Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mickey Mouse Has…Two Voices

Disney just released the latest installment in a new series of Mickey Mouse shortsThis one is titled “Stayin’ Cool” (and yes, that apostrophe belongs there).

Video from YouTube.

These new shorts are part of an attempt to revive Mickey and his friends, who were the focus of many of the cartoon shorts throughout Disney’s history, after a 50 year absence from these kinds of cartoons.  (To see all of the new shorts, here’s a YouTube playlist with all of them so far.)

Personally, I don’t much care for these other than watching them once (and probably again only if MDF or YDF find out and beg me to “watch a video”).  To me, the cartoon continuity bugs me – “New York Weenie” features a lion that goes from cartoony to suddenly finely detailed – and the humor seems more like something I would look for in SpongeBob or Cartoon Network – again, see the hot dog at the end of “New York Weenie” to see what I mean.  Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a huge fan.  I’d actually rather watch Looney Tunes over these, and I love the classic Looney Tunes.

I do appreciate that Disney is bringing Mickey and his gang back in cartoons.  And I mean, there are some aspects of the cartoons that I like -- Cinderella and Prince Charming's cameos in the first short, for example -- but overall, I don't much care for them.

But what’s the point of my post here?

Well, as I finished “Stayin’ Cool”, I paused at the credits, something catching my eye.  Throughout the short, I’d assumed that Mickey’s voice actor was Bret Iwan, and I was loving the fact that he’s doing so well, being new to voice acting and all.  But when I didn’t see him under the voice talents, I immediately “Googled” (is that a word yet?) it.

What did I find out?

For these shorts, Chris Diamantopoulos from The Office voices Mickey.

Reaction: Wait, what?


I have no idea.

From what I could find out, there is no stated or given reason why Mickey now has two voice actors.  The weirdest part is that Bret Iwan is still the official voice actor for Mickey. 

As the Rotoscopers say in their article:

This comes as a huge surprise considering the effort Disney makes to preserve the continuity in its characters’ voices. For instance, Wayne Allwine voiced Mickey for nearly 30 years with no replacement. If Bret Iwan has only been Mickey’s voice since 2009, why is Disney already switching things up? Even more peculiar is that the rest of Mickey’s pals in these new cartoons retain their regular voice actors who have personified the characters for years: Russi Taylor as Minnie, Bill Farmer as Goofy, Tony Anselmo as Donald, and Tress MacNeille as Daisy.

Mickey is portrayed in the new series as the plucky adventure-seeker from his early days who lives a bit wilder than the calm, reserved Mickey seen in recent years, so perhaps the change in personality prompted the change in voice.

Whatever the reason, the voice shift to Diamantopoulos only seems to be for the Mickey Mouse shorts series. Bret Iwan is still considered to be the mouse’s official alter-ego. Iwan still voices Mickey in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and made an appearance as recent as last week at an official, Disney-sponsored fan event at Disneyland.

(Taylor, Blake. "Disney Shorts Debut with New Voice for Mickey Mouse." 2013. Retrieved 21 Jul 2013. Web.)
So why did they give Mickey well, two voices?

I don’t know, but I hope to find out!

Stay tuned!

So I’ll see you all real real soon!

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