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Apr 012014
 

He is another awesome voice actor I met at MegaCon 2014, who has had many classic characters that I grew up with and here they are.

Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog (90s version): This is Sonic’s archenemy. Nowadays he’s called Dr. Eggman, but has always been a mad scientist bent on world domination. This particular version of Robotnik is edgy and vile unlike the Anime versions that are a little more comedic. Whatever the case, Sonic always gets the best of him.

Leatherhead from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80s version): He’s a mutant crocodile with an attitude. Unlike other versions, this one is from a swamp in the South and has the persona of a fisherman. I can still remember his catchphrase, “I guarantee.” It’s priceless.

Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins: Like the first Mortal Kombat movie, he’s a master sorcerer and the main villain. In this animated feature he’s mostly calm, but keeps attempting to break the rules of the tournament by having his warriors attack the heroes before it begins. On a personal note, I thought this voice sounded very similar to Dr. Robotnik.

Ed from The Lion King: He’s one of the hyenas that serve Scar. Ed doesn’t talk much and isn’t very bright. He’ll laugh at just about anything, just like a hyena.

Fuzzy Lumpkins from Powerpuff Girls: This pink fuzzy creature is a hillbilly with a musket. He turns red and violent when angered, which is very easy to do because he will shoot anyone or anything that even touches his property. Fuzzy isn’t much of a villain compared to ones like Mojo Jojo, Princess Morbucks, or Sedusa, but don’t take him lightly.

Zummi Gummi from Gummi Bears: Zummi is the wise spell caster of the group. Though he often stumbles on his words and tends to forget things, you can always count on Zummi for wisdom.

Mayor Manx from SWAT Kats: He’s the Mayor of Megakat City and has been for ten terms. Manx spends most of his time playing golf. He leaves all of the paperwork to Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs and takes all of the credit. There are times when Mayor Manx tries to rent out Megakat Towers to investors and it always ends up in failure. I can’t help but feel sorry for him whenever that happens.

El Capitan from Ducktales: I remember this character well. He’s mysterious and exceptionally greedy for gold. The reason I say exceptionally is because he lived for over 400 years on will power. At the end of the five-part pilot episode, El Capitan was last seen attempting to dig up the Treasure of the Golden Suns after it collapsed and sank into the earth. He was never seen or heard from again after that, so what could have happened to him?

It was a blast to have met Jim Cummings. What are some of your favorite characters that he voiced?

Mar 282014
 

Among the many stars I met at MegaCon this year was voice actor Rob Paulsen. He has had a ton of great characters over the years, many of which I grew up with. It was so awesome to have met him. Here are some of these classic characters.

Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80s version): As we all know, Raph is the rebellious turtle with the Sais, but this version is different. He is actually comedic and often uses rude wisecracks when either faced with danger or tolerating dumb situations. Since this is the main version of TMNT I grew up watching, I was surprised that this take on Raph’s persona didn’t happen in any other version.

Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 version): Of course, he’s the inventive genius turtle with a Bo staff. This version of Don is different than most. For starters, he has a gap in his mouth and there’s no mention of how he lost that tooth. Don is also in love with April, but nobody thinks the relationship will ever work. Is it because April is a human and Don isn’t?

Arthur from The Tick (90s version): He was once an accountant before he became the Tick’s sidekick. Although Arthur is often timid and can’t fight his moth suit allows him to fly and he’s also more sensible than the Tick. He’s a devoted sidekick, but somehow I just don’t see Arthur going solo.

Caped Chameleon from The Tick (90s version): This superhero is one of my most favorites in the series. He can walk on walls like Spiderman and blend with any color surface or object except plaid. It’s hilarious when that happens. He still makes a good ally. Unfortunately, he’s not featured often in the series.

Yakko from Animaniacs: He’s the oldest of the Warner siblings and is very witty. He’s quick with a joke and his most common wisecrack is, “Good night, everybody.” Yakko says it whenever a situation is on the verge of being inappropriate. I used to not understand that.

