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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?

Aug 082012
 

It was a real pleasure meeting Tara Strong at Anime Festival Orlando 2012. She has voiced quite a few characters from cartoons I grew up watching, as well as some newer favorites. The following characters are just a few a my favorites.

Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls: She’s the sweet and sensitive member of the team. Her special powers include communicating with animals and her supersonic shriek. More importantly, Bubbles is level-headed when it comes to teamwork, especially when her sisters Blossom and Buttercup clash with one another.

Hip and Hop Koopa from Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World cartoons: They’re the youngest of the koopalings. In the video games, these two are known as Lemmy and Iggy Koopa and don’t have a whole lot in common. On the cartoons, they are twins who are hardly ever apart and often finish each other’s sentences.

On a side note, Tara Strong told me that she was about 14 years old when she voiced these characters.

Hello Kitty from Hello Kitty’s Furrytale Theater: That’s right. Tara Strong voiced the lead in a Hello Kitty cartoon. On this show, Hello Kitty and her friends put on plays based on iconic stories. Hello Kitty usually plays the lead and/or the princess in these productions, since she is the leadership figure of the group.

Patty Putty from Garbage Pail Kids cartoon: Though meant to be grotesque, she has useful stretching abilities and can bounce around.

Lena Dupree from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island: She’s an excellent chef who works in a house on Moonscar Island, but has a dark secret. Her southern charm lures people to the island before they become zombies.

Lil’ Red and Fairy from Shrek 2 video game: Like many video games based on movies, they are made more interesting by adding extra story lines and characters that were not featured in the films themselves. Shrek 2 for Playstation 2 is a good example.

Lil’ Red and Fairy were not in the movie, but were interesting allies for Shrek and the gang. Lil’Red can fight enemies with her picnic basket and can throw apples accurately, thanks to her softball pitching skill. Fairy is one tough little lady who can throw fairy dust to take out enemies.

I know Tara Strong has voiced many characters over the years. What are some of your favorites?

Apr 202012
 

Primates are intelligent animals that love bananas. But like humans, they can use their superior skills for good or evil. Either way, apes and monkeys do leave their mark as pop culture icons. Here are some of my favorites.

#10) King Kong from King Kong: This gigantic ape has been around for ages with at least several movie versions. He’s well known for being brought from the jungle to New York City, where he runs amok and climbs the tallest building with the woman he loves. After seeing the newest version from 2005, I realized that King Kong is more of a love story than an adventure story. You’ve got to admit though. Kong sure knows how to beat up a T-Rex.

#9) King Homer from The Simpsons: One of the stories on Tree House of Horror III spoofs King Kong with King Homer. King Homer is not only in love with Marge, but he eats people alive, along with Shirley Temple.

King Homer’s only other appearance was on the Super NES title, The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare and was surprisingly easy to defeat with Bartzilla’s electrical body.

#8) Silver from Ninja Turtles the Next Mutation: He’s a gangster Himalayan ape and is the last of his kind. That’s why Silver became so greedy. Whenever there’s an opportunity to steal a ton of money, Silver and his gang of well-dressed crooks will seize it.

#7) Grape Ape from The Great Grape Ape Show: Now here’s an ape I really enjoyed when I was a kid. Grape Ape is strong, gigantic, and kind hearted. However, most people fear him because of his size. At least he has Beagle Beagle as his best friend. I have always wandered how Beagle’s van supports Grape Ape on top so easily.

#6) Primator from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Lord Zedd created this ape monster from a gorilla costume. Primator is a shape shifter, who can turn into anyone of the rangers and imitate any of their voices. His only weakness is mirrors. When Primator sees his reflection, he instantly changes back into himself. If only it were that simple with other shape shifters.

#5) Bogey from Shirt Tales: With his appetite for bananas, tree swinging skills, and Humphrey Bogart persona, this orangutan has always been one of my most favorites among the Shirt Tales. Bogey also has a habit of calling everyone he meets “Sweetheart”, but I’m sure that’s just his way of presenting himself as a friend.

#4) Tracy from Ghostbusters (1986 version): He’s a brave and intelligent ape with great strength. Tracy is also inventive. He created all of the gadgets for the Ghostbusters team and loves to cook, especially with bananas. However, you should never call Tracy a big ape. That makes him lose his temper.

