Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

Cartoons, voice actors – this might be a sorta repost

Oh man oh man oh man. Am I ever excited – I’ve got 4 new episodes of Futurama downloaded and ready to go! Sa-weeet!

Recently I’ve been watching American Dad. I know I’ve said this before, but AD is my current favorite prime time cartoon. The colours are vibrant, the outlines of each character are nicely marked with thick black lines – and Roger the alien is one of the greatest cartoon characters of all time. Not to mention the abstract silliness and chances the writers take. Love AD.

But Futurama is easily my number 2 favorite at the moment. Bender, Fry, Zoidberg, the Professor – all brilliant characters. It loses points because the love story between Fry and Leela gets tiresome after awhile, but it’s still damn damn damn damn good.

The common theme which I think makes these two shows so good is the alien nature of the show. For AD, it’s an actual alien – and for Futurama, it’s the alien nature of the future. In each case, since these situations are so abstracted from real life, the writers are able to go buck wild with creativity. Any ridiculousness they see fit to introduce is automatically believable, since we have no frame of reference from which to judge the reality. Who are we to say that aliens don’t have wigs and speak like Paul Lynde? Who are we to say that the future isn’t full of sassy robots? I figure this is where the genius of the shows come in.

If we were to compare and contrast Futurama with The Simpsons – many people might say The Simpsons is a better show. But Futurama has been more consistently funny over the course of its run. Although, I suppose that isn’t terribly fair, since The Simpsons has been going for like 25 seasons – so they’re really milking the depths of each character and side character, etc…

I suppose I should say something about the voice work on both AD and Futurama. For AD, they’ve got an unbelievably talented voice cast – you’ve got Seth MacFarlane as Roger and Stan, two different voice registers. But the real underrated voice star on AD is easily Scott Grimes, the voice of Steve. Many of you may remember Grimes (or Grimey, as he liked to be called) as the redhead who isn’t Captain Winters from Band of Brothers. But man does Grimey ever have an amazing voice. Any episode of AD with Steve singing is generally gold. That Season 8 episode with Boyz12 – Ohmygod, hy-larious. Also, AD regularly features the talented upper crust voice work of Patrick Stewart – not to mention the smooth, rich baritone of Kevin Michael Richardson. That guy has also got an amazing lower register… I think he should narrate stuff instead of Morgan Freeman, that’s how great his voice can be.

As for Futurama, the unquestioned voice superstar is John DiMaggio as Bender. I’ve never really heard anyone do a good Bender imitation, ’cause DiMaggio’s voice is tough to imitate. Billy West, who does Fry, The Professor, Zapp Brannigan and Zoidberg is also a standout. I’d love to see West & Dan Castalleneta do anything together. Plus, Futurama’s got David Herman and Phil LaMarr from Mad TV, as well as Maurice LaMarche – who does the voice of Nibbler and Orson Welles whenever called for. Certainly, without these actors, Futurama wouldn’t be half the show it is.

Anyhoo… Time to watch cartoons!

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July 11, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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