Pinky from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain: This lab mouse is the Brain’s imbecilic sidekick that’s the comic relief of a world domination plan. Brain often clobbers Pinky when he says something dumb. That mainly occurs when Brain asks, “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?” Then Pinky’s answer is something completely unrelated.

Dr. Otto Von Scratchansniff from Animaniacs: He’s a psychologist of the stars. With the Warner siblings as his most common patients, Dr. Scratchansniff is the main adult they drive crazy. He is close with the Warners and eventually he becomes their father figure. Unfortunately, the Warners’ antics caused him to rip out all of his hair. He also never takes off his glasses. Why do you suppose that is?

Bobble from Tinkerbell franchise: This is one of the tinker fairies that work with Tinkerbell. He’s a nearsighted inventor that’s both refined and smart. What really stands out is that Bobble always wears goggles with water drops as lenses. How do they stay in there, and how does that really help his sight?

Corky from Snorks: This Snork Patrol officer is a dedicated defender that can play a fanfare with his snork, but tends to be a workaholic. Still, it makes you glad that he’s on the side of good. At one point, I thought he sounded a lot like Ninjor from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but it turns out that it’s not the same voice actor.

Gusto Gummi from Gummi Bears: He’s an artistic Gummi Bear that lived alone on a desert island for 12 years. In season three, he and his pet toucan Arty join up with the other Gummi Bears. Sometimes Gusto takes his art a little too seriously and forgets what’s important, but his heart is always in the right place.

Hard Drive from SWAT Kats: This colorful villain has a surge coat that allows him to smoothly and easily travel through anything electrical and can absorb data like a vacuum. Without it, he’s just a common thief. There’s no mention of how Hard Drive acquired that surge coat, but he is hard to catch when he has it on.

DECKS from Wake, Rattle and Roll: He’s a robot entirely made from audio/video equipment and the name DECKS is an acronym for Digital Electronic Cassette-headed Kinetic System. DECKS’s persona is much like a surfer, which makes him likable. Of course it doesn’t hurt that he can also show cartoons at anytime, but there is a limit of two per episode.

Gladstone Gander from Ducktales: If there’s one character that represents the phrase “Lucky Duck”, it’s Gladstone. He relies on his luck to get through life because good things always happen to him, no matter the situation. The most common situations involve money since he has none. However, Gladstone is no gambler. His luck includes winning contests and raffles, as well as finding money on the street. Even though Gladstone only appeared in two Ducktales episodes, I heard that he was a popular character in the Donald Duck comics along with Scrooge McDuck and Magica de Spell.

How’s that for a list? Do any of you have favorites you’d like to mention?

Dec 172013
 

Next to seals, the polar bear is a wonderful animal to think of when it comes to the Christmas holiday, particularly the ones that drink Coke from the bottle. In honor of the Coca-Cola polar bear, I have a list of my top ten favorite bears in pop culture. Unfortunately, none of them are from the Arctic. So bear with me.

#10) Winnie the Pooh from Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: He’s a quiet and friendly bear that loves honey. What usually stands out to me is Pooh’s classic catchphrase. Whenever he finishes a honey pot, he always says, “Oh, bother. Empty.”

#9) Sancho Panda from The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda: He is the nervous, but noble squire of Don Coyote and rides a donkey for a steed. Sancho is sensible, even though Don never listens to him when it comes to avoiding trouble, but you’ve got to hand it to him for trying.

#8) Lookout Bear (Michael B. Moynahan) from Zoobilee Zoo: This adventurous bear loves to travel. He drives a jeep and lives in a tent. It seems primitive compared to the other zoobles’ houses. I don’t think it even has a bathroom, but Lookout doesn’t seem to mind.

#7) The Country Bear Jamboree from Disney’s Magic Kingdom: This is a group of performing bears that perform country songs. It was one of the main attractions that’s been a part of Walt Disney World since the 70s and still remains there today. I never really had just one favorite among the group, but The Country Bear Jamboree has always been a favorite since I was a kid.

