I Know That Voice is a documentary on voice acting that is currently on Netflix streaming. I watch a lot of animation, but this was still had a lot of surprises for me. It’s a truly under-appreciated art form. It is not just about the voice, but inhabiting the character just as any good actor does. As they point out, it’s not just being able to do the voice, but to do that voice in any situation. In short, to be the character as if one was in a TV show or a film.
Another interesting point made is that in every other form of acting, an actor is limited by their physicality. For instance, Richard Armitage is a very good actor, but he would make a horrible looking woman. No one would buy him as a dwarf or an Asian guy on film either. But with voice acting, he can be/play anything he wants. There is an entire group of extremely talented individuals, of all genders and ethnicities, who are freed from their physicality to play anything, absolutely anything, and they do.
And actors that you know on the screen make a good living at it too. I knew about Mark Hamill playing the Joker, but I never put together that this guy:
Is the same Clancey Brown as this guy:
And is so iconic as Lex Luthor, fans complain if Luthor is in a show and Brown doesn’t play him. Same for Kevin Conroy’s Batman, George Newbern’s Superman and Mark Hamill’s Joker. Hamill has retired, but the actors who succeeded him base their performance on his. (And Conroy’s Post 9/11 story is really sweet.)
The segments about voice direction, the physical issues of what they do and the camaraderie of the community are really cool too.
Anyway, I highly recommend I Know That Voice.
If you don’t have Netflix (and maybe it’s on Amazon as well) then there is this:
Come for C3-Takei, stay for Darth Bubbles.