Look Behind The Scenes at Disney’s Planes – Voice Acting

Entertainment Movies

Previously here at GeekDad, we have seen behind the scenes of the Computer Animation department and the Storyboard Art. Now we are going to fast forward a bit to the Vocal Track Recording. This is where the voice actor celebrities come into the studio and literally give a voice to our animated friends.

Sims in the booth!
Sims in the booth!

For this adventure, I had a chance to go in and voice over a section of film previously voiced by Dane Cook, who voices the plane Dusty. To make this happen, I worked with Planes Casting Director Jason Henkel and Sound Engineer George Thompson. They showed me that the actor goes into the sound booth and watches sections of the film and then talks. Sounds easy right?

The section of film they watch has a countdown to the line they speak. Once it hits 3-2-1, it is then line — there is no pause or hesitation. The sound mixer can adjust the track to match a bit, but multiple takes are almost always necessary. Not for me of course — me being a pro at talking, took to it with ease and in one take.

One of the biggest shockers for me was that the voice actor does this alone. They do not have the other actors in the room to do a back-and-forth. Most the time they are either conversing with a screen of another actor’s finished dialogue or just repeating their own lines over and over. The actors do not step on each other’s lines that way and the sound mixers are going to manipulate their dialogue better than they could in real life anyway.

Here is a sample of what I mean. In this first clip, you will see the finished product of voice acting between Teri Hatcher, playing Dottie the blue forklift and myself, playing Dusty the plane. Then, in the second clip, you will see how the scene was created. I watched the part of Dottie on the screen, counted down, then said my part — everything else was done in post production.


I our next installment, I sit down with Teri Hatcher and we discuss what it is like to voice the little blue fork lift, Dottie, for the Disney feature film Planes in theaters August 9th!

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