#3) Mojo Jojo from Powerpuff Girls: Of all the villains the Powerpuff Girls face on a regular basis, this primate is their biggest foe, whose grudge is too close to home. Mojo used to be Professor Utonium’s lab assistant until the Powerpuff Girls were created. The Chemical X made him more intelligent, but he felt ignored and unappreciated. Now Mojo is an inventive mad genius, who likes to talk. He’s definitely worthy of the title Super Villain.

#2) Donkey Kong from Donkey Kong franchise: This iconic ape started out as the main villain of a classic arcade game from the early 80s because he had kidnapped Mario’s first girlfriend Pauline.

I also remember Donkey Kong as a giant sized villain from Captain N: The Game Master.

Years later, he becomes a jungle hero that began with the Super NES title Donkey Kong Country, which brings me to…

#1) Diddy Kong from Donkey Kong franchise: He’s Donkey Kong’s junior partner in battle, like Tails is to Sonic the Hedgehog. Diddy may not be as strong as Donkey Kong, but he’s light on his feet and can smoothly cartwheel his way out of trouble.

Diddy later proves to be more of an adventurer when he partners up with Dixie Kong in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest. I can’t help but love this little guy.

Dec 292010
 

This trio of young superheroines, known as The Powerpuff Girls (1998-2004), is an amazing and colorful group of crime fighters who defend Townsville from all sorts of villains. They feature Blossom the intellectual leader, Bubbles the sweetheart, and Buttercup the impulsive fighter. Despite that these sisters sometimes have a clash of personalities (especially between Blossom and Buttercup) they still make a great team, don’t they?

The battle scenes are exciting. However, when it comes to searching for clues, those Powerpuff Girls are thorough but sloppy. They don’t care if they leave a big mess behind.

Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup battle against different colorful villains, but only some of the archenemies have personal reasons for turning evil. For instance, Mojo Jojo the talking monkey used to be Professor Utonium’s pet, who became a genius after the Chemical X explosion. He was soon rejected after the Powerpuff Girls came along. That’s quite a reason, but that doesn’t explain why he repeats himself so much.

Another example is Princess Morbucks. She was a spoiled rich girl, who wanted to be a Powerpuff Girl. She felt rejected because the Powerpuff Girls refused to make her one of them. That’s why she became a villain, but she’s not as likable as Mojo Jojo.

  

Other arch villains like Fuzzy Lumbkin, the Gangrene Gang, Sedusa, and Him don’t really have logical reasons for turning evil. However, their skills still work as creative troublemakers. It’s all based on the story line of the episode. In other words, if the main villain featured is Mojo Jojo or the Ameba Boys, then it’s highly comedic. If the main villain featured is Him or Sedusa, the story line goes in another direction.

Sometimes the Powerpuff Girls go up against villains that are based on supernatural entities, which I find interesting. I’m not just referring to Him’s tactics. First there’s the Boogie Man, who lives in darkness and has other monstrous followers who hide any place where concealed darkness exists. Then there’s Abracadaver the zombie magician, who seeks revenge for his humiliation from when he was alive. And finally there’s Patches the imaginary fiend, who causes mischief that victimizes a lonely child because he’s invisible to everyone else. It’s too bad these creeps were only featured once on the series.

 On occasion the Powerpuff Girls battle various giant monsters that try to destroy the town. That tends to change to a Power Ranger style battle. They used to have a contraption for that type of situation called Dynamo, but the Powerpuff Girls are better off using their own strength and powers to battle the monsters single-handedly.

Since the series didn’t really start out with a true pilot story, which many of the early cartoon shows I grew up on also didn’t have, it was all covered in The Powerpuff Girls – The Movie, which premiered in 2002. It was very helpful. Who’d have thought that the Powerpuff Girls actually helped Mojo Jojo build his home?

Here are some Powerpuff Girls action figures.

This was a very creative series filled with comedy and excitement. Townsville is lucky to always have their days saved, “Thanks to the Powerpuff Girls”. How awesome it is to be a superhero without having to worry about secret identities.