ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 5.01 - APRIL 2000

Frank Welker: Master of Many Voices
(continued from page 10)

Welker has reprised Freddie Jones, not just in the video series, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost and a third video to be released this fall, but in spoofing the character in other shows, as well.

Fond memories abound, when Welker remembers his work on Animaniacs. Courtesy of Cartoon Network. © Warner Bros.

"I did one on Animaniacs. Casey [Kasem] came in and we did a takeoff on ourselves.

"On Family Guy, the show was all about this guy watching television. Scooby Doo and the gang are part of his mental deterioration, his love of television. I just had a few lines of 'modern dialogue' that Joe and Bill would never have put in one of their shows. It's a little wild.

"I thought it was nice of [creator] Seth MacFarlane to revive the part. It was fun doing it. I looked around the room and everybody said, 'Oh yeah, I grew up watching that [Scooby Doo].' It's nice that it's found this whole other generation of viewers."

For Disney, Welker stars in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the Toy Story spinoff series [to be animated traditionally, not using CGI].

"I'm doing Grubs, the evil Zurd's little creatures. They're scared to death of him and they run around doing these evil things. Today I was doing an alien and made up my own language. I do all kinds of creatures, carnivores and monsters. There seems to be Star Wars-at-the-bar creatures in almost every show. It's fun to do seven different Jabbas."

Welker refers to Disney's Hercules series as a "monster movie big time" because of the plethora of creatures he voices.

"Usually these monsters fly in groups so I repeat myself many times," he says. "Monster roars and roars again. Technically I might do it three or four times. I do different layers and then they'll put that all together as one huge group."

For Warner Bros., Welker stars in Histeria! as Father Time, as well as numerous incidental characters and historical figures.

"It's very, very good, I think. The writing is just excellent. It's more adult-type humor, but still, kids will enjoy all the action. It's really nuts."

The purpose of Histeria!, Welker says, is to fulfill "a mandate from the psychiatrists and Congress and the networks. They believe kids programming needs information, that it's all pabulum for children -- which I don't agree with, because kids deserve to have fun, too. School is school, television is television. Why not just enjoy cartoons? And make them good and funny? But, Congress says, ‘No, we need information in all these shows.’ Warner Bros. did a take on history and put it into these shows. But they've done it in such a way that you do get some information, and you get a lot of comedy. You get some great drawings, incredible cartoons and voice acting and impressions that are just unbelievable.

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Note: Readers may contact any Animation World Magazine contributor by sending an e-mail to editor@awn.com.


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