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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.

Prime EvilFangsterLong John ScarechromeAirhead

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?

Mar 012013
 

Here’s a fantasy film I remember from when I was a kid. Well, parts of it. While on the run from bullies, a young boy named Bastion (Barret Oliver) hides in a library and finds a book titled The Neverending Story. The librarian tells Bastion not to take that book. Then what does Bastion do? He takes it. Oddly, when the librarian sees him take the book, he smiles. Hmm, interesting.

Soon, Bastion heads to school and hides in an old room to read the book. All right. Now we actually see the fantasy world of Fantasia. It starts in the woods with some of the characters I remember most. There’s a Rock biter, who is a giant rock creature that eats rocks. He’s very well built.

There were also two other characters that I remember. A Night hob (Tilo Pruckner), who flies a bat that’s dumb and a little man named Teeny Weeny (Deep Roy), who dresses like Willy Wonka and rides a racing snail. Coincidentally, that the same actor who played all of the oompa loompas on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Too bad these characters were only featured in one scene.

As the story goes, an evil force called the Nothing is destroying Fantasia. So everyone who has survived goes to the Empress for help. Unfortunately, the Empress (Tami Stronach) cannot help because she’s dying and the only cure is to destroy the Nothing. Only one warrior can do that, a boy named Atreyu (Noah Hathaway). So he heads off on his quest. Though it seems strange that he has to leave his weapons behind.

Of course every quest has its perils. Atreyu’s first major obstacle is the Swamp of Sadness. If the sadness of the swamps overtakes you, you sink into it. At first it appears exciting, but becomes tragic, as Atreyu’s horse doesn’t make it through. Now that just ain’t right.

After that, Atreyu heads for the Shell Mountain, which turns out to be a giant turtle called Mola. He’s a cool looking character, who identifies himself as “we”. I found that confusing at times, but at least Mola is a good guy. Despite that he’s allergic to humans.

Meanwhile, in the real world, school ends and Bastion is still there after closing. Yet he still continues reading. I mean, I’ve heard of getting lost in a good book, but this is ridiculous.

When all seems lost for Atreyu, another memorable character helps him out, a luck dragon named Falkor. He can fly, but has no wings. Falkor also has the face, legs, and fur of a dog, and he can talk. “Having a luck dragon with you is the only way to go on a quest.” Can’t argue with that.

Then comes the test of the southern oracle. Atreyu must first go through a gateway with two giant statues that can see into his heart. If he’s not worthy, he gets blasted. Not in the humorous way Space Ghost blasts Zorak on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, which would’ve been more interesting.

This was a good film. There were great fantasy characters, but the story line could’ve been better. Like maybe a few more scenes with the Rock biter.