#6) The Buddy Bears from Garfield and Friends: Bobby, Billy, and Bertie are a trio of brothers, who sing, dance, and always get along with each other. Their antics often drive others crazy when their purpose is to teach important lessons to their viewers. Whether it’s to invade Garfield’s personal space or drop heavy objects on Roy the rooster, these bear cubs leave me laughing.

#5) Yogi Bear from Yogi Bear: There’s no doubt that he is one of Hanna Barbera’s biggest icons. Yogi, along with his good friend Boo-Boo, are friendly park bears that love food in picnic baskets and will do anything to get them. Yet it often results in driving Ranger Smith crazy. In later years, Yogi has adventures with the other talking animals of Hanna Barbera. And like Scooby-Doo, he was a team captain on the Laff-A-Lympics. He certainly is smarter than the average bear, not to mention friendlier.

#4) Little John from Disney’s Robin Hood: I totally remember this bear from when I was a kid. He is Robin Hood’s faithful companion when they go out helping the poor by rebelling against Prince John. Little John is a master of disguise just like Robin and has a fun persona.

On a side note: Some might confuse him with Baloo from Disney’s The Jungle Book because the same voice actor did both roles (Phil Harris). Do you think there’s a resemblance?

#3) Tummi Gummi from Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears: He was always my most favorite of the Gummis, mainly because he is very similar to Garfield. Tummi sounds like Garfield and love to eat like Garfield. Isn’t that something?

#2) Teddy Ruxpin from The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: Technically, Teddy is an illiop, but when it comes down to it, he is in fact a bear. Teddy hails from the country of Rillonia and enjoys going on adventures in the land of Grundo with his best friends Grubby and Gimmick, as well as making new friends everywhere he goes. Teddy’s loyal and positive attitude always comes in handy when there’s a squabble among his friends. It’s all part of what makes this teenage bear such a big hero.

#1) Fozzie Bear from Muppets franchise: What bear could compete with this lovable and comedic performer. Fozzie not only does stand-up comedy. He’s also a singer, dancer, sketch comedy actor, and even plays the ukulele. Although Fozzie’s jokes can be corny sometimes, I find him to be a real creative comic, no matter what Statler and Waldorf say about it.

Aug 192011
 

I remember Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991) from Saturday mornings back in the 80s. In a world of fantasy and enchantment, there resides the legendary and reclusive Gummi Bears. Centuries ago, they were once a great civilization. Now it’s down to only a handful.

They include Grammi the mother of the group that does all of the cooking and cleaning, Gruffi the grouchy craftsman, Zummi the wise magician, Tummi an easygoing teen who enjoys good food, Sunni a young preteen that’s highly curious about human culture, and little Cubbi the aspiring knight.

Their only human friends are Cavin a young squire, who aspires to be a knight and Princess Calla, who is highly adventurous and is best friends with Sunni. To other humans, the Gummis are only thought of as nothing more than fairytales. The Gummis always try to make sure they keep it that way.

Together they help defend the Kingdom of Dunwin from renegade knight Duke Igthorn and his army of multicolored ogres. Where is Puss in Boots when you need him?

At other times the Gummis face other enchanted creatures like dragons, trolls, griffins, etc.

One of my most favorite characters is Tummi because he is a lot like Garfield. Not only because the same voice actor (Lorenzo Music) plays him, but Tummi also has the same relationship with food as Garfield does. One thing I didn’t understand was that Tummi likes to snack on fruits and vegetables, and to the Gummis it’s labeled as junk food.

In later seasons, a new Gummi Bear joins the group, Gusto. He’s an artist, who is also a big influence on Cubbi and Sunni. It’s nice to know that there were still other Gummis out there if they’re close to extinction.

Then of course, there’s the Gummi berry juice that’s made from Gummi berries. It makes the Gummis bounce around off the walls and high above ogres, which gives them an exciting edge. The juice also gives humans super strength. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last very long and only works on humans once a day.

This series is a real classic. I must admit that those Gummi Bears are about as slick and resourceful as the Smurfs, and just as friendly too.