I grew up on a constant diet of cartoons from after-school and Saturday cartoons. I figured out early on the importance of certain voice actors. There was no internet back then. I had to rely on my ears to pick out the voices that brought out the iconic cartoon characters. I was very surprised to find two books on Cartoon Voices by Keith Scott. Scott is no slouch, he is a voice actor himself. He was the voice of both Bullwinkle J. Moose and the Narrator in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. These are two books if you want to know the history of voice work by our childhood favorites. Tracing some of these voice characters can be daunting. At the time, cartoons were sub-fare for some other voice actors. They preferred to be anonymous. Keith Scott unearths these talented voices who hid behind the curtain of anonymity. I highly recommend these two book volumes published by BearManor Media.
Volume Two of CARTOON VOICES is the massive reference companion to Volume One. This is the information for which animation enthusiasts have been waiting. Based on thirty-two years of painstaking research in archives and libraries, this volume features an exhaustive listing of thousands of theatrical cartoons, containing never-before-published voice credits for hundreds of obscure acting talents who until now remained unidentified.
The listings herein cover the Golden Age output and voice talent of the following major film studios: Warner Bros. (the immortal Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies), MGM (cartoons by giants like Hanna-Barbera and Tex Avery), Columbia (the often oddball Screen Gems cartoons), UPA (home of Mister Magoo), Universal (the Walter Lantz Cartunes), Walt Disney Productions (both shorts and feature-length films of the Golden Age supervised by Walt), and from New York & Miami, Paramount’s releases of the great Max Fleischer cartoons.
While various vintage cartoon voice mysteries are still to be solved, the one-of-a-kind information in this volume finally confirms hundreds of hitherto uncredited voice artists for the first time in decades.
In today’s world of instant information, everyone knows everything about cartoon voices. Animation is a huge business, and Voice Actors are respected. But it wasn’t always so.
For thirty years before the TV age, countless “Classic Era” cartoons from 1928 to 1970 were seen in movie theatres before the main feature. During that Golden Age, virtually every cartoon voice actor (with the notable exception of the great Mel Blanc), was resigned to being totally anonymous. Despite creating immortal voices like Droopy, Popeye, Elmer Fudd, or Betty Boop, the actors’ names simply didn’t appear on the screen.
This book is the first to explore the development of voice artistry from the birth of sound movies to the dawn of TV cartoons when “voices” finally got screen credit.
Documented in this exhaustively researched history is the full story of how acting for cartoons slowly changed from squawks and grunts into an art form. From the earliest days when animators themselves were the only voices, through the gradual hiring of professional radio actors, this book finally names the many artists who were unknown for four decades.
Illustrated with rare mugshots of hitherto unknown voices, Volume One is the studio-by-studio saga of how cartoon voice acting took off. Volume Two is the reference section, with insanely detailed voice credits for thousands of cartoons from top animation studios of the Classic Era. Animation fans can finally learn the full story in Cartoon Voices of the Golden Age, with never before told insights into one of the most undocumented areas of film history.
Keith Scott has spent over forty years as an internationally recognized cartoon voice actor and impressionist. He narrated two George of the Jungle movies and was the voice of both Bullwinkle J. Moose and the Narrator in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. He is the author of The Moose That Roared and many articles on animation and Hollywood radio history.