Fun Fact of the Week #437
During the voice recording process for Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Frank Welker stated in an interview that he thought he might be replaced due to WB executives claiming his voice had gone down an octave since he last voiced Fred in 1984. Here's a quote from Welker on the matter from an interview with Animation Magazine.
"Coincidentally, when we were doing the direct-to-video movie, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island, I was basically the only one left from the original group. I thought they might replace me because they thought my voice had gone down an octave. I personally feel I can do Freddie right up front. When we were recording it, the director kept saying, 'Higher and higher,' and I kept saying, 'No, no, I don't think so. I did that for a lot of years,' and I went back and looked at some tapes, just to make sure, because I don't want to be doing something that would be wrong for the studio, either. And so they were looking at some old tapes, 'cause they were worried about some of the old voices and matching them. She [the voice director] listened to the Freddie voice and she said, 'I'll be darned. He's absolutely right. He sounds exactly like Freddie.' It's a double-edged sword."
Animation Magazine cited Cartoon Network's speeding up of episodes as a likely reason. To allow time for more commercials, the Where Are You reruns that were so popular in the 1990s had the animation and audio tracks slightly sped-up to make time for more commercials. It was a popular phenomenon at the time for Cartoon Network to time-compress the episodes by playing them at 1.05x or 1.1x speed. As a result, the characters' voices sound slightly higher-pitched than normal, which could potentially be why the WB executives believed Welker's voice had gone down an octave.
1/23/2023 02:23:48 pm
That would've been shitty of them to replace him. Frank has been able to play Fred perfectly for over 5 decades, no matter his age.
1/23/2023 02:41:19 pm
Hopefully it was just Frank thinking that and not actually WB considering replacing him. He was only 50 at the time, and he's still doing the voice incredibly even in his late 70s.
1/23/2023 02:36:05 pm
That’s definitely an interesting fun fact. But Frank Welker is one of the best voice actors in animation history so if they replaced him then that would’ve been stupid.
1/23/2023 02:42:05 pm
I couldn't believe that when I read it a few weeks ago. That would have been awful if they'd replaced him given he's such an iconic part of the franchise.
1/23/2023 04:07:33 pm
If they would’ve replaced him just for that, that would’ve been a bad move on their part. Frank been voicing Fred since the beginning!
1/23/2023 04:10:45 pm
Agreed! It will be a sad day when Frank retires!
1/23/2023 04:24:43 pm
Oh hey I found some VELMA early concept art. Have you seen them yet? Apparently this link is very long lol
1/23/2023 07:28:13 pm
Wow, I hadn't seen that before! Thanks so much for sharing! I just made a post about it :) I actually like these a lot better than the animation we ended up getting!
Carson Maitland - Smith
1/24/2023 07:27:45 am
Carry on Frank 💙
1/24/2023 01:49:05 pm
it wouldn’t have been good if they replaced him. i’m glad Frank got to stick around all these years.❤️
1/24/2023 02:59:19 pm
Me too! Hopefully Frank will stay the voice of Fred for many years to come :)
1/24/2023 03:31:52 pm
i hope so too!
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