPod
Featuring Dana Snyder.

– 7:00 PM – Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
Live peformance.

– 8:30 PM – David Bowie: Loving the Alien
Featuring Doc Hammer.


MONDAY

– 10:00 AM – Clone Wars & Star Wars Cartoons
Featuring Phil LaMarr and Ashley Eckstein.

Other celebrity guests will be in attendance who have voiced characters for animated productions. Please check the Pocket Program Guide for the panels and autograph sessions they are participating in.

Thanks to all the following sites for providing detailed schedules for Dragon*Con:

Anime-Manga Track (by Jake)
http://anime.dragoncon.org/2010/08/22/anime-manga-track-schedule-subject-to-change/

Animation Track (by Jess)
http://dragontoon.moonfruit.com/#/schedule-2009/4534639034

Star Wars Track
http://www.swatdc.com/

MST3KInfo
http://www.mst3kinfo.com/?p=7080

Venture Bros Blog
http://venturebrosblog.com/dragon-con/

[adult swim] Central (by John)
http://www.adultswimcentral.com/dc10.html

[adult swim] Official
http://www.adultswim.com/presents/dragon-con/index.html


Reporter Claims Danish Dub of ‘SpongeBob’ is Superior to Original

05.08.2010

An unidentified reporter for The Copenhagen Post makes the audacious claim that the voices for the Danish dub of SpongeBob SquarePants are “better than the originals.”

With nary an audio or video clip to support this claim, the reporter says that even with A/V examples his (or her) “point would have been lost without them being able to understand the language.”

SpongeBob — or more appropriately SvampeBob Firkant, which translates literally in Danish as “SpongeBob Square” — is Nickelodeon Denmark’s most popular program, and according to the article the Danish dub cast includes Jens Jacob Tychsen as SpongeBob, Søren Ulrichs as Patrick Star and Peter Zhelder as Squidward. [FYI: Ulrichs is a “voiceover veteran” in Denmark, and has dubbed many lead roles for a number of US cartoons.]

This reporter states that Zhelder’s performance as Squidward is an “improvement over the original” (referring to Roger Bumpass), and that Tychsen as SpongeBob is “actually better than the much-hailed Tom Kenny, who voices the original American character.” And at the close of the article, the reporter goes as far as to claim that the Danish version is “superior” to the original.

Tychsen is also interviewed in the article, and had this to say about voicing the iconic character:

‘I honestly had the initial impression that the show was some cheaply produced piece of crap that should be done as quickly as possible and would be forgotten just as fast,’ he said. ‘But then we found out how popular it was in the US and thought that maybe we had something good going. We also gradually learned the humour of it, although we were a bit worried that too few people would see it being aired only on Nickelodeon. But once [public broadcaster] DR bought the rights it really took off.’

Tychsen said he soon fell in love with the ‘bizarre’ character he was voicing, and eventually made the voice more personal after the first episode, ‘Help Wanted’, where he says he was just doing a straight copy of Kenny’s voice traits.

‘I realised how important it was that SpongeBob wasn’t just this bloody irritating little thing, but that there also had to be something loveable or attractive about him,’ he said. ‘So instead of just copying the original I incorporated a bit of mischief into his voice and there it was – my own SvampeBob!’

Tychsen said the most difficult SvampeBob moments are when the little yellow sponge sings. He also admits that, away from the microphone, he has a hard time doing the voice when asked.

I could understand that national pride might be a factor to Denmark residents in claiming that the dubbed version is “superior” to the US version, but even without hearing any proof I already have a problem with Tychsen’s take on the character because he says he “incorporated a bit of mischief into his voice” which seems contradictory to SpongeBob’s character.

Who knows why this reporter didn’t bother to provide even a single audio or video clip for comparison, but it was easy enough to find online thanks to YouTube and the official Nickelodeon Denmark website.

Review the clips that follow and see if you think the Danish dub is genuinely “superior” to the original. (Up front, I’ll just go ahead and warn you that SpongeBob’s laugh is off. Way off.)

And there are over a dozen high-quality streaming complete SvampeBob cartoons on Nickelodeon.DK. Here are direct links to some of the more memorable ones:

“Best Day Ever”
“Stanley S. SquarePants”
“Krabby Road”
“House Fancy”


Voice Cast Cavalcade: Word Up, WordGirl!

