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The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's Who of Cartoon Voice Actors
     

The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's Who of Cartoon Voice Actors

by Alisa Persons, Tim Lawson
 

The Magic Behind the Voices is a fascinating package of biographies, anecdotes, credit listings, and photographs of the actors who have created the unmistakable voices for some of the most popular and enduring animated characters of all time.

Drawn from dozens of personal interviews, the book features a unique look at thirty-nine of the hidden artists of

Overview

The Magic Behind the Voices is a fascinating package of biographies, anecdotes, credit listings, and photographs of the actors who have created the unmistakable voices for some of the most popular and enduring animated characters of all time.

Drawn from dozens of personal interviews, the book features a unique look at thirty-nine of the hidden artists of show business. Often as amusing as the characters they portray, voice actors are charming, resilient people-many from humble beginnings-who have led colorful lives in pursuit of success. Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill's Mike Judge was an engineer for a weapons contractor turned self-taught animator and voice actor. Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) was a small town Ohio girl who became the star protégé of Daws Butler-most famous for Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and Quick Draw McGraw. Mickey Mouse (Wayne Allwine) and Minnie Mouse (Russi Taylor) are a real-life husband-and-wife team. Spanning many studios and production companies, this book captures the spirit of fun that bubbles from those who create the voices of favorite animated characters.

In the earliest days of cartoons, voice actors were seldom credited for their work. A little more than a decade ago, even the Screen Actors Guild did not consider voice actors to be real actors, and the only voice actor known to the general public was Mel Blanc. Now, Oscar-winning celebrities clamor to guest star on animated television shows and features.

Despite the crushing turnouts at signings for shows such as Animaniacs, The Simpsons, and SpongeBob Squarepants, most voice actors continue to work in relative anonymity. The Magic Behind the Voices features personal interviews and concise biographical details, parting the curtain to reveal creators of many of the most beloved cartoon voices.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Perhaps not surprisingly, cartoon voice actors are overshadowed by their visual embodiments. This book is an earnest attempt to bring the profession more respect by profiling 40 of the biggest names in the business. Lawson and Persons, a freelance writer and animator, respectively, are ever-sunny in their approach; they don't editorialize or provide an in-depth history of the trade. Rather, they simply illuminate an often-ignored corner of show business. Some of the industry's giants-Daws Butler (Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound); Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny, Barney Rubble)-get their due, but the more intriguing profiles are those of lesser-known performers. The authors unearth Paul Frees, the flamboyant, eccentric, practical-joking voice for many Rocky and Bullwinkle characters, who routinely wore firearms to the studio. They introduce one-note actors, too, like Nicole (Jaffe) David, creator of Velma on Scooby Doo, who left the show in 1974 and is now John Travolta's agent. The book isn't just concerned with the past, though; there are profiles of Mike Judge (King of the Hill), Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons) and John Kricfalusi (Ren and Stimpy). Though not always scintillating, this gold mine of information for animation fans will serve as a solid reference work on the field. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Animators and writers create characters, but the voice actors give them personality and soul. In the past, these talented people were not billed on film. Mel Blanc, better known as the voice of Bugs Bunny, was the first to demand billing and paved the way for others. After briefly tracing the development of voice-overs and how voice actors came to earn recognition for their work, Lawson, a freelance writer, and Persons, an artist, animator, and filmmaker, offer information on 40 of the most prolific stars, including voice credits and black-and-white photos of each. Featured are the likes of Blanc, Daws Butler (Yogi Bear), and Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson). Providing an insider's view of an unusual profession, this clever tribute informs and entertains. There are many cartoon histories, but Lawson and Persons have taken a fresh approach. A nice addition to film/animation collections. Public libraries should consider only where there is high interest.-Rosalind Dayen, South Regional Lib., Broward Cty., FL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578066964
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
12/09/2004
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Tim Lawson is a freelance writer and filmmaker who lives in Galesburg, Illinois.

Alisa Persons is a freelance writer, artist, animator, and filmmaker, who lives in Superior, Wisconsin.

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