Cartoons Come to Life

We all have our favorite cartoons or characters that still hold a place in our hearts. Okay, well, maybe I have more than one or two, but the point is, there are just those characters that bring us back to our childhood. The question I ask of you is how much do you know about your beloved cartoon characters outside of the TV screen? That is to say; what do you know about the men and the women behind the voices?

Here are a couple of tidbits for readers, some of which you may or may not know. For instance, Bart Simpson is voiced by Nancy Cartwright, who if you can’t tell by the name is clearly a woman. Mel Blanc, who voiced Bugs Bunny, wasn’t fond of carrots so every time he had to gnaw on one for his trademark line, he would have to spit it out immediately after in a nearby garbage can. He was unable to chew and swallow quickly enough to pull off the line, so it was his only choice. I guess the point I’m trying to drive home is that for the instrumental role these actors played in most of our childhoods, not many people take the time to get to know them.

This has changed over the years, of course, as cartoons have been replaced as mere childhood foder and been refined into satirical, adult-directed humor such as Family Guy or to a greater extent American Dad. Looking at Family Guy, there’s the memorable paraplegic, Joe Swanson. Even the most casual cartoon viewers usually recognize his voice, the voice of actor Patrick Warburton. Warburton is one of the few voice actors who, at least it seems, I became acquainted with through his voice work and then began to recognize him in his live action work.

Warburton, as much as I love him, is one of the undeniable reasons why cartoons and the people that voice them just do not mix. His level of voice acting is so indescribable and his live-action performances aren’t bad either, but the two of them just feel so incompatible. Maybe it’s because his voice lends itself to a different look or I’d just built him up in my head so much that it’s impossible for him to meet my standards? I don’t really know, I can’t say but I do know that, no offense to Mr. Warburton, but if forced to choose, I’d pick Joe Swanson and Brock Samson over his role as the bodyguard in Scream 3 any day. I’m just saying, there’s something terribly unsettling about seeing the man or woman behind the voice. It’s like watching cartoons come to life.

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