Sterling Holloway, the actor who had originally voiced Pooh, decided to retire in the mid-1980s. Disney decided that they wanted to continue this character with their 'New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' TV series.
I loved Ray from 'The Princess and the Frog.' He was my guy. There was no Ray before me, so there's a level of satisfaction there.
As a kid, I just loved cartoons. And as the credits went by, I'd study those names and then try to figure how I could get hired to do what Mel Blanc and Daws Butler did. Create all of these great voices for animated characters.
I started out doing multiple characters from day one, when I got my fist job in 'Dumbo's Circus.' I'm used to getting in an argument with myself, throwing myself off a cliff, patching myself up and brushing myself off with an arm around my shoulder.
As long as it comes across, the characters are well-served, the stories are good, and people like it, that's it for me. I'm a happy guy.
By the time 'Dumbo's Circus' wrapped production of its 120 episodes, I had an agent, and I had scored my first feature film gig.
I can picture the character in my head, and the voice just comes out.
One good thing about animation is that, if you do screw up a line, they won't use it. You can keep going until it's right.
I take the work seriously. Which is why I always swing for the fences whenever I voice a character. But that said, I don't take myself all that seriously.
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