I Know That Voice: A Look At The World Of Voice Acting

I Know That Voice movie poster

I Know That Voice movie poster

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by voice acting.  Still watching cartoons as an adult, I love going to IMBD to look up who voices characters on things I watch.  Because of this fascination, when I read over a year ago that John DiMaggio (the voice of Bender on Futurama among hundreds of other things) was making a documentary about the world of voice acting called I Know That Voice, I was immediately on board.  Just looking at the trailer puts a smile on my face. Did you notice Mark Hamill in there?  While 99% of the world thinks of him as Luke Skywalker, to me, his best role is The Joker, who he has voiced in countless cartoons and video games since Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992.

What’s interesting about I Know That Voice is that, consistently, every single person interviewed agrees that voice acting is not about coming up with silly voices, it’s about acting.  The best analogy made is that it’s great if you can imitate Porky Pig’s voice, but can you perform Shakespeare in Porky Pig’s voice?  Coming up with voices is part of the job, but being able to emote, and play a character in that voice is where the true talent lies in voice acting.  Many voice actors sing in the voices they’ve created, which as a person who grew up singing in choirs, just blows my mind.  It’s tough enough to sing in general, let alone not in your natural voice!

I think it comes across clearly that voice actors really have a passion for their job.  They get true gratification knowing that they bring joy to so many people through cartoons and video games, yet still can enjoy the luxury of anonymity when going out in public to the grocery store, or a restaurant.  While it’s fun a few times a year to be treated like a rock star at a convention like Comic Con, where people, like me, know the actors behind the voice, for the most part, they can live normal public lives, which is a blessing.On the flip side of that, every once in a while, it can also be a blessing to be recognized, as Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman for over 20 years since Batman: The Animated Series) explains in this clip from the documentary. 

Such a fan of voice acting, my opinion of I Know That Voice is clearly biased.  I loved it!  Getting to peak behind the curtain of the process these actors go through to create their magic was fun and enlightening.  Plus, as I mentioned above, it just put a smile on my face to see all these actors go into their voices in the middle of their interviews.  I highly recommend checking this documentary out.  You’ll have fan watching it, and you’ll learn a bit as well.

I Know That Voice is currently available for purchase and rental digitally via iTunes and Amazon, and will be coming to DVD/Blu-ray later this year, promised by John DiMaggio via the I Know That Voice Facebook page to be packed with commentary tracks and bonus features that didn’t make it into the final cut of the film.

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