Cowabunga Dad, he’s back

Ac­tor Rob Paulsen takes on a new role in fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY -

YOU may not have heard of Amer­i­can ac­tor Rob Paulsen, but you’ve most likely heard him.

He’s the voice be­hind hun­dreds of car­toon char­ac­ters, from Boomer in The Powerpuff Girls and Pinky from Pinky And The Brain to Carl, Mr Wheezer and Butch in Jimmy Neu­tron.

He has spent more than 2500 hours voic­ing 250 car­toon char­ac­ters dur­ing three decades be­hind the mic.

High on his list of achieve­ments is win­ning a Day­time Emmy in 1999 for Out­stand­ing Per­former in an An­i­mated Pro­gram for Pinky And The Brain.

He re­turns to the screens for his sec­ond stint in Teenage Ninja Mu­tant Tur­tles ( TNMT) – this time cast be­hind a dif­fer­ent coloured eye mask.

He voiced Raphael for more than 190 episodes dur­ing the first se­ries of the TNMT which started in the late 1980s.

This time around Paulsen is stick­ing his neck out and pro­vid­ing some at­ti­tude for Donatello – while Lord of the Rings ac­tor Sean Astin has slipped into Raphael’s shell.

Mak­ing up the quar­tet are Amer­i­can Pie star Ja­son Biggs as Leonardo, while Teen Ti­tans voiceover man Greg Cipes is Michelan­gelo.

‘‘I was asked to au­di­tion for Donatello this time and it’s more about the at­ti­tude he has,’’ Paulsen says.

‘‘He is kind of the brains of the bunch and he may not be the best fighter, he’s the in­tel­lec­tual gizmo maker, so to that ex­tent the at­ti­tude and the aim of the char­ac­ter is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent in con­text of the other three tur­tles.’’

Play­ing a Tur­tle the first time around pro­vided Paulsen with some of his life’s most sat­is­fy­ing mo­ments.

Like the time his son Ash­ton, who is now in his late 20s, used to hus­tle him to speak with his school bud­dies over the tele­phone – but in char­ac­ter.

‘‘What would hap­pen is the phone would ring and my son would pick it up and say things like ‘He re­ally is, no he re­ally is, why would I lie about that? Dad, my buddy wants to talk to Raphael’,’’ Paulsen says.

‘‘It’s so great to be able to do some­thing that your kid gets a kick out of.’’

Paulsen told the other voice cast mem­bers their lives were about to change for the bet­ter and they would get a great amount of sat­is­fac­tion in voic­ing one of the best known mod­ern day car­toons.

He said it was one of the driv­ing forces be­hind want­ing to be a ninja tur­tle again.

‘‘I told the other guys that their life is about to change in the coolest way,’’ Paulsen says.

‘‘You can do a lot of good and just be­ing able to speak with chil­dren in hospi­tal when they are in some dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, ei­ther in per­son or over the phone, is very sat­is­fy­ing and very im­pact­ful.

‘‘You can bring smiles to so many faces with a five minute phone call.’’ De­buts Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 8, 4.30pm, Nick­elodeon.

Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles

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