Episode 4: Animation Domination?


Animation: the very thing that started my VO dream. How much of an impact has it had on me and others?


Hello, Ladies and Gentleman, and welcome to Voiced By Webb. My name is Emanuel Webb, and I’m a freelance voice-over talent. This is a podcast (or audio blog) where I share my thoughts and opinions, whether about the voice-over industry, or my improvements and lessons as a voice-over talent and all-around person.

Before I get started, I’m going to be a little transparent with how I do these episodes. I set up a list of topics involving voiceover and try to run through them to the best of my ability. Truth be told, I’ve been putting off going down the list specifically because of this prompt that I’m working on right now. The prompt asked: “Will Animation Ever Rule the World?”. This has got to be the most abstract title I’ve had to fight through. Like honestly, what does that even mean?

Okay, let’s try to break this down with what I KNOW about animation. Did you know that it takes 24 frames, or drawings, to equal just ONE second of animation? Sounds crazy, right? It sounds pretty damn tedious to me, I can’t lie. I actually remember wanting to create my own cartoons, obsessing over that number of frames needed. For a a one minute animation, that’s 1440 frames. For a 30 minute show (which was actually 22 minutes if you take out commercials), that’s almost 32,000 frames. Back in middle school and high school, i used to take printing paper to draw when i didn’t have a sketchpad. I remember taking a whole stack every now and then to try to keep up with my ideas. Suffice it to say, I never did get the exact amount needed to complete any animations (well, it was that, plus not having the focus and inspiration to follow through with it either).

Ironically, wanting to be a part of animation was what started my dreams of voiceover. My earliest memory of seeing it in action was from some behind-the-scenes feature that was on tv (funny enough, I think it came on after the Saturday morning cartoons were over). The feature was about Disney’s Aladdin, which came out in 1992. I won’t say how old I am now for this episode, but I was pretty young when that came out. Man, mortality can be funny and cruel all at once.

Anyway, let’s get back on topic. I won’t go so far as to say that Animation is “Taking Over the World”, but it’s definitely having a significant and growing hold on it. For starters, little by little, cartoons are starting to move away from being pigeonholed as “just for kids.” For years, Fox has “Animation Domination”, which is probably the closest thing we can get to this title. Their primetime lineup usually consists of Simpsons, Family Guy, and a combination of other cartoons that entertain usually older (sometimes mature) audiences). Adult Swim on Cartoon Network is in the same vein (with fewer restrictions than broadcast tv). And streaming services are offering more adult content in animation form, like Bojack Horseman on Netflix (which tackles addictions, depression, and other heavy) or Invincible on Amazon Prime, which is hilarious and gory fun.

But animation isn’t just used strictly for entertainment. A lot of companies use animated explainer videos that showcase a product or service that they provide. I have had the fortune of providing my voice to a few a them, which ALMOST fulfills that childhood dream I had. I’m still holding out hope that I’ll voice a superhero one day.

And with that, I’m about to call it a day. If you’d like to hear more, leave a comment on what you’d like me to speak on for the next episode.  You can follow me on Twitter at Webb859, on Instagram at webb.859, on LinkedIn using emanuelwebbvo, or visit my website at http://www.voicedbywebb.com. Once again, this is Emanuel Webb. Thanks for your time. Peace.

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