Last night I came across an interesting article while searching for an online version of the Yogi Bear story.
This article was helpful and also served as an entry point for discovering a wealth of other pieces written about cartoon shows from the past complete with insightful commentary regarding historical facts and cultural context.
In today’s VOX Daily, you’ll discover a number of resources that you can draw upon when researching the history of voice acting in animation.
ToonTracker.com is a resource that hosts histories of approximately 100 “lost cartoons” including classics such as Yogi Bear (Yogi Bear was voiced by Daws Butler) and others that date around that time. This site’s copyright dates back to 1996 and is maintained by Ron Kurer. Since the site is quite old, its vintage coupled with authoritative content helps ToonTracker.com to rank quite high in an online search. If you’re a cartoon buff, this site offers esoteric detail that will be sure to increase your knowledge of voice acting and animation trivia.
Images of main characters and those in supporting roles are featured along with their names. Some of the entries also include video files featuring content from previously aired episodes.
VoiceChasers.com is home to animation voice actor news and also contains biographical information about voice actors and voice over casts. You can also find information about agencies and can search for related items by genre. This site has been online since 1996 and is lovingly curated by Kristy Sproul. I took a quick look under a listing for toys and found a page describing the Talking Teddy Ruxpin stuffed animal released in 1985. One of my cousins had this toy and it was fun to learn more about the toy and also The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin in general. For instance, the current voice of Minnie Mouse Russi Taylor, was the character Leota in the Teddy Ruxpin voice cast!
The amount of detail and accuracy of the information at VoiceChasers.com is amazing. If your focus is on the voice actors themselves or voice casts, this site also provides an area where you can chat in their community forum.
The Internet Movie Database contains a vast amount of information about productions, casts and individual actors and crew displaying credits and photography from still pictures of the actors when filming and also publicity photos taken at press conferences, the red carpet and so on. First launched in 1990 (21 years ago!), the site offers resources in terms of movies, television, news and a community for its members. IMDb is owned by Amazon.com.
While the site is used by just about anybody who wants to learn more about their favorite films and the like, IMDb also offers professional services and networking opportunities for people in the film industry. If you’re a smart phone user, you can also get an app for IMDb. I’ve found the iPhone app to be quite useful!
3 Ways You Can Study The History of Animation VO
Whether you’re studying for leisure or a school project, there are many different tools available for your use to find information that supports your paper, brightens your day or both! Here are just a few ideas if you’d like to set out on your own:
à¹ Searching online
à¹ Joining a club
à¹ Reading biographies
If you’re going to join a club that keeps you in the loop about current events regarding voice actors, Craig Crumpton has been running Voice Actors in the News since 2000. This year marks the organization’s 11th anniversary. You can find Voice Actors in the News on Facebook and also gain access to past archives on their blog.
If you’re more of a talker, you might also consider interviewing voice actors to get an appreciation for their experiences and learn directly from someone who has done the work. Some of the most interesting stories I’ve heard have come from conversations with people who have voiced character roles for cartoons and were mentored by one (or some!) of the greats.
Are You Smarter Than The Average Bear?
Gathering tidbits of information that interest you and becoming an authority on various aspects of audio production and voice acting may come naturally to you. If so, what part of the craft fascinates you?