Mark Hamill's Best Obscure Animated Voice Roles - VRGyani News and Media

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Mark Hamill's Best Obscure Animated Voice Roles

Odds are that the average fan of animation knows by now that Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, has voiced the Joker through the DC Animated Universe and many other productions since. His role as Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender is no secret either. And it would be a strange turn of events indeed if The Simpsons guest star Mark Hamill wasn’t voiced by – well, Mark Hamill.

But Hamill’s career in voice-over has been a long and fruitful one, stretching back as far as the 1970s. Like many actors in the field, Hamill’s is a distinct voice: if you know what to listen for, it isn’t hard to recognize a Hamill performance (which is not a disparagement at all). With cartoons often trading on stock characters and types, the voices called for tend to be similar from show to show. But there are always unusual characters and offbeat casting decisions made, and actors of Hamill’s caliber can always throw out a wild card or two. Here are five VA performances by Mark Hamill where he masked his voice so well, you’d never know it was him:

RELATED: The Best Joker Performance Is Not on Film, But in Games — We Have Mark Hamill to Thank For That

Hans Christian Andersen (The Little Mermaid: The Animated Series)

Many a child who grew up in the 90s remembers the TV spinoffs of Aladdin and Hercules. Not so many recall The Little Mermaid: The Series, Disney’s first direct television follow-up to one of their animated features. The short-lived prequel series followed along standard lines for Saturday morning TV, and its events often contradicted the film that inspired it. But with the episode “Metal Fish,” the series decided to go meta, with Ariel and friends encountering a primitive submarine that holds none other than Hans Christian Andersen, voiced by Hamill.

Andersen is made into a strapping redheaded adventurer for the episode (perhaps as a reflection of Ariel; he looks nothing like the real Andersen). His sub springs a leak shortly after diving, and the conflict of the episode is whether King Triton can be convinced to rescue the dying human in his realm. Consequently, Andersen doesn’t have much to do except talk to the cat he brought along for the ride. But Hamill gives a very earnest portrayal as a wide-eyed explorer who entertains the thought that mermaids are more than human imagination, and the episode ends with a nice acknowledgment of Andersen’s career as a writer and the Copenhagen statue of the little mermaid.

Snakebite Scruggs (Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island)

Mark Hamill has a long history with the Scooby-Doo franchise. He did voices for iterations of the series as far back as 1973 with an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies that doubled as a crossover with Hanna-Barbara’s Jeannie series. More recently, he’s been the guest star on Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? as the Joker, the Trickster, and himself. Of course, he’s recognizable in the latter role, and even played completely for laughs, there’s no mistaking that Joker voice for anyone else.

But there’s nothing familiar about Snakebite Scruggs, one of the red herrings from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. Snakebite doesn’t have much screen time, but he leaves a strong impression with looks and voice. One-eyed and sporting a tooth necklace a la Crocodile Dundee, Hamill’s Snakebite growls, snarls, prowls the swamps with his hunting pig Mojo, and trades scratchy Cajun accents with Jim Cummings’s Jaques. He gives reason for suspicion early on with his hostile attitude toward Scooby and the gang, but as it turns out, he just really doesn’t like tourists disturbing his catfishing. As small as the part is, it's showy, and Hamill puts on a good show.

The Lobster (Johnny Bravo)

Hamill provided a lot of voices for Johnny Bravo. He was King Raymond, archenemy of Jungle Boy in the short-lived side cartoon of the first season. He was an Ahab-esque sea captain chasing a verbally abusive merman who tried to shanghai Johnny onto his crew. He spoofed Darth Vader in a Star Wars send-up, acted as burglar and security guard, and put in another self-cameo as the CGI replacement for Johnny as star of a movie.

But it’s his turn as a lobster that stands out, for how unlike Hamill it sounds. Talking animals were among the many elements of Johnny Bravo phased out when the show went through a retooling after the first season, but this early second season holdout has one chatty lobster determined to avoid becoming a special dinner for Johnny’s mamma. With an accent somewhere between New York and New England, and a personality somewhere between escaping gangster and used car salesman, Hamill puts up a good fight, throws the whole house against Johnny in his bid for freedom, and after escaping the pot through unexpected means, delivers the last weird – but funny – line of the episode.

Larry 3000 (Time Squad)

One of the middle children of Cartoon Networks’ "Cartoon Cartoons" label (and one of its most short-lived, with 26 episodes), Time Squad did have an intriguing premise: as history goes on, its past begins to unravel, causing historical events to spin out of control and disrupt the utopian future of 100,000,000 AD. Enter the Time Squad, “enforcing the past to protect our future” by way of time travel. The series followed the most incompetent squad in the outfit, consisting of meathead officer Buck Tuddrussel, outdated diplomat robot Larry 3000, and illegally adopted 21st-century orphan Otto Osworth (the only one with any competence in history).

Hamill was the voice of Larry on Time Squad, and if you’ve ever wondered what he would be like as Alfred in a Batman production, this should give you some idea. Larry is fastidious, dry-witted, and speaks in a refined British dialect. But instead of playing father figure and butler to a dark knight detective, Larry is reluctant partner to the Neanderthalic Tuddrussel and nanny to the overeager Otto. He’s also cowardly, effete, and unschooled in history. Hamill makes a ham of Larry, going about his official duties and domestic habits with an upturned nose (figuratively; the robot has no nose piece) and hair-trigger sense of indignity. There’s a touch of the Joker in the pitch of his voice, but the personality is unique, and a fun contrast with Larry’s human co-stars.

Harrison Ford (Robot Chicken)

Mark Hamill has been open about his love of movies, cartoons, and comic books. Maybe that’s why he’s made so many appearances at himself in cartoons that wink at their audiences and celebrate fan culture. Robot Chicken has used Hamill as himself several times over the years, and even put him to work spoofing Luke Skywalker now and then.

But Mark Hamill isn’t the only Star Wars actor played by Mark Hamill. In a parody of Armageddon, Robot Chicken decided to send celebrities to destroy a killer asteroid instead of astronauts (or oil drillers), and the winner of the worldwide vote for which celebrity to send was Harrison Ford and Aerosmith. Hamill turns up as himself to try (and fail) to persuade America to send him as well, but years before his impression was the talk of late-night talk shows, Hamill voiced a particularly unenthused Harrison Ford’s reluctant effort to lead Aerosmith to the rescue.

KEEP READING: Mark Hamill’s 10 Best Voice Acting Performances



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