What do Yakko Warner (from the Animaniacs), Pinky (from Pinky and the Brain), Raphael and soon Donatello (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Hadji (from Jonny Quest), and about another billion animated characters have in common?
The answer: ONE incredibly talented voice actor!
His name is Rob Paulsen
No, I’m not talking about a quote from a popular 1999 movie. (Actually, the quote was “His name was Robert Paulsen” but without Googling it can you name the movie?)
I’m talking about one of the most gifted voice actors in the business: Rob Paulsen — a man who has a list of voice acting credits that make the phrase “a mile long” seem tiny. (You can check them out at Rob Paulsen on IMDb.)
A major influence
I grew up listening to the man perform in many cartoons. And yet from TV show to TV show I never suspected it was the same guy doing the voices. All I knew is that whichever character he happened to be performing, I gravitated toward it.
Here’s just a tiny sampling of some of his work along with a 3-part series on voice acting!
The funny “cat” with the brown pants.
(Rob also plays the bald psychiatrist with glasses, Dr. Scratch-n-Sniff!)
Not only can he act, but can also sing.
Seriously, singing in character ain’t easy!
Pinky – the crazy British-accented mouse
(The Brain is played by the very talented Maurice LaMarche who also has an amazing voice acting resume!)
The Mask – The Animated Series
Here’s Rob singing the main theme. (He also plays the main character, Stanley Ipkiss, as well.)
Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
(The turtle with the red mask.)
Snow Job from GI Joe
On Voice Acting…
(There are many, many more if you head on over to YouTube)
Rob also has a fantastic podcast that you should most definitely check out! You can find it here: Rob Paulsen Live
How about you?
Who are your favorite voice actors? If you don’t know their names, then head on over to IMDb and do a search for the show’s title. There you’ll find a complete listing of who was in the show, what characters they played, and usually a link to the actor’s IMDb page.