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How Actors Train Their Voices For Animated Movies | Movies Insider

DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON: Boat a boat! The gods have given me a– NARRATOR: In recent years,
big actors like Chris Pratt The Rock, and Margot
Robbie, are taking on roles in animated movies more and more. ANNOUNCER: Actors and actresses perform for unseen audiences. NARRATOR: You can see the
appeal, roll up to work in your pajamas, and say a
few lines into a microphone seems like a sweet gig, right? JOAN: It actually takes
months of training, and sometimes years and when I’ve worked with
people that are on Broadway and celebrities, almost
always, and these are actors and almost always, they’ll
say to me, I had no idea. NARRATOR: So, how exactly do actors prepare for animated roles? We went straight to the
experts to find out. RUDY: Hi, I’m Rudy Gaskins, CEO of the Society of
Voice Arts and Sciences here with my partner, Joan, to talk about all things voice acting. NARRATOR: Joan and Rudy have been teaching their craft for over 25 years. RUDY: We’ve worked with
Phil LaMarr, who’s one of the voices of Family
Guy and Nancy Cartwright who’s the voice of Bart Simpson. NANCY CARTWRIGHT: Your
attention please, your attention please. I have
an announcement to make. RUDY: You wouldn’t believe
a 60 year old woman is that adolescent’s voice, but she is and she’s extraordinary. NARRATOR: But talent is
only part of the equation. When it’s just your
voice doing all the work you have to make sure that
instrument is in tip top shape. Voice coaches lead actors
through a variety of exercises to optimize their vocal chords and condition their mouth muscles. Some of these are things you might expect like controlling your breathing and learning to speak on the breath. JOAN: Hi, how are you? NARRATOR: Some of them are less expected like the jaw, throat, and tongue warmups that actors do before
they get in the booth. JOAN: Most people, their
tension is in their jaw. So, I’m using these
fingers to hold the jaw not clench the jaw, but hold it and I’m gonna take a
diaphragmatic breath in. So if I go… Now I’m gonna do it on sound. It’s key to have a relaxed
open back of the throat, as opposed to a tense and
fixed back of the throat, which means that sometimes
the breath can’t go out the mouth so it has to
go shoot out the nose. And that’s when you get
things like nasality. NARRATOR: Nasal might actually work for certain characters. OWEN WILSON: Of course
I wanna keep racing. BOB BERGEN: Th-this is my backyard. NARRATOR: But in most
roles, actors wanna speak more deeply and roundly so their voices can capture a fuller range
of emotional expression. WILL ARNETT: Outta
curiosity, why wouldn’t you wanna marry me? Just, you know,
again, purely for curiosity. JOAN: The little dingy thing
in the back is called the uvula. Most people’s are frozen
and they are kinda stuck. So there’s exercises like… You’ll hear voiceover
people do that in abundance. And it’s to exercise
the uvula in the back, so that it’s almost like a punching bag the way it moves. NARRATOR: Clever tongue twisters are another key part of
actor’s warmup routines. JOAN: What everyone knows is Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. But there is a lot of tongue twisters that aren’t necessarily long, but they really help nip in
the bud certain pronunciations. Abominable abdominals,
abominable abdominals, abominable abdominals,
abominable abdominals. Kinky cookie, kinky cookie, kinky cookie. Lemon lime liniment, lemon lime liniment. Eleven benevolent elephants, try it. CAMERAMAN: Eleven benevel… I don’t even think I can
say that word normally. RUDY: Yeah, that’s why it’s in there. NARRATOR: These exercises
help to relieve tension. But even some seasoned
actors will still get nervous once they hop in front of the mic. JOAN: Their throat gets
dry, their tongue gets dry. When you talking there’s a lot of lip smacking. What I’ll do is I will eat a green apple. NARRATOR: The acids that give green apples their sour taste also can
stimulate saliva production. This helps clean and moisten the mouth, reducing problems like lip
smacking and mic clicks. Some people have the opposite problem. They produce too much saliva
when they’re worked up. JOAN: So they sound like they’re a little drunk, but they’re nervous. NARRATOR: Luckily there’s
a quick fix for actors who hyper-salivate in front of the mic. JOAN: What I tell them to
do is take coffee grinds, just a pinch and put it
underneath their tongue, and let it absorb. NARRATOR: The coffee grinds aren’t tasty. RUDY: That is not good. NARRATOR: But they do
dry up excess saliva, minimizing the sound of a wet mouth. A unique problem arises in the booth when actors are pronouncing words beginning with P, B, D, G, or T. JENNY SLATE: You’re welcome Batman. SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Besides, I knew the cops would let you go. ALISON BRIE: Blast! NARRATOR: These sounds
are called plosives. MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: And that’s up! NARRATOR: It’s these air vibrations that are the foundation of beatboxing. But not so much in voice acting. RUDY: That burst of air is
very loud and dramatic. One of the simplest
ways to get rid of that, so if you have a pencil in
front of your microphone, and you’re speaking, when
you say something like, P it gets stopped by the pencil. NARRATOR: Contrary to
what people might think, voice acting can actually
be very physical. RUDY: You can conduct
yourself much the way a symphony conductor
works with an orchestra, when he wants something legato and easy and when he wants big motions. You can do that with
your hands and your body. If I wanted to say many moaning men, I want that to be legato
and smooth and loving, so I can use my hands like a conductor and go, many moaning men. If I wanted to be sharper,
I’d say many moaning men. JOAN: So your voice follows your body. RUDY: If I said take a Superman pose and now say many moaning men
making money, it changes. If I say put your hands on a lectern and become the president then it’s going to change the way you speak. If I say put your hands on your hip and start moving your head– JOAN: Then all of a sudden– RUDY: Then now, yeah. JOAN: You’re gettin’ down. And this often comes up in voice acting where the script is saying that you’re at a baseball game, let’s say,
and then there’s atmosphere, you know, the fans are going crazy, but there’s still
dialogue happening, right? One of the things that we have to do is we have to talk over, as
if there’s a crowd there, but that’s not yelling, it is talking over the crowd or the noise, right? So I was working with someone and they just kept yelling
into the microphone so I finally said to ’em, use your hands as if a wave was coming up and over so that while you’re saying the line, you’re gonna say the line as
if you’re talking up and over. So when he finally did
that, he was stunned. NARRATOR: In live action
films, the actors have sets, costumes, makeup,
and practical effects to help them get into character. In animated films, actors
have their imaginations. WILL ARNETT: I’m becoming,
I’m becoming I am Batman. RUDY: When you’re working
on a particular script, it may call for a certain mood. Maybe it starts with,
brr, it’s cold in here. And so okay, this gonna
be a cold experience, but you’re in the booth, you
don’t have people with you, you don’t have props, you don’t have a real environment, and
you have to create a lot.