02.14.2010

This article was first published February 14, 2010 and has since been revised and updated with new information. Please scroll down for the most recent additions.

Although I have done previous voice cast features here on the blog, I’m introducing it as a series with a fancy-schmancy title — “Voice Cast Cavalcade” — where I will periodically spotlight the voice casts of TV shows, movies, films and video games which I think are worthy of mention.

WordGirl image courtesy of PBS.org

First up is the Emmy Award-winning PBS series, WordGirl [<– official site link], one of my current favorite animated shows.

Yes, I know it’s a kids’ show. And no, I don’t have any kids. But as a writer I’ve always had a fascination with words and their meanings. I’m also involved in education as an acting coach for kids and teens, and I perform an “edutainment” reading program for children. So if I must justify why I watch WordGirl, there you go.

But I also watch the show because I just love cartoons. And as an animation critic, I can’t say the show’s animation is particularly striking or even outstanding. But that’s not worth criticizing because WordGirl is designed to have a functional, simplistic coloring book/comic book-esque look that’s easy on the eyes and works for the show’s format.

And it’s on PBS so it’s expected that WordGirl‘s focus is education, which it has in spades — it’s geared to help boost reading comprehension and vocabulary.

But quite surprisingly it also entertains…for all ages.

Most studios producing animated educational programming for kids unfortunately share a common problem: they often seem to forget to try making the show entertaining for adults too. (Many parents — good parents — do watch shows with their kids rather than letting the TV serve as a babysitter. I’m an uncle several times over and I love watching kids’ shows with my nieces and nephews because I find it interesting to observe what they react to.)

And because PBS shows are sponsored by companies who want parents to buy their products, I don’t understand why a production company would not attempt to make a kids’ show at least moderately entertaining for adults. Otherwise, the sponsors and advertisers seem more of an afterthought.

WordGirl is one of those rare kids’ shows that seems to have been intentionally crafted to be entertaining for all ages, and with a production studio like Soup2Nuts behind the series…well, that explains a LOT.

Soup2Nuts is the same studio that gave us Science Court, Home Movies and Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Home Movies and Dr. Katz — both skewed for adults — have developed a strong adult following through Adult Swim and Comedy Central (respectively). And Science Court was a kids’ show that thanks to clever writing and comedic voice performances had a broad audience appeal.

(And thankfully, WordGirl doesn’t use Soup2Nuts’ trademark “Squigglevision” from any of those series.)

And I’m not the only adult who has noticed WordGirl‘s entertainment value.

Popular animation fan site toonzone.net ranked WordGirl #19 on their Toons of the 2000s: Top 25 Animated Television Series, actually ranking WordGirl higher than such fan favorites as King of the Hill, Teen Titans, South Park and Chowder. Toonzone calls it “one of the smartest shows on television” thanks to the “humorous and fast-paced dialogue,” “unique villains,” “zany…secondary characters,” and the narrator’s commentary which “makes for some of the greatest highlights of the show.”

Toonzone calls it a “nominally…educational program,” and adds that there is “nothing nominal…about its entertainment value.”

PBS and Scholastic also seem deliberate in promoting the show to adults. In 2007, they enlisted PBS’ news anchor Jim Lehrer to do a “mock interview” with WordGirl for a show promo:

But what personally hooked me on the show were the cast performances and guest stars, which helped WordGirl to win the award for “Best Voice Talent” at the inaugural 2010 KidScreen Awards.

Danna Feinglass (photo courtesy UCBTheatre.com)

The show’s title character, WordGirl (aka Becky Botsford) is voiced by Dannah Feinglass (also credited as Dannah Phirman) who is also the voice of Penny, Bessie Higgenbottom’s sidekick on Nick’s popular animated series The Mighty B!. Furthermore, Feinglass voices Zaria and Linda the Sheep on Tak and the Power of Juju (also on Nickelodeon), and has voiced characters in the Mass Effect video game series. [FYI: Feinglass has also written episodes of WordGirl and The Mighty B!]

Feinglass is also an alumni of the Los Angeles’ comedy troupe, The Upright Citizens Brigade — which if you browse the Performers page on UCBTheatre.com you’ll discover this is a common connection with several other members of WordGirl’s voice cast: James Adomian, Maria Bamford, Patton Oswalt, Matt Besser, Danielle Schneider, Ron Lynch and Nick Kroll.

