Today we’re discussing the 49th Annie Awards and its best animated film nominees, Rob Paulsen and friends take Animaniacs in Concert on the road, the top voice AI stories of 2021, Public Domain Day 2022 and Leah Arscott in the Vox Talk community spotlight.
Mentioned on the show:
Leah Arscott’s award-winning voice-over for the online Guinness commercial, Rise Up.
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Hi there and welcome to Vox Talk, your weekly review from the world of voice over. I’m your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli from Voices. Happy New Year! In today’s show, we’ll talk about nominees for the 49th Annie Awards, how Rob Paulsen is taking the Animaniacs on the road, the top Voice AI stories of 2021 courtesy Voicebot.ai, Public Domain Day 2022, and voice talent Leah Arscott joins us in the Vox Talk Community Spotlight.
News 1: 49th Annie Awards
Are you ready for the Annies?
Hollywood Reporter covered the ASIFA-Hollywood announcement regarding nominations for its 49th Annie Awards for animation with Walt Disney Animation Studios leading the feature competition with 10 nominations for its Raya and the Last Dragon and 9 nominations for its Encanto.
Close behind are Pixar’s Luca and Sony Pictures Animation/Netflix’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines with 8 apiece.
All four movies, along with Illumination’s Sing 2 are nominated for best animated feature.
The Annie Awards are scheduled to be handed out February, 26, 2022 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
To discover all of the nominees, visit the link to the Hollywood Reporter in our show notes.
News 2: Animaniacs Live
Are you up for some zany?
The Animaniacs in Concert will be arriving at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota February 22nd on its tour of the midwest, treating fans to a night of childhood-defining live music. Animaniacs star Rob Paulsen headlines the event.
Music in Minnesota spoke with Paulsen, the voice of Yakko Warner as well as Dr. Otto Scratchansniff and Pinky. Known for voicing countless iconic characters throughout cartoon history, Paulsen looks forward to connecting with over three generations of fans at the Fitzgerald Theater.
Rob will be joined by cast mates Maurice LaMarche, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille and composer Randy Rogel.
Other stops on the tour include Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Milwaukee Wisconsin, Royal Oak, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio.
To learn more or get your tickets, visit animaniacslive.com. You can also hear Music in Minnesota’s interview with Rob Paulsen by clicking the link in our show notes.
News 3: Top AI Voice Stories of 2021 from Voicebot.ai
How was 2021 for AI Voices?
Bret Kinsella of voicebot.ai shared a top ten list featuring the most remarkable stories from 2021. Maybe you’ve heard about some of these.
Like for instance, did you know that Amazon introduced an Alexa robot called the Astro Robot? Or how about Val Kilmer’s new synthetic voice from Sonantic? Surely you’ve come across social audio platforms like Clubhouse or have participated in Twitter Spaces.
Topping the list was Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance, a giant enterprise software company buying another giant enterprise software company.
If you’re curious about any of these innovations and happenings in the Voice AI space, be sure to read the Top Ten list in greater detail by visiting the link to this article on voicebot.ai in the Vox Talk show notes.
News 4: Public Domain Day 2022
Do you need to make a new audiobook demo? How about several?
Every year, new works enter the public domain, and this year is no exception! Public Domain Day is celebrated on January 1st each year.
A work enters the public domain after its copyright has expired. When a work is in the public domain, you are free to enjoy it, share it or reuse it for any purpose. Something to remember though is that not every country ushers a work into the public domain at the same time.
According to Public Domain Review, due to differing copyright laws around the world, there is no one single public domain, but there are three definitions which cover most cases. For these three systems, newly entering the public domain this year are:
#1 - Works by people who died in 1951, for countries with a copyright term of “life plus 70 years” (e.g. UK, Russia, most of EU and South America);
#2 - works by people who died in 1971, for countries with a term of “life plus 50 years” (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, and most of Africa and Asia);
And #3 - works published in 1926 (and all pre-1923 sound recordings), for the United States.
This year’s Public Domain Day is of particular note due to the many hundreds of thousands of pre-1923 sound recordings becoming copyright-free in the United States. Public Domain Review has more information on this mammoth release with links to where you can explore and download their huge haul on our dedicated blogpost, linked from our show notes.
PublicDomainReview.org features collections that you can search, including their library of books searchable by epoch, genre, theme and type. In addition to books, Public Domain Review allows you to search through images, film and audio works.
Some works that entered the public domain in the United States this year include Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard, Puccini’s Turandot (great for any Nessun Dorma fans!), and the Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
For links to these resources, be sure to check the Vox Talk show notes.
Vox Talk Community Spotlight: Leah Arscott
In this week’s Community Spotlight, we welcome Canadian voice over artist, Leah Arscott, as she shares about a recent win she had voicing for one of the world’s biggest brands.
Leah Arscott: Thanks, Stephanie. Hi everyone, my name’s Leah Arscott and I’ve been a voice talent now for three and a half years. Although still relatively new to voice over, I was so grateful to receive a call from the team I worked with on a commercial for Guinness Beer. That team received the bronze award for online commercials at the 2021 Telly Awards in New York City. When I saw the audition posted online, I was immediately interested in participating as this brand was well renown and also the theme of the project was to inspire the community during the recent pandemic. I felt this was something I could personally relate to, as we all can. I wanted to lend my voice to a project that would spark positivity, change and a feeling of hope with the viewer. I was so grateful to be selected and looked forward to the recording. The funny thing is that I was actually sick during the time I recorded the voice over (don’t worry, it wasn’t COVID), but despite not feeling the best, I tried my hardest to give the spot justice and to emote the appropriate emotion necessary. Once the recording was completed, I sent it off for approval and shortly thereafter was so happy to see the final edit. When viewing the final edit, I was very pleased. Sometimes in voice over, the more natural you are brings more authenticity to the project. The overall commercial was beautiful. It really portrayed the struggle many business owners have had to endure during the course of this pandemic, and with a simple comforting product like beer, it brings people together in supporting one another. I’m not sure if I’ll ever receive another award in my career, and that’s okay, but I do know that the best projects to work on are the ones that leave you with a smile on your face, and the underlying message in this spot is one I’ll never forget.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: Now that you've heard Leah talk about the project that she worked on, (and isn't that a great story?), we're going to get to hear a bit of the project she worked on. Now this is Leah Arscott voicing in the Guinness commercial, Rise Up.
Stephanie Ciccarelli: What a great story and a wonderful performance. Thank you for being part of our community, Leah, and for sharing your story!
That’s the way we saw the world through the lens of voice over this week. Thank you for listening to the show. Before we go, I’d like to congratulate Justin Bott, the winner of the Vox Talk Premium membership contest! Happy auditioning to you, Justin! I’d also love to hear from you, (yes you!) about what you’d like to hear covered on Vox Talk in 2022. Email your ideas to [email protected] and I’ll be sure to see them. For all of us here at Voices, wishing you a Happy New Year with many great adventures to come. I’m your host, Stephanie Ciccarelli. We’ll see you next week.