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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?

Aug 132012
 

My next Actor Spotlight is on Grey Delisle, who I met at Anime Festival Orlando 2012. These are some of my favorite characters she voiced.

Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo franchise (2001-present): This classic character is the fashionable member of Mystery Inc. She has really evolved as a character over the years. Unlike the original versions, Daphne has learned martial arts and becomes Fred’s potential love interest. The reason I say “potential” is because whenever Fred falls for another girl, Daphne becomes jealous and vice versa. Although Daphne and Fred always pair up during a clue search, they never admit their feelings toward one another.

Kitty Katswell from T.U.F.F. Puppy: She is Dudley’s partner and the #1 secret agent at T.U.F.F.. As the more level-headed half of the duo, she has to constantly put up with Dudley’s hilarious shenanigans, whether it’s during a case or at T.U.F.F. headquarters. Could Dudley Puppy have a better partner?

Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender: This fire bender princess is vicious with her ability to bend lightning and she always uses fear to control others. I thought Prince Zuko was a tough adversary, but his sister Azula is even worse. She’s practically psychotic.

Tomoe from Afro Samurai Resurrection: As one of Sio’s trio of assassins, this young woman was rebuilt into a cyborg. She has rocket feet and a sharp weapon made from her shamisen, which makes her a smooth fighter.

Are there any favorite Grey Delisle characters you would like to share?

Mar 092011
 

Welcome back. So far, I have listed some great canines in pop culture. Whatever the breed, they are capable of many great things from comedy to nobility. Now let’s resume my list of favorite dogs with the top ten.

#10) Pluto from Classic Disney cartoons: He is one of Mickey’s main companions and tends to find trouble. Pluto is comedic while dealing with pests like clams, seagulls, and the chipmunks Chip and Dale. Because Pluto has a planet for a name, it became a trend that people believed dogs actually live on the planet Pluto. Would you believe I used to think that the distant planet was a home for celebrity dogs, which you could visit, like a Hollywood tour?

#9) Cooler from Pound Puppies: This noble dog is the leader of the Pound Puppies, who has escaped the pound and was recaptured more times than any other stray dog. According to the original Pound Puppies animated special from 1985, it was mentioned to be a record of 762 escapes. “It’s a nasty habit. I’m trying to quit.” Although Cooler is a smooth talking goofball, he is always dedicated to helping other dogs get adopted.

Special Note: I still have a Cooler doll, which is also a cassette tape player. Its mouth moves as it tells a story. Isn’t that unique?

#8) Big Dog and Little Dog from 2 Stupid Dogs (A Hanna-Barbera cartoon from the 90s): These stray dogs are hilarious, due to the fact that they are, well… stupid. The Little Dog is hyperactive and the Big Dog is more calm and slow witted. These two may be nameless, but they are well known for their fast paced humor and quests for food everywhere they go.

#7) Sprocket from Fraggle Rock: This dog lives with his owner Doc in an old workshop, which the Fraggles call “Outer Space”. Sprocket is the main threat Gobo must face when he picks up his Uncle Matt’s postcards from the wastebasket. However, Sprocket is a good dog. He wouldn’t hurt anyone.

#6) Rush from Mega Man: This robotic dog is Mega Man’s canine companion and transportation. Rush can easily transform into any kind of small vehicle, which only needs battery biscuits for fuel. He can be clumsy at times, but is a devoted sidekick. Rush is the perfect type of dog for anyone who has to travel a lot. Just make sure you travel light.

#5) Rowlf from The Muppet Show: Dog acts have always been popular, but this dog is a very talented performer. Rowlf is a top-notch piano player. He can play in any key and to warm up, he chases cars. Rowlf is also a comedic actor, best known for his reoccurring character Dr. Bob. It’s too bad Rowlf hasn’t played that role in a long time, but his piano playing is always reliable.

#4) Hotdog from The Archie Show: He is Jughead’s dog, who always joins the Archie gang in their misadventures. Hotdog doesn’t speak, but provides hilarious commentary while observing each situation, usually with one-liners. Don’t you just love it?

#3) Brain from Inspector Gadget: Here’s an intelligent dog, who is very helpful, even more than Gadget realizes. Brain is a master of disguise and always keeps Gadget out of trouble under Penny’s direction. He even has a radio in his collar to keep Penny informed. Brain must be very devoted to his owners because he always has to do most of the fieldwork.

#2) Dudley Puppy from T.U.F.F. Puppy: He is one of the newest Nick Toons and one of the most hilarious. Dudley has many features of other dogs combined, which include the fleet feet of a greyhound, the nose of a bloodhound, and the brave heart of a German Shepherd. However, the silliest things easily distract him. For instance, Dudley took out three criminals when his only ambition was to chase down his chew toy. That’s how he first fell into the spy business. Even though Dudley isn’t very bright, he always comes through when the chips are down.

#1) Scooby-Doo from Scooby-Doo: Yes, it’s the comedic mystery solving Great Dane himself. Over the years, Scooby has been on many spooky adventures, but is always scared easily. Like Garfield, he has a huge appetite for people food. Scooby isn’t exactly the brightest member of Mystery Inc., but always manages to get the job done, even if he has to be bribed with Scooby Snax.

In addition to Scooby’s success, he was once a team captain on the Laff-A Lympics. I guess running around at all of those spooky places paid off. That’s all part of what makes Scooby-Doo a long time favorite.