The Animaniacs and Pinky and the BrainA dream team represents the best of the best.

We’ve seen this phenomenon play out in sport, film, and sometimes if we’re lucky, in the realms of politics and or leadership within an industry.
Have you ever thought that this too might be something we experience and can identify with in terms of the voice over industry?

Dream Teams in Voice Over

Dream teams do happen in voice over and the area where this is immediately obvious is in animation.
Character voice acting draws nearer to us than any other application of voice over, for a number of good reasons. Animated characters that are portrayed in episodic content or film have a longer shelf life and are widely distributed, becoming part of our culture and woven into the fabric of our lives.
Dream teams, for our purposes, are more like dream voice casts. These voice casts have chemistry, talent and heart.

A One Man Voice Cast

A voice artist who was a dream team all in one was Mel Blanc, The Man of a Thousand Voices. Mel was the first person to give voice to dozens of Warner Bros. characters on Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies during the Golden Age of American Animation including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Wile E. Coyote, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepé Le Pew and more. Mel joined other voice casts in productions by Hanna-Barbera voicing characters such as Barney Rubble, Mr. Spacely, Heathcliff and hundreds of others. For those who might be wondering, Mel was also the original voice of Woody Woodpecker (produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures). He had the role for some time before he signed an exclusive contract with Warner Bros.

The Rise of the Voice Cast

In the more recent past, we’ve been entertained by amazing voice casts, some that have even defined the perception of what voice acting ought to be by generations of cartoon lovers.
When I took an informal Voices.com survey on Facebook, these cartoons were most commonly cited as being among favourite Voice Over Dream Teams and Voice Casts in an animated series:
๏ Batman: The Animated Series
๏ The Animaniacs
๏ The Simpsons
๏ Spongebob
๏ Mel Blanc (in a class of his own)

What’s Your Favourite Voice Cast in an Animated Series?

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Stephanie

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her blog serves an audience what wants to grow in their careers as professional voice users, and more specifically, voice actors. Stephanie was recently listed on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.

30 COMMENTS

  1. The Simpsons is the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series in history. That achievement alone puts it in “dreamworld”. The “dream team” of producers and writers that have contributed to the series over the decades launches our favorite Springfield family into iconic cultural status. The cast’s ability to stick to their guns and weather intense negotiations has propelled their per episode pay to a dreamy $400,000. But above all, the effect that the series has had on our culture trumps money, accolades and longevity. Yesterday I recorded a few episodes for a new series that will debut in the fall on the PBS Sprout pre-school network. I stood at the microphones with a talented group of actors to record cartoon shorts that will appear regularly in a live action series. The studio where we worked was Klasky Csupo. The same set of circumstances that existed in the infancy of the Simpson’s. While I would never compare this project to the Simpson’s, the legacy of the Simpson’s singular achievement in the entertainment industry was not lost on me. The Simpson’s set the standard we shoot for. That high standard is in large part due to the excellence of the “dream cast” Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer.

  2. One of my all time fav’s is Dan Povenmire writer, director and producer of Phineas & Ferb. He is also the voice of Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. Absolutely brilliant!!

  3. Hands down: Jeff Garcia as Sheen in Jimmy Neutron. One of those characters where you aren’t sure if the genius comes from the writers or the voice actor…but after a few witty zings, does it really matter? 🙂

  4. I think I’ve weighed in before with Batman: the Animated Series and Animaniacs. Simpsons, Flintstones, and Jetsons.
    A couple of newer kids on the block worth mentioning:
    “The Venture Brothers.” The voice-actors nail the hilarious writing! Not easy, either. There are real, relatable, honest and funny moments stuffed into this bizarre parody of Johnny Quest and superhero cartoons. Phrases have to be delivered ‘just-so’ or the jokes would fall flat. More so than usual, I think.
    Also: “Kim Possible.” Gary Cole, Jean Smart as the parents for starters! Nancy Cartwright and Patrick Warburton also contribute. Warburton always kills me-He could read the phone book and I’d laugh!

  5. The grandfather of animated voices, is–of course—as you mentioned–Mel Blanc.
    But who, in today’s world, can compare, or even come CLOSE?
    Not many.
    I think the Simpsons have done an incredible job as a ‘dream team.’ But really give props to SETH McFARLANE and FAMILY GUY. Seth does most of the voices on the show, and has really set the bar for today’s animation.
    My animation hero IS Seth.

  6. Hello Stephanie,
    I would say Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn were some of my favorite voiceover casts…. there are so many to think about. I truly admired all of them.
    Respectfully,
    Linwood Powell

  7. I really loved the VO cast of Cowboy Bebop. The perfomances made the characters seem so natural. Everything had a good ebb and flow to it.

  8. We can’t forget Jay Ward Productions: Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman, Fractured Fairy Tails, Hoppity Hooper, George of the Jungle, Tom Slick and Super Chicken. Capt Crunch, Quisp & Quake cereals plus Fractured Flickers.
    June Foray, Bill Scott, Paul Frees, Daws Butler and William Conrad, with Edward Everett Horton as the Narrator of the Fractured Fairy Tales and Charlie Ruggles as Aesop, narrator of the Aesop and Son cartoons that were added later. (The Bullwinkle Show also introduced Dudley Do-Right, with Scott, Foray, Frees, occasionally Conrad and, in every installment, the glorious Hans Conried stealing the show as Snidely Whiplash.)

  9. The Simpsons are the best, hands down. I wish I could be more avant garde in my answer, but I cant be. The Simpsons blow anything else away. Hank Azaria in particular is a genius and a half.

  10. If I remember correctly, the crew that VO “Gargoyles” included many of the Star Trek Generations crew. that was pretty good too.

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