ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 5.01 - APRIL 2000
Frank Welker: Master of Many Voices
(continued from page 11)
Recently, Welker has provided the voices for characters on Warner Bros. Histeria! © 1997 Warner Bros. All Right Reserved.
"And talk about impressions. Everybody in the show does impressions: Maurice LaMarche does Bob Hope as George Washington; Billy West does everybody else as everybody else; yours truly does Bill Cosby and Rochester and Fetch the dog. It's so much fun because they're all such great characters.
"Father Time is in every show because he's the narrator. He holds everything together. Like, The year was 1709. He explains what's happening and we switch to the scene. It's just a golden cast, with Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, Lauraine Newman, Maurice LaMarche, Billy West, Jeff Bennett, and on and on and on. Just incredible people.
"They encourage a little bit of ad-libbing, which we all like to do as performers. That's an extra bonus, when we're encouraged to be a little crazy.
"It's a tremendous amount of work for us [actors], because not only are we doing the shows, we're already re-looping and re-doing shows to picture that have come in. So they're constantly working us. We're called in two, three times a week just to do this one show. They're putting a lot into it. They have great music with full orchestration and great songs."
For those who wish to see the man behind the voice, check out ABC's One Saturday Morning, in which Welker appeared as himself in the second season premiere episode (which will doubtlessly be repeated).
"'Manny' [Paul Rugg, voice of Freakazoid] interviewed me down at the L.A. Zoo," Welker says. "We walked around and talked about animals and did different voices; he asked how I created animal sounds. That was a lot of fun."
Of course, Frank Welker has made many on-camera appearances, acting alongside Elvis Presley in The Trouble with Girls, Kurt Russell in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and Now You See Him, Now You Don't, and Don Knotts in How to Frame a Figg. His TV appearances include The Partridge Family, The Don Knotts Show, First Impressions, Simon and Simon, Laugh Trax and Love, American Style. Will the versatile Welker consider doing more on-camera roles?
"Well, I'm very happy with what I'm doing," he says. "As far as on-camera stuff, I never go out on interviews but sometimes if a director gives me a call and asks if I want to do this, I'll say, 'Sure.' Anything that's fun.
"As long as they keep calling, I'll keep showing up."
Just how prolific is Frank? Visit his filmography and find out.
If you are still hungry for more voice over information, visit the Animation World Magazine Archives and use key words such as casting, voice over, voice acting and other related words to find out more.
Bob Miller is an animation professional who has written extensively about the industry for Starlog, Comics Scene, Animation Magazine, Animato!, Animation Planet, Comics Buyers Guide, and APATOONS. He served on the first season of Courage, the Cowardly Dog as storyboard supervisor and is currently working at Film Roman storyboarding episodes of The Simpsons.
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