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The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's Who of Cartoon Voice Actors Paperback – December 9, 2004
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From 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"this clever tribute informs and entertains...Lawson and Persons have taken a fresh approach. A nice addition to film/animation collections." -- Library Journal Reviews, November 15, 2004
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So when I started this who’s who of cartoon voice actors . . . I was wondering if they would all be here. They being all of the characters I remembered most. Yes they mostly were. Some were voiced by the same dude (Mel Blanc – Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, Wiley Coyote) and some mainly just the one (Wally Cox – Underdog). Would they have the Burgermeister from Santa Clause is Coming to Town . . . . .? Yes!! Wait - Speed Racer? No??!!
The listings are in alphabetical order, and the paperback is about 1 inch thick, 6 x 8 inches and 350 pages. The artist write-ups are anywhere from 2 to 10 pages long. My kids missed a lot of the newer animated stuff that’s good, so I am not too familiar with 90’s and 00’s cartoons, which made those artists less interesting for me. One “newer” artist I would have added is Phil Vischer who created and did the voices for Veggietales - which my kids did watch 9,000 times.
A common theme of the good voice actors seems to be that they were "in character" when doing it.
Maybe "magic" is the right word. It's funny that a kid can watch a cartoon and never think about the amazingly talented human voice and animation artists behind them - at least I never did. I was under the spell of the "magic."
Usually one book makes be want to read another book. This book makes me want to watch cartoons again.