Tuesday, May 22, 2007

That Ain't The Way I Heer'd It!

A tribute to one of the great radio/animation voice actors, Bill Thompson (Droopy, Smee, the White Rabbit, Wallace Wimple and the Old-Timer on Fibber McGee and Molly, Adolf Wolf in Blitz Wolf -- but not, as you'll find out, Fred Flintstone). Nobody could do a mush-mouthed voice as amusingly as Thompson; there was something so loveable and innocent about his timbre that any character became adorable when he used that voice, even if it was an evil pirate's assistant or a Tex Avery character.

The one thing that isn't answered here is why Thompson was so often unavailable to do the voice of Droopy. In the mid-'40s the answer was that he was in the service, but there were a bunch of cartoons in the late '40s and '50s where Thompson was replaced by Avery himself or by Daws Butler ("Deputy Droopy"). Even more oddly, once Michael Lah took over the Droopy series in 1956, Thompson was available for every Droopy cartoon until the studio shut down.

(Via Cartoon Brew.)


Anonymous said...

Was Thompson really the voice of Adolf Wolf in BLITZ WOLF? I thought he voiced the cartoon's "practical" pig. [Just asking. I don't have the cartoon handy to check.]

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to track Thompson's voice recording sessions for Disney in the 1949-55 period (Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp and the Donald/Humphrey Bear series) with the times he was absent from MGM for Avery's cartoons. I think most of his work for Walt was pretty much done by 1956, and the Disney short-subject series were shut down, which would have left him plenty of time to go down to Culver City and record for Lah's CinemaScope cartoons.

Andrew Leal said...

It's definitely Thompson as Adolf in "Blitz wolf". The German accent was one of his stock voices which he used on radio and also in "Lady and the Tramp" (as Dachsie). That's certainly not him as the pig, but someone doing a good imitation of Pinto Colvig's pig from the Disney short (if not Colvig himself).