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Voice actor decisions--Baloo and Kit

Date : July 23, 2009

Category : Default / Other

Question :
Schroeder :

This is maybe more of Ginny McSwain's territory, but what prompted the choice of Ed Gilbert over Phil Harris as Baloo? Was it quality of acting, or of voice?!

How about RJ Williams over Alan Roberts as Kit?! Did the fact that RJ and Ed have a previously successful chemistry in "Kissyfur" have an effect on the choice of casting?

Anyway, thanks for answering our questions, Mr. Magon. I greatly appreciate it! :D

Best answer :
Jymn Magon :

Well, actually I CAN answer this question, since I was directly involved with the casting. In fact, Mark & I voice-directed the first few episodes. (Then we got too busy, and Ginnie was hired to take over.)

Phil Harris WAS hired as Baloo, and I think we recorded two (maybe three) episodes. He certainly SOUNDED like Baloo - duh. But, yes, his age was a factor. He didn't have the slick, con man timing anymore. I loved working with Phil, so I was distraught to inform management that he just wasn't going to work out for 65 episodes. (Besides, we had to chauffeur him to and from Palm Springs for the recording sessions - a 4 hour round trip!!) So we went looking for a replacement. Ed was finally chosen, and I took him to lunch, explaining that the series really was riging on Baloo's shoulders. Ed worked really hard to sound like Phil and to get his timing. I thought he did a really good job. (When I saw the John Goodman choice, years later, I thought "Dang, why didn't we think of HIM for TS?!)

Alan was our original choice for Kit, and we used him for a few episodes. But by then Ginnie had taken over the voice direction, and I seem to remember she had some troubles directing him. So she went with RJ who was a more seasoned kid actor (if I'm remembering right), and that why the switch was made.

Jymn

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Last comments

July 29, 2009
Webmaster France Male Is not currently on the site
AS leader
Yes, I guess it must have been a difficult choice to make...
I think Ed did a perfect job, both sounding like the original Baloo AND suiting the series adequatly.

Goodman was good enough, but I like his voice less (too rough) although it would work well as a replacement voice if/when Disney decides to do something new with the Baloo character again. (I'm sure it will happen one day - they just can't abandon a GREAT character like this, especially considering it's still one of the most popular from Disney?)

July 28, 2009
Is not currently on the site
Ah, OK! Thanks for the answers, and for taking the time to answer all our questions! :)

July 28, 2009
Is not currently on the site
Well, actually I CAN answer this question, since I was directly involved with the casting. In fact, Mark & I voice-directed the first few episodes. (Then we got too busy, and Ginnie was hired to take over.)

Phil Harris WAS hired as Baloo, and I think we recorded two (maybe three) episodes. He certainly SOUNDED like Baloo - duh. But, yes, his age was a factor. He didn't have the slick, con man timing anymore. I loved working with Phil, so I was distraught to inform management that he just wasn't going to work out for 65 episodes. (Besides, we had to chauffeur him to and from Palm Springs for the recording sessions - a 4 hour round trip!!) So we went looking for a replacement. Ed was finally chosen, and I took him to lunch, explaining that the series really was riging on Baloo's shoulders. Ed worked really hard to sound like Phil and to get his timing. I thought he did a really good job. (When I saw the John Goodman choice, years later, I thought "Dang, why didn't we think of HIM for TS?!)

Alan was our original choice for Kit, and we used him for a few episodes. But by then Ginnie had taken over the voice direction, and I seem to remember she had some troubles directing him. So she went with RJ who was a more seasoned kid actor (if I'm remembering right), and that why the switch was made.

Jymn

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July 28, 2009
usa Female Is not currently on the site

July 28, 2009
Fan news editor Usa Is not currently on the site
Phil Harris was the original choice for the voice of Baloo, but I've read somewhere that his aged voice cracks when he tried to voice Baloo, so Ed Gilbert got the job. I think Ed was the best voice for TaleSpin Baloo, too bad he couldn't be in Jungle Book 2, John Goodman voiced Baloo in that movie. I have to admit, he did a good job, he almost sounded like Ed doing Baloo, almost. So far, Baloo had 3 voice actors, not counting the Jungle Cubs.


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