  1. AnimeT0getherEU Author

    Alright lets check the german trailer:

    Probably different movie title, censorship to the point of breaking plots, translation isn't correct, every word ends in a higher pitch for some reason, some guy's voice that doesn't fit the character.
    Guess back to original.

  2. NhatAnh0475 Author

    4:30 It my problem (I guest it a problem), I alway swallow my saliva because it too much in my mouth (but it help me with the none-hearing when in the plane :v)

  3. Sucklet Author

    The best one for consonants is a little phrase I learned in choir:
    🎶Pepsi-Cola, Coka-Cola, Root beer, Seven up and Sprite🎶
    May be spoken, or sung as a downward major scale.

  4. Anonymous Fellow Author

    I’ll have to try these hacks and see if they improve my dry mouth/clenched jaw with singing. Legit nothing else has worked

  5. Foxy and Kitty Author

    Some tongue twisters to help:
    The big black bug bled black blood
    Red leather yellow leather
    Unique New York New York unique
    1 smart fellow felt smart, two smart fellows felt smart, we all felt smart together
    Betty bought a bitter butter but the bitter bitter wasn’t bitter, so Betty bought a better bitter butter, and the better bitter butter was bitter.
    Red yellow

  6. regularben Author

    A lot of what Joan is talking about is stuff we'd learn in high school choir. It's cool to see these techniques used in different professional settings.

  7. Maria G. Lara Author

    I love voice-acting since the day I learned that 90% of great animated characters' voices informação Brazil are done by one single man lol Thanks Guilherme Briggs for teaching me to appreciate the wonderful work voice actors do. Y'all are amazing!

  8. Berryl Loraine Tupas Author

    whenever i think of voice actors, robin williams aka genie comes to mind… he was phenomenal and will always be remembered…

  9. hazwanee25 Author

    I used to do all these exercises for musical theatres, usually about 6 months to year before a production. Man I miss those days!

  10. Sakura Yosshia がちゃ Author

    We already watched peter rabbit in my school. My school has movies during lunch time. (I'm now grade 4 and it's 2019 ;-; )

  11. mortalsgrief mortalcross Author

    i got good skills trust me i amking my own yiutube vids with my oen cartoons soob because i dontvhave friends to help me go foreard eith this i really like this job

  12. TheChosenOne Author

    None of you will ever be a voice actor. You REALLY need to know people to break into this gig. When you're a natural…you just need the right person to introduce you and you have to be in the right place at the right time. Best of luck to…one of the thousands of you watching this.


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