Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Last year there was a very good TV nature series on all the different birds, insects and animals of the world, “Life.” This series was narrated by Oprah Winfrey. The series was produced by The Discovery Channel; couldn’t they discover a narrator? Why did they pick Oprah who has no narrating experience whatsoever? Oprah is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, did she really need this gig? There are probably 1000 actors with voice training who could read the narration much better than Oprah, but no….Oprah had to narrate. Oprah who is very liberal, who pushes for help to the down trodden and those in need, has to take a nice paying job from a struggling actor, someone who could do the job far better than she, Oprah had to narrate this fine show.
I enjoyed “Life”, but the narration was second rate. Oprah is great on her show, but she does not read well, her voice is not the best, and knowing it was Oprah reading, distracted from the incredible wildlife footage.
Did more people tune in to this show because Oprah was the narrator? I cannot see why. Did anyone criticize her for taking a good job from someone else when she needed neither the acclaim, nor the money? Not anyone who wants to work in the industry.
At my recent trip to Disney World, I went to a show, “The Hall of the Presidents.” This was a very entertaining, educational show. It was narrated by Morgan Freeman. Morgan Freeman reads very well and has a wonderful voice for narration, but….couldn’t someone else narrate just as well and cost Disney way less money? I know I didn’t pass this display and say, “Look, Morgan Freeman is narrating, I’ve got to see this.” I did not know Morgan Freeman was involved until my ass was in the seat. Why do we need a celebrity for these shows?
Ray Romano is the voice of a mastodon in the “Ice Age” animation series. He is very good. Could someone else, not a famous celebrity, be just as good for one third the salary? YES! Do nine year old kids love this series because they see Ray Romano is going to be the voice of the mastodon? NO! They don’t know Ray Romano from Adam.
Why is Eddie Murphy the voice of a donkey in “Shrek?”
Why is Ellen Degeneres the voice of Dora the fish in “Finding Nemo?”
Who buys tickets to these animated features because of the actors who do the voices?
If I was an out of work Shakespearian trained actor with a kick ass voice but a giant wart on my face, or a comedian who had lousy jokes but could do great voices, I would be just a bit ticked off that these wealthy entertainers were taking the few paying jobs that I could do and do really well.
Does anyone watch a cartoon because there was a famous voice involved? Do you watch specials and nature programs because the narrator is famous? Does it only bother me that these rich Hollywood elitists, many of whom put down capitalism and rich greedy Wall Street bankers and brokers, feel the need to take jobs at exorbitant salaries from more qualified unemployed actors?
Maybe it’s Just Me!