And some thoughts on voices
Hello everyone! Today we talk about the style of animation in our childhood cartoon. This geometric, sharp and simple style. We can see some easter eggs in a cartoon. I mean films that influenced the characters and their appearance.
For example, young sled dog named Star is very much similar to extravagant Roger Rabbit from one of my favorite movies "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". Both characters are eccentric, bizarre, funny and sensitive. William Salazar was the supervising animator for the trio, but he didn't work on an animation part in "Roger Rabbit". However, Daan Jippes and Simon Wells worked on the storyboards of the film, so they came up the appearance for characters, as William later began to develop them (I think the first storyboards were created, and then later a specific person works on specific characters; I can be mistaken, but for me it will be very interesting and nice if you tell about the process). By the way, Simon Wells was the one of main supervising animators and worked with Richard Williams on the animation part of "Who framed Roger Rabbit ", so he could leave the signature on this character.
I can not say that Star is one of my favorite characters in the movie (the white wolf and Boris the goose are my favorite characters in the movie), but he's pretty close to it. No offense, but I never liked his (Star) voice in the English version. Choice of the voice plays a very big role in the perception of the character. His voice is very raucous, clamorous, unpleasant and squeaky. This voice gives the impression of a typical and unsure of himself "the errand boy", who has low self-esteem and tries to hide it, spending time in the "popular gang ", even if the members of this gang offend him. I do not remember exactly, but in some versions (in other languages) Star was voiced by a woman. And personally, I liked it. Generally, it would be better if he had a female voice. I remember in one scene (pencil test) initially Star laughed exactly like Woody Woodpecker! Why did they cut this? It's awesome and funny! Imagine a little more pure and mature voice of Woody Woodpecker. It would be great. And it is very sad that the scene was deleted, where Star develops as a character, in which he takes off a gold collar from Steele's neck, calling him unworthy even to be called a dog. Here we realize, Star is very brave dog.
Are they similar? Of course.The style of animated movies of Don Bluth also had an impact. Many animators who participated in the creation of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit " or cartoons of Don Bluth, began work on "Balto ". For example, Dick Zondag and Jeffrey James Varab worked on many Bluth's films: "An american tail", "The land before time", "All dogs go to heaven", etc. Steele is very similar to another villain - Jenner. Both manic, ruthless, deceitful and vain. In addition, this rascal dog was named after real-life bandit, who foraged theft and looting in many cities of Klondike.
Do not get me wrong, I love the villainous voice of Jim Cummings. This person is considered to be a real chameleon among the voice actors. He gave his voice to thousands of positive and negative characters. This is awesome. However, the versatility of the actor (I wish health and happiness to him) has no special advantages. A similar story with Tim Curry (what if he voiced Steele, what would be the character?). Both actors have a great voices, but here's the thing. Really! It is all too obvious: "This character says the voice of Jim Cummings / Tim Curry, then he is the villain". This is a real stigma and stereotype of obvious villainy. Spielberg (according to Simon Wells) wanted to make this character more negative, therefore, he called Jim Cummings instead of Brendan Fraser. That is very strange. Steele is still a villain! He is already negative! Brendan could make the character more eccentric, humorous, energetic and memorable.
Later I'll write about Boris and Balto.
Every animator has a unique style, and we can see it in the characters.
Thanks for reading.