Lit­tle Stars, Big Voices

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

An all-star cast of the top voice talent in the in­dus­try comes to­gether to bring a mod­ern, comic spin to Snow White’s dimin­u­a­tive pals for Dis­ney Ju­nior’s The 7D. By Tom McLean.

With Os­bourne com­ing into the show as an an­i­ma­tion voice-act­ing rookie, Har­nell says he en­joyed work­ing di­rectly with her and help­ing her with en­cour­age­ment and ad­vice when needed. “We hit it off from the get-go and we’ve be­come good friends, and one of the re­ally cool parts about work­ing with her was watch­ing her grow in this arena,” he says. “We got to de­velop tim­ing to­gether, and I re­ally think that Hildy and Grim are one of the fun­ni­est cartoon cou­ples that have been around in a long time.”

Jug­gling the Voices

Over­see­ing the ac­tors is vet­eran voice di­rec­tor Kelly Ward, who says the level of ex­pe­ri­ence and talent gives the show room to ex­per­i­ment in the booth and en­sures lively per­for­mances. “God for­bid if any­thing were to hap­pen when they were all in one place be­cause the voice-over in­dus­try would be dealt a crip­pling blow,” says Ward with a laugh.

The rapid-fire comedic pace of the show made tim­ing an es­sen­tial qual­ity, bring­ing to the fore the dif­fi­culty in hav­ing the cast per­form­ing to­gether, which was done as fre­quently as pos­si­ble.

“Usu­ally, if there was a block of di­a­logue that in­cluded two or three or even four of the dwarfs, they would record that en­sem­ble. And usu­ally it’s Doc and Grumpy and Bash­ful, and so I was work­ing with Billy and Kevin and Mau­rice most of the time,” says Farmer. “Other than that, I was do­ing it solo, which is gen­er­ally, un­for­tu­nately, most of the time.”

Ward says when ac­tors were recorded separately, Rueg­ger would later come in and work his ge­nius. “He goes in af­ter and cleans things up and tweaks them to a clock speed that he’s got go­ing in his mind,” Ward says.

“We’re try­ing to make people laugh and if they have in them a funny line or a fun­nier way to say the line, we are ex­cited to hear it and we def­i­nitely do use plenty of that,” says Rueg­ger.

The stu­dio and net­work’s com­mit­ment to mak­ing a high-qual­ity show in the mad­cap com­edy style was key to de­cid­ing to make the show in tra­di­tional 2D an­i­ma­tion in­stead of CGI. Rueg­ger says 2D is bet­ter suited to the show’s style, which can veer off in sud­den and un­ex­pected ways and draws upon a very broad comedic sen­si­bil­ity.

And, of course, Rueg­ger says it’s ex­cit­ing to come and work on such an iconic property for Dis­ney. “This is an honor, to be able to get near some­thing that Walt cared about so much.”

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