Disney Animation Studios has shown new life and resurgence over the last six years, with acclaimed films released like Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, and Big Hero 6. Their newest flick, Zootopia, has hit it out of the park, earning over $70 million on its opening weekend and continuing to rake in over $300 million worldwide.
The story is about a cast of anthropomorphic animals in a major metropolitan city, with police partners Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) trying to solve a mysterious new case. The voice actors behind this Disney hit brought exciting life and vision to the story, but one of them had never done any voice acting before. Jason Bateman’s freshman try was clearly a success, but he told Comicbook.com that it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
“It’s sneaky tough,” Bateman told Comicbook.com. “I’ve never been able to book stuff. There’s definitely a specific and subtle thing that one needs to do, and I’ve tried to learn how to do it for a long time. The directors were really helpful.”
Bateman also commented on his opportunity to play a character he doesn’t normally get the chance to.
“I usually end up playing these prickly characters or these ethically challenged characters, and it’s always fun to identify the scene or sequence…where you can expose that soft, chewy center for this audience that this character is trying to hide.”
Of course, it wasn’t all fun. Bateman had some hurdles and challenges to get through, both mentally and emotionally. Like many beginner voice actors know, the first few gigs can be a little tricky.
“Do I just read these lines and speak into the microphone? Is that enough? Like you’re just leaving a message for somebody?” Bateman remembered during his interview. “You just defer to the directors. Those guys obviously know exactly what they’re doing, and I’m just a part of what they’re putting together and working on every day for years.”
Amazingly enough, Bateman never heard any of Ginnifer Goodwin’s playback during his voice-over sessions, and vice versa. Viewers would never guess that the two worked completely separate during the project, because the characters have such chemistry and interplay on screen. Perhaps that’s the mark of two great voice actors and their abilities.
“You just do your path,” Bateman told Comicbook.com. “They edit. They generate pauses. They generate overlap. These guys are amazing.”
Have you seen Zootopia? What did you think of the voice acting in the film? Tell us in the comments!
Photos courtesy of MovieClips Coming Soon Youtube Channel