Celebrity voices sell

'There's an art to having fun," says Jack Black, who provides the voice of a pudgy slacker panda who becomes a kung-fu hero, Po, in the DreamWorks animated film, Kung Fu Panda, which opened Friday in both regular and Imax theatres. "You can't just say, 'Don't forget to have fun!' Ah, thank you. Now I'm having fun."

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say there's an industry to having fun. What's fascinating about modern animated features such as Kung Fu Panda is the gap between the casual improvisatory style of the performances and the calculation that goes into making these blockbusters for a global audience of children and a DVD market that should last for years to come.

Few people know who provided the voices for such classic animated movies as Snow White or Bambi, but DreamWorks has its own formula. The company is famous for using high-profile stars to provide character voices and help sell their animated movies, even though lesser-known actors will dub over the voices in different languages around the world.

(Globe and Mail)

Actors, Film Business

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