Voice Actor Dee Bradley Baker (Clone Wars,American Dad) Defends Cartoons on Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #9

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Are car­toons an inher­ent­ly juve­nile art form? Even ani­ma­tion aimed at adults is still typ­i­cal­ly con­sid­ered genre fiction–a guilty pleasure–and the form enables tones and approach­es that might sim­ply be con­sid­ered awful if pre­sent­ed as tra­di­tion­al live action. So what’s the appeal?

Dee’s voice can be heard in sub­stan­tial por­tion of today’s car­toons, espe­cial­ly for ani­mal or mon­ster nois­es, like Boots in the new big-screen adap­ta­tion of Dora the Explor­er, Momo and Appa in The Last Air­ben­der, Ani­mal in the new Mup­pet Babies, etc. He’s also a deep thinker who proud­ly defends car­toons as pro­vid­ing pri­mal delights of humor, jus­tice, and nar­ra­tive mean­ing.

Mark, Eri­ca, and Bri­an engage Dee about his expe­ri­ence as a voice actor (e.g. as Klaus Ger­man fish in a Seth Mac­Far­lane sit-com, fig­ur­ing out what Adven­ture Time was actu­al­ly about, doing all the sim­i­lar-but-dis­tinct voic­es of the var­i­ous clones in Clone Wars, com­ing up with a lan­guage for The Box­trolls, and recre­at­ing Mel Blanc’s voic­es in Space Jamand oth­er Looney Tunes projects), his role in col­lab­o­ra­tive cre­ation,  the con­nec­tion between car­toons and vaude­ville, how live-action films can be made “car­toon­ish,” graph­ic nov­els, car­toon music, and more. We also touch on Love & Robots, A Scan­ner Dark­ly, Lar­va, the doc­u­men­tary I Know That Voice, and the 1972 film What’s Up, Doc? Intro­duc­tion by Chick­ie.

We did read a few arti­cles in prepa­ra­tion for this about the phe­nom­e­non of adults watch­ing kid car­toons:

There’s also a lengthy red­dit thread that we mined for per­spec­tives.

This episode includes bonus con­tent that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts or start with the first episode.

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