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Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Muppet Frog, Oct 9, 2010.
Did anyone notice that Rosita's voice sounds older in recent seasons and appearances? Why is that?
Because if she sounded younger as both character and performer gets older, we'd all have to wonder if she was drinking the same water as Shrinking Zoe.
It's a natural process with voice actors and puppeteers. Even if it has nothing to do with aging. When someone first performs a cartoon character, puppet, or otherwise, the voice they first use goes through the normal relaxing and adjusting until the character sounds almost different from their first to last performance. Even Kermit went through that sort of vocal shift when Jim was performing him.
As for age, well, there comes a point where you actually can't vocalize like you could when you were younger. I recall Pat Fraley talking about how he can't do his teenager voice (Jake Kong Jr. in Ghost Busters, One of the Neutrinos from the 80's TMNT). Seems like Jerry's dialogue for Robin in VMX had to be pitched up.
This is why Eric and David were so effective with thier recasts of Frank and Richard's characters - both managed to sound like how each of those two people did when they last did the characters as opposed to doing an imitation of their Muppets 70's era. Listen to Richard Hunt in the late 80's and David doing his characters seems like a no-brainer whereas Ricky and Brian's attempts sounded more like earlier Scooter.
I've said it before but it's been a long time since i did - but whenever someone wants to complain about Steve's Kermit not having the same voice or Gonzo or Floyd sounding different than they used to, i point to what i call Exhibit K: Listen to a clip of Kermit in 1959, 1969, 1979 and 1989 and they all sound different as both a result of Jim's voice being older and the character itself growing.
...and of course it isn't just a "voice artist" thing. People's voices change as they get older regardless. So whether you're someone doing character voices, a singer using your own voice, or an "everyday joe" you'll sound slightly different at ages 20, 40, 60...
Rosita's accent was also heavier in the early seasons, but it became less so as Carmen Osbahr's English got more fluent.
That's what I said in the second part. It's true. Age does terrible things to a person's voice (though, arguably, Earhta Kitt sounded better the older she got). Again, Pat Fraley said in a couple interviews that he just can't do a teenager's voice anymore... Cree Summer's original Penny (Inspector Gadget) voice was almost more like a little kids, but she hasn't been able to replicate that the 2 most current times she did the voice (linking material in a 2000 Disney released Gadget video and a sketch on Robot Chicken). It happens quite naturally.
As someone who's studied voice, i can't quite sign on to the statement that age does "terrible" things to one's voice - though granted if one is a voice artist or otherwise does character voices, then yeah - they may not be able to replicate those voices later on - but the voice just naturally changes but for the most part, that's neither good nor bad - just different. Since drtooth has such a strong animation background, i can see where he would naturally think of cartoon voice artists in discussions on age's effects on the voice whereas i with my singer's background tend to think of how many people's voices become more resonant and rich (though it doesn't always happen that way)
Since we're talking about animation here, one thing I've noticed that's interesting is Frank Welker voicing Fred Jones of 'Scooby-Doo' fame. I saw him in the Elvis movie "The Trouble with Girls" and noticed his real voice sounded exactly like Freddy's. But then they did a behind the scenes thing at the end of the 'Cyber Chase' movie where it shows that he had to throw his voice to make Fred sound more like he should. I have noticed a difference in the 60s Freddy voice than in the 90s/2000 Freddy voice. Just thought I'd point that out, because that's very similar to Muppet voice changes over time.
the same can be said for Peter Cullen and Optimus Prime
listen to the G1 Voice and the Current movie or Transformers Prime Voice
I thought that was an interesting theory about Cullen since he's also the voice of Eeyore on 'Winnie-the-Pooh,' but someone else is doing the voice for the upcoming movie. The same is true with a lot of characters. I guess Disney is aware of this concept and is trying out some new VAs, sort of like what they did with the Kismit the Toad thing.
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