One man recorded over 5,000 movie trailers, 750,000 TV ads, and has a voice recognized by millions. That man was…”me.” What The FAK. The Facts and Knowledge on Voice Actors. Don La Fontaine was a legendary voice actor whose nicknames included “Thunder Throat” and “The Voice Of God.” So many of his movie trailers used the phrase “In A World” that it has since become a cliche. “80’s are back, it’s “Code Monkeys,” coming this spring. But another man’s “In A World” is equally famous, and that’s Hal Douglas’. Douglas actually won the Don La Fontaine Legacy Award in 2011 for his extensive voiceover work. “In a world where laughter was king…” Arguably the most influential person in all of voice-acting was Mel Blanc. The voice of Looney Tunes and many Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters spent six-decades performing about 400 different voices.
At the time of his death in 1989 it was estimated that 20 million people heard his voice every day. (Cartoon Character Voice) Giving life to many of the female characters is June Foray. Her list of voice credits is extensive, ranging from “Rocky” and “Natasha” to “Granny” on Looney Tunes. She’s still working into her 90’s and is the oldest entertainer ever to be nominated for an Emmy award. “Why didn’t you tell me before?” “I didn’t think you’d believe me!” “I don’t, but it sure helps the plot!” Creating sounds for animals, aliens, robots, and humans alike is Frank Welker- one of the highest-grossing actors in all of Hollywood due to the sheer amount of high-profile voiceover work that he’s done. Starting with Fred on Scooby Doo, he’s gone on to voice Abu in Aladdin, Nibbler on Futurama, and Megatron on Transformers in the animated series as well as the video games. Here he is doing lion roars for Disney’s The Lion King.
(Lion roars) The voice of Walt Disney since 1983 is Mark Elliot. He’s done voice overs for so many trailers, that his voice is synonymous with Disney. “Disney’s magical classic that taught us to believe, only for a limited time.” Don Messick was responsible for an incredible amount of the famous voices of Hanna-Barbara cartoons including Scooby Doo, Papa Smurf, Droopy, Bamm Bamm, Boo Boo Bear, and Astro. (Funny cartoon voices) The epic voice of the Transformer’s Optimus Prime belongs to Peter Cullen. Cullen also voiced “Eeyore” from Winnie The Pooh, and was the first person ever to provide a voice for Donkey Kong as part of Nintendo’s Saturday Supercade in 1983. “I have witnessed their capacity for courage, and though we are worlds apart, like us, there is more to them than meets the eye.” The man trying to cheer up Eeyore was Jim Cummings, whose long list of characters include Winnie The Pooh and Tigger.
(Winnie The Pooh voices) When it came to voicing Muppets it starts with Jim Henson and Kermit. “Now the truth of the matter is that the frog is a great deal more interesting to look at, and, uh, who notices what the bearded man is doing?” But right alongside Henson was Frank Oz. Oz not only worked the puppets, but voiced many legendary characters including Miss Piggy, Cookie Monster, and even Yoda. (Miss Piggy voice) Star Wars’ most recognizable voice is that of Darth Vader, provided by James Earl Jones. He also lent his booming voice to “Mufasa” in the Lion King, and the iconic CNN network ID. “Look inside yourself Simba.” Today’s cartoons have many dominating voice actors, one of which is Billy West.
Noted for his work on Ren & Stimpy, Futurama, and as the Red M & M. (Various Voices) One of West’s colleagues on Futurama is John DiMaggio, who not only provides the voice of Bender amongst his massive list of credits, he’s also Marcus Fenix in Gears of War. (Marcus Fenix voice) David Hayter’s Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series is one of the most famous voices in gaming. “Quiet, now listen close, because I’m only going to say this once. The nominees for Favorite Video Game are…” And the voice of the most recognizable character in gaming belongs to Charles Martinet. (Mario voice) For the last 20 years the voice of Batman in multiple animated series and games has come from Kevin Conroy. “The point is, her costume linked her to me. Why?” One of the most recognized voices in all of cartoons is Tom Kenny’s Spongebob Squarepants.
Kenny’s talents aren’t limited to a pineapple under the sea, however, having voiced characters in over 200 productions. Starting with “Heffer” from Rocko’s Modern Life and including the “Ice King” in Adventure Time with Finn and Jake. “Whooo wants the first patty from our freshly cleaned grill?!” A legend in female voice acting is Tress Macneille, whose talents have been used in The Simpsons, Futurama, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network. Another major player in voicing female characters is Tara Strong. She is all over Cartoon Network, as well as providing the singing voice of Meg in Family Guy. (Cartoon voices) Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane not only does the voice of Peter Griffin but also Brian, Quagmire, and Stewie. (In Stewie voice) “Hmm, is this a grape or a cherry? You know what? I don’t really care, I enjoy them both.” (In Peter Griffin voice) “Wait, wait, hold it, hold it, hold it, can we finish this discussion after Joan of Arcadia?” Can’t mention Family Guy without mentioning The Simpsons which not only paved the way for adult-oriented animated sitcoms but houses a small stable of ultra talented voice actors.
Including Dan Castellaneta whose characters include Homer, Grandpa and Groundskeeper WIlly. (Various Simpson’s voices) Hank Azaria who is Apu, Chief Wiggum, and Moe, amongst others. (Simpsons voices) And Harry Shearer whose over 20 characters include Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, and Principle Skinner. (Simpsons Voices) Mike Judge is the creator of King Of The Hill and Beavis and Butthead, and provides the voices for not only Hank Hill, but both Beavis and Butthead. (Beavis and Butthead voices) South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone provide the majority of the voices for their popular characters. (South Park voices) Phil Lamarr began voice acting as a teenager. Today he’s in basically everything, from Family Guy and Futurama, to video games like Metal Gear Solid 2 & 4, Infamous, and Dead Island. “One guy is placed here in my throat, and the other guy is, perhaps, I move him up in my throat and give him a different texture to the voice.” Rob Paulsen has voiced over 250 animated characters and performed in over 1000 commercials.
You’d definitely recognize him as Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Pinky from Pinky and the Brain. (Pinky voice) The Brain was voiced by Maurice LaMarche. An Emmy Award winning voice actor who was “Egon” on the animated Ghostbusters, and Orson Welles in The Critic, The Simpsons, and dubbed over Vincent Dinofrio in Tim Burton’s film Ed Wood. (Brain Voice) From Luke Skywalker to voiceover megastar is Mark Hamill. His biggest animated role being The Joker, which he has voiced in several different iterations of Batman for TV and games. (Joker voice) Although his unforgettable voice was best known as the host of American Top 40, Casey Kasem also provided the original voice of Shaggy from Scooby Doo, and Robin in Super Friends. YouTube had their own voiceover viral sensation when a homeless man named Ted Williams was discovered on the side of the road and gave viewers a glimpse at his golden voiceover talent. He has since landed several jobs including with MSNBC and Kraft Foods. “Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese, cheesy noodles topped with golden brown bread crumbs, you know you love it.” The most successful YouTuber voice impressionist is Brock Baker whose “Man of 100 Voices” videos have amassed millions of views.
(Various voices) To find more information on any of these, or other voice actors not mentioned in the video, check out behind the voice actors.com or voicechasers.com I’m gonna leave you with this game. It featured some of the first voice synthesis in the history of gaming. What is it? Before we go here’s last video’s winner. Be sure to subscribe for more Vsauce2 and, as always, thanks for watching..
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