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Jun 172016
 

Alan Oppenheimer

Here’s something special for my 800th post. The other voice actor I met at MegaCon 2016 was Alan Oppenheimer. It’s always an honor to meet a voice actor, who voiced characters on shows from my childhood and he has voiced many. When I mentioned that to Alan Oppenheimer, he thought that I didn’t look old enough. It was still an honor just the same.

Most of these classic shows were from the 80s and Alan Oppenheimer had voiced at least several characters from each one. Since it would take a long time to go over each character individually, I’ll try to be more discrete.

Let’s start with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, one of the first animated shows I ever saw. He voiced Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Mer-Man, Buzz-Off, Cringer, and Battle Cat.

That’s really quite impressive since each character sounded very different from one another.

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Shortly after He-Man ended, Alan Oppenheimer voiced several villains on Ghostbusters (1986 version). They included Fangster the werewolf, Long John Scarechrome the pirate ghost, Airhead the mummy, and main arch villain Prime Evil. It wasn’t until I got the DVD sets when I noticed the voice similarities between these characters and the ones from He-Man.

The same goes with his characters from Bravestarr, which included Handlebar the bartender, Scuzz the Prairie henchman, and the evil bull demon Stampede.

You might find this interesting. Alan Oppenheimer also voiced characters from The Neverending Story. One of them was the Rock Biter. He was my favorite.

The others were Falkor the lucky dragon and Gmork the wolf.

Would you believe that he also voiced Vanity Smurf from The Smurfs animated series as well as Count Dracula from Drak Pack.

As great as his voice acting was, Alan Oppenheimer had some live action roles too. However, they were mostly guest appearances in one episode of a TV series. The one I remember best was on Get Smart as Agent 498 in the season 2 episode The Man from YENTA.

Meeting a voice actor behind the cartoons you enjoyed at a younger age is always a pleasure. Any other old favorites you’d like to add?

Dec 272010
 

I admit that I’m not hugely into westerns, but one classic animated series I remember well was BraveStarr – Season One, Vol. One and The Legend of Bravestarr – Season 1, Volume 2 (1987-1988). It’s like the Wild West in outer space. Bravestarr is the Marshall of the planet New Texas. With the help of Deputy Fuzz the prairie man, and 30-30, a horse with a powerful rifle named Sara Jane, they protect New Texas and its citizens from dangerous outlaws, lead by Tex Hex and wicked phantom Stampede.

Bravestarr isn’t exactly He-Man, but he does have superpowers. I guess you could call them that. His powers are “Eyes of the Hawk”, which help him see things at far distances, “Ears of the Wolf”, which give him super hearing, “Strength of the Bear”, which gives him super strength, and “Speed of the Puma”, which gives him super speed. That’s my favorite, but aren’t cheetahs faster than pumas?

Like He-Man and Ghostbusters, there are some colorful villains. Some of my favorites include Sandstorm a snorting sand crab creature with powerful breath, Thunderstick the android outlaw, and Scuzz the prairie man who always smokes a cigar. It’s funny when he annoys Tex Hex unknowingly. Will Scuzz ever learn to use nicotine gum?

Tex Hex is like the Skeletor of the series with a fairly similar look. It’s interesting that Tex Hex used to be a good guy and was engaged to his girlfriend Ursula. But his greed for Kerium consumed him and Stampede made him into the powerful monster he is. On occasion, Tex Hex thinks about Ursula and regrets losing her. Maybe he’ll decide to change one day? Not if Stampede has anything to say about it.

I used to not understand what this series was about. Now I know that it’s about a gold rush with a valuable ore known as Kerium. That’s why most of the citizens are miners and prospectors. And instead of whiskey, everyone drinks sweet water, which comes from watermelons. Sounds like good stuff, if it’s non alcoholic.

There are at least a couple of episodes when the children only believe that real heroes use guns and do what Bravestarr does, particularly the children of farmers, but Bravestarr knows better.

Bravestarr is still an old favorite. Some might even relate this show to Firefly with the basic idea of a sci-fi western. I wonder if that was where Joss Whedon got the inspiration. My guess is as good as any.