Gargoyles/TMNT Casting Challenge: pt. 1
2 April 2010 1 Comment
Originally, I planned to compare the voice acting in both Gargoyles and TMNT, and see which series had the better crew–but then I realize that that would be silly, as the winner is obvious from the beginning: as much as I like New York’s voice actors–they’re the voice acting crew I’m most familiar with, which has made me quite biased in their favor–collectively (collectivelly, mind you–things vary on a case to case basis), they can’t compete against a group that includes Keith David, Jim Cummings, David Warner, Tony Jay, Jeff Bennett, and Kath Soucie. So I decided to do something more interesting: recast both shows using the opposite show’s voice acting pool, see who would end up playing whom, and then decide which show would end up sounding better.
Now, the goal here isn’t to find which voice actor sounds most like the original–it’d be quite impossible in both cases, I feel, since the characters in Gargoyles, in general, sound nothing like the characters in TMNT–but, as in Turtles Forever, finding who can get the essence of the character across.
One final note: as a rule, I’m using only the actors who appeared on either show, not potential actors from each region’s acting pools. That means that I can’t cast Kevin T. Collins (Berserk‘s Griffith) as Xanatos or have Josh Keaton (Spidey in Spectacular Spider-Man) as Michelangelo, despite how awesome they’d be in those roles.
So first up, Gargoyles.
Goliath / Thailog: F.B. Owens (Leatherhead; Traximus) – This one’s a toughie. Keith David’s voice is very distinctive, and his particular type of voice isn’t used much in TMNT. Owens, as the voice behind Traximus, the character most similar to Goliath (both physically and in personality), gets cast by default.
Brooklyn: Greg Abbey (Raphael; Yusei Fudo in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s) – This one, on the other hand, is a no-brainer; after seven years playing the lancer to Leonardo’s hero, Greg Abbey (a.k.a. Frank Frankson and John Campbell) is more than ready to play Goliath’s.
Broadway: Britton Herring (Adam McKay) – The same problem with Goliath rises up again here; TMNT just didn’t have many actors playing large, boisterous guys–Herring, who played ball-and-chain-toting Adam during the series’ 5th season, comes closest to fitting the bill.
Lexington: Sebastian Arcelus (1988 Raphael; Yoh Asakura in Shaman King)
Hudson: David Wills – (1988 Splinter; 1984 Shredder) – Even if he can’t do a Scottish accent (I have no idea if he can) Wills has enough mentor/father (Splinter, Spike Taylor) and badass characters (Arlong in One Piece) in his resume to play the Manhattan Clan’s resident old guy.
Angela: Carrie Keranen (Ananda in BttS) – I’ll be honest here: Keranen–best known as Caska in Berserk— sounds nothing like Brigitte Bako. However, I’m still casting her because I really liked her in that role, and especially in the outakes for the series.
Elisa Maza: Rebecca Soler (Joi Reynard) – Another toughie. Given how Elisa’s character model is actually based on Salli Richardson, I don’t see how one would be able to recast the role without making it sound “wrong”. Still, Soler is one of the more versatile voice actors working in New York today, and what little we saw of Joi seemed to indicate a character not unlike Elisa’s, so yeah…
Matt Bluestone: Marc Diraison (Ruffington; Raptarr; Guts in Berserk)
Coldstone: Greg Carey (Hun)
Talon: Terrence Archie (Silver Sentry)
Macbeth: Dan Green (Commander Mozar; Nabuca in Now and Then, Here and There) – I’m really not satisfied with this one: John Rhys-Davies is untouchable as Macbeth, and even if someone among the TMNT crew could do a convincing Scottish accent, I’m not sure they’d be able to combine it with the gravitas the role requires. Still, Dan Green is awesome on pretty much anything, so if anyone can make this work, it’s him.
David Xanatos: Marc Thompson (Casey Jones; Dante Vale in Huntik) – Above anything else, Xanatos needs to sound cool. He also usually sounds as if he’s having fun. Thompson has done both as Dante Vale in Huntik–combined with his experience playing the enigmatic Big Bad in Dinosaur King, and he’d make an awesome Xanatos.
Demona: Eva Christensen (Viral) – Take away the funky voice manipulation, and she can sound a lot like Marina Sirtis, as evidenced here (10:00-11:15–feel free to skip the rest, as it’s quite crap).
Owen Burnett: Scottie Ray (Oroku Saki / The Shredder) – In all the roles I’ve heard him in, Ray always seems to have a Shredder-like steel to the character, which is altogether different from Owen’s particular brand of steel. Would it work? I’m not sure. But it’d be interesting.
Fox Xanatos: Rachel Lillis (Jesse in Pokemon; Sis in Now and Then, Here and There)
Anton Sevarius: Scott Williams (Baxter Stockman) – This one’s easy. As Baxter Stockman, Williams was one of the standouts among the TMNT voice-actors, able to make effortlessly play him for both comedy and pathos. He’s a natural fit for the hammy, overly-dramatic Sevarius.
The Archmage: David Zen Mansley (Bishop; Savanti Romero) – Another easy one, since Savanti Romero is basically the Archmage plus horns and cloven feet, and without an awesome “obtain omnipotence in ten easy steps” plan.
Puck: Sean Schemmel (Too many to list) – Because he’s Sean Schemmel.
Verdict: Depending on the voice direction, this could either be a disaster, or something quite decent. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to make ’em.