WordGirl‘s voice cast is far too lengthy for me to include here in its entirety, so I’ll just list the principals, recurring roles and notable guest stars (note that these are all recurring characters featured in 3 or more episodes).

Chris Parnell – Narrator, “The Exposition Guy”
Maria Bamford – Mrs. Botsford, Violet Heaslip, Leslie the Assistant
Ryan Raddatz – Mr. Botsford, Todd “Scoops” Ming
Cree Summer – Granny May
Tom Kenny – T.J. Botsford, Dr. Two Brains
James Adomian – Curator, Security Guard, Robber
Fred Stoller – Chuck the Evil Sandwich Making Guy
Patton Oswalt – Theodore “Tobey” McCalister III
H. Jon Benjamin – Reginald, the Jewelry Store Clerk
Ron Lynch – Mayor
Larry Murphy – TV Reporter
Grey DeLisle – Lady Redundant Woman
Jeffrey Tambor – Mr. Big
Jim Gaffigan – Mr. Dudley
Pamela Adlon – The Birthday Girl
John C. McGinley – The Whammer

Other notable guest stars include Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall, Invader ZIM), Ed Asner (Freakazoid!, The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Wayne Knight (Seinfeld, Toonsylvania), Kristin Schaal (Flight of the Conchords), Andy Dick (NewsRadio, Clone High), Judy Greer (Arrested Development), Peter Graves (Mission: Impossible, Airplane!), Elliot Gould (Friends, Kim Possible), and Brian Posehn (Transformers Animated, Mission Hill).

Here’s a segment from WordGirl introducing one of the series’ recurring villains “The Butcher” via PBS’ official YouTube Channel, featuring the voices of Dannah Feinglass (Becky, WordGirl), Chris Parnell (Narrator), Maria Bamford (Violet), Jack Ferraiolo (The Butcher), Jen Cohn (Bank Teller, Rich Old Lady), H. Jon Benjamin (Reginald), and Mike O’Connell (Grocery Store Manager).

For the show’s on-air credits, the cast is listed by name only which unfortunately makes it difficult to ID the voices, and I am unable to find an official source with a complete voice cast. The cast lists on IMDb.com and Wikipedia.org are useful but lack 100% accuracy.

I’ve contacted PBS Kids and Scholastic in hopes that they will be able to supply this information for the fans, and will update upon their reply.

DVD cover for 'WordGirl: Earth Day Girl' (via Scholastic press release)

And in very closely related news, PBS issued a press release (via toonzone.net) on Jan. 19th announcing WordGirl’s first-ever DVD release for March 30th: WordGirl: Earth Day Girl.

WordGirl: Earth Day Girl includes 8 episodes with bonus content that will both educate and entertain younger viewers, and I believe animation fans will find the show refreshingly entertaining too.

I personally hope it sells extremely well with parents and thus possibly help season box sets to be released in the future…for my future kids, naturally, but for me too.

Update: 5.04.2010
— I’ve given this article a complete overhaul and added images and video clips, and tried finding some other cast interviews via Google search:

– Found a mention on the official site for Ryan Raddatz (series writer and voice of WordGirl’s dad, Mr. Botsford) of a WordGirl live event (held in Los Angeles January 22, 2009) where Raddatz’s mentions that they had just wrapped production on “104 eleven-minute episodes” for WordGirl’s second season. (Barely half of Season 2’s new episodes have aired as of May 2010.)

And in a follow-up post, Raddatz shared several photos of the event featuring the voice cast.

In a more recent post, Raddatz blogged February 12th, 2010:

I’m currently writing my last script of season four (episode 155!) and we’ll be in the booth recording all next week. We should hear soon about more seasons….Fingers crossed!

– Series writer and voice talent Jack Ferraiolo was profiled in a June 2008 interview following his Daytime Emmy win.

Animation World Network published an interview February 2009 with WordGirl executive producer Deborah Forte and series’ creator Dorothea Gillim.

– Two interviews with Maria Bamford:
womensradio.com
creativeloafing.com

Starpulse.com February 2009 interview with Chris Parnell.


Kenny, Hines Talk ‘Superhero Squad’

02.11.2010

ComicBookResources.com has an interview with Tom Kenny detailing his work on The Superhero Squad Show as the voice Captain America, Iron Man, M.O.D.O.K., Juggernaut, Colossus and other characters on the show. Kenny also talks about his love for all things geeky and reveals some tidbits about the show’s season finale.

