Gargoyles / TMNT Casting Challenge: Part 2
9 April 2010 Leave a comment
Last time, I recasted Gargoyles using TMNT‘s voice actors…not because it was necessary, or even desirable, but because I was bored, didn’t want to work on things that actually need doing, and because I like this sort of speculation. Here’s the second part, this time recasting TMNT characters using Gargoyles voice actors.
Initially, I believed that re-casting TMNT would be easier than the opposite; although I don’t know the actors as well as I do New York’s, I assumed the raw level of talent alone would be enough for me to fill every spot. And then I hit a snag.
While Gargoyles employed several of the mainstays of the voice acting world–Jeff Bennett, Jim Cummings, Frank Welker, Cam Clarke–a lot its characters are voiced by people who aren’t primarily VA’s, chosen because of either pure acting skill (the recently deceased Robert Culp) or because they can do variations on one particular voice (Clancy Brown, Tony Jay), which fit one particular type of character. While this is in no way a bad thing, it does limit your possibilities a bit when you’re trying to use them to voice an entirely different group of characters. Add to that the fact that most of those mainstays of the voice acting world already worked on the first TMNT cartoon, and that I’m trying not to simply have them reprise their old roles…it gets complicated.
The turtles, in particular, are hard to cast under these parameters. The Gargoyles may fill a similar niche, story-wise, but are all wrong for voice purposes. And since there really aren’t many other young characters in the series, it becomes even harder. Still, I’m halfway satisfied with the choices I’ve made.
Leonardo: Diedrich Bader (Jason Canmore) – Bader is usually known for the square-jawed, heroic role–he’s Batman in The Brave and the Bold–so he’s a perfect fit for the TMNT leader.
Donatello: Scott Cleverdon (Jon Canmore) – Among all the turtles, Donny is the one I really don’t have an “ideal” voice for–a voice I think about whenever I’m not thinking about a particular incarnation. Thus, lacking anyone I know of who can replicate Sam Regal’s voice or an ideal voice to compare actors to, this seems like a good bet–after all, Cleverdon did well playing the “soft(er)-spoken younger brother to heroic character” once.
Raphael: Frank Welker (Bronx) – This one is a complete shot in the dark; I have no idea if it’ll be good or not, but given Welker’s range, I feel it’d have an okay shot at being so.
Michelangelo: Jeff Bennett (Brooklyn; Owen) – Jeff Bennett is super-versatile, and he can definitively do comedy, so I’m interested in seeing what he’d do with the character.
Master Splinter: N/A: If it weren’t against the “rules”, I’d cast Peter Reneday (who played Spinter in the old cartoon) in a nanosecond. Aside from him, I don’t see who’d be able to play the character.
April O’Neil: Kath Soucie (Katharine; The Weird Sisters) – Like with Elisa and Salli Richardson, there’s too much of Veronica Taylor in April for me to really be able to separate the two. Still, Kath Soucie has a nice, normal voice, and we know she can play the romantic partner.
Casey Jones: Tom Wilson (Matt Bluestone) – Tom Wilson has a history of getting cast in the not-too-smart jock roles, which means he’s perfect for Casey.
Cody Jones: Cam Clarke (Young Gilcomgain) – The one thought that comes to mind when it comes to occasional-Scrappy Cody Jones is that he’s earnest, to an almost sickening degree–an adjective that can also be used to describe Robotech‘s Max Sterling.
Serling: Jeff Bennett – Mostly because I want to find out what Serling sound like if he sounded like Owen.
Oroku Saki/The Shredder: N/A – Call it a failure of imagination, but I just can’t imagine any voice actor (‘cept for maybe, maybe Mark Hamill) who’d be able to replace or top Scottie Ray as The Shredder–he’s just entirely too perfect in the role. Suggestions would be welcome.
Karai: Sheena Easton (Robyn Canmore) – Ideally, I think Karai needs to sound a bit foreign (although probably not the extent shown in Zhang Ziyi’s interpertation of her for the TMNT movie); she also needs to sound like she can kick ass. While I don’t know if Sheena Easton can do the former (at least when it comes to a Japanese accent) I know she can do the latter.
Hun: Clancy Brown (Hakon; Wolf) – No explanation necessary.
Baxter Stockman: Tim Curry (Anton Sevarius) – I know Scott Williams would make a great Sevarius; I’m not sure if Curry’s particular brand of haminess is right for Baxter. In any case, I’d love to hear it.
Bishop: Jim Cummings (Dingo) – Initially, I wasn’t going to cast Jim Cummings in everything, since I tend to think of him as having an Australian/Cajun/Darkwing Duck accent. And then I remembered: Dr. Ivo Robotnik.
Darius Dun: Tony Jay (Anubis) – Darius Dun is an evil manipulative uncle. Now, who among the Gargoyles cast has played that before?
Leatherhead: Keith David (Goliath)
Professor Honeycutt: Thom Adcox (Lexington) – I will always see Thom Adcox as Lexington–the one false note in Spectacular Spider-Man‘s casting was having him as The Tinkerer and using the same voice. Still, add some electronic voice-rejiggering, and he’d make a good Fugitoid.
Renet: Lacey Chabert (Bobbi Porter) – This is almost cheating; Lacey Chabert only appeared in one episode of the non-canon Goliath Chronicles. Still, I can hear Gwen Stacy as Renet.