Lots of people aspire to be a world famous movie star. However, most get a nice slap of reality when they see the casting director stick their head shots up on the "Hell No" bulletin board. Luckily for them, there's always voice acting.
Take a look at this picture and tell us if you recognize this man:
His face probably isnt ringing a bell, is it? Dont worry, we didnt exspect you to get it on the first try, you stupid, stupid monkey.
Would it help if we told you his name is Frank Welker? Still nothing? Would it help if we mentioned that the films hes worked in have earned more combined revenue than any other actor alive?
Ok, so you may not really know the man, but you damn well know his voice. Among the voice acting community, Welker is what we simple plebians would refer to as "God". Welker has voiced several hundred characters over his career; Everyone from Fred Jones from Scooby Doo, Megatron, Abu the Monkey from Aladdin, even the God damn gopher in Caddyshack. And that's just the tip of the freakin iceburg. His IMDB page lists a ball bustering six hundred and twenty six roles over the last fifty years.
If words were pennies, Welker could pull a fuckin' Scrooge McDuck and fill his pool with coins to swim in the damn thing. Why does this matter? Because it goes to show that even the folks you dont see can totally kick ass by relying solely on exsperience and good old fashioned acting talent. Meaning no offense to anyone, but unlike their on-screen comrades, voice actors are not going to be garnering any Golden Globes for looking 100% fuckable, nor can a bat of their eyes hide the fact that they can't act their way out of a semen soaked paper bag.
Case and point
All a voice actor has, as the title implies, is thier voice. And with that, they can inflect their words and speech patterens to provide a multitude of characteristics and personalities that most actors can only dream of achieveing. They can add that small little edge to a line to give it just enough oomph to shine, even if the line itself is nothing more than a snarl or a growl.
Aside from the aforementioned Frank Welker, several other people make their grocerry money by walking into a booth and spitting into a microphone for a few hours. These fine folks include:
Anyone over the age of six knows Mel Blanc's undinable talent. As a voice actor, Blanc voiced nearly every male Looney Toons character in existance. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemetie Sam, Marvin the Martian, Tweety Bird (fucking Tweety Bird!) Elmer Fudd and so on and so forth.
Pictured: Mel Blanc's bitches.
And Blanc didnt do these characters for a few years, got tired of it, and passed the torch. No, he did it for nearly forty years, all the way up to his death in 1989. If there ever was any fatigue of voicing the same characters over and over, Blanc managed to kick it in the balls and told it to know its place.
The use of famous Hollywood actors in the roles that any voice actor can fill just as well is a practice long scorned among the voice acting industry. Most of the time, studios will call in talented voice artists to read through a part, only to hand it off to some A-grade Oscar winner. Mark Hamill, however, is safely not within that category. Seriously, name one movie that he's done that isnt Star Wars.
.......ok, now try to name a movie where he dosent play a sad parody of himself.
Thats what we thought.
When the Star Wars fire fizzled out and the heat bill started looking mighty tall, Hamill found a home in voice acting. Popping up in shows like Metalocalypse and Avatar (the good, non-James Cameron crapfest), Hamill is most recognized for his work voicing the Joker in DC's Animated Universe. You may not think that Luke Skywalker can make a good Batman villian, but considering how friggin awesome Batman: TAS is, you can only bow in admiration of how delightfully insane Hamill's Joker can be.
And he can rock an impressive beard while he's at it.
For all you anime fans reading (all.......six? Six of you), you know this man. He's voiced, well, a shitload of characters in the last ten years or so. Villians, heroes, side characters, ugly little fucks and shiny pretty boys, he's done them all.
He also appears to have gone bat shit insane along the way.
Non-anime fanboys can also recognize his voice as the new animated Wolverine, several characters in recent Bioware RPGS, and if your memory is good, the "Oh Thank Heaven" 7-11 radio commericals.
Some of you might actually recognize this schmo. Azaria has starred in a few big movies in the last few years, most notably grossly undervalued superhero spoof Mystery Men and more recently Night At The Museum.
Bring me Ben Stiller's comedic value! Pharoh HUNGERS!!!
Azaira gets most of foldin' money from voice acting, most notably The Simpsons. He gave voice to many fan favorates, such as Chief Wiggum, Apu, Comic Book Guy, Dr. Nick, Disco Stu, Snake, the Sea Captain and perhaps most awsomely, Duffman.
Duffman, in three way action! OH YEAH!!
If you were a child at any point during the wonderful time known as the 90s, then it is statistically impossible that you havent heard this man's voice. Mr Cummings has, along with the most unfortunate surname in the history of man, a voice acting resume as thick as a phone book.
Among the plethora of characters he's voiced over the years, notable mentions include Whinne the Pooh and his crack addled buddy Tigger, Pete from Goof Troop, Fuzzy Lumpkins from The Powerpuff Girls and Cat of CatDog fame.
Also, Darkwing "Mutha Fuckin" Duck.
Not only does he have a voice like that of an angel with an accute trachial infection, the damn bastard can sing. During the production of The Lion King, Jeremy Irons (the voice of Scar) came down with a bad case of who-gives-a-shit, and was unable to finish the singing bits of the musical number "Be Prepared." Luckily Disney had Cummings' number on speed dial, and as a result he sang the last few lines of the song, in a manner that was nearly undetectable. If there was ever such thing as a Voice Ninja, Cummings would call dibs in a heartbeat.