Here’s what Kenny has to say about voice acting as a career:

I messed around in rock and roll bands when I was a little kid, and I still do. Then I kind of stumbled my way into standup and sketch comedy. Eventually, I became employed in that while doing the occasional voiceover, but the whole time I was doing those things, I thought that voiceover was the thing I was best at. I wished that could be 98% of my pie instead of two percent. It’s kind of a tough nut to crack. I made a living as a standup for many years and eventually the voiceover thing was able to supplant a lot of that stuff. It turns out that I was right – voiceover is better. [Laughs] Voiceover is the best-kept secret in entertainment.

It’s a perfect job for what you would call the shy show-off, you know what I mean? The person who doesn’t exactly want to be famous and deal with all of the horrific stuff that being an on camera celebrity brings to your life, but you still want to make a living as an actor. If you’re not driven by wanting to see your face on the cover of “People Magazine,” then being a voice actor is the best. It’s all of the fun of being an actor without any of the mess.

CBR CBR also interviews Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Cheryl Hines who voices Stardust, herald of Galactus (voiced by George Takei), on the 2-part season finale of The Superhero Squad Show airing Feb. 13th and 20th at 7:30 PM on Cartoon Network.

Says Hines of her voice acting experience:

The first time you do this, it’s such a strange feeling, because you’re in this booth that has this big glass window and there are usually, I don’t know, five to eight people on the other side staring at you with their headphones on. You can’t really hear what they’re saying, unless they want you to hear what they’re saying, and then they push a little button and say something to you. Otherwise, you’ll do a take and see them all talking. “Oh no, what’s going on in there?” Then they’ll push the button and go, “That was good, but let’s just try it one more time.” [Laughs] They’re always super calm when they talk to you, because they don’t want you getting rattled.

I remember the first time I did it, I was sweating. You’re not sure if you’re doing it right. You don’t really know what you’re doing. After you do a few [takes], you realize that there’s actually no right or wrong. The people on the other side of the glass, they’re listening and they’re really good at imagining the world that you’re creating.

You are so exhausted at the end of recording something like this. It’s very draining. I mean, let’s be honest, I’m not digging ditches, but your whole body is all tense and you’re trying to get it right and you’re so in it and concentrating so hard for three or four hours at a time. When it’s over, it feels like you just ran a marathon. Plus, with everybody’s eyes all on you, everyone’s listening to every little swallow, and God help you if you have any other body noises. [Laughs] It can be very stressful! But it’s weird. It’s a different way of working.

Related post: 1.31.2010 — Tom Kenny Talks Handy Manny


Full Coverage: 2010 Annie Awards Ceremony

02.08.2010

This article was originally posted 1.03.2010 and has since been revised and updated as new details have become available.

Presented by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, the 37th Annual Annie Awards were held on Saturday, February 6, 2010, at UCLA’s Royce Hall, in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony will also be webcast on AnnieAwards.org beginning Tuesday, Feb. 9th.

Following are the nominees and winners for the voice acting-related categories:

~ Voice Acting in a Television Production ~

Tom Kenny accepting his award. (Photo courtesy Carol Wyatt)


Danny Jacobs, Voice of King Julien: “Merry Madagascar”: DreamWorks Animation

Nicky Jones, Voice of Chowder: “Chowder: The Dinner Theatre'”: Cartoon Network Studios

* WINNER: Tom Kenny, Voice of SpongeBob: “SpongeBob SquarePants: Truth or Square”: Nickelodeon

– Dwight Schultz, Voice of Mung Daal: “Chowder:The Party Cruise”: Cartoon Network Studios

– Willow Smith, Voice of Abby: “Merry Madagascar”: DreamWorks Animation

~ Voice Acting in a Feature Production ~

* WINNER: Jen Cody, Voice of Charlotte: “The Princess and the Frog”: Walt Disney Animation Studios

– Dawn French, Voice of Miss Forcible: “Coraline”: Laika

– Hugh Laurie, Voice of Dr. Cockroach Ph.D.: “Monsters vs. Aliens”: DreamWorks Animation

– John Leguizamo, Voice of Sid: “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur”: Blue Sky Studios

– Jennifer Lewis, Voice of Mama Odie: “The Princess and the Frog”: Walt Disney Animation Studios

The highest honor of the night went to Pixar/Disney’s Up for “Best Animated Feature,” which won another award for “Directing in a Feature Production.”

Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder won for “Best Home Entertainment Production,” and Robot Chicken: Star Wars 2.5 was the winner for “Best Animated Short Subject.”

Disney’s Prep and Landing won “Best Animated Television Production” and 3 additional awards, while The Penguins of Madagascar won for the “Best Animated Television Production for Children.”

Producer/animator/artist Bruce Timm was one of three recipients of the prestigious Winsor McCay Award. Timm has also voiced incidental characters and performed background walla for the many DC Comics animated properties with which he’s been involved.

My hearty congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

William Shatner hosting (photo courtesy Carol Wyatt)


William Shatner served as host for the event (previously reported here), and presenters included June Foray, Seth Green, John Leguizamo, Sean Astin, Pete Docter, Ed Catmull and Henry Selick. Disney’s Don Hahn also introduced a special tribute to the late Roy Disney.

Please visit AnnieAwards.org for the complete list of winners.

I will be adding more photos and video from the event over the next week, but in the meantime here’s a video from the 2009 Annie Awards featuring voice actors James Hong, Brad Garrett and Pat Fraley (via ActorsReporter.com):

Update: 2.08.2010, 3:05 AM (EST) — My friend and fellow voice actor fan Matt Dunford had the privilege of attending the Annies and provided the following report:

It was great show. But I really don’t think that Shatner was anywhere near as good as Tom Kenny has been for the past 5 years. But the highlight of the evening was Shatner totally botching the pronunciation of John Leguizamo and the running gag it prompted for the rest of the evening.

[Besides the aforementioned presenters], John DiMaggio and Fred Tatasciore presented an award together. Later on Bill Farmer, Tony Anselmo, and Russi Taylor went on stage and presented an award and also gave a marvelous tribute to Wayne Allwine. It was wonderful, Russi was so thankful to everyone there as she was holding back tears, yet the trio still gave a wonderful performance.

And for VAs in the audience I ran into Dana Snyder from [Aqua Teen Hunger Force], and Michael-Leon Wooley [Princess and the Frog]. Wooley was…very smiley and laughing all the time.

Other comments on the Annie Awards ceremony via Cartoon Brew:

From Floyd Norman: “William Shatner was a terrific host. Plus, he really moved the show along nicely, making the most out of every comic opportunity. I’d gladly have him back at the helm for another awards ceremony.”

From Floyd Bishop: “I thought the show was great, even from the nosebleed seats. The Tom [Kenny]/William Shatner voice swap skit was funny, and as Floyd Norman mentioned, Mr Shatner did a great job of keeping the show moving. It didn’t feel as long as it was.”

Update: 2.09.2010, 5:00 AM (EST) — The first few minutes of AnimationArchive.org’s podcast includes an “Annies Wrap Up.”

Seth Green fan blog “Freakin’ Awesome!” has posted photos collected from around the web of Green’s appearance at the Annie Awards here and here.

I also have a full gallery of photos courtesy of artist Carol Wyatt of Carol Wyatt Illustration (Thanks again, Carol!):

Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards

And if anyone from ASIFA-Hollywood happens to be reading this, I would like to submit Richard Horvitz as host for the 38th Annual Annie Awards, provided that Tom Kenny is not available again. I’ve observed Horvitz for a few convention panel presentations and he’s naturally funny, quick-witted, great with people and presents himself professionally as well. He also has ample experience as a speaker since he teaches voice acting workshops which come highly-recommended.

While I’m sure having a celebrity guest host helped boost the Annies’ media exposure, wouldn’t you really rather have the host represent someone who genuinely works in your own industry?

Added: 2.08.2010, 3:39 AM (EST) — 2010 Annie Awards videos from the red carpet event:

Lacey Chabert (The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Wild Thornberrys, and the original voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy):

John Leguizamo (Ice Age film series):

Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse):

Tony Anselmo and Bill Farmer (Donald and Goofy, respectively):

Jennifer Lewis (Princess and the Frog):

Michael-Leon Wooley (Princess and the Frog):

Jennifer Cody (Princess and the Frog):

…and Cody receiving her Annie Award:

Nicky Jones (Chowder)

Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Family Guy)

Tom Kenny vs William Shatner: Battle for the Host!
…also includes Seth Green presenting the award for “Best Home Entertainment Production” (and a brief appearance by John Di Maggio)

A very special thanks to Matt Dunford for providing the event report, to artist Carol Wyatt of Carol Wyatt Illustration / Carol’s Couch for all the photos, and to Doreen Mulman for the heads-up on Carol’s photos.
I’d also like to thank the Academy…

Additional sources: NewsroomAmerica.com and Celebrity2Celebrity.com.

Related posts:
– 1.26.2010 — William Shatner to Host Annie Awards
– 12.17.2009 — Golden Globes Nominees Announced


Tom Kenny Talks ‘Handy Manny’

01.31.2010

Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) talks with Wired.com’s GeekDad about his role as Pat the Hammer, Mr. Lopart and Sneeze the Shop Vac on Disney Channel’s “Handy Manny,” voicing Rabbit for the new Winnie the Pooh movie, playing in rock bands, doing stand-up, being a geek, collecting comics, and performing as Joey Ramone for a Ramones tribute concert.

Tom also mentions that he and his songwriting partner (not mentioned by name) “do some songs for Handy Manny once in a while,” when they are allowed to, “which is very nice of them,” Tom adds.

Here’s an excerpt with Tom’s response to the question, “How does recording a known character compare to an all-new one with an all-new voice?”

I suppose it depends on the actor’s aptitude. I know some guys who are great at what’s called voice matching – they do a dead-on Pooh or a dead-on Tigger and they’re often the guy who ends up inheriting the voice when the original guy passes on to the big animated show in the sky. That was never my forte – although there are some voices I do. For some of the old Hanna-Barbera characters; I’m the voice match for Boo-Boo from ‘Yogi and Boo-Boo’ and Top Cat – and Elroy Jetson, I’m the voice for him. But I don’t consider that to be what I’m good at. If I have a skill it’s that I can look at a description or a picture of a character and process what I think the creator is hearing in his head. Often times talking to the creator is helpful. Rick Gitelson knew exactly what he wanted, as did Steven Hillenburg with SpongeBob. ‘Handy Manny’ is quite a character driven show, and it’s just about becoming the character and deciding what voice fits this picture, and how do you get the personality that’s described in the paragraph on the page for you across aurally. I like that part of the job, the kind of Rubik’s Cube, crossword puzzle of how to be the person that when they listen to you they go “yeah, that guy”, because obviously there are a lot of talented voice actors out there, and they’re all auditioning in the same way that you are. It’s fun, and a lot of it is challenging that personality.

Related post: 1.03.2010 — SpongeBob Voice Cast Featured in Magazine


Anime Voice Actors Willingham and Bailey Interviewed

01.15.2010

iPlayWinner.com has an interview (via YouTube) with Anime VAs Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey (the respective voices of Guile and Chun-Li in Street Fighter 4) from their recent appearance at the January 2010 SacAnime convention in Sacramento, CA.

And here’s bonus video from SacAnime — a panel presentation featuring Travis and Vic Mignogna, which includes Travis discussing working with Charlie Adler and Tom Kenny on The Super Hero Squad Show:

In the video, Vic mentions a new website — ConDotCom.com — which he describes as an “online convention experience [with] a lot of well-known voice actors…involved.” However, the site currently has some technical issues and nearly all pages require login for access, but I am unable to find a link for registration other than one that allows access to the chat room. It may just be a temporary glitch. I’ve contacted the website for assistance and will provide an update upon reply.

Update: 1.15.2010, 9:50 PM — I received a reply from Vic Mignogna about the website “glitch.” Apparently the site’s currently in a beta test phase, which explains why nothing is accessible without a login.

To gain access to the site prior to the official public launch, send an email to condotcom@gmail.com with an explanation why you wish to participate in the beta test.

Update: 1.17.2010 — Vic followed up with a message that it is okay to share the login info publicly. Username is condotcom and the password is betatest.

There is already a considerable amount of content on the site in the form of anime voice actor ringtones and music downloads. A great more content is planned for the site in the near future, and Vic wasn’t kidding when he said a “lot” of well-known voice actors were involved.

Feel free to check out the site and participate in the beta test to get all the bugs worked out prior to the site’s official launch.

I’ll have more coverage of ConDotCom in a separate post.

In related news, SacAnime has already announced that voice actor Liam O’Brien will be a guest at their September 2010 convention.

Source: Kombo.com

Related post: 1.13.2010 — AnimeTV Hosted by Voice Actors Bosch and Vee