Voice overs have been used in cartoons, television shows, and motion pictures for many years. Television fans and movie-goers have heard them many times, if aware of it or not. This particular term is used to describe a voice that is heard without visually seeing the person who is talking. It is a technique heavily used in the entertainment industry when a particular tone is wanted for a cartoon character, an animal, or even a person’s thoughts.
Certain cable television networks and satellite channels feature channels that only air re-runs of out of production sitcoms. Some of these shows use voice’s for starring characters who do not speak on their own. One of the best examples is the show called “Mr. Ed.” This popular black and white program starred a horse named Ed. Ed was not just any ordinary horse, he spoke fluent English! It is common knowledge horses do not speak human dialects. For the show’s purpose, a man said the scripted lines for the horse behind scenes. The man who did this was nowhere to be seen in the show.
Fast forwarding in time, cartoons still remain popular with children and adults alike. The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Finding Nemo are all film-length releases by Disney that incorporated this technique. Singers, actors, and actresses were employed to be a part of these productions based on their vocal talents alone. The actor Robin Williams provided the audio for the genie in Aladdin; comedian, actress, and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres contributed to the success of Finding Nemo.
Celebrities frequently contribute to projects that require only the use of vocals. Established actors and actresses possess many skills in vocal command. In the entertainment business there is more to saying lines than simply saying them aloud. Word speed, volume level, and emotional expression all go into producing a well-received character.
Other popular film characters that have been brought to life by entertainers’ voices include Darth Vader in Star Wars (James Earl Jones), Draco the dragon in Dragonheart (Sean Connery), E.T. (Pat Welsh), and Fluke (Matthew Modine). There are many other films other than the ones mentioned here that use celebrity vocals for feature films. This practice continues today because it is successful. Television shows,homeland project free tv cartoons, and movies serve as a source of relaxation and entertainment for children and adults who are young at heart. Because of the ability of recording audio separately from the film itself, fans are able to escape from daily life to hear animals talk and cartoon characters project personalities filled with pizzazz.
Voice overs can be the main selling point of some shows. For example, fans of a famous actor or actress are more likely to see a film simply to hear the voice of their favorite actor lending their vocal talents to a hand-drawn lion or computer generated alien. Actors and actresses that take on these roles get into character every bit as much as if they were the stars in the productions. Television, cartoons, and films are great sources for budding entertainers to study vocal techniques.