North American Voice Actor Update for January 2011

Here’s our first update on the North American voice actors for the new year. They’ve been busy, so there is lots to report!

The Kevin Spacey film Casino Jack is said to include songs in the soundtrack sung by Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Venus #2) and Cadence, an a capella group who even imitates musical instruments. Cadence was introduced to the film’s composer, Jonathan Goldsmith, by Emilie. Together they were hired to work on 25 minutes of the score for Casino Jack. They spent two long days in the studio together, learning the music on the spot, with direction from the composer and music director. Readers may recall that we have reported that David Fraser (Grandpa Hino) plays Karl Rove in the film (pictured, left; photo from IMDb). This film is now playing in select cities, check your local showtimes to see if it’s in your area.

Upcoming tour dates for Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Venus #2) include: February 25th in Montréal at l’Astral at 8 pm; February 26th in Sherbrooke, Québec at Centennial Theatre at 8pm; March 17th in Moncton, New Brunswick at Capitol Theatre at 8pm; March 22nd in Winnipeg, Manitoba at Park Theatre at 8pm; March 24th in Whitehorse, Yukon at the Yukon Arts Centre at 8pm; March 25 in St. Albert, Alberta at the Arden Theatre at 8pm; and March 27 in Vancouver, British Columbia at the Capilano Performing Arts Centre at 8pm. Please visit the theatre websites for ticket information. (Photo from Emilie-Claire’s Flickr album)

Canadian fans may be interested in catching Sidekick on YTV, an animated series about Eric Needles, the young sidekick of a superhero called Maxum Man. Although Maxum Man is mysteriously missing, Eric “lives in the superstar superhero’s fabulous mansion with Maxum Brain, the super computer, and has access to the most amazing jets, cars, lasers, gadgets and teleportation devices ever invented.” Familiar voices in the series include Tony Daniels (Jedite/Wiseman) as Maxum Brain and Ron Rubin as the villain Master XOX (pictured, left; photo from YTV). To find out more about the show, fans can check out the official Facebook page or the show information on YTV’s website, which includes pictures and videos.

Also on YTV is the recently launched Almost Naked Animals, a comedic cartoon featuring animals wearing underwear. We’ve previously mentioned that Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Venus #2) plays Bunny in the series. We’ve also recently discovered that Robert Tinkler (Rubeus) plays Howie in the series. Additional voices include Tony Daniels (Jedite/Wiseman) and Julie Lemieux (Sammy). (images from official website)

We’ve previously mentioned Vince Corazza (Allan/Tuxedo Mask #3) as being a part of Rock and Roll: The Movie. Interested fans can now watch a trailer for the film on IMDb here. We recommend that younger readers be cautious if following through to watch the trailer, as the movie includes mature themes and is described as “an off the wall, T&A, rock and roll comedy.” Vince plays Bill, a friend of the alcoholic, has-been Steve Taylor whom a young man named David is attempting to assist gain a record deal, in order to win a bet. You can first catch Vince in the trailer at about 37 seconds in, and he has another line at about 1:18. It’s unclear if this film has been released in theatres as yet, but we will let you know if we find any more details.

Tony Daniels (Jedite/Wiseman) can also be heard in The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! in three different episodes. Other familiar voices on the show include the previously reported Robert Tinkler (Rubeus) as Fish and other voices, Tracey Hoyt (Rini #1) as Sally’s Mom, and Jeff Lumby (Professor Tomoe) as Aiya and other characters. Additional cast we have noticed are Julie Lemieux (Sammy) as Bart in four episodes and Linda Ballantyne (Sailor Moon #3) as Katie and other characters (in a total of three episodes). Tony Daniels was also in an episode of Arthur in the fall, as Johnny/male announcer.

Tracey Hoyt (Rini #1) appears in Servitude as a lousy mom. The comedic Canadian film is about “A group of frustrated waiters at a kitschy steakhouse [who] take over their restaurant for one final, glorious, revenge-filled night when they discover they are all about to be fired.” (description from IMDb). This film is currently in post-production.

Robert Tinkler (Rubeus) is part of a new television series called Mudpit. He plays Slime. “This CGI animated/live-action series follows four real-world teens and their rock band, MUDPIT, as they follow their dreams of fame and fortune. The series takes place in a gaming café and a fantastic, virtual world known as MUZIKA. Their online avatar rock band personas battle for a coveted record deal, while their real life selves engage in the daily comedy and drama of teenage life.” (description from TV, eh?)

