Monday, March 10, 2014

Kingdom Hearts: Voice Acting

One of the first things I noticed when I started playing Kingdom Hearts again was Squall Leon's voice. It sounded really familiar. Like it was Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Turns out it actually was Angel from Buffy as they got David Boreanaz to do his voice. He had the perfect mix of "yeah, I'm awesome" and "I don't care a bit about what you think" to make the perfect Squall Leon.

A little later on I got to the Agrabah planet which featured characters from the movie Aladdin. Jafar's parrot Iago came on screen and started talking and it was definitely Gilbert Gottfried. This got me really pumped up, because it made me realize just how powerful it could be linking a Square video game up with Disney. Getting access to the real voice actors from their movies is a really big deal. Even if Iago has only one line in the whole game it was still really awesome that they got Gilbert in to do it. And the genie in that movie? Robin Williams! Oh yes!

And then Genie showed up, and it didn't quite sound right. That isn't Robin Williams at all. What a blow out. It sounded like they got a voice impersonator in, because it was close to the right sound, but not quite there. In fact it sounded like Homer Simpson pretending to be Robin Williams. I wanted to rant about it today, so I just went to look up who actually did the voice of Genie in the game... Turns out it actually was Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson. Not only that, but he was the voice of Genie in the animated series from the 90s. So while it wasn't really the 'right' voice, it was actually a very close second.

I did some poking around and they got the original voice actress from The Little Mermaid (Jodi Benson) to do Ariel in the game. Even the characters new to the game got some pretty big names with the main character voiced by Haley Joel Osment and the 'damsel in distress' voiced by Hayden Panettiere. Heck, Lance Bass is the voice of Sephiroth! (Man, I really want to kill that guy now...)

So, yeah, it's pretty great that not only did Kingdom Hearts get access to Disney characters, but they were able to leverage the link into some fantastic voice acting as well. Voices in video games are often pretty sketchy so this was a really nice twist for me.

1 comment:

Sthenno said...

Just wanted to say, I'm very impressed by, "Sounds like Homer Simpson doing a Robin Williams impression" being dead on.