Friday, July 18, 2008

Voice Actressexuality

mB again here from A Blog Next Door. Thinking how TFE and ABND could meet halfway I came up with this post, having StinkyLulu's post on Betty Lou Gerson in mind. In a world of Jolies and Diaz's who seem to not stretch themselves when they do voice acting, let's celebrate a couple of women who have really animated their material in the past decade (if I go back any further Ursula, Belle and other Disney faves will overtake the list!):

Ellen Degeneres as Dory (Finding Nemo)

Creating one of the most memorable Pixar characters, Degeneres made Dory - the forgetful regal tang fish who accompanies Marlin in his search for his son Nemo - a treat to watch.

Best Line Reading: I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Come on, Squishy. Come on, little Squishy. [gets stung by the jellyfish] Ow. Bad Squishy, bad Squishy!

Eartha Kitt as Yzma (The Emperor's New Groove)

Who better than former Catwoman Ms Kitt to bring the crazy villainness Yzma to life? Funny, conniving and always devilishly stylish, Yzma is a wondrous creation thanks to Kitt's signature voice.

Best Line Reading: Ah, how shall I do it? Oh, I know. I'll turn him into a flea, a harmless, little flea, and then I'll put that flea in a box, and then I'll put that box inside of another box, and then I'll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives... [laughs] ...I'll smash it with a hammer! It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say! [knocks over bottle of poison on flower, which shrivels up and dies] Or, to save on postage, I'll just poison him with this.

Daveigh Chase (Lilo & Stitch)

Before she hit it big with Big Love, Ms Chase gave her voice to the spunky and warm-hearted Hawaiian girl in Chris /Carter\ Sander's Lilo & Stitch. She was sweet, she was lonely but could also yell and bite her way out of anything that Lilo.

Best Line Reading: [explaining the death of her parents to Stitch] It was raining, and they went for a drive. What happened to yours? I hear you cry at night. Do you dream about them? I know that's why you wreck things, and push me.

Helena Bonham Carter (Corpse Bride)

Trust Mr Burton to cast Mrs Burton in this animated wonder. Good thing Ms Bonham-Carter has the lonely, kinda creepy undead dead and lonely girl tone down.

Best Line Reading: Isn't the view beautiful? It takes my breath away. Well, it would if I had any.

I'm sure I left some wonderful performances out (Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson off the top of my head), so tell me who else has done good voice work over the past decade? [I'm especially intrigued about foreign language films (think Persepolis and Miyazaki's oeuvre - which I can't judge in terms of vocal performances)]


Glenn said...

Ooh, good piece. Degeneres' is definitely amazing and I loved the shoutout to Kitt. It's for reasons like that that I can't stand Dreamworks' lazy voice work. As great as certain people are their voices just don't lend themselves to animation. Nothing wrong with that, but I wish they'd stop hiring whoever's famous and hire someone who can do proper vocal work.

Other contenders:

Miranda Richardson, Chicken Run

Julie Kavner, The Simpsons Movie

Holly Hunter, The Incredibles

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Eartha Kitt is my favorite part of that movie. I looked everywhere for an Yzma action figure, but couldn't find one. Disaster!

Hm. I think Glenn named all of my favorites. Although, I think Janeane Garofalo in Ratatouille was wonderful. Didn't even know it was her!

ryansumera said...

how bout the mother of them all? turner in who framed roger rabbit

J.D. said...

Dory!!! Yzma!!! LILO!!!!! Le sigh.

Adding to the list: Joan Cusack in Toy Story 2, Jodi Benson in The Little Mermaid, HBC in the Wallace & Gromit movie, and pretty much every female Ghibli dub ever (Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Uma Thurman, Pat Carroll, Emily Mortimer, Alison Lohman, Suzanne Pleshette, Brittany Snow, Lauren Bacall, Elle Fanning... even Minnie Driver).

I love voice-over performances so much.

elgringo said...

Excellent post! Truly.

My votes would also include Holly Hunter in The Incredibles. She has the sexiest voice ever. The first one that popped into my mind as Ashley Johnson doing the voice of Gretchen in "Recess." She's so awesome.

Anonymous said...

Miranda Richardson for "Chicken Run"
Holly Hunter for "The Incredibles"
2 of my 9 favorite modern actresses doing excellent voice-work


Yeah Miranda's Chicken Run vocal performance is superb. another vote for that.

Sam Brooks said...

I love Eartha Kitt's work. She's even on the animated show on Disney, which I watch compulsively. I'm sad, I know.

But one of my favourites has been left off:

Lauren Bacall in Howl's Moving Castle as the Wicked Witch of the Waste. Her voice is still classic after 60 years and it works perfectly for this character. I know it's not the original Japanese voice, but this was a real casting coup.

Anonymous said...

Nice post! Well thought out and fun.

A pre-Borat Sasha Baron Cohen as King Julien in MADAGASCAR never fails to bring my wife and I to tears of laughter (as does the lead Heston-esque!)

BTW, Chris Saunders directed LILO & STITCH. I think you may have X-Files on the brain. ;-)

Anonymous said...


I'm an idjit.

It's Sanders with no U.

I will know go stand in the Dork Korner.

The Anarchist Who Also Happens To Knit said...

I would also vote for Daveigh Chase again for her vocal performance in Spirited Away. Her delightfully youthful voice here is characterized by the same innocence as Lilo, but because of the tone of the movie, picks up a mystical/haunting tone.

I would also pose an argument for Tim Allen's vocal performances in both Toy Story's, who better to create Buzz Lightyear?

I would also argue that Angela Lansbury's Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast is phenomenal, especially as she is only a tea pot after all. She also was part of the reason that this movie was able to achieve such theatricality, despite being a movie.

I also feel that Lea Salonga should be noted for her part in many of the singing voices of Disney characters over the years.

whitney said...

Eartha Kitt's best line in any movie?:

"I'm not wearing any panties!"


Seeing_I said...

I adored "The Emperor's New Groove." Very under-rated. The double-act of Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton is priceless. "You couldn't let it go, not even on your birthday..."