We previously reported that Tracey Moore (Sailor Moon #1) is in the cast of the Care Bears to the Rescue Movie. The movie is now available for pre-order on DVD and will be released on February 8th.

Dennis Akayama (Malachite) appeared in an episode of Being Erica entitled “Gettin’ Wiggy Wit’ It” in November, as Dr. Kotara. He will also be appearing in the upcoming Canadian film Hello October, as Oliver. this romantic comedy is currently in post-production.

Fans can now see Barney’s Version in select theatres. Harvey Atkin (Bumboo/Pox) appears in the film as the second Mrs. Panofsky’s father. A trailer is available for viewing on IMDb here. Currently the film is airing in the Toronto and Montréal areas, with an extended release to begin January 14th, across Canada. More details about the movie can be found on the official website.

Rino Romano‘s (Tuxedo Mask #1) voice was heard in an episode of CSI as Sqweegel (which was also the episode title), an episode first aired last October. The character was a serial killer who punished local heroes with hidden secrets.

Here is a promo for the episode:

Kirsten Bishop (Zoicite/Kaori Knight/Emerald) appeared in an episode of the new Nikita TV series, as Mrs. Harcourt/Irena. The episode was called “Phoenix” and a description is available on IMDb here.

As previously reported, Naz Edwards (Queen Beryl) played a tipsy (“drowsy”) grand theatre dame in Drowsy Chaperone. Her character was assigned to keep a young star away from her fiancé, so that the star doesn’t abandon her career in favour of getting married. It is described as a comedic and wacky musical, set in the 1920’s. The play ran from November 11, 2010 through January 2, 2011 at the Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo from The Detroit News, who gave the play a “grade A” review.)

NA Voice Actor Update for April

Dennis Akayama (Malachite) appears in the film Repo Men, as a doctor. Fans can also see him on TV in Mayday, a show which dramatizes real-life air disasters, as a captain; in Wingin’ It, a family comedy about an angel in training, as Mr. Nakamora; and in Warehouse 13 as officer Ogawa. Canadian fans can catch the premiere of Warehouse 13 on April 30th, on City TV. Description of the show from IMDb: “After saving the life of an international diplomat in Washington D.C., a pair of U.S Secret Service agents are whisked away to a covert location in South Dakota that houses supernatural objects that the U.S. Government has collected over the centuries. Their new assignment: retrieve some of the missing objects and investigate reports of new ones.

Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Venus #2) performed “You’re Driving Me Crazy” live on Canada AM on Monday, April 12th to celebrate her third Juno nomination. Her performance was delightful and the hosts enjoyed having her on the show again.

Stephanie Beard (Rini #2) will be appearing in an upcoming, untitled Seth Rogen film. The movie is a comedic account of a man’s cancer diagnosis and his struggle to beat the disease.

Little Shop of Horrors, featuring Naz Edwards (Queen Beryl) as Audrey II has been extended through May 16th. Fans can catch the show at the Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tracey Hoyt (Rini #1) can be seen in Pure Pwnage as Jeremy’s mom. So far, she appears in the first and fifth episodes of this television series about Jeremy, a L33T gamer who lives in his mom’s basement and is forced to get a “real” job. Canadian fans can catch the series on Showcase. Episodes are also available for viewing on the Showcase website, make sure to click on Pure Pwnage in the side menu to see all available episodes. This show was previously a popular web series, since 2004.

Tracey Moore (Sailor Moon #1) can be heard in the Care Bears to the Rescue movie. The release date is not yet available, but the movie will be centred around the Care-a-Lot Rescue Awards.

Roland Parliament (Melvin) was nominated for “Educator of the Year” at Niagara College recently and the award ceremony was April 7th. Although he didn’t win, he’s proud to say that his friend and colleague Barbara Mantini of the Acting for Film and Television program did win. Here’s what Roland had to say about it: “That’s 6 nominations and 2 awards for our program in only 2 years since its inception. Not bad for a fledgling program in a college with 700 professors! Major kudos to Martin Doyle for having the smarts, guts and determination to convince Niagara College to launch this program.”

Alice Poon (Catsy) will be appearing in the upcoming crime drama television series Rookie Blue as a paramedic named Caroline. The show is scheduled to premiere in late June. Fans can also see her in the film Repo Men as a TSA agent.

North American VA Update for November 2009 – Part 1

Hey, everyone. We have quite a few recent sightings of the North American voice actors for you! This post covers recent and current projects, but we’ll also be letting you know about upcoming projects in part two of this multi-part article. Keep an eye out for more sightings!

Dennis Akayama (Malachite) will be appearing in Gangster Exchange, coming to theatres on November 20th. The action comedy is about two men trying to prove themselves as worthy of promotion in the Yakuza and the Bosnian mob.

Kirsten Bishop (Zoicite/Emerald/Kaori Knight) is starring in A Touch of Grey, a film about four women coming to terms with being middle-aged. The film premiered in Canada at the Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival on September 23rd and at the La Femme International Film Festival in the US on October 16th. On Novemeber 13th, it also aired at the Windsor International Film Festival. Visit the film’s official website for more information about the film, clips and trailers, and upcoming showings.

Katie Griffin (Sailor Mars #1) recently appeared in Too Late to Say Goodbye, an original movie for Lifetime Movie Network. The movie is based on the best selling book by Ann Rule, which was based on a true story of a real-life murder investigation. In the movie, Rob Lowe plays a successful dentist who appears to have the perfect marriage. After his wife, Jenn, finds out about his affair, she is soon found dead. Jenn’s sister, Heather, suspects that the death was not a suicide – although it appeared to be – and decides to investigate the truth. Katie plays a character named Dara.

Katie is also starring in The Death of Alice Blue (previously mentioned on Moon Chase) with Barabara Radecki (Sailor Neptune). This film about an advertising agency run by vampires is currently airing at various film festivals. Here are some of the upcoming showings: FANCINE, Malaga, Spain, Nov. 18-26; SANTA FE FILM FESTIVAL, Dec. 2-6; MYRTLE BEACH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Dec. 1-5; CAMBOFEST, Cambodia, Dec. 4-6.

Tracey Hoyt (Rini #1) recently appeared on The Ron James Show. The show is a combination of comedy sketches and Ron James performing stand-up routines.

Kathleen Laskey (Birdie) plays Barb Strange on Being Erica. The show follows Erica Strange, a young woman who believes she has a bad life because of the bad decisions she’s made. Her therapist transports her back in time to previous significant moments in her life so that she, with the knowledge of her present day life, can make better decisions.

Wendy Lyon (Queen Serenity #1) appeared in three episodes of Happy Town as Donna Friddle. The series is about a deputy sheriff confronted with the unsolved mystery of a half-dozen child kidnappings over the past decade in a small town.

Tracey Moore (Sailor Moon #1) is playing the title character in a new series called Zigby. The 3D animated television series is about a zebra and his friends.

Moon Chase Reviews the New Care Bears Cartoon!

And As Predicted, We Were Disappointed.

This morning marked the premiere of CBS’s Kewlopolis block. It seems to be targeted more to girls than it is to boys as we saw more commercials for toys that girls were more likely to play with (Bratz dolls, and My Little Pony) than toys that boys were more likely to play with (we saw one commercial for Transformers). The TV shows are also representative of those sentiments… How many boys do you know are interested in watching any of the following: Strawberry Shortcake, Trollz, Sabrina, Cake, or Horseland? Back in our day, we remember that programming was for the most part targeted towards both genders. One of our members watched some of the block with two teenaged boys who also agreed that if they were still kids, they probably wouldn’t watch this either and change the channel. We have read some industry estimates that this block is supposed to reach 14.8 million boys and girls through it’s year-long run, and we doubt that those numbers are actually going to be reached (at least with the boys). This is the biggest and most glaring mistake of this new cartoon block in our opinion.

And now for the news you’ve all been waiting for… what are the new Care Bears like? As you can probably tell by our subtitle, we weren’t impressed. The cast from the Oopsy Does It movie are reprising their roles in this 2-d animated cartoon. As we had mentioned before, Tracey Moore (Sailor Moon #1) plays Share Bear (and probably does some random voices of other bears as well). We also can confirm that Scott McNeil, famous for such roles as Duo on Mobile Suit Gundam, Koga from InuYasha, and Piccolo from DBZ, is playing Grumpy Bear in this show. What really surprised us more was watching as the other, additional voice cast scrolled by. We saw one very familiar anime VA – Richard Ian Cox (InuYasha). We’re not sure who he plays at this point (we think it’s one of the other bears) but nonetheless we were very surprised to see his name in the credits. This show was recorded in Vancouver too, which doesn’t surprise us that most of the cast is Canadian.

We had to sit through two fifteen minute episodes, A Little Help and The Tell Tale Tummy. The first one began with Grumpy Bear working in his garage, and he had conjured a power generator. The villain, Grizzle, lives in a somewhat scary dwelling, but he sure didn’t act like a villain in these episodes. More like someone who wants to sneak around to get his way rather than wreak havoc – which for those of us who grew up watching the original series looked forward to the crazy things Beastly and No Heart would throw at the Care Bears. More shocking was the fact that Grizzle lived in some kind of metallic cyber-suit – I mean come on, if kids are supposed to think that this character is to be feared by all, shouldn’t he not act like a kitten in his “costume”? Grizzle needed this power generator to keep his palace from floating away, so instead of asking for it, he decided to steal it. The bears needed it for a Rainbow Day Festival. A side plot in this show (intending to teach kids a lesson) is that they should never refuse help when they need it, as Grumpy was quite busy and refused Share Bear’s help in gathering bumbleberries. If anyone wants to hear some creative “cursing” by Grumpy , they should watch this show. His curses are too sweet even for Ned Flanders to use! When they caught Grizzle stealing the power generator, instead of taking it away from him and scolding the villain (which usually happens in a cartoon?) Grumpy just said that if Grizzle would have asked, he would have given it to him. How are kids supposed to fear this villain now? Tell Tale Tummy was a story that told kids to listen to their conscience and not lie if they break something. And Amigo Bear to us just seemed to be a token character who said the occasional word in Spanish to make a bad joke. We spotted Wish Bear in a quick glimpse but sadly Stephanie Beard is not voicing the character.

The old series had a multitude of bears (and other animals) with different personalities- that all seemed older than being children and served as figures kids could look up to and learn from. The bears are all young in this series and there are only four main characters, barely enough characters for new viewers to identify and pick their favorite. In fact none of these voices to us really seemed like they had character – the old cartoon which featured several of the VAs from Sailor Moon was better matched for the voices. The show has the E/I symbol which stands for Educational/Informative – but the script really made it seem like these lessons are pretty much written in forcibly or just for the sake of it. It just doesn’t jive at all. If you don’t believe us, why not watch clips of the new productions that are posted here.

These first episodes were terrible and we really expected something a lot better – considering that American Greetings and other sites affiliated with the Care Bears were pushing the 25th Year Celebrations just months ago. And if you go to the Official Care Bears site, you will see that all traces of the old Care Bears have disappeared – no more listings of all the bears, and no more mention of any of the movies, from the old ones of the 1980’s to the new computer animated ones released in the last few years. This may be because of the rights for the property going to DiC. We did manage to find buried in the internet this page with a few old clips. Our final word? We hated it. But why take our word for it? One blogger out there agrees with us , and we anticipate seeing more entries in the weeks to come. Sorry for all you Tracey Moore fans, while her acting is the best she can do with this , the show really isn’t worth watching. We are more likely to direct kids to watching the old reruns on Treehouse if they want to learn something and have a little fun too.

There Will Be A New Care Bears Series This Fall!

On CBS in North America!

Not too long ago, we told you of a new movie that involved Tracey Moore (Sailor Moon #1). We have recently learned macho man Scott McNeil, who in the past has played many macho roles such as Duo in Gundam Wing, Koga in InuYasha, and Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z is playing… Grumpy Bear in this new movie (yes, we are as shocked as you are D:). We have read a few reviews already of the new movie and they aren’t great (and hope to hear more when it goes into a wider release soon). If any fan wants to watch this movie, and wishes to tell us how bad (or good) it was (preferably in comparison to the recent movies from Nelvana) we’d love to hear from them. Just over a year ago I had the opportunity to meet Katie Griffin (Sailor Mars #1) in Toronto. In a really quick chat before a benefit concert, she told me that there was talk of producing a new series of Care Bears. We had lost all hope in ever hearing news of that after learning about this new movie, but are now able to confirm that there is indeed a new series. It is slated to premiere some time in September on CBS in a new Saturday Morning Cartoon Block aimed for young children. This new Care Bears will not be Computer Animated in 3-D but in 2-D. However, it is not being produced by Nelvana at all – but is coming from DiC using the same style of Care Bears (looking more like people than bears) as the movie. And 20th Century Fox will be handling Home Video distribution. And it’s looking like there will be 52 episodes made – but they will only be 11 minutes long. The show promises to be a “fresh and contemporary twist” on “everyone’s favorite bears, filled with warmth, caring and humor, and their delightful tales from Care-a-lot”. We anticipate seeing a few VA’s involved in this project and we will sit through the premiere of the show to let you know who is in it. We’re still surprised there is not a single mention of this new show on the Official Site, this close to the Fall Season. We will keep you posted when we find out what date this show will premiere.