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View Full Version : Balt Sun EDITORIAL: The voices are not the stars of animated films


RobertoOrtiz
08-14-2006, 02:25 AM
Quote:
"When did it become so all-fired important that big-name movie stars provide the voices for animated features?
Trailers for the coming Open Season, the story of a domesticated bear who suddenly finds himself living in the wild, proudly proclaim that it stars Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing, Billy Connolly and Gary Sinise. But does it really?
"

>>LINK<< (http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/movies/bal-to.gripe11aug11,0,4345257.story?track=rss)

-R

fluffybunny
08-14-2006, 05:04 AM
Robert,

Did you catch the Siggraph special session on "How voice talents bring characters to life in CG film"?
I walked away with a better appreciation of the voice talent, whether it be big name or not. Not that I appreciate the big names or even care who it is at all, just appreciation for those that work hard giving a convincing vocal performance.
Mario Cantone(sp?) was among the presenters. Apparently he is voicing a quirky bird of some sort in the surf's up movie, and then a major character in American Dog. He is apparently a huge animation fan. It was neat to see an actor so fired up about and so appreciative of all the other peoples hard work that goes into making the films.
They sort of discussed how good voice acting often involves acting totally solo and can require many takes and variations to fit in with the surrounding cast. Whereas poor voice acting is when a big name actor/actress that has the big ego to go along with it simply comes in and lays out the line once and believes they did it perfect(hence no retakes or modifications to better fit the scene).
I got the impression that the casting people(at least the ones that were there...Sony, Blue Sky, Pixar) try very hard to get people that can act well, regardless of name....and that it is getting easier to win over the suits to let them do so.

I still get a chuckle from Ed Hooks story he relates in "Acting for Animators" about how a major actress form a major animated film was quoted as saying, "the animators basically copied my performance"...which was anything but the truth according to his anecdote :)

eric

urgaffel
08-14-2006, 09:58 AM
It's kind of funny how some studios seem obsessed with big name stars (Dreamworks, I'm looking at you) while Pixar for example uses fairly unknown actors. Take Incredibles for example, the only voice I could recognize was Samuel L Jackson, the rest I have never heard of (although that might be because I'm not american but still). Compare that to Sharkstale for example :/

mullet
08-14-2006, 10:05 AM
i think this is a problem that desperately needs to be resolved, i've seen some characters have the life sucked out of them due to big name voice acting (madagascar was badly effected) like i was aying in another thread the other day - they are cartoon characters, maybe, just maybe they should have cartoon voices... poor old mel blanc will be turning in his grave.

vintagetone
08-14-2006, 02:02 PM
I thought the voices in "Increadibles" were fairly enough big names, and honestly, I thought they added a lot to the mix. Its character believability, and characters that are interesting that makes us stay for the ending credits and watch a movie over and over, and the voice is always a key indicator of what the nature of a person is all about. It also transmits the emotion of the action as much as the visual elements.

If you get non big name voices that are still good, you just found unkown voice talent, but if it works it is still talent.

Can you imagine Bugs Bunny without Mel Blanc?

Apoclypse
08-14-2006, 03:26 PM
Well it becomes about the "big" voices and not about the movie then its crap. Ant Bully comes to mind. Do I give a sh*t if Julia Roberts is voicing one of the ants, no. Sometimes they just get the voices without regard to the characters. If I'm watching a movie and have to even think who is that doing the voice, then the casting director and director have dropped the ball. I've watched the Incredibles and they have some fairly big actors. Not once did I watch the movie and say hmm, thats that guy from coach. I think of the voice and character as a whole, thats because PIXAR has picked actors that fit the character, and this is done so well that the name attached to the voices don't matter anymore. Jason Lee for example was great in that movie.

fluffybunny
08-14-2006, 03:29 PM
If you get non big name voices that are still good, you just found unkown voice talent, but if it works it is still talent.

Can you imagine Bugs Bunny without Mel Blanc?

Several other people have been Bug's voice Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugs_Bunny#Voices_of_Bugs)

Some actors have really good voice acting skill and some are just a pretty face.
At the Siggraph panel, they played half a dozen alternate voices that John Leguizamo devised for the role. Most of them were quite distinct, but obviously none of them were Sid...of course that's a retrospective viewpoint. I'm not saying John is or isn't an awesome voice actor, just that he was obviously working hard to get something that worked right...and I think in the end he succeeded very well.

I definitely feel that recent animated movies often had "Star Power" without performance. Of course big names cost more, but if they actually "earn" their money by providing a very good performance and pull people to the movie then I think everybody wins. If they're just a name to pull in bodies then it's a tragedy. I imagine there have been a few animated films that had very good vocal work, but poor animation?

I do think future films are going to have less big names unless it's people that can actually act.

eric

JTD
08-14-2006, 06:07 PM
Well it becomes about the "big" voices and not about the movie then its crap. Ant Bully comes to mind. Do I give a sh*t if Julia Roberts is voicing one of the ants, no. Sometimes they just get the voices without regard to the characters. If I'm watching a movie and have to even think who is that doing the voice, then the casting director and director have dropped the ball. I've watched the Incredibles and they have some fairly big actors. Not once did I watch the movie and say hmm, thats that guy from coach. I think of the voice and character as a whole, thats because PIXAR has picked actors that fit the character, and this is done so well that the name attached to the voices don't matter anymore. Jason Lee for example was great in that movie.

Well said, Apoclypse. I couldn